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Tweet Sunday 11th February 2018

Elite Athlete Winter Training Series - Interview #5: with Jenny Ricketts

Jenny Ricketts training


Winter Training and Motivation: Athlete Focus

The temperature is cold, and the days are shorter. Struggling to maintain the motivation for training or orienteering regularly? You're not alone. Getting yourself out on cold dark mornings and evenings takes a lot more motivation than it might do in July.

Pick up some tips and see what makes up a typical training week for some of our top elite athletes this winter with our elite athlete focus feature series.


Athlete name:  Jenny Ricketts

Athletes club:
Edinburgh University Orienteering Club (EUOC)
Mar Orienteering club (MAROC)

Athletes age: 20


Athletes biggest achievement?

13th at the Junior World Orienteering Championships Long 2017 in Finland.

Typical training week over winter (including mileage, terrains, etc)?

I’ve been ill this winter so haven’t been able to do much training, but last year my typical weeks was:

Monday:  50 min easy, + Gym (1 hour 15 mins).
Tuesday:  45 min mobility (drills + agility + stretching) and a 30 min easy run in the morning + intervals in the evening. Before Christmas intervals will be a threshold, up to 30 min total effort, in January I did short 30s-60s hill reps, and on February 3 minute hill reps.
Wednesday:  90 min long run, hilly.
Thursday:  1.5 hours Gym + 1 hour 15 easy including up to 40 min of orienteering depending on where it is.
Friday:  30 min swimming.
Saturday:  Again, depends on when in winter but generally 20 min tempo, could be orienteering or cross country or parkrun + easy running. On Saturdays, I’d often split running into 2 sessions depending on what was happening. Total of 1 hour 45 running.
Sunday:  90 min long run easy or orienteering if possible.

Technical training over the winter?

I didn’t do much before Christmas.  I went on a few training weekends away and did some technical training on Thursdays.  Over Christmas, I did some night orienteering and MAROC club training.  After Christmas, I did as much orienteering on the weekends as possible.  I went on the Edinburgh University Orienteering Club technical training camp to Aviemore for a week before term started and made my own technical training camp for a week in February including part of a British Orienteering camp, a couple of sessions at home (Deeside) and the British Night and Northern Championships.

I try to have a focus in every session and analyse each session after.

Top 3 tips for staying motivated in winter?

  • Train with a group. You’re more likely to enjoy training and get out the door if there’s a good group of friends to run with and you’ve already committed.
  • Go for long runs in the hills. Long runs can be great fun, very social and you can explore new places.
  • Try night orienteering. When I was in Deeside I always looked forward to night orienteering. There’s an additional excitement and greater challenge than orienteering in the day.

Athlete's favourite motivational quote.

“Problems almost always create opportunities – to learn, grow and improve”.
John Maxwell.


Thank you, Jenny.  British Orienteering and members would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best with your training throughout the rest of the year.


Read more

Elite Athlete Winter Training Series of Interviews
More information - here.

Interview #1: with Charlotte Ward - here
Humberside and Lincolnshire Orienteers, Sheffield University Orienteering Club

Interview #2: with Kris Jones - here
Forth Valley Orienteers, Swansea Bay Orienteering Club, Lillomarka OL, Swansea Harriers, Dundee Hawkhill Harriers

Interview #3: with Alice Leake - here

Interview #4: with Alasdair McLeod - here