News Archive


Tweet Tuesday 26th May 2020

Interview #1: Training in Lockdown with Alastair Thomas (EUOC / WCOC)

Another week passes and as GB Orienteering Athletes are getting more and more used to the ‘new normal’, British Orienteering asks how lockdown restrictions have impacted on their daily and weekly training routines and drills.

British Orienteering will be publishing a series of interviews this week with GB athletes. 

Here is the first interview with Alastair Thomas member of both Edinburgh University and West Cumberland Orienteering Clubs.

Alastair Thomas

Edinburgh University Orienteering Club (EUOC) and West Cumberland Orienteering Club (WCOC)
Talent Squad Tier 2

Athlete Profile

Alastair Thomas garden training during lockdown

How have the current restrictions impacted on your training?
"The amount of training I’m doing is pretty similar to before and actually being in lockdown all day just means more time for rest and recovery, so the training I am doing is generally higher quality than before."

"The obvious big change is that all the races have been cancelled, so instead of being in the midst of the domestic racing season we are now in some weird limbo phase where we don’t really know when/where we’ll next get to race. Whilst I’m obviously pretty gutted that I’m not getting to race, I’ve started to realise that I enjoy the training just as much as the racing, and having a big competition goal wasn’t the only thing that was getting me out the door every day to go training. As such, I’ve been able to continue the same training as before the lockdown and the season postponement without too many issues regarding lack of motivation."

What advice have you got for other athletes or members in a similar position?
"Just get into a good routine, know when you’re going to go out for your daily exercise."

What is your number one lockdown training session?
"Just the easy running miles."

Have you still been able to access support from your coach or orienteering athlete friends, and if so how?
"Yes, I’ve had a couple of online meetings with my coach, Mark Nixon via video-call which has been nice, basically just to make sure I know what I’m doing and I’ve not been sitting here doing nothing! And I’ve got the opportunity to join in with EUOC core sessions 3 times a week via zoom."

Alastair at the Junior World Orienteering Championships 2019

What box sets have you been able to catch up on during lockdown?
"I started watching Peaky Blinders last week and I’ve finished all five series now, so that’s kept me well entertained, top series would recommend."

Have you been doing any DIY tasks – anything you want to tell us about?
"I’ve been helping out in the garden a bit although my mum would say not nearly enough! I have been doing some lawn mowing, digging out the flower beds etc. I’ve actually really enjoyed it, takes me back to summer holidays when I was younger when I didn’t spend my whole summer off on orienteering camps."

Anything else you wish to share on any other aspects of Lockdown training?
"Being stuck at home the temptation to eat everything in the kitchen has been a bit of a problem… I need to be socially isolated from the fridge!  Apart from that, I think being in lockdown has sort of been what being a professional athlete is like; just training and then chilling at home."

Thanks, Alastair. British Orienteering wishes you all the very best with your on-going training.



As a sport, we must work together to resume orienteering responsibly as and when the relevant government determines it is safe to do so.

The Board of Directors at British Orienteering have committed to following the respective advice of each government, and therefore there are likely to be periods when types of orienteering activities permitted, vary between different parts of the UK, depending on the government guidelines and regulations.

The latest statement from British Orienteering can be found here.
Resumption of Orienteering

Competing in the Junior World Orienteering Championships 2019