British Orienteering is continuing to publish a series of interviews this week with GB elite athletes on how the restrictions of lockdown have impacted on their daily and weekly training.
The series continues with Kirstin Maxwell GB elite athlete and member of Roxburgh Reivers Orienteers.
Club: Roxburgh Reivers Orienteers (RR)
How have the current restrictions impacted on your training?
Kirstin: “In a way it's changed my plan a lot. I was working part-time for six months focusing on orienteering and was due to go on a number of sprint training camps/races in the UK and abroad which obviously never happened. However, I've gone back to work full-time but I am still able to train lots. I love running so don't need a goal to get out the door. Sessions have changed slightly as I can't access a track and can't run more than once a day but can do turbo sessions instead and I've taken a step back to more of a base/build phase rather than sharpening. Dad has turned the conservatory into a gym and I've enjoyed getting out on the road bike for a change. There's a lot of hills in my runs and I'm lucky to have endless quiet trails close to home where I can just switch off and enjoy running. The weather has been strangely nice in Scotland so I've even managed yoga in the garden!”
What advice have you got for other athletes or members in a similar position?
Kirstin: “The situation is out of our control so right now it's important to just enjoy getting out in the fresh air, staying fit and switching off mentally. It's good to focus on little things you maybe wouldn't have before, I'm making a conscious effort to stretch more.”
What is your number one Lockdown training session?
Kirstin: “I've brought back a number of old sessions from the past, the "Lanton loops" terrain tempo session with hills, mud, terrain, trails etc. used to be the one I dreaded but I know it made me really fit so I'm making sure I get it in weekly.”
Have you still been able to access support from your coach or orienteering athlete friends, and if so how?
Kirstin: “I was actually due to move flats at the beginning of April so moved out of my old one early as anticipated lockdown was coming and didn't want to be stuck so I'm back down with my parents. While this obviously isn't ideal having had my own space for 10 years, it means I'm living in the countryside and with Dad who is one of my coaches. It's good because he can see how sessions go and we always work well together pushing each other on. I usually communicate with other coaches through Skype etc. so nothing has changed there. I'm lucky to still have company for training when I want it but I do miss my training partners and teammates as keeping in touch virtually isn't the same.”
What box sets have you been able to catch up on during Lockdown?
Kirstin: “I'm really bad at just sitting down and relaxing so actually haven't had time to watch anything long. I've gone back to learning a language on Duolingo and I've been kept busy by cooking for my family, trying to cook interesting meals every evening as well as baking treats at the weekend.”
Have you been doing any DIY tasks - anything you want to tell us about?
Kirstin: “I have a huge bin bag of orienteering maps which I haven't filed in years which I'm making my way through. It takes forever as I get distracted looking at courses and remembering the races.”
Anything else you wish to share on any other aspects of Lockdown training?
Kirstin: “Scottish Athletics have organised virtual races including National Road Relays where I had to run a solo 10km as well 15min and 1mile time trials. My club has been really good at putting teams together and encouraging people which has been a nice feeling with a bit of "race pressure" and team-spirit. I'm really excited to race again though as definitely fitter than I've ever been.”
Thank you Kirstin. We wish you all the 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