Foot Orienteering Athlete of the Year: Tove Alexandersson

Tove Alexandersson has done it again: she has been at her very best over the whole season. This year at the World Championships in Latvia she won 4 out of 5 possible medals: gold in Long and Mixed Relay, and silver in Sprint and Relay. And she is the winner of the 2018 World Cup.

First steps in the orienteering world
Alexandersson has been in touch with orienteering for her whole life, as both her parents are orienteers and she started in this world at the young age of 10. In senior competition, she ran her first World Cup race in 2010 and won her first one just a year later. “I already had a really high level when I started to compete against the seniors, so I also had pretty high goals from the beginning,” she says about her first years at the top.

How to prepare for the major events
The preparations for big events such as world or European championships can be really tough both physically and mentally, so we have asked her how she deals with such important events. “I want to be as well-prepared as possible, and I usually spend a lot of time in relevant terrain to be physically and technically prepared. Mentally I know that I’m good at finding the right mood when I’m standing on the start line, even if my preparations have been poor.”

It is well known that Tove is not just a FootO star but also a SkiO one. Regarding her training, she has to focus on both disciplines besides organising her season sensibly. Therefore during summer her sessions are mostly running ones, and in winter she does a bit more skiing than running. “In the winter I usually do 4-5 high intensity training sessions per week. One long session of over 3 hours, sometimes one shorter training of around 1 hour, and the rest of the sessions at easy pace for 2-3 hours.”

A longer edition will be published in Orienteering World.

Text by Laura Garrido and Sara Ricoy