Country: Sweden
Lives in: Falun, Sweden
Activities: Orienteering & Ski-Orienteering
Our friend since: 2014

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Webpage: www.tovealexandersson.se

TOVE ALEXANDERSSON

Elite Orienteer & World Champion

2016 was an incredible year for our friend Tove. She was ranked world number one in both orienteering and ski orienteering. She won the overall World Cup in both disciplines: she won gold medals in the European Orienteering Championships and 2 gold medals in the World Orienteering Championships.

Track record
– 2 gold medals in World Orienteering Championships
– 2 gold medals in European Orienteering Championships
– 3 times the number 1 in the World Cup in Orienteering
– 1 time the number 1 in the World Cup in Ski Orienteering
– 5 individual gold medals and 3 gold medals (relay) in World Ski-Orienteering Championships

Her favourites

Favourite SILVA-product?
The Race Jet Compass and I always have the Carry Dry Backpack with me, its small, waterproof, easy to take with me everywhere.

Favourite destination in the world?
New Zeeland. An amazing place for adventures, I still have a lot to discover so I will definitely head back as soon as possible.

Favourite meal?
Brunch is definitely the best meal, you get a bit of everything. I tend to choose yoghurt with granola, fresh baked bread, waffles and fruit.

Her training habits

Who’s your trainer?
I don’t have one specific trainer, I have different training buddys, for example Dala Sport Academy and Annelie Östberg is my mental coach. I plan my training on my own, I spend a lot fo time thinking and reflection regarding my training.

How often do you train?
Approximately 600-650 hours per year or 9-12 sessions per week. Each week I have 1 restday when I’m ‘off duty’ and can just relax or travel to a new competition. My races are often during weekends. I have kept an training diary since I was 15 where I write how long each session takes, pulse zones, distance, type of session (interval, running or biking etc.) Training is all about enjoyment and creating the ultimate conditions in which to perform well in races.

What type of training do you prefer?
During the summer I run, roller skate, bike and run in water (run with a belt in a pool) and cardio where I focus on core strenght and stability. I also do yoga and flexibility training in periods. During the winter it’s mostly XC-skiing and a lot of running. Basically all of my training is outside.

How do you train during the darker season?
I’m exercising twice a day so I get one session during daytime and one during nighttime. It’s cosy to train in the dark, I even like to orienteer when it’s dark since it’s brings another dimension and challenge. I don’t change my training because of the darkness, most of my training sessions are out in the forest and then I just use a headlamp. So I continue with the same type of sessions despite of the darkness. Training in the dark brings in a new dimension, you feel like you are moving faster but with the same effort.

What’s your favourite type of training?
Interval. I like to push myself and really challenge my body. It varies between short 15 seconds-intervals up to 20 minutes. But it’s important to focus on the whole package, sleeping and eating well is as important.

Tove as an orienteer

How come you started with orienteering?
I come from a family of orienteeres so it was quite naturally for me to start as a child. What I love about orienteering is the great variation, it’s always new tracks and different types of terrain. You never know what to expect. I love to be out in the nature and it’s both fysically and mentally challening.

Any advice to those who wants to start orienteering?
Start by looking for a club. Orienteering as a movement is open and friendly. In Sweden there are clubs everywhere, and also in other countries. It’s important to start knowing the basics regarding the map and the compass. But remember to take it slow at first, focus on practice and to learn the basics regarding map reading and how to use the compass.

Your best tips regarding orienteering?
If you know how to orienteer, you can learn a lot by participating in a competition or just by contacting a club. Just by being in the company of orienteeres you learn, you can discuss the track and the choice of direction and so on.

Your most fun memory so far?
To run the World Championships ‘at home’ in Strömstad. Amazing terrain and tracks and it went quite for me. I had really looked forward to the race, I was nervous but also so keen.

What’s the most fun race for the happy beginner?
O-ringen. Everyone is there, and there’s something for everyone.

How do you prepare yourself before a competition?
I usally eat 3 hours before the race. I try to relax hours before and start to focus when I’m doing my warm up. I adjust my day rythm,  during the World Championships and went to bed later and got up later. The most important thing is to feel recovered, vivid and full of energy. I decrease the amount of training session before competitions so that I’m full of energy when it’s time.

What do you like to do in your meantime?
I like to be active. To travel and going places. Try new things, I gladly try more adventurous things and then outside.