She’s only 24, but has already won everything you can win – in two different sports. But it’s not about the medals for the best orienteer in the world. For Tove Alexandersson, it’s all about the passion for the sport.
It was kind of a no-brainer Tove Alexandersson would become great at orienteering. Both her parents were successful orienteers, and she was only one year old when they introduced her to the sport. She got into the Swedish national team at the age of 16, and she has been one of the best orienteers in the world ever since.
She’s won the overall world cup for three consecutive years and when the world orienteering championships were held in Sweden last year, Tove won gold in both middle and long distance. She has won everything there is to win – but she’s still looking for more.
– My motivation to train and compete isn’t in the results and in the medals, says Tove. It’s all about my passion to the sport and that I love the life I’m living. I always strive to challenge myself, I want to be a better orienteer and find the details I can improve.
As if the foot orienteering wasn’t enough, Tove Alexandersson is also one of the best ski orienteers in the world. For example, she’s won the world championship 8 times and the European championship 6 times. This means she’s the greatest athlete in the world – in two different sports. And she only sees benefits in combining the two disciplines.
– Of course, this means I have a tough schedule. The foot orienteering season starts when the ski orienteering ends. I compete a lot, often around 70 competitions per year, which also includes a lot of traveling. But I love this life. I live to compete and I try to primarily see the smaller competitions as great training sessions, says Tove.
– Doing both disciplines means I can train harder during the winter, since skiing and running exercises different muscles. Because of the skiing, I can run harder when I’m running, which is great.
Her training is divided almost 50/50 between cross country skiing and running during the winter, while she’s only doing running and orienteering in the summer. A regular week this means 10–20 hours of training.
– I try to vary my training as much as possible. My training sessions often consists of a long run for about two hours, or shorter sessions where I’m running in race pace or faster. And almost all my training is done in the forest, that’s the place I like the most, says Tove.
– I really love being in nature. It’s one of the thing I like most with all the competitions. You get to travel a lot and discover new places. When I come to a new place, I always grab a map and see what nature has to offer. I love to climb mountains, see waterfalls and experience nature in every way it’s possible.
So far, this season has started well for Tove, with medals in the world cup. Her main focus right now is however the world championship in Estonia. Tove will be running middle and long distance, but also the sprint taking place June 30.
– It will be fun. But I’m still focused on the forest distances. I like when it’s challenging and as technical as possible. The world championship is my main goal during the year, and I will do everything I can to defend my medals from last year.
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