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Athlete Profile: Tomas Graham

Born 1998
Hometown Ottawa, ON
Currently living Ottawa, ON
Club Ottawa Orienteering Club
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

Competing at JWOC for the first time. Even though I was just an alternate, it was a totally unique and inspiring experience competing amongst the best in the world in such a beautiful area.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

JWOC of course. But especially COC because it’s going to be the 50th COC, on Canada’s 150th, and all taking place in my hometown!

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

The Barkley Marathon. A 5-day, 100-mile footrace through Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee. It’s been called the hardest race in the world and “the race that eats its young”.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

Outside of athletics, I enjoy music and play several instruments.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

To do well in school and to excel in speed skating.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Mostly mental things like quick decision-making and pre-race relaxation.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (e.g. coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

Although I’m often preoccupied with other affairs, I do my best to get involved with local orienteering meets. I might be putting up/taking down flags, preparing refreshments, and mentoring younger, first-time orienteers.

What sort of mental training do you do to improve your orienteering?

I sometimes get nervous before my races and lose my concentration and energy. To calm myself down, I try to remember tough races I’ve done in the past and think to myself “If I’ve finished all those race, there’s no reason I can’t do this one.” I might also use this technique if I think I’m panicking during my race.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, GPS watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites.

I regularly exercise using a Garmin Forerunner 220. It tracks distance, speed, heart rate, elevation, etc. It’s great for seeing what I’m succeeding in and what I need to improve on. There’s Attackpoint of course, where I can log all my training and view what other orienteers are doing. I also occasionally use QuickRoute, where you can overlay my GPS data of a run over a map.

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Tomas is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program

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