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Athlete Profile: Tomas Graham

HometownOttawa, ON
Currently Living Ottawa, ON
ClubOrienteering Ottawa
Occupation Student
Training LogAttackpoint

How did you first get involved in orienteering? 
My parents were both very involved in the sport, locally and internationally. They sent me out into the forest as soon as I could walk! I didn’t immediately fall in love, it actually took quite a while, but I eventually did. I owe everything to them for getting me involved in the sport.

If you had one tip for young orienteers, what would it be?
Navigation always comes first! The best orienteers always figure out where they need to go and what to look for before they run. Focus on the map/terrain and your speed will come naturally.

What would a typical week of training look like for you (at a part of the season of your choosing)?
At the height of my training, I’m doing actual orienteering maybe twice or thrice a week. On top of that I’ll go on 2 to 3 runs (distance, intervals, hills, etc.). I also do my best to squeeze in some strength/core and some map-reading in between.

How do you normally prepare for an important race? 
It may sound silly, but I almost don’t treat it as a race, but rather a training session. The second you start worrying about your position or about winning, you start to lose focus on your navigation and mistakes can be made. When you adopt the training session mentality (i.e. thinking solely about navigation and tactics), you can concentrate better on executing proper orienteering skills which leads to a good performance.

What is your big life orienteering goal?
Be involved in the sport for as long as possible. It’s so inspiring to see people well into their 90s participate in the sport. Even when I pass my prime, as long as my legs and brain work, I’ll be orienteering!

Tomas is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2020 High Performance Program.

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