Maja Alm answers readers’ questions

Posted on | September 20, 2016 | Category: News

It is easy to come up with many questions for a reigning world champion. And so the followers of the IOF on social media did, when they got the opportunity to ask Maja Alm whatever they wanted. Here are her honest answers to some of the questions:

Ross Burnett asks: What things do you do, or what techniques do you use, to help balance the orienteering training and racing life with the non-orienteering part of your life?

I live by the principle of ‘All or Nothing’. That means that in the spring and summer period orienteering is always first priority and I will not compromise on my training and recovery. Now, during the autumn I will prioritize friends, family and my study. I think it is nice to be a ‘normal’ student in a period like this. When Christmas starts to arrive, I am loaded and begin to look forward to schedule and structure my training again.


Jes Holme Barkler asks: Dear Maja. I perform the worst on long transport legs where I have the most time to read ahead. At the attack point, I change my plan in the last second or just mess up the fine orienteering. Why is that, and what do I do to change it?

It could be because you on long legs spend too much time focusing on the fine orienteering. It is a typical mistake to change your plan during a long leg. Something that works for me is to push hard in the more simple parts of the leg, so I do not use time reading ahead. And again, be aware of the plan and do not change it on the way in last minute.


Hope_orient asks: How do you like to relax after serious competitions or when you feel tired emotionally?

I really like to lie on the couch and watch movies or series together with my boyfriend. Going on a weekend trip to my parents or parents in law is another way for me to relax. At their places, I feel I can let go of all worries and just relax. Hanging with my friend, both orienteers and non-orienteers, also helps boosting my energy.


Gustavtraff asks: Whats your fastest time at 5km?

My fastest time at 5km is 16.28.6, but it is two years old. Recent years I have not had time to do a proper 5000m. This year I was in the shape of my life and I have no doubt I could have improved the time considerably.


Joaquim Margarido asks: My dear Maja. You are determined to write a novel. You buy a good notebook, you get your best pen and you sit at the table in the most comfortable chair. What do you see out of the window? What do you write on the first line?

I am sitting on my sunny balcony in the middle of Aarhus. Our apartment is a part of an old city house and the backyard is full of small green hedges. It has an atmosphere I cannot get enough of – a little oasis in the middle of the city.

First line I write: The hard way to success. The novel will be about how I started as a young frivolous talent, and with time realized how much it requires to become a world champion and how top-professional and purposeful I have become in recent years. A progress I am really proud of.


Haveltrahasdani asks: What is the secret to win in orienteering?

It requires dedicated training and patience. From my point of view there is three equal important criteria to succeed; the physical, the technical and the mental part. If you are weak in any of these, you will never win. When you stand on the start line, it is important you approach the task systematical. You need respect for every single control and have to concentrate all the way.


Amanda Fröhling Lind asks: What animal do you look up to?

It is a difficult question. I remember long time ago on a training camp we had to identify us self with an animal. My friend mentioned a dolphin since it is fast, smart, social and a playing being. I think that is a fun comparison and some values I would like to live up to as elite orienteer. I cannot remember which animal I mentioned myself back then.


Both Matslindaas and Hector_2502 ask: How many hours do you work out/train in one week?

From 10-16 hours training a week, mainly running. Usually I train focused and structured towards the competitions I have as goals.


Beatrizcastilhodias asks: How many running trainings do you have per week?

8-14 hours. I do strength twice a week, which is the only thing I train besides running. I am of that opinion, that if you want to be good at running, then you need to train running. Of course it is a different matter if you are injured. Then you need to be sensible and do some alternative training like cycling, swimming etc.


Gustavtraff asks: When did you start to seriously train to become elite?

I first started to train seriously in the age of 18, when I got someone to train with by moving from the southern part of Jutland to north of Copenhagen. At that place my now long-standing cooperation with Lars Lindstrøm started. Back then, he did pace for me at 1000m intervals – I can reveal he is not doing that any more.


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