SYO's new club night: How can it benefit you?
SYO’s new club night – by Kim Baxter
SYO is introducing a brand new weekly club night. It starts on Wednesday 7th June and will run initially for 6 weeks from 6.45 to 8.15pm. The purpose will be to provide training and education to enable SYO members of all levels of experience and ability to improve their orienteering. Pauline, who is well known to many of you, will be leading the technical aspects of training. Whilst I will be focusing on developing your physical orienteering ability. All sessions will integrate both elements to provide interesting, informative and fun activities.
I completed my first orienteering course alone at the age of six. Ok I was nearly seven and it was unintentional as my Mum lost me whilst going to check my older brother was OK on his course. But I got round (in well over an hour) to find a panicking mother at the finish. Since then orienteering has always been a part of my life.
As a teenager I moved through the squad systems from the East Midlands Junior Squad, British Junior Squad and finally the British Senior Squad. With lots of years practicing the art of orienteering combined with regular athletics training with the local club, I was quickly producing good results at National and International level. I attended the World Junior Orienteering Championships four times and then the World Championships three times. This culminated in my best results of 4th in the relay and 21st in the long distance at the home World Championships in Scotland in 1999.
Following retirement from International orienteering in 2004 I started to get involved with the British Squad within a professional capacity as a physiotherapist. Initially I worked with just the junior athletes but within a few years I was the main physio for both the junior and senior athletes.
I have now been involved with the squad for over 11 years and during that time I have had the privilege of working with some amazing coaches and athletes with huge amounts of knowledge covering all aspects of training for Orienteering.
The physical side of training was the area most closely aligned with my role as physio. Physical training when done well makes you fitter, faster and stronger. But when pushing to make these gains there is always a balancing act. Push too much and train to hard and you will stop improving and your risk of injury (or illness) will significantly increase.
In recent years my passion has been to help work with the athletes to find this balance. Thus reducing their risk of breakdown and injury and ultimately improving performance. To enable me to do this effectively I have had to fully understand the purpose of different types of training and the load each type places on the body.
It is really exciting to have been given the opportunity to apply all the learning I have done over my career as both an athlete and physio to the SYO club night. The knowledge I have gained puts me in a great place to work with people to help them improve their fitness.
The same principles of training apply to all orienteers - beginners, experienced orienteers, teenagers, fast runners and complete novice runners. In recent months I have been working with the Steel City Striders “Couch to 5k” training groups and have been applying the same principles of training and injury prevention.
The key is to get the training ‘just right’ for you and repeat this on a regular basis. Too much and injury will occur, too little and there will be no change in your level of fitness. For an elite athlete ‘just right’ might be 12 hours of running a week and 3 hours strength exercises, for a novice runner a few 10 min jogs a week with some walking, small amounts of strength exercises and a swim might be perfect.
Once the ‘just right’ level starts to feel too easy you need to gradually increase the training challenge in some way. That might be a bit more running, or running a bit quicker, or longer, or adding more hills.
I will be working closely with everyone at club night to ensure the physical aspects of the night are ‘just right’ for you. I will also be happy to advise anyone on their weekly activities / training.
The elements of orienteering fitness we will work on during the first 6 weeks are:
- Working out your speed for different types of training (easy, steady, tempo and fast running)
- Strength & power
- Running technique / drills
- Up and downhill technique
- Terrain technique
- Sprint technique - cornering acceleration deceleration, steps.
As well as increasing your fitness my other priority is to ensure you all enjoy the sessions and have lots of fun:)
All SYO members receive a 15% discount at Kim's clinic Kim Baxter Physiotherapy. Kim has 20 years experience in the field of physiotherapy and sports injuries. She is joined in the practice by top British ultra runner Sally Fawcett and both physio's specialise in running related injuries.