In orienteering, Frenchman Frédéric Tranchand has been making a name for himself for a long time. Already in 2010, he won his first World Championship medal at the Orienteering World Championships in Trondheim. Since then, six more have been added. Last fall, he made a detour into the trail running scene, including a second place at Sierre-Zinal (30 seconds behind Kilian Jornet) and a third place overall at the Golden Trail Championships. We were able to ask Frédéric a few questions.
Warm up round:
Scandinavia or France?
Scandinavia in summer, France in autumn and winter
Long Jog or Interval
Summer or Winter
Orienteering or trail running
Running: alone or in a group
Cycling or swimming
First of all, congratulations on your excellent results at the Golden Trail Championship last fall! Did you make any major changes or adjustments to your usual training in anticipation of those races?
Thank you. Yes, since it was clearly my main goal this fall, I incorporated some training blocks with long runs. I made sure to do as much uphill and downhill as possible with lots of incline changes and to be on trails and paths. Overall, I did longer sessions than I’m used to and I actually really enjoyed it.
What does an average training week look like for you?
It varies a lot depending on the training phase. From a lot of volume and training hours in the winter months to more quality training and greater focus on recovery during the competition phases.
In a normal training week I train twice a day and about three fast sessions. This can be running or orienteering. In addition, there are about 3 strength training sessions and also some alternative training sessions to take care of the joints and ligaments. These are then mostly on the bike and sometimes aquajogging in cold and dark Finland.
2020 was a very special year with very few competitions. How did you experience this difficult year?
Since I like to train and go outside, I was able to keep a good level. I even trained more than ever before, because there were fewer competitions to prepare for and to base my training on. Accordingly, I did not have a precise plan on a specific goal and everything was very uncertain and less organized. Furthermore, I had minor injuries in the spring between April and June, and also did a lot of training on the bike. At that time I was still in Australia.
The difficult situation also demanded a lot of flexibility and creativity from the race organizers. Did you once participate in a virtual race?
Yes, I participated in a smaller charity run. The classic Sierre-Zinal race, in which I also participated, was not “virtual” but took place over a month during which the course could be completed.
Your first participation in a world championship in orienteering was 11 years ago. How has your training changed since then?
A few things have changed. I can now handle a larger amount of training with the many years of training in my legs. Also, I used to meticulously follow the training program of the French national squad. The last two years, when I spent most of the training time in Australia, were more individualized and focused on my personal style.
Are you a full-time professional or do you have additional work?
I’ve almost always had other jobs in addition to the sport. That requires more organization, but it’s good for me to find a good balance. Now I work part-time for the Kaarina City Council in Finland as a civil engineer.
What is your favorite type of training?
My favorite is the opportunity to change terrain often and always face new challenges 😉
Looking ahead, what are your next goals? Continue orienteering or more trail running?
Definitely the World Orienteering Championships in the Czech Republic next summer! But after the World Championships, I’m already planning to do some trail running competitions again.
The interview with Frédéric Tranchand was conducted by Simon Dubach.