Experts in Sport: In conversation with elite ultrarunner Tom Evans

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In this week’s special edition of the Experts in Sport podcast, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences’ Dr Richard Blagrove sits down in conversation with elite level ultrarunner and Red Bull athlete, Tom Evans.

Tom first made headlines in the ultrarunning world in 2017 when, following a bet with friends, he became the first European to podium at the notoriously difficult, six-day, 251km desert ultra Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert.

The following year, Evans continued his meteoric rise in the sport by winning the 101km CCC race at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc and was victorious at the Coastal Challenge Costa Rica and the South Downs Way 50.

In the episode, Tom, a British Army captain, speaks about his transition to a full-time athlete, the volume of training required for such major competitions, and how consistent training over time will yield the best results.


Speaking about the increase in training pre-race, Tom explained:

“My overall volume does increase… if I'm training for cross country and/or shorter races less than 10 miles or maybe even up to half marathon, it will be maximum of 100 miles a week with a session on Tuesday, Thursday, and then a fast tempo on Saturday, or combine into my long run on Sunday.

“Whereas, when I pick up to the longer distances…I will either drop one session and I will either do a long run instead of that and that will go up to two thirds of the distance or time that I'm going to run. So, for a 100k race, I’ll maybe do a 60k long run that will take around four hours.

“I will still keep a marathon or half marathon pace and tempo, and I will still do a session on Tuesdays in order to increase my lactate term point or threshold and my VO2 max and actually get fast.”

Tom and Richard also talk about how strength and conditioning training is used for endurance sports and how engaging with sports science can bring tangible advantages out on the course. Tom also touches on how the seasons can affect schedules.

The full episode of this podcast can be found above and listeners can subscribe to the series by visiting Buzzsprout.  

The 'Experts in Sport' podcast is a regular series that brings together experts from across Loughborough University with external thought leaders to discuss the latest research and hot topics in sport and academia.