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Tom Evans on ‘major differences’ to training as Western States winner gears up for UTMB

Olly Green
Updated on
Endure 24
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Tom Evans has revealed the tweaks he has made to his training after confirming he will take on the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) this month.

The British runner romped to victory at the Western States Endurance Run (WSER) in June and has since pulled out of the Sierre-Zinal to focus on the UTMB World Series Finals in Chamonix.

The late alteration to the 2023 schedule he announced earlier this year has meant that Evans has needed to amend his training plan to launch his UTMB assault.

The former army captain took third at last year’s UTMB, completing a sensational recovery from knee surgery.


Training adaptation

And with Kilian Jornet, who claimed victory in a record time in 2022, looking like a doubt for this month’s race amid a bone edema, Evans will be eyeing the most esteemed title in trail running.

Tom Evans at the 2022 Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB)
Tom Evans at the 2022 Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) [Photo credit: UTMB]

Although there have been some changes to his training to prepare for the demands of UTMB, he is keen not to lose sight of the simple things that have provided the backbone for his rapid rise to the pinnacle of the sport.

“There have been some major differences in my training since coming back from WSER, but the fundamentals stay the same,” he revealed on his Instagram.

“I am a huge believer in doing the basics and doing them well.


Ascent adjustment

The uphill aspect is decisive at UTMB, with the 170km route featuring over 10,000m of ascent. By comparison, Evans’ victory at Western States saw him climb 5,486m in roughly 161km.

With that in mind, Evans has been acclimatising to long, steady ascent in the French Alps, completing some of his training in Val d’Isère and Tignes.

“The major thing that has changed in the last few weeks has been specificity,” he added. “Lots of controlled uphill and getting used to being in the mountains.

“3 weeks to go till the big party.

Evans has also spent time on the bike as he looks to condition his legs further without impact: “Cross training is a big part of my training. Firstly it allows me to add extra volume while also getting some more strength in my legs, especially on the uphill.

“Secondly, it reduces the impact on my body and allows me to push a bit harder in training.

“Third and most importantly… I love riding my bike!”

Olly Green
Written by
Olly Green
Olly is the content lead for RUN247, is a regular contributor to TRI247 and keeps an eye out for content that appeals to both audiences including interviews with pro Heather Jackson.


In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more

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