Doing a Thommo

Training Talk round up

‘Doing a Thommo’

The fairytale ending to this year’s Olympic Marathon Trials at Kew Gardens really got us thinking… How can we emulate Chris ‘Thommo’ Thompson’s stunning run where everything just clicks when you need it to? Episode 581 features a discussion on ‘Doing a Thommo’ between Holly Rush and Martin Yelling, both of whom experienced Thommo-type races and their fair share of Full Thatchering over their careers, too. 

Here’s the Training Talk guide on how to run a Thommo. 

Draw on experience whether you’ve run for years or are a relatively new runner, you will have had good and bad experiences along the way to race day. Draw on the times you got it done or when you fought back from something that didn’t quite go to plan and have faith that you can absolutely nail it when you need to.

Use your mental resilience and in that we mean know when to make great decisions and why to trust them. It’s not about going headlong and head strong into confident running that never wobbles, it’s about knowing that you can do it.

Trust the process and remain confident in the training you have done. Much of racing comes down to what goes on in your head given that the physical work should have been done long before. 

Control the controllable because while you can’t control who shows up to race you on the day, or what the weather is going to do, you can nail your preparation and race planning in the weeks leading up to it. Accidents and ‘curveballs’ happen, so avoid anything additionally stressful by knowing your race plan right down to travel, kit and nutrition. 

Know yourself and what makes or breaks you. Linking back to trusting the process, understand what makes you fly or crumple during racing and work on them in training. “Make some of the fundamental elements of a Thommo repeatable so that you can produce them when you want them“, comments Martin Yelling .

A little bit of fairy dust can be what you need sometimes and the stars may align to bring you a bit of luck to help you along the way to a great race experience.

Running a golden race can be everything from having perfect weather conditions, to coming back during a race when it’s not initially going like clockwork, to everything just going to (race) plan. A ‘Thommo’ often includes an element of coming back from adversity whether that’s during build-up or during the race itself, making your own personal victory that much sweeter, even if it’s not with an Olympic Qualifying time on the clock. 


Let us know what happened when you did a Thommo over on our social media channels and on Twitter @marathontalk 


Anji Andrews for Marathon Talk

Photo by Anji Andrews for Marathon Talk