South African training pushes Tom to his limits

Continuing his exclusive column for Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing magazine, Kemsing’s very own world record holder and Olympic athlete, Tom Bosworth, joins us once again to talk about his training in South Africa ahead of this year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

As you’re reading this it’s already February, but it’s mid-January as I’m writing this. That still means it’s the Olympic year and we’re edging closer to the Games and my race on August 6th in Japan.

My Olympic race distance is 20km, so just short of half a marathon and that means the majority of my training is geared to that distance and, despite competing over shorter distances on the track, all 20k’s tend to be on the road.

I opened my indoor season at the start of January in the England Indoor Championships and took gold over 3000m in a time of 11mins 18seconds.
I actually hold the world record for the 3000m indoors and outdoors. I set the indoor record back in 2018 in Glasgow in a much faster time of 10:30. Thankfully i didn’t need to hit those speeds to win, as I’d come down with a cold.

Having celebrated Christmas and new year back home in Sevenoaks and having put away over 600km throughout December and early January I was able to fully relax and enjoy Christmas. I’ll whisper it quietly, but everything is going very well so far.

I’m a few weeks into my winter training camp in the heat of South Africa. I’ve spent the previous four January’s in the town of Potchefstroom and it’s become a second home.

I have medical and full coaching support, so hopefully I can continue the big mileage I’ve been doing. I’ve been averaging over 100km every six days for the last couple of months and with this support I hope to utilise my time away.

It also means though, yet again, I missed out on my birthday which was on the 17th. However, with this year being my 30th, I decided to delay my trip out to South Africa and celebrate an early birthday with all my family and friends.

Tom celebrates his 30th birthday with his partner Harry (right) and friends.

It’s incredibly hot and at a minimum height to be classed as altitude training, so it should put me in good shape ahead of the British Indoor Championships in Glasgow on 23rd February.

The miles have been hard, but I’ve managed to keep the quality from before Christmas and increase the mileage. I’m also now sleeping at over 2400m, in an altitude tent. It’s not the nicest experience, but you get used to it. I’ll be spending most nights in this now until the Olympics.

The reason we sleep high, it makes it that little harder to recover, making your body that little more efficient over time.

But if you’re tired, sick or training starts to get affected we take some time out to make sure we are fully recovered before spending any more time in the tent.

Altitude training can be brilliant to get you fitter than you usually can be, however, it can quickly become a negative effect if you’re pushing your body too hard. I’ve spent the best part of ten years learning how to use altitude best in my training, so I believe me and my coach now have it mastered and should avoid too much fatigue!

I’ll leave you to your day now, I’m probably out on a dusty South African road as you’re reading this, putting away the miles, aiming to make Sevenoaks and the whole country proud come this summer and the Olympic Games.

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to catch up with my journey. You can keep up with my day to day goings on through my social media channels, I can be found @TomBosworth on most platforms or if you’re interested in supporting me through sponsorship or a visit to your place
or work or school, head to my new website at www.tombosworth.com.