Season 4, Episode 11: Tom Evans, a former British Army Captain, first made his mark on the ultra-running world in 2017, when he came third in the 251km desert ultra Marathon des Sables.
Despite entering on the back of a bet with a friend, his third-place finish was the best result any European had ever achieved in the history of the race.
Tom astounded once again in 2018, when he won the 101km CCC race at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) – the pinnacle of an incredibly successful racing year, which also saw him take the top spot (and break course records) at the Coastal Challenge Costa Rica and the South Downs Way 50.
Since then, he has podiumed at the 2 most iconic trail races in the world; The Western States and the UTMB, so he has achieved a huge amount in his short time in the sport.
Claire and I wanted to chat to him about how his time in the army has helped him plan and execute races so effectively, how he focuses on tracking down the marginal gains and what data he does and doesn’t find valuable in recovering from these monumental 100 mile runs.
What I’ve Been Reading
Killian Jornet has made an incredible name for himself as an ultrarunner and man of the mountains. Whether it is winning the UTMB, the iconic 100-mile ultra marathon around Mont Blanc with an astonishing 10,000m of ascent, or becoming the faster person to summit Mount Everest, he is the master. His book, ‘Above the Clouds’, gives an interesting insight into the man himself. Certainly not an attention seeker, but with his heart firmly rooted in his passion, he tells stories of his incredible achievements, and escapes, in a relaxed demeaner that has you questioning whether they are that significant at all. If you love the mountains, you should check this out.
What I’ve Been Watching
‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once’ is the film that just won 7 Oscars, including Michelle Yeo becoming the first Asian woman to collect the award. I spent long periods of the film thinking ‘what utter nonsense’ and yet, like any good film, it got me thinking and questioning life by the end. At times it’s hard to follow, it is constantly interrupted by scenes that have you cringing for a range of reasons, and yet by the end you feel like you have a slightly different take on life. Not one I’ll be watching with the children or the in laws anytime soon, but if you go into it with an open mind, and are willing to resist some questionable inclusions, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your thoughts afterwards.
Quote of the Week
“Do the basics well”
- Tom Evans
Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering
Jeremy Hunt delivered a few curve balls in his first budget, when we saw the first major pension reforms of the decade introduced. I have long been frustrated by the restrictions put on pensions that disincentivise or reduce savings. The rise of the pension annual allowance from £40,000 to £60,000 may seem like it is reserved for the uber wealthy, but it really isn’t.
People seeing a jump in income have struggled to catch up with pension contributions because of the allowance restriction, so this will ease that burden. Removing the Lifetime Allowance, the total you can save into a pension again may seem a perk for the super-rich; but the previous restriction taxed people with a pension worth over roughly £30,000 a year; that’s hardly Abramovich territory. It was, however, encouraging valuable and experienced people, particularly in the public sector, to retire early at a time when they are needed the most.
Pension is a tax deferral not a tax-free benefit, so they’ll still pay it when it comes back out. Whilst relatively simple changes, these do make pensions more attractive again, and a good way to save for the future; be it you or your children’s – as remember they are also free of Inheritance Tax.
The Trusted Team
I have talked for years about the benefits of achieving compound growth on your hard-earned money. Whilst a little growth may be insignificant in the first few years, as you start getting the growth on the growth on the growth, your savings start to soar. It is why starting to save into a pension early is so important, because even if it is only a small amount, it will make it much easier to achieve your retirement later down the line. The same is the case with any habit.
I was talking in my latest Trusted Team workshop about the power of habit compounding. For example, getting up earlier after reading ‘The 5 AM Club’ initially had very little impact on my life; other than feeling a little more tired. Gradually my sleep pattern adjusted and I rose early with ease and with the right amount of sleep. That habit did only a little initially, but over the 5 years since then it is a habit that has allowed me to complete several Ironman races and ultra-marathons, read and write more books, spend more time with my family in the evenings, seeing more of both the area I live in and places I’ve travelled to as well as being outside at sunrise more often. All these benefits have improved my life in significant ways, and all because of a simple new habit that seemed so insignificant at the time.
We spent some time in the workshop thinking about which good habits we could install, and which bad ones we could replace. What habits could you install gradually that could take you closer to your goals; not immediately, but like compound growth through small but constant improvements? If you’d like to learn more about The Trusted Team, why not come along to one of our taster events by clicking here.