We shared with you a while back that Tom Hutchinson, our Planning and Development Assistant, was training for the upcoming cycling season. Tom, who we sponsor as an athlete, has clocked up more than 10,000 miles this year alone.
Read about his gruelling training and recent success at the National 12 Hour Championships here. You can follow his (exhausting) endeavours by following @tom.whut on Instagram.
"The 1st of August was a very special and difficult day on the bike for me. I took part in the National 12 Hour Championships, which is effectively a race against the clock and a challenge to cover the furthest distance. This is the first time I have competed in an event of this duration and nature, so my training has been centred around high volume all year to make sure that my body can cope with the demands of the full duration. This means that I’ve already nearly ridden 10,000miles this year alongside a rigorous off bike routine to compliment this and primarily make sure that I don’t sustain and injury.
Training this year by any means hasn’t been plain sailing, but I am no stranger to setbacks. In fact, my reason for taking up cycling back in 2018 was due to being unfortunately forced out of my previous sport (rowing) due to a significant back injury. With every athlete there is always a good story behind each milestone achieved and part of what makes a good athlete in my opinion is being able to adapt and learn from past experiences. In this respect, my back injury has allowed me to mature and enjoy the process irrespective of the result. My motivation for cycling has always been that sport was taken away from me unexpectedly and now I’m lucky to have an opportunity to achieve what I always wanted, to be the absolute best I can be. It hasn’t been easy to balance everything, particularly alongside working a full-time job, but anyone who knows me understands how dedicated I am to both sport and my career. The rigid structure and discipline allow me to put in the hard work into these aspects of my life and often I find that they complement each other. It seems fitting to reflect on this, having just secured my first National (Cycling Time Trials) Championship’s medal!
Over the 12 hours, I recorded 312.27 miles, which was good enough for the bronze medal overall. For context, silver covered 312.33 miles and gold covered 313.91 miles which across that duration is a ridiculously tight margin. Nevertheless, I am thrilled to finally receive my first (hopefully of many) national honours.
The race itself took place near Thetford, Norfolk and the conditions on the day were rainy but thankfully the temperature remained low. It was a mentally and physically tough day for everyone competing, in fact, I’m still recovering (3-weeks on)! To do well (amongst other things) the idea is that you stop as little as possible while keeping enough fluid and food to keep the energy reserves high. Having burned over 10,000 calories across the race, as you can imagine this sounds like a lovely task in the comfort of your own home, but travelling 26+mph, with heart rate elevated and when your stomach is level with your head, things can be at the best of time very difficult to digest. To make things even harder, I found myself getting sick of the same foods so needed a variety available to choose from. For example, I started out at 6:55am with bagels, soreen, flapjacks and pizza and towards from about halfway I could only stomach gels and rice cakes. Almost a full day of planning went into race preparation and even then, my total stoppage time accumulated 9 minutes (1st place stopped for less than a minute)! A wealth of experience was gained.
The day was an amazing experience, and I couldn’t have done it without the support that I so gratefully receive from my team, sponsors, friends and family. I started at YoungsRPS over 3 years ago and from Day 1 they have fully supported me professionally and share the passion for my cycling. I’d like to take this opportunity extend my gratitude to Robbie Hutchinson (a former Director at YoungsRPS) who sadly passed away last month, he has particularly been supportive and enjoyed following my journey."