1. The volume of oxygen consumed per minute (VO2).
2. A measure of aerobic metabolism.
"My mission is to help people increase their running performance while they learn how to one day master their own training journey, forever."
Thomas Solomon, PhD.
Owner and Coaching Director.
Hello, I am Thomas Solomon.
I am a physiology academic turned running coach and scientific consultant, and would describe myself as a trail-running, rock-climbing, photograph-taking, craft beer enthusiast with a big orange beard.
To learn more about my qualifications and experience, please click the drop-down boxes below.
Although I have retired from competitive racing, I still train for fun and recce races, new workouts, and coaching approaches — I never prescribe anything to my athletes that I have not endured. To check out my training further down this page, click here.
Thomas Solomon PhD.
Owner & Coaching director at Veohtu.
Running coach. Nutritionist.
Exercise Physiologist. Personal Trainer.
Train smart. Get strong.
BSc (Hons) Biochemistry.
PhD Exercise Science.
ACSM-Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT).
ACSM-Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP).
VdotO2-Certified Distance running coach.
Association for Nutrition Registered Nutritionist (RNutr).
European Athletics "I Run Clean" certification.
IMPORTANT: I have an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and a Doctorate in exercise science but do not provide medical treatment or medical counselling. I am a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition but do not practice dietetics or medical nutrition therapy. I am an ACSM-certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP) and ACSM-certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT) with a VDOT Distance Running Coaching Certification but do not provide physical therapy. I always operate within my remit and will advise in finding the correct practitioner outside of my remit.
I was educated at the University of Birmingham in the UK, earning a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry in 2002 and a PhD in Exercise Science (macronutrient metabolism and exercise biochemistry) in 2006. I then trained in clinical biochemistry at Derby Royal Infirmary and Queens Medical Centre, before moving to the USA to complete a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship in metabolism and endocrinology under Professor John Kirwan at the Cleveland Clinic. After this, I lived in Denmark for 6-years working as a Senior Researcher leading a human physiology research group at the Center for Inflammation and Metabolism and the Center for Activity Research at Rigshospitalet (Copenhagen University Hospital), under Professor Bente Klarlund Pedersen. In Denmark, I became an Associate Professor of Molecular Biomedicine and moved to the Panum Institute Medical School at the University of Copenhagen. In 2015, I returned to the UK with the help of a European Commission Marie Curie Fellowship to work as a Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity & Health at the University of Birmingham. In 2019, I started self-employed life as a full-time academic consultant and running performance coach.
Along my academic journey, I have conducted exercise and diet research in the field of type 2 diabetes and have taught and led university courses at the BSc, MSc, Medical Student, and PhD level in biochemistry, molecular medicine, exercise physiology, and physical activity promotion. My success in this field is demonstrable through over 80 peer-reviewed medical journal publications (including an F1000 Prime recommendation), Principal Investigator-led research grant awards amounting to ~£825,000 in direct costs, over 20 media interviews/articles, and more than 50 conference presentations & invited talks at universities and medical societies, including the American Diabetes Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the Japanese Physiological Society, and the Korean Society for Exercise Physiology. I am also a professional member of the American College of Sports Medicine. My direct role in academia is far from over. I continue to participate in weekly journal clubs with other academics, continue to peer-review journal articles and grants, and continue to invest every Friday in reading what is new on PubMed.
Since 2002, I have worked with hundreds of people integrate physically-active lifestyles and optimal nutrition into their daily habits. Over the past 10 years, I have also advised, coached, and designed training programmes for athletes of all levels, from the armchair through to elite international racers. I am driven to help people learn and understand the underlying principles of health science. In doing so, it is my passion to relay accurate, evidence-based scientific knowledge to the real world, and to use my expertise to help people optimise their health through physical activity or to maximise their performance with up-to-date endurance and strength training methods. I have studied the philosophies of some of "the greats" from the running world, including Arthur Lydiard, Jack Daniels, Mihaly Igloi, Harry Wilson, Renato Canova, Steve Magness, and Peter Coe, consulted strength coaches on power development, and consulted bouldering coaches on grip training strategies. I have developed my expertise from a wide range of experiences as a scientific researcher, lecturer, coach, adviser, athlete, and climber. I personally test everything I prescribe so I can understand my client's phenotypic feelings, effort levels, and recovery expectations from each session. With my passion for learning, I have widely studied the principles of training approaches and nutrition/diet-exercise interactions and have always sought to understand the why in such methods. This has helped me achieve several fitness qualifications: I am an an ACSM-certified Exercise Physiologist, an ACSM-certified Personal Trainer, a Dr Jack Daniels certified VDOT O2 Distance Running Coach, and a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition. I have also pledged to the Clean Sport Collective and am "I run clean" certified by European Athletics.
With my PhD, I am also constantly in touch with current evidence, connected with experts, and am trained in critical evaluation of scientific papers. This optimises my ability to coach, advise, and train, helping people to successfully achieve their goals. Continuing education is an important part of anyone's skill set. As a PhD, I personally entertain this, but it is also requisite in order to maintain my qualifications. I attend conferences and scientific meetings, hold weekly journal clubs (including those with other coaches), read journals and books, and take continuing education courses. I also learn a lot every single day from the athletes I work with.... Every day is a school day.
My coached athletes have had many successes including:
Multiple sub 3-hour male marathons and sub 3:30 female marathons;
Multiple PBs at distances from 800m through to marathon;
Several top 5 UK-ranking in Masters 800m and 1500m racing;
Several wins and podiums at trail races;
Multiple wins and podiums at UK OCR League races, Spartan Race National Series races, and Hyrox Races;
Several athletes finishing in the top-5 of the Spartan Race UK & Ireland series rankings;
Multiple athletes gaining national team selection for international championship events in middle-distance track racing and OCR;
An age-group Bronze medal at the Adventurey OCR World Champs;
A Bronze medal at the British Masters Indoor Track Championships.
In 2018, I was named “Coach of the year” by the OCR Audio podcast. In 2019, four of my athletes were selected to be a part of the first-ever Spartan UK Pro Team. In 2020, one of my athletes was selected to represent the UK as an elite athlete at the inaugural FISO World OCR Championships.
Over the past 25 years, I have maintained a high level of athletic performance beginning as a rogue youngster with soccer, basketball, middle-distance track racing, and cross country running, coached in Kingston-upon-Thames by Stan Belton and Dave Lucas until 1998. As a youngster, I represented county and regional teams and by age 17 had run 52.12 for 400m and 1:56.98 for 800m. I became a little bored with running and ventured into road and track cycling, coached by Luke Moseley and advised by Jack Hill and Alan Milway until 2003, riding as a domestique for Jack en route to his British University Road Race champs win. That was when my interest in coaching was sparked, and thereafter I started observing, reading, and knowledge sponging so I could self-coach and begin to advise others. To combine cycling with running, I moved into duathlon racing, finding success with a 10th place finish at the 2003 World Championships. But I fully returned to running when I moved to the USA in 2007, running sub-16 for 5 km and sub-33 for 10 km aged 27, later achieving a marathon racing best in 2015 of 2:37:14 at the London Marathon aged 35, all self-coached.
However, something was missing. It turned out that my love for the ruggedness of the outdoors was being neglected and this led me to seek out trails and off-piste scenery. Hence the development of my passion (read: borderline obsession) for trail running, mountain climbing, bouldering, and obstacle course racing (OCR). From 2016 to 2018, I dedicated my athletic pursuits to OCR and finished 9th in the UK OCR League in 2016 and have had several top 5 and podium finishes in elite wave races. I finished the 2018 Spartan Race season ranked 42nd elite male in the world, 5th elite male in the UK, and was very proud to race under the UK flag at the Spartan Race European Championships in Morzine and the Spartan Race World Championships in Tahoe. In 2019, aged 39, I retired from dedicated racing but continue to train for fun and enter events to recce new developments in the trail / mountain / OCR world to provide current information for helping design plans for my athletes.
I have always supported my own training as well as my coaching/advising with a focus on stability, flexibility, and strength. I am an advocate for the mastery of body movement and spatial awareness and engage in activities like bouldering and callisthenics since the skills one develops from such activities (mobility, balance, and proprioception) are transferable to trail and obstacle success. They also engage my most important mantra for leaving the house to train:
If it isn't fun, make a change.
Integrity is at the core of my values.
I have pledged to the Clean Sport Collective to create positive change in supporting athletes who are committed to clean sport.
I am not affiliated with, sponsored by, or an ambassador for any brands.
My advice concerning branded nutrition, hydration, supplements, and equipment is objective, based on personal preferences, and never influenced by advertisements, donations, etc.
If any brand recommendations are made, they will always be based on personal preferences and never influenced by advertisements, donations, etc.
I have conducted biomedical research for which I have received research dollars from publicly-funded national research councils and medical charities, and also from private companies, including Novo Nordisk Foundation, AstraZeneca, Amylin, the A.P. Møller Foundation, and the Augustinus Foundation. These companies had no control over the research design, data analysis, or publication outcomes of my work.
I do my utmost to use state-of-the-art, consensus, peer-reviewed and published scientific evidence combined with my empirical evidence observed in practice to inform the Veohtu Training Framework.