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Thomas Vandormael

Your bio

But most of the time, these two jobs can inspire each other!


For now, I train high level middle distance athletes from Belgium, France, Luxembourg and even Portugal.
My work is to lead everyone of the athletes I coach to the best of themselves through national and international level in running/Track&Field.
I have coached this team with a frenetic enthusiasm for 5 years now, trying to help all members (from regional to Elite level) to reach their potential and to find out what kind of limits they can push further!


Maybe because I studied Letters, Linguistic and Literature and got a PhD in French Literature at University of Liege in Belgium. I'm familiar with scientific research and the power of words even in sports.

I also enjoy to organize conferences, recording podcasts, writing articles about training. As man of words and previously French teacher, I like to explain and share my passion. Now it is time to share it with YOU!



How long have you been running for?

Almost 25 years now! And I really enjoyed everyone of them.

How long have you been coaching for?

10 years, with 5 years at Elite Level. I started coaching with recreational and young runners : I love it! Year after year, most of them made big progress and now we come to the point where their performances are some of the best in their country.

What are your personal bests?

My PB are quite respectable : 3.50 for 1500m, 8.30 for 3000m, 31’ for 10k and even 2h39 for the marathon (pacing one of my women athletes!) But these PB’S don’t mean much compare to those of my athletes.


The best results in my team are :

FOR MEN- 1.47.28 for 800m, 3.39.02 for 1500m, 7.51 for 3000m, 13’38 for 5k, 28’51 for 10k, 1h03’50 for half -marathon, 2h13 for marathon.

FOR WOMEN- 2.01.73 for 800m, 4.07.72 for 1500m, 9’12 for 3000m, 15’42 for 5k, 32’38 for 10k, 1h11’20 for Half Marathon, 2h27’54 for Marathon

Your top 3 songs for during a run?

The Killers – All those things that I’ve done

Arcade Fire – Intervention

Delta Spirit – it ain’t easy


What is your favorite workout, and why?

As a coach, I would say it depends of the event you are preparing for. Every step of the prep is interesting when I am always looking for the athlete to reach the next step before we go further. But I often propose a type of workout which is really effective for almost every distance: it is a mixed Combo Workout of threshold + VO2 work. For example : 6k at threshold (around HM pace) followed by 6x600 at VO2 (around 5k pace) with 200m jog rest.

But I think my favorite workout is nothing more that the wokout that suits the athlete best.


Tell us about a time an athlete surprised you.

Ruben Quenrinjean when he won a bronze Medal at the European Cross Country Championship U23 in Dublin in 2021. He was the youngest athlete of the field, competing against Charles Hicks NCAA Champion and some 27’45 10K lads…and he timed his race perfectly, taking the lead at the top of the very last hill, giving himself an opportunity to reach the finish line on the podium. He were aiming for top 15. He finished 3rd. Goosebumps moment.

Chloe Herbiet when she raced her first marathon ever in Eindhoven. The target was to run top 5 and to approach the 2h30 mark. She won the race in 2h27’54 and became National Champion for one the craziest debut we have ever seen on the distance. History!


Describe yourself in one word.



What has been the highlight of your athletic career to date?

As a coach, winning the Bronze Medal at European XC Championship with the Belgian Women Team in Brussels on the home soil! It was really emotional because I was the coach in charge for the Belgian Federation, and the women had often been denied by the Belgian selection in the past. My motivational speech the night before the race was all about making history together to prove any woman deserve her place in that race. Winning an international medal in front of their loudly home crowd was a unique moment I will never forget.


What is your favorite race?

Every race is amazingly fascinating. Each one has its own process, its own mysteries, its own strategy. But…never-the-less, the Marathon is something magical to experiment. Months of preparation, tons of km, relentless motivation, and some Magic to happen on D-DAY that you can share with all the participants and even the crowd. If you want to experiment something special, race a 10k. But if you want to know who you are, run a marathon!

And if you want to race the best one, I would say go for Berlin or London!

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