Recently we caught up with long distance runner Eddie Vining to find out more about him and what’s going on in his world right now.

 

How did you get into your chosen Discipline?
Majority of athletes that begin from the grass roots level start off as sprinters, as they’re often deterred away from longer, more ‘boring’ events. For years I stayed away from the multi lap races as they interfered with my goal of competing in all the throwing, jumping, sprinting and walking events which were being held during the weekend competition. Our club coach; Tom Kelly, who had already been coaching a number of Australia’s best middle and long distance runners, suggested that I join a few of the junior boys in an 800m. I finished with time that convinced me that I should try the event more often and after a couple of races I won the Junior State title and haven’t looked back since.

 

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from the performances of my training partners and competitors. Seeing the work and level of commitment required to perform at the highest level inspires me to do the same. How can you expect to beat the best, if you’re not willing to train like the best? As an Engineer who works full time, I find time to be a limiting factor, however with the right level of determination and motivation, you can do anything.

 
Have you experienced any setbacks in your career, if so how did you get past it?
I’ve experienced multiple setbacks throughout my career, however to see them as opportunities for change rather than a negative is important. My former coach, Tom Kelly; who was a significant contributor to my early athletic career, passed away a number of years ago, shortly after we returned from a trip to Europe. While this has left my massive hole in my life, it was the bump I needed to move from a junior athlete to a more senior and professional athlete.

 

Injuries have plagued a big part of my preparation over the years, however with each day off I’ve learnt the importance of consistency and training smart compared to pushing your body beyond its limits. It’s often forgotten that the level of commitment you take to training, should be balanced by what you do away from training. Maintaining the same sort of professionalism with resting, eating and sleeping will prevent the chance of further setbacks occurring.

 
As a runner what do you think the most important lesson you can learn is?
Without being too cliche, I feel the most important lesson you can learn is how you respond to defeat. If you’re not willing to get back up and continue running after being knocked down, then running isn’t right for you. Athletics is considered to be a cruel sport as you cannot rely on teammates picking up the slack. Your end result has a direct correlation to the amount of work you’ve put in. As a coach, I’ve come to realise the importance of practicing what you preach, and learning from the mistakes made.

 

 

What is your ultimate goal?

My ultimate goal would be to retire from the sport without any regrets. That given the opportunities I had, I made the most out of them. Ideally, to represent Australian at a major championship would be the ultimate goal, and with 2016 being an Olympic year I’d be lying if I said that qualification isn’t on the radar.

 

 

 

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
I wouldn’t say that I have a saying or motto that I live by, but I do believe in the expression that you get out what you put in. If you’re expecting to be successful, and are not willing to make sacrifices and put in the work, then I hope you’re extremely talented. Whether it be with work, studies or training; I want to feel confident that I’ve done the right amount of work prior to the big day so that I’ve got no excuses.

 

What piece of advice would you give anyone who wants to get into long distance running?
My piece of advice would be to be patient. Long distance running isn’t conquered overnight, it needs to be built on. My setbacks over the years have shown that distance running is a long term game, and generally the most consistent prove to be the greatest players. A great analogy would have to be the comparison to the phone book. With every successful week of training, another page is added. With only a few pages in our book, we’re susceptible to damage and can be easily torn in half. It’s only once we’ve added large amounts of pages in our book that we become stronger and can easily deal with mishaps.

 

Do you have any other passions besides running?
After work and training there isn’t much time left in the day, but when I do find the time, I prefer to spend it relaxing. Whether it be by the beach, at a café or back home grinding out some PS4, just allowing time for my body to recuperate is perfect.

 

If they made a movie about your life what would it be called and who would you want to play you?
“Eddie Vining” – The story of a born dancer who is forbidden to compete and uses running to solve his problems. Staring actors would either be Justin Timberlake or Terry Crews for their obvious similarities.

 

Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I might have been joking about the previous question.

 

Thanks to Eddie for taking the time to answer our questions and good luck with the Olympic qualifications coming up!

 
If you enjoyed reading this blog you may also like 5 Minutes with Triathlete Melinda Vernon &  5 minutes with Mel Hauschildt