What an amazing opportunity to introduce myself as part of the Camino team. My name is Eddie Vining and the short version of my story is: I was born in South Africa, grew up and studied in Melbourne before moving to Sydney to work as an Engineer. I also want to be the best version of myself.
My background is track, where I competed for about ten years. I was fortunate enough to take it to a level which allowed me to compete against the best in the world. I’ve lined up against the 800m world record holder, broken bread with Usain Bolt and shared training sessions with some of the all-time best. However, I never managed to qualify for an Australian major team. The 2018 Commonwealth Games would be my last attempt, and after breaking my foot a week out from the selection trials, I had enough.
I’d love to say that I am naturally gifted with plenty of talent but that would be untrue. What I do have is drive, focus and dedication; however, you can only take these attributes so far in athletics before you actually need some freak genetics to be competitive against the best. Once I hung up my spikes, I immediately felt disconnected from the world. For the first time in a long time I didn’t have another life to fall back on. Work started becoming stressful, I was making brash decisions and my life felt like it was out of alignment. Not a good place to be, so I started jogging again.
I’ve always kept my eye on Triathlon as it seemed like a sport that rewarded hard work. Put in the time and effort and you can be successful. I often watched videos of Craig Alexander, Tim Don, Jan Frodeno and recently Lionel Saunders for motivation. These guys seemed to able to push their bodies beyond its limits. It didn’t take long to get bitten; especially after joining several different training groups for each discipline. Besides the physical benefits, I immediately noticed the social and phycological aspects associated. Even though Triathlon is an individual sport, there tends to be a crowd of people tagging along for the journey.
I can’t say it’s been a flawless transition into Triathlon as I’ve hit several hurdles along the way. While I spent many years swimming as a junior and even more years coaching, I’ve had to swallow my pride and get towelled up week in, week out by youth and experience. This has been a similar realisation on the bike, where running fitness does not translate to power produced. However, if the journey was easy, everyone would do it.
What I’ve learnt so far is to remain mentally strong and maintain positivity. I’m currently nursing a broken collar bone and ruptured ligaments after ending up second best on the road while on a training ride. I did lose 4 days of training while in the hospital, but it gave me time to find the positives of the situation and plan my schedule going forward. Currently I’m unable to swim due to the metal plate restricting my range but its allowed me to dedicate additional time to build up my functional threshold power (FTP) on the stationary bike.
Before my accident I was averaging approx. three hours of training a day and all indicators showed that it this routine was working. While only run training three days a week, I managed to run 30:22 in my first road 10km. I’ve tried to maintain this training routine since the crash, obviously without the swim portion; which I’ve found to be perfect preparation for the duathlon competition (run, cycle, run). With the National Championships fast approaching I’m looking forward to what I may be able to produce at my first multisport event. If all fails, hopefully I’ll be able to find some positives and lessons learnt so that I can apply it to the up and coming Triathlon season.
I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with every one of you, especially those that might find themselves in a similar position.