Name: Tom Ruddle
Years Involved in Athletics:
1976-1987 competively 1987 -1996 non competive. I suffered a lot of injuries in my career so was really only running competively for a short time.
Any other sports played: soccer and tennis.
1. What is your earliest running memory? Winning community games 1500m final in the gaelic grounds, finished 3rd in mosney in all Ireland in 1976, first year I took up running at 15 years of age, had never run before that.
2. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett, Neil Cusack limerick, Robert Costello limerick, Frank o Mara limerick.
3. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment in athletics ?
Running for Ireland 3 times in schools international and junior under 19 international. Finishing 3rd in 1500m in Yeovil in England in a home international.
4. What do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
5. How many miles on average did you run per week? 50 to 70 miles per week
6. Do you prefer road racing, track or cross country?
Did not like the road as my running style did not suit. I have run 50.30 for 10 miles.
7. Favourite race distance? 5,000m 4 to 7 miles in cross country
8. Favourite race location/ race event to take part in?
National track and field championship in Belfield UCD.
9. What is your diet like?
My diet consisted of eating plenty of red meat, steaks etc. I feel you need this if you are training hard, it helps to replace the nutrients lost. Obviously cut out all rubbish foods.
10. Who is your training partner or do you train solo?
Danny Massey, Declan Normoyle. Then in munchins college, Frank O Mara, Paul Moloney, Timmy Larkin. Training in Munchins was of such high quality, it was like a race every day. Frank O Mara, Paul Moloney and I filled the first 3 places in Munster and the first 4 places in the All Ireland. we made up half the Irish team, the 3 of us!!
11. What is the best advice that you were given?
It’s the quality of training that matters. Stay relaxed before a race do not let nerves take over. Ease down training well in advance of a race.
12. Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
Be positive in everything you do, never give up in a race, I have often found that you can hit a bad patch in a race, but don’t let your mind wander , its all concentration will bring you back into contention. I ran a race one day over 10 miles, the lead group of 4 had gone at least 300 yds ahead after 3 miles in a 10 mile race, I kept at my task and ended up winning the race in a sprint finish! So never give up!!!
13. If you could run with any person, past or present, who would it be?
If I could run with anyone it would have to be Sebastian Coe, I read everything at the time he was running, I followed his training schedules etc. he was my here!
14. Anything else you’d like to share?
I believed in quality not quantity, even though at that time I was running everyone was doing high mileage. I think today with advances in healing the body with physio etc it should less of an issue to do high quality sessions. I also think everyone should work on their speed regardless of the distance they run. They should go to the track at least once preferably twice per week. Its all about being able to pick up and vary the pace in a race. Also very important to stay fresh for racing, West limerick ac is in a great place at present with the dramatic increase in members over the last few years, the club is very lucky with the great coaches they have from Gerard Guina, Declan Guina , Gary Wilmott these are who I know and anyone else involved in coaching for the club well done the future was never so bright!