Now is the time to look at the person behind the athlete – Sam Ruddock

Sam Ruddock

Sam Ruddock competes at the 2017 Loughborough International Athletics meet. Photo:

The Covid-19 outbreak has understandably weighed heavily on the minds of elite athletes across the globe as major events have been wiped from the sporting calendar at pace.

Many have since adapted their usual routines to maintain fitness levels and focus for when competitive sport can recommence.

Loughborough-based Paralympian, Sam Ruddock – who was hoping to compete at his third Paralympic Games in Tokyo in track cycling – spoke to the University as part of its #TrainatHome campaign to explain how he has been coping.

“Some people have built gyms inside their houses, but I’ve not been that fortunate. I’ve been at the behest of Therabands, weighted vests and I have even found some of the shot puts I used to throw which I have put in a backpack and squatted,” he said.

“With our foundation team we’ve been using online racing to help track our progress and set goals for ourselves. So even though we do not have any competitions to work towards, we still do have those goals in place.”

Sam also believes that the lockdown period has provided an opportunity for athletes to take stock and look beyond their sporting prowess:

“It would be foolish to say this hasn’t been tough and hasn’t been a struggle…I think that it’s important in a time like this that you understand there is more to you than just being an athlete.

“There’s so much more you can build upon, so much more you can invest in, and now is a really good time to look beyond what can happen in your career as eventually we’ll have to say goodbye to it.”

He also touched on the importance of having a positive mindset during challenging times:

“Motivation is a crucial component for any athlete and I’m motivated to achieve personal bests and win competitions…the competitions aren’t there at the moment…so we’ve had to create them for ourselves.”

Loughborough University’s #TrainatHome campaign looks at how its elite level athletes are adapting their training schedules during the coronavirus outbreak. With new content and interviews released every few days, athlete videos can be downloaded in full by visiting HERE.