I Start My Day With Vega

Many of you have written me about how do I start my day as a 46 year old vegan athlete? What do I eat as a vegan athlete? Why am I vegan? One of the big reasons I was able to accomplish my 20/20/20<5@45 event last year was due to my vegan nutritional intake. I have been a vegan now for almost half my life. I began my vegan ways when I was living in India coaching the Junior Davis Cup Tennis Team from 1986-91. Back in the late eighties in Madras, milk was brought to your house in a plastic bag directly from the cow and you had to boil it. Ice cream was one of the easier ways of contracting typhoid. And the Amul cheese was just simply disgusting. So I traveled to India as a lacto-vegetarian (consuming dairy products), and soon became a vegan as I stayed away from the milk, ice cream, and cheese. After my years in India, I tried to eat some dairy products when I returned to the USA, but I found I felt better without any dairy in my diet. From the late eighties until now, I have been a devout vegan athlete.

I grew up on the “traditional American diet.” During my senior year at Bowdoin College, I became more interested in vegetarianism. After college, I became a lacto-vegetarian, then during my time in India evolved into a vegan. I was an easy convert. I could not believe the difference I felt when switched to a solely plant based diet: waking up the same way every day – never groggy, more energy, lighter and faster, more “in tune” with my body, and needing less sleep. I was amazed. My blood type of AB+ is well suited to a vegan diet. So since my late twenties, I have eaten only a plant based diet. It has provided me a solid foundation to build my active lifestyle.

Now at 46, I am always searching for new products that can add quality to my life. After I completed my 20/20/20 quest in 2008, a friend of mine told me about Vega products. Vega is part of Sequels Natural Ltd. based in Vancouver, Canada. I tried their all-in-one plant based formula and I could really feel the difference quickly. In early 2009, I had a meeting arranged for me with Vega founder Brendan Brazier. 

I have tried almost all of the vegan protein shakes. After my testing, I chose the best one – the Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer from Vega in the chocolate flavor. This is how I start my morning. I pour vanilla rice milk in my shaker bottle, mix with a scoop of the Vega Optimizer, shake it well (I like it the “James Bond, way” – shaken, not stirred) and drink down this clean alkaline-forming drink. It is the first thing into my body. And prepares my body for excellence.

This is how I begin every day during my grueling “SmoothToe New England Marathon…One Mile At A Time.” Recovery is the key as I try to run sub 5 minutes for the mile 27 times over 2 months. Feel free to check out Vega products on our “online shopping” page or at our “sponsors page” at www.OneMileRunner.com or at www.myvega.com.

All the best with your healthy and energy providing diet. It will provide a foundation that allows you to reach your highest aspirations! 

Race #7 – The Covered Bridge Mile

Race #7 took place just over the Vermont border in a beautiful town called Woodstock, VT. I have presented tennis clinics at the Woodstock Inn the last two years and it was fun to return to one of my favorite Vermont towns to race part of the Covered Bridge Half Marathon course. Hosting the event were my dear friends from Sarasota, Mark and Kim Sheffield. Mark and Kim have a home in Woodstock for the summer months and spend the winters in Sarasota. Kim is one of my running partners. As a coach and competitive runner herself, she chose the best course for a road mile race as we raced on the pancake flat second mile of the Covered Bridge Half Marathon course. I had the pleasure to have Keith Drake to run with me. Keith

Race #6 – The Sunapee Sprint

Race #6 was held during Newbury, NH Old Home Day celebration. Newbury is a wonderful small town on Lake Sunapee. My old friend and selectman of Newbury, Gary Budd, hosted Sekyen and me. Thanks also to Travis Dezotell, from the Newbury Recreation Department, for helping put on the one-mile event.

Check out race #6, The Sunapee Sprint , video:

Next stop – Woodstock, VT!

Avoid Back Pain And Strengthen Your Core

Add this medicine ball routine to your core workouts. Using a 4-6 pound medicine ball, be certain to keep your back in neutral at all times. Remember, strong muscles do not protect the disks in your back. Great form and technique will.

Race #4 – Peltz Financial Mile

The Peltz Financial Mile took place on 7/8 in Windham, NH. It was the 4th race on the SmoothToe New England Marathon…One Mile At A Time tour. The beautiful neighborhood race course is part of the The Windham Turkey Trot 5 mile course

Strength Exercises After Running

Many runners think their workout is over after they run, but I feel that is the perfect time strength workouts should begin. From hurdles to medicine ball exercises, this is the time to build strength and protection for your races. Remember that strong muscles do not protect the disks in your back, so be certain to keep your back at neutral during these exercises to avoid lower back pain.

Here is a photo after the Boom Box Mile as I use the hurdles to open up my hips after speed work:

Here is a video showing some of our post running workout:


Have a great time getting stronger as well as quicker!

Race #2 – Boom Box Mile

Happy 4th! My younger brother, Marc, and nephew, Jonathan, and I spent the day in Connecticut as we did last year as we ran the Boom Box Mile – Race #2 on the SmoothToe New England Marathon…One Mile At A Time.

It was a beautiful New England day for a change as this part of the country has seen enough rain for the summer. I ran a 4:45.45.

Running Exercises

At the end of 2008, I met with a foot doctor who wanted to immobilize me in a “walking boot” for one month due to my injured Achilles tendon. Not liking that scenario, I searched for a second opinion and that is how I met Juan Ruiz Tagle. Juan, who is now the training consultant at www.OneMileRunner.com, changed my training program and my running style. Functional training and a “stiffer” and more powerful running style has now taken me to the brink of my new event – The New England Marathon….One Mile At A Time.

Take a look at this video showing a few of my running exercises.

I hit the road tomorrow as I drive from Florida to New Hampshire. If all goes well, I should arrive in the New England area on Monday afternoon. My first race is the initial mile of the Boston Marathon on July 1st.

Proper Running Technique

Proper running technique has been discussed and debated for decades. After experiencing Achilles tendon pain and plantar fasciitis pain, I needed to take a closer look at my running style and technique. Thanks to the guidance of my trainer, Juan Ruiz Tagle, at http://backtofunction.blogspot.com/ I have altered my running technique to allow other parts of my body to help take the pounding of my mile running.

Please take a look at this running video as I discuss what I have changed for optimal protection and optimal performance:

I will post my next blog, “Running Exercises,” on Friday evening, just before I take the long drive to New England on Saturday morning the 27th of June.