Aug 1, 2018
Ru El is your average, everyday, guy-next-door, ultra runner. Listen as he speaks his truth about his journey towards health, fitness, and peace of mind. We talk running, shoes, going the distance, the power of prayer, and more.
Ru El starts out the health conversation with the importance of coffee in his life. Essentially his method is the NSNG (No Sugars No Grains) method created by Vinnie Tortorich, with the addition of a small amount of white rice as well.
"I've been doing it for about 5 years now. I'm not pristine about it, but it's my base mode of going about how to fuel my body."
Like many people who are successful in their fitness, Ru El has adopted the routine of no routine.
"I'm one of those guys that just likes to dabble with running... Depending on what's going on in life and whatever I can fit in, that's what I'll do. These days, I'm fit for a run...These days my fitness routine happens to be just running."
Take something you love and make it a part of your life.
What brings Ru El peace of mind in the troubled times we all inevitably go through?
"When times really get hard, I gotta talk to God. From where I sit, sometimes it feels like people have forgotten that you can turn to whatever higher power there is in your life...
God, running, and some type of meditation:
That's how I get my peace of mind."
How does Ru El adapt and overcome to the challenges and obstacles in his life?
"To overcome: put your head down and just go. Eventually, something is going to happen that makes you feel like it's all worth it. For me, it's every day I wake up and get to be with my wife and my kids, and at the end of every day praying with the kids and giving thanks that we get to come back home and be with each other, because there's a lot of others out there that don't have that connection."
"When 'Born to Run' came out, I jumped on that hard."
Ru El tells us that he went out and got himself a couple pairs of the minimalist style shoes after reading Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall.
Specifically, he purchased the Vibram FiveFingers, and New Balance MT10 to begin his journey with minimalist style shoes. He tells us about once attempting a half marathon using the Vibrams, and mile 7 into it his feet started hurting. On the subject of wearing minimal shoes for a long distance event, Ru El says:
"It's not the smartest thing to
I'm amazed I didn't break any bones doing that."
These days Ru El wears the minimal style shoe as his day-to-day shoe because he likes the "angle of no angle" so to speak, and is currently wearing the Altra Lone Peak as his main shoe.
"Just go with it day to day like I do. Don't make the mistake of getting a minimal shoe and then running the trails or pounding the pavement. Be kind to your body. Get the proper footwear... Be mindful. If you get sore, then rest."
"I don't do a whole lot of stretching these days. It might sound ridiculous, but here's the reason why: My activity is primarily running... There was a regular set of stretching that I used to do for martial arts. But, when running came I picked up some information somewhere, and whether or not it's accurate, it basically said that you want to keep your ligaments and muscles not 'too lose' if you will (too flexible). You need to have a little bit of tension so that as far as running is concerned you'll have the right amount of spring and snap-back."
Ru El did note that when he feels muscle tension, he will stop and stretch as needed. However, overall it is not a part of his general routine.
Essentially, just listening to the body. Instead of running with a cookie-cutter training plan, just ask yourself what you can do. Try the out and back routine, and challenge yourself. As far as attempting a certain distance without fearing the process overall, Ru El thinks it's best to gradually build the distance with only one long run per week.
"I think there was a time when I stressed out a little bit on how I'm supposed to be breathing. I think the point is that you just have to breathe."
Ru El has found the most useful advice through Chi Running. He has trained himself to maximize his breathing with essentially breathing in through the nose, with the "belly breathing" concept. This means allowing the diaphragm to fully contract during the inhale so that the lungs can get maximum air intake, which essentially looks like pushing the belly outwards. Hence the term "belly breathing".
Ru El has found a lifestyle that maximizes his own health, fitness, and peace of mind. This means eating whole foods, making fitness a part of his life, connecting with family, as well as being grateful and mindful in all aspects of life. Sounds like a recipe for success.
May the wind be at your back along your journey towards health, fitness, and peace of mind.