Final Surge Podcast: Episode 88

Jul 5, 2018 – Produced by Dean Ouellette 

Welcome to episode 88 of the Final Surge Podcast where today we welcome Olympian runner Ruben Sanca. Ruben ran for Cabo Verde in the 2011 World Championships in the marathon and the 2012 Olympics in the 5k. Ruben won 2017 New England Grand Prix Road Racing title and was elected U.S.A. Track & Field New England Male Runner of the Year. We talk to Ruben about how he came to American at age 12, his running career and about his newer company, The Lowell Running Company.

Ruben can you start out telling us a little bit about yourself and how you got started running?

  • Born in Cabo Verde
  • Came to the US at 12 and in middle school teacher asked who wanted to sign up for cross country
  • Ran in HS and recruited to run at U Mass Lowell

So you came to the US at the age of 12. I don’t know a lot about Cabo Verde besides it’s off the coast of West Africa. Did you speak English? Tell us what it was like for a 12-year-old to come here?

  • Dual citizenship
  • From tiny island 
  • We came here for health reasons and education
  • Was hard to get here, took all our money
  • Came here on Green Card Visa

Was running big there or something you didn’t discover until you got here?

  • Soccer is big there not running
  • I played soccer when I was here too
  • I was a very good soccer player and had to make a decision in 11th grade as soccer and XC were in the same season
  • If quit soccer to run, I had to make sure I took it very seriously

You ran at U Mass Lowell then you went on to compete at the World Championship in 2011 in the marathon and the London Olympic Games in the 5k in 2012. What was it like competing in the Olympics?

  • I was able to represent Cabo Verde
  • My college coach trained me for it and came with me

What is your running goals now?

  • Training for 2020 Olympics in the Marathon 
  • Run many local road races but big focus is on the marathon

You are working full time, you train 100 miles a week and you manage the Lowell Running Company. How do you fit it all in?

  • I get up early
  • I use technology to save time

So one of the ways I first started noticing what you were doing was from the activity online with the Lowell Running Company. Can you tell us what the LRC is and how that started?

  • Started 2016 as I was coaching a few local people
  • Partner with Bay State Marathon to help people run BQ times
  • The goal of LRC was to be a full-service coaching firm
  • Training plans or custom training plans to fit around their schedule

Do you do group runs or is it all virtual?

  • We run clinics every 4-5 weeks to answer questions
  • We have group runs for long runs once a week

Is your coaching all in person or do you virtual coaching too?

  • We do both 
  • We do training for other races too
  • We track the goals of each runner and their results

Do you work with mostly marathoners or do you work with others?

  • Work with 5k-marathon
  • Specialize in half and full marathon
  • Runners are a mix of I want to finish and those who are more experienced

How are you using Final Surge in your coaching?

  • Love it to see what the athlete does 
  • I get notifications on my phone for specific athletes and go through all the athletes weekly
  • Use the messaging often in the app through my email
  • Great for busy people to make it easy as they get their text message of the workout or look at their calendar on the phone

Final Surge round, 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book?  Lore of Running by Tim Noakes and for enjoyment: Running with the Buffaloes by Chris Lear
Current trainers you are wearing? –   New Balance 880’s
Favorite race? – Boston Marathon
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? – Sirloin steak with sweet potatoes and Endurex R4 Endurance Formula
Your favorite workout – 4xmile at 5k pace for track and for marathon 3x3mi at marathon pace w/ a mile recovery at 95% marathon pace. This is one of the standard marathons workouts I do at the beginning of every marathon block.

Lowell Running Website
Sanca Foundation
Facebook Page
Twitter Account


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