The RAID Blog is our favorite spot to give you insight into training, fitness and lifestyle but by far the thing we most look forward to is highlighting some of the extraordinary athletes that you will see on the start line. Recently, we checked in with RAID Athlete John Beliveau who has logged many a trip to the RAID Series podium! Below we get some insight into how he stays #RAIDReady!
Raid: First things first, when did you start running and competing in races?
John: Well I started on the KRMS track team years ago and then ran strong through High School. Kinda got out of it for awhile and it wasn’t until 4 years ago I started running on the road. My first race was the L.L. Bean 10k in 2012. People told me I did really well and that I should keep it up. It was a lot of fun so I kept going.
Raid: You’ve been a force to be reckoned with at every RAID Series race you’ve participated in so it’s safe to say everyone wants to know your secret. How do you train for your races?
John: I wish I knew! It’s probably a combination of things that have brought good results. Active job, regular exercise, rest, cross training activities, diet and time. My job in landscape construction/masonry provides plenty of time for some extra cardio/lifting, after work I’ll get my runs in. I like to vary between road and trail days. Hill/flat days. Hard/light days. Typically every run is between 6-15 miles. I’m not afraid to rest and stretch either. Listening to the body is important to not injure it during training. Recently I have been adding burpees/bodybuilders at milestones in runs. I find that really can amp up the intensity of an OCR training run. Rest for me can be hard because it seems like I’m always active. I find a proper diet and plenty of water can help me recover and rest when there’s not much time. Fueling the system is very important.
Raid: Fitness and nutrition go hand in hand. Do you follow a special nutrition plan to stay in top form?
John: It’s not so much a plan rather than just habit. I try and eat as natural as possible. Fruits and veggies. Typically 3 pieces of fruit and a bean/rice salad at lunch can keep me going through the day. I keep calories down by not adding stuff. No cream or sugar, dressings, croutons or stuff like that. People say you need to have meats and proteins to an active diet but my diet doesn’t consist of much of that. I really love the 16 bean mix at the store and mix in a few cups of brown rice and then I blend in some different veggies or seasonings daily for a different twist. Reading labels is handy. If I can’t pronounce it or spell it, I don’t use it. That is a whole different road we won’t take today! Truly that and oatmeal are my staples. Of course, cheating after a race usually happens, chocolate, cake and ice cream are my sweet nemesis!
Raid: In one of the most badass moments in RAID history, at the 2013 Mountain RAID you decided to throw in a quick 12 mile Mountain RAID trail run BEFORE the OCR. How was that?
John: Haha, why thank you. That was probably my favorite RAID weekend! I know I was interested in the trail races at the time and was unsure what to enter or maybe just save it all for the obstacles. Then a friend challenged me to a friendly race in the OCR and that’s what tipped me into deciding to run the 12 mile trail race too. There was really a whole lot of cool terrain there. That 12 mile race was the best!
Raid: You take part in all manner of races, from OCR to trail runs to marathons, at the end of the day which is your favorite?
John: Mt. RAID 12 Mile was honestly right up there, all eight peaks early in the morning is an unbeatable experience. One race I just did a couple weeks ago was Battlefrogs 15k. What was so cool about that one was the long distance trail running broken up with challenging obstacles. That’s truly what I like the most. A challenging trail run.
Raid: Favorite RAID Series race so far?
John: Mt. RAID 12 Miler
Raid: Favorite RAID Series obstacle?
John: Beach Raid 2013 sand bag carry across the tidal river
Raid:: What advice would you give to someone just starting out and considering entering their first RAID?
John: Go at your own pace. Sometimes even I push a little too hard a little too soon and I pay the price for it. Exercise isn’t fun when injured. That’s what it’s all about for me at the end of the day. Just having fun, hard to do with Achilles tendinitis or an IT band injury. Know your own limits and stick by them. Just by getting out and active more often things will continue to grow and get better!
Raid: Where do you want to see the RAID go next?
John: Longer trail distance with more challenging obstacles? RAID Xtreme?