Interview Nadia Ruiz

Interview Nadia Ruiz

Recently, we had the privilege of connecting with Velous ambassador Nadia Ruiz, an accomplished athlete, educator, and community advocate hailing from Los Angeles. Nadia just completed the LA Marathon and is now preparing for the upcoming Boston Marathon. With an inspiring journey that began with her first marathon at just 14 years old, Nadia has since completed an astounding 155 marathons, along with numerous other endurance races and adventures across 29 countries. Notably, Nadia holds the distinction of being the youngest Latina to run 100 marathons in the world, record broken in 2013.

Passionate about motivating individuals from all walks of life to achieve their fitness goals, Nadia's dedication extends beyond the realm of athletics into education, coaching, and community engagement. In our conversation, Nadia shared insights into her remarkable journey, discussing topics ranging from the importance of recovery in her own routine to her aspirations for the future.


Velous Footwear: Nadia, your athletic journey is truly remarkable, starting with your first marathon at the age of 14. Can you share with us what initially inspired you to delve into the world of endurance sports?

Nadia Ruiz: I was a little girl in middle school doing my homework when the Ironman World Championship went on. I had never heard of the event or what a triathlon was. I was in awe and inspired by the what the human body and mind could do. It was mothers, fathers, full-time working, overcoming hardship, coming from all walks of life completing 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and then running 26.2 miles all back to back in hot and humid conditions. I was inspired then to say one day I want to do an Ironman too.

VF: You wear many hats as an athlete, educator, coach, and community advocate. How do you balance these various roles, and how do they complement each other in your life?

Nadia Ruiz: Striving to be a better athlete has motivated me to become a better educator, coach, community advocate, and overall human being hopefully. As an educator, I aim to be a student of life knowing I have so much to learn in order to become a better communicator. As a coach, I aim to connect with my athletes on a deeper emotional level to let them know I know what they are going through and I am invested in their athletic journey. As a community advocate, I aim to speak up for the causes I am passionate about in order to allow my platform to be a space for change. For me, they have all complemented each other because they all come from a place of love and passion to leave the world a little better.

VF: Recovery is often emphasized as a crucial aspect of training for athletes. How do you prioritize recovery in your own training routine, and what strategies do you find most effective?

Nadia Ruiz: As we grow older or collect the years in our body, the more recovery becomes essential, whether we are competitive in physical activities or not. If I am not recovering properly, I will not be able to perform optimally in many walks of life. Therefore, I aim to prioritize recovery as much as possible. The most essential parts of recovery that are usually neglected are: sleep quality, nutrition, stress management, and muscular repair. The more we dedicate ourselves to these components, the better overall health and performance we can see and feel. Some strategies I aim to do daily are: aim to go to bed early, aim to eat wholesomely as much as possible, create the space for breathwork and meditation as often as possible, and allow my muscles to adapt to either the stress stimuli of training or living. This means wearing supportive footwear such as Velous that allow our feet, joints, and muscles to rest and recover. This means treating ourselves to yoga/mobility routines, sauna therapy, cold water therapy, epsom salt baths, massage therapy, breath work, and listening to our bodies when it needs extra rest or recovery. Recovery to me is almost more important than the training because if I am not recovered, I won’t be able to train or function in my day-to-day.

VF: Who or what inspires you to keep pushing yourself as an athlete, especially during tough training periods or competitions?

Nadia Ruiz: My parents inspire me. As I watch my parents age through the different decades of life, it gives me a great appreciation of where I am, how far I’ve come, and what I need to do in the future. Our bodies may slow down, but our spirits and souls don’t need to. My goal and inspiration is to keep my parents healthy, moving, and able bodied – they inspire me to be grateful for the moment I am in now because I know I will never get that exact moment back. If I can run today, I will. If I can cycle, swim, do yoga or only go for a walk, I will and I will find gratitude in doing so because I know what it feels like to not being able to and I know it won’t always be here. So for now, watching my parents inspires me to continue to be the best version of myself and I will continue to overcome any setback that comes my way. My parents have demonstrated that for me.

VF: You're passionate about supporting positive change in your community. How do you use your platform as an athlete to inspire and make an impact beyond the world of sports?

Nadia Ruiz: Running has given me a voice to speak and be heard. I do not want to ever take that for granted; therefore, my hope is to share a message of love, passion, and positivity through the noisy and chaotic world we live in. It is very easy to get swallowed into the noise of pain, negativity, and hardship.  I came from an immigrant family with very humble beginnings and extreme hardship in my childhood. By sharing my journey and voice, my hope is to elevate the message that we have the power to be the agent of change and it begins within ourselves.

VF: Looking ahead, what are some of your goals or aspirations, both in your athletic pursuits and in your broader endeavors?

Nadia Ruiz: My goal is to never lose the fire in me that was ignited as a child. We are often told as children and we tell our own children that we can be or do anything we want in this world and pursue what makes you happy. However, once we grow older through the decades, this message often gets quieted because life’s challenges throws everything at us that puts this fire out. I know it well and have hit my rock bottom emotionally, physically, and in more ways I can admit in this decade of my life. Crawling out of that was the hardest thing to do in life however it taught me to reignite that fire and do what it takes to keep that fire alive. My aspirations is to demonstrate that we all have the ability to reignite the fire from inside. It may not be easy to start over or start from the bottom as an older adult, but it can be done. Never let that fire cease to exist.

VF: What advice would you give to individuals who aspire to pursue their own athletic goals, especially those facing challenges or doubts along the way?

Nadia Ruiz: Doing something new or starting over is very scary. You are not alone. The road won’t be easy. However, anything worth it never is easy. Break down the big goal into smaller parts and begin today to chip at it little by little day by day. Recruit allies such as a mentor, a coach, a family member, friend or group that will keep you accountable. If today you walk a mile, little by little you can walk a marathon. If today you can run a mile, little by little you can run a marathon in that personal best you have dreamed of. If today you want to be pain-free, begin today as your day one. You have to begin.

VF: Lastly, what is your favorite VELOUS recovery shoe, and why?

Nadia Ruiz: I LOVE the VELOUS Hoya Adjustable slide. It is perfect and easy to wear at home, before and after training or races. My feet are able to relax and recover in between training and life in my VELOUS everyday. Almost every single day, I am either in my running shoes, barefoot, or in my VELOUS slides.

Velous Footwear Recovery Shoes

Nadia Ruiz's interview offers a glimpse into her remarkable journey as an athlete, educator, and community advocate. From being the youngest Latina to run 100 marathons worldwide to her ongoing commitment to inspiring others, Nadia's passion for fitness and positive change shines through.

In our conversation, Nadia shares personal insights on the importance of recovery in her training routine and her partnership with Velous Footwear, reflecting her dedication to quality and performance.

Her story serves as inspiration for athletes and individuals alike, showcasing the transformative power of perseverance and community impact.

Explore the VELOUS store for innovative recovery footwear and start your journey towards peak performance and well-being.