USATF-NE Athlete Q&A: Jeff Veiga
Team RUN’s Jeff Veiga was the winner of the third race in our Road Racing Grand Prix series, the An Ras Mor 5k on March 30 with a time of 14:39. The recent UMass Lowell graduate has been hitting some impressive times post-graduation, even after considering “hanging up the spikes” this past fall due to some nagging injuries. How has he managed to continue this success?
Learn about his strategy and international racing goals in our exclusive Q&A with Jeff.
Q: What was your strategy for the An Ras Mor 5k? Walk us through your race.
JV: Going into the race I didn’t really know much about the course. I hadn’t run it or even had a chance to look at a map. Strategy wise, I was just planning to go out with the lead group and hang on as long as I could because I hadn’t really tested myself beforehand and didn’t have the best idea where I was with my fitness. But once the race started, I felt good so I just tucked in behind the lead group and tried to stay as relaxed as possible.
From early on, the lead group of Nick, Ruben (both of the Whirlaway Racing Team) and myself separated from the rest of the field. I believe shortly after 1.5 miles, Ruben and I started to pull away from Nick. After that, the two of us just went back and forth a few times until right before the 3 mile mark, where I threw in a surge to pull slightly ahead and then kick it in towards the finish line.
Q: How did you feel about your race result? (We’re impressed). How did it match up to your expectations?
JV: I didn’t really expect much going into the race. I thought I would definitely come away with a top five finish and maybe crack the top three if I was lucky. So to come away with the win and a good time I was definitely happy and surprised.
Q: Why did you decide to compete in the An Ras Mor 5k and can we expect to see you at any of the other upcoming Grand Prix series races?
JV:I decided to run the An Ras Mor 5k because it was part of the USATF-NE Grand Prix series and I wanted to represent Team RUN, as we had a chance to place very well in the team standings – which we did with a third place finish.
I do plan to compete in more of the Grand Prix races as long as they fit into my racing schedule, which is mainly targeted at running a fast 5K and possibly a 10k on the track.
Q: What is your training like right now – and is there anything in particular you’re training for?
JV: My training is going very well right now. I was hurt throughout the entire fall season and strongly considered hanging up the spikes if I couldn’t get healthy by the end of January. But after a few visits with Dr. John Donovan of Advantage Chiropractic, I was healthy again and running pain-free. Since then, I have been steadily increasing my mileage, in hopes of continuing my career and competing at a high level. Right now I am running about 95 miles per week, with one long run, one long workout and a little bit of speed here and there.
Having recently received my Portuguese citizenship, I am currently training to hopefully compete in and place well at the Portuguese National Champions in Lisbon, Portugal on July 26 and 27.
Q: Lastly, we know you’re a member of Team RUN. Tell us what it’s like being on the team and what aspects of the team compelled you to join?
JV: I’ve been a member of Team RUN for almost a year now. It’s really fun and we have a great group of guys, some which I actually train with on a regular basis – and we are all well supported by our sponsor Marx Running & Fitness in Acton, MA. I had been working with the team’s coach Mark Coddaire, as he’s also the owner of the Marx Running & Fitness store, so I knew about the team and everything associated with it. It just seemed like the best fit for me at the time, and I feel like I definitely made a good choice.
*Thanks to Jeff for taking the time to share his story with us. We wish him continued success on all levels – from local to international!