Hometown: Chelsea, Quebec
Inspiration: I’m inspired by anyone who reaches beyond their perceived limits. When you step out and challenge yourself….take a risk…no matter who you are, that’s inspiring!
What Empowers You to BE EXTRAORDINARY: I truly believe that in each and every one of us is the capacity to be extraordinary. I find great empowerment from the youth that participate in our i2P (impossible2Possible) Youth Expeditions. When I am alone running 1,000’s of miles across a hot desert, or trekking unsupported through the frozen Arctic…I am reminded of what these young people accomplish, and it fuels me.
Favorite health food: Salmon. Period. I could eat it 3x per day every day for the rest of my life (with a glass of RAW Greens to accompany!)
Why you choose clean and organic: I was a pack a day smoker until I was 30, when I decided I needed to find happiness in my life. My younger brother John (a great runner) inspired me to try a different path, and I began a life of adventure. I went from racing mountain bikes to winning ultra-marathons to completing long expeditions like running 4,500 miles across the Sahara Desert. I never would have dreamed I could do these things. I try to never take it for granted. It takes me a year of dedicated training to prepare for an expedition… train hard, rest tons, strength train and eat super clean. Food is the energy source for my engine, and as I get closer to 50, I am doing everything iI can to be as fit as ever!
Favorite holiday: Christmas. That one was easy.
Secret to staying healthy: Happiness. Find what truly makes you happy in life. We have one kick at the can, one chance at life. I was a guy who spent the first 30 years doubting himself, and talking myself out of trying anything for fear of what may or may not happen….and what others would think. Not anymore. I spend every day challenging myself in some way, and every night before bed I name three things that happened during the day that I am grateful for.
Most memorable career highlight: When we ran 4,500 miles across the Sahara, we learned so much about our selves, and our new friends in North Africa. The run was produced into a documentary (Running the Sahara) by Academy Award winner Matt Damon, and brought together many people for a common goal. I have completed over a dozen major expeditions, and every one of them has been a highlight! Here’s a link to read about them www.rayzahab.com/about
On your playlist: I love all music. Alison Krauss, Public Enemy, Dan Tyminski, Tribe Called Quest, New Bohemians, Steve Earle, Beastie Boys, Lonesome River Band, Dre, you get the idea!
Charities or Causes I support: www.impossible2Possible.com
Top training tips: Periodization!!!! I have coached runners for years, and the single biggest change for most people is shifting to a periodized program, with peaks and valleys in training, intensity, volume, strength training, etc. I always see improvements in people moving to this format! Oh. And have fun. If you aren’t having fun, you’ll never improve!