Even though the running bug didn’t bite Antonio Vega until his senior year of high school, his late start into the running scene didn’t keep the University of Minnesota graduate from grabbing All-American honors while there and then going on to become a National Champion in 2010. In 2012, Antonio joined forces with Zoom Performance to bring his winning ways to our coaching team. Read more about our conversation with Antonio.
ZOOM PERFORMANCE: What is your background as an endurance athlete?
ANTONIO VEGA: I started running as a senior in high school. At the time I was a two-sport athlete playing soccer and a place-kicker for my high school football team. With some encouragement from the high school cross country coach I was persuaded to come out for the high school cross country team. I agreed, on the condition that I could still play soccer and play football. With some negotiation I was able to convince all three coaches to play on the three different team. Being busy with my three different teams I had to do all of my training runs on my own, but not alone as my Dad would accompany me on all of my training runs.
After my senior year of high school I was recruited by the University of Minnesota, where I earned the honors of Cross Country All-American and Midwest Regional Athlete of the Year. Following graduation from the University of Minnesota, I decided to take a leap of faith a pursue a professional running career with Team USA Minnesota. With Team USA, I have become a National Champion in the half marathon (running a personal best of 61:54),earned a 12th place finish in the marathon (personal best of 2:13), and was the United States Track & Field Athlete of the Year. I have represented the USA on two different occasions.
ZP: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
AV: I am a bit of a beer connoisseur and brew my own beer. I currently have 15 gallons of beer brewing.
ZP: How did you find your way to Zoom?
AV: I was new to the area of Des Moines, Iowa, and during my time in the city, when I was out on runs, I noticed a lot of athletes wearing the Zoom Performance gear. I did a little research and found out more about the company. I was lucky that Des Moines is such a close-knit community, and through a friend of a friend I was introduced to the coaches of Zoom Performance. For the last 2 years I have been with the company. I now live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and have brought the philosophy of Zoom with me to the Twin Cities.
ZP: What is your coaching philosophy?
AV: As a coach I feel it is my job to unlock the hidden potential of any athlete that I work with. My belief that there is no one-size-fits-all training program; each program needs to be tailored to play on each athlete’s strengths. My training program is design to help every athlete to run faster from 5k all the way up to the marathon.
ZP: What is your goal as a coach when working with an athlete?
AV: As a coach I feel it is my job to give my athletes the tools to succeed – to reach new levels that they once thought were unattainable. The beauty of endurance sports is that everyone has the same goal to become faster, stronger, and better. No matter your ability level or experience, we’re all in this together!
ZP: Anything else you’d like to share?
AV: As a coach I hope to help athletes reach goals that they once thought unattainable. Regardless of age or ability level, everyone has a goal, whether it is to run faster, qualify for this race, or complete this distance. With my background and passion for running I will help you reach the next level.
You can learn more about Coach Antonio Vega here:
Coaching Bio: HERE
Coaching Programs: HERE
Athlete Profile: HERE