When you’ve been doing something for a very long time it can become your persona. A defining structured part of your life in which you don’t even have to think or question about doing. It’s also something that you tend to forget talking about because it seems like old news. This is what running is to me but my old news has become new news, here is why.

I’ve been a runner for as far back as I can remember. I started competing at the early age of six and continue to compete here and there when the mood strikes. My training today may look different then it did when I was working on speed for a 5k, endurance for a marathon, or a combination of the two for a half but as George Sheehan once said, “I must remain constantly in training, otherwise, the sedentary life will inexorably reduce my mental and emotional well-being.” So, I keep running.

Over the years there have been many benefits I’ve received from running, such as physical and mental changes, emotional and spiritual gains, and improvement that has taken place in my person and my life. None have more evident than the transformation I experienced once I became a vegan runner. Being a plant-powered athlete provides me a ready supply of energy, offers quicker repair and recovery all the while keeping me stronger, slowing down any decline or decay of this old body.

My one running regret is wishing I’d known earlier the positive impact a vegan diet could play in performance. I speculate that times would have been faster, long runs less painful, and perhaps even a few more blue ribbons. Needless to say though I “arrived” and at this stage in my life I’d say I’m kicking it pretty hard.

My weekly workouts look like this:
Run between 20-25 miles a week, no less than 4-6 miles on a given day.
High intensity interval training three times a week.
Additional cardio or cross training 2-3 times a week.

I do all of this eating whole.plant.based.foods. No supplements, no increase in protein, and NO Advil needed. Maintenance was a favorite topic of writer and philosopher Erik Hoffer. He said it made the difference between a country that was successful and one that failed. No way could I successfully maintain this type of training schedule if I was lacking in vitamins, minerals, and protein from consuming a vegan diet. It is exactly the opposite, I am able to run better, physically do more, and do it better because my maintenance starts on the inside. When we consume whole plant based foods our body receives readily available nutrients that are easily digestible and immediately absorbed in to the blood system, which fuels your body more efficiently and effectively. Consuming processed food, meat, and dairy takes longer to break down and by the time it does the nutrient value (what little there is) is dull to none. This is why people resort to supplements. Wouldn’t you rather just eat REAL food?

So what are you doing to properly maintain your inside so that you are reaching maximum performance in your workouts? Looking for some help? I thought so. Check back here later this week where I’ll give you a sample meal plan.

Until then, hit it hard and quit running on empty.

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