Running vegan

Fred and Andrew before a hilly run.
Myself(left) and Andrew Barnes(right) about to run hills.

I’m a vegan who is vegetarian for long periods of time purely out of laziness. A vegan diet takes planning and preparation. Socialising and eating out is often troublesome and so I backslide for long periods. When I want to get really healthy again then vegan is the only way to be. With SkyRun (100km mountain trail run at an average of 2300m)  looming in a little over 80 days,  I’m back to strict vegan because it drastically improves my chances of having a good run.

Its been 2 weeks and I’m really enjoying the change. As a vegan athlete you have to be more aware of what you eat to ensure that you get all the required nutrients your body needs. I’m spending more time buying fresh fruits and vegetables, poring over recipes and preparing healthy, hearty meals. I’m feeling lighter, my recovery times seem to be better and I’m just generally feeling healthy. SkyRun training is going along nicely and I’m really looking forward to the training camp in the second weekend in October. We’ll be spending 2 days traversing the route with guys who know the race well. My leadup events to SkyRun (22 November) are

  • Klipriviersberg Trail Race 15km ( 14 September )
  • Brauhaus 42km Mountain Run (4 October ) – in sandals
  • SkyRun Training Camp (10/11 October)

My weekly training schedule is pretty simple and consists of 4 key runs and one easy run

  • Tempo run (10km – 12km) – Tuesday
  • Hilly Run (14 – 22km) – Wednesday
  • Easy run (10 – 15km) – Thursday
  • Technical Hill intervals (12 – 18km of easy with 5 – 12 steep technical hill/step intervals ) – Saturday
  • Long run (20 – 50km) – Sunday

On Monday and Friday I try to do a mountain bike ride of 20 – 50km depending on how I feel. I may skip the Monday session completely if I’m feeling too heavy after the weekends effort. I will also vary effort levels/distance depending on just how I feel on the day. So it may be that I feel really fresh on Wednesday despite a hard tempo effort and then I’ll happily run as far as 22km but it may be that the tempo run is leaving me feeling drained or sore and then I’ll only go 14km on my hilly run. Not so scientific an approach perhaps but it is mindful.

Related Articles