Barefootprint Coaching Blog
Welcome to Barefootprint blog - documenting tips and hints for treading life with a barefootprint.
I ran my first half-marathon last Sunday in Sydney - fueled by plants!
Funnily enough, even today I read and hear comments about people needing meat for a complete diet and for the body to receive all the nutrients it needs. Yet, there are many athletes out there who are running on a vegetarian, vegan or raw food diet, with top performance.
So, who of our elite athletes are vegetarian? According to Treehugger:
- Bill Pearl – a four-time Mr Universe bodybuilder
- Martina Navratilova – one of the greatest tennis players of the 20th Century (but recently gone pescetarian)
- Dave Scott – who holds the record for the most Iron Man World Championships (iron man consists of 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26 mile marathon),
- Carl Lewis – who ran the 1991 World Championships as a vegetarian
I have a few favourites of my own:
- Scott Jurek – a vegan runner who has won seven consecutive Western States 100 Mile Endurance Runs on a vegan diet.
- Brendan Brazier – a professional iron-man with a vegan and predominantly raw food diet.
- Matt Frazier – an ultra-runner who blogs under “No Meat Athlete” and dropped 10 minutes of his personal best marathon time, six months after going vegetarian. He now competes in ultra-marathon races.
What do vegetarian athletes need to look out for in their diet?
Just as there are many different reasons why a person chooses to become vegetarian, there are different categories of vegetarian diets:
Fruitarian – diet consisting of raw or dried fruits, nuts, seeds, honey and vegetable oil
Macrobiotic – excludes all animal foods, diary products and eggs, uses only unprocessed, unrefined, ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ cereals, grains and condiments such as miso and seaweed
Vegan – excludes all animal foods, dairy products and eggs.
Lacto-vegetarian – excludes all animal products and eggs
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian – excludes all animal foods, however includes milk, milk products and eggs (which is the category I fit under)
The Australian Institute of Sport has some good nutrition tips for vegetarian athletes.
Matt Frazier keeps a blog dedicated to healthy eating for runners and has a couple of ebooks to help marathoners and half-marathoners to plan their diets in accordance to their training.
Brendan Brazier has written a well-acclaimed book called “Thrive: the Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life”.
I must admit, I didn’t follow any fancy diet plan while training for my half-marathon. I listened to my body and what it needed. Many days I felt sluggish, so I would up certain foods according to what worked for my body.
Are you a vegetarian athlete or considering going vegetarian? I’d like to hear your tips for vegetarian running and sports.