I think like most endurance athletes I work on doing everything possible to improve my performance. I train smart. I rest smart. I eat well. I sleep well. I invest in decent equipment.
Nonetheless, like most endurance athletes, I hit a rough patch now and then where I just don't feel fast or fit. My race results might not be where they should be. I might not be seeing the gains I want to see during training and doubt creeps in.
I start to second guess my training.
I start to second guess my racing schedule.
And most troubling, I start to second guess my diet.
This is something I haven't heard a lot of vegan athletes talk about, and I wonder why. It seems pretty normal to me that when one spends a lot of time focusing on doing everything right in order to be the best possible athlete one can be that these sorts of doubts would creep in. Add to that comments from teammates, coaches, or competitors that, "maybe you'd do better if you ate some meat," and it produces a little bit of doubt.
If this is something that we all go through, how do vegan athletes manage dietary doubt?
In my case, I think about the fact that if I wasn't vegan it's likely I would not be an athlete at all. So, rather than impede my performance, which I don't think veganism has done, veganism enables me to do what I love to do on a daily basis. Even in the times when things aren't coming together, I'm finding it helpful to think that even a bad, bad day on the bike as a vegan is better than not being on the bike at all.
How does everyone else deal with this?