Thursday, January 3, 2008


This is probably old news to most of you, but I wanted to share a few vegan athlete nutrition and training sites that I frequent:

With an Ironman in my future, nutrition and training has taken the spotlight. I had the opportunity to speak with an Ironman a few months ago and he gave me a lot of valuable information that may be helpful to you. I've pasted the highlights below, the remaining info can be found on the above link.
  • Never eat in transition. Wait to take nutrition until you are 5-10 minutes into that leg of the race. If you eat before then there is a good chance you'll get sick.
  • Take in nutrition every 30 minutes, at least. As an endurance athlete you need to take in enough to keep your performance strong (Me, being the silly girl that I am was cutting my nutrition intake down to facilitate weight loss)
  • What you eat the night before a hard training session matters more than what you eat that morning. It takes about 8-12 hours for your body to metabolize the nutrients.
  • This may not be true for everyone but he had better hard training days when he consumed a higher amount of protein the night before. A 1/2 block of tofu or the equivalent.
  • Alternate your speed work and distance work; you cannot do both at the same time. Ideally you want to build a solid base of distance and then work on speed.
  • Add at least one sprint run workout a week to your regimen. It will help you get faster. Try a 10 second sprint, 30 second walk set 10 times. Or a pyramid where you sprint 25m, walk 25m, sprint 50m, walk 50m up to 200m.
  • Bike fit is critical to a good race. Some people like a loose fit while others like it tighter, play around and find out what's best for you.
  • All those fancy aerodynamic helmets and zip wheels don't help you on race day. Studies have shown that those only help if you're maintaining 30+ mph speeds.
  • Rotate your focuses. I.e. focus on swim one week, run the next, and bike the following week. This can be done in monthly rotations as well.
  • The fastest runners have the shortest steps. The elite racers have about 120 foot falls per minute while the average runner has 80. Improve your turnover by doing high stepping drills.
  • A lot of triathletes are now moving towards the natural body movement training. This means instead of hitting the weights they do a series of push ups, crunches and pull ups. Start with 15 of each and do 10 times.
  • Never skimp on sleep. Get at least 8 hours; this is when your body recovers from a hard workout.


Kristen's Raw said...

Great post!

Happy New Year,
Kristen's Raw

Matt! said...

One of the best sports nutrition books I have read is Dr. Larson-Meyer's Vegetarian Sports Nutrition. Check it out if you can.

Vegan Run Amok said...

I started a bodyweight circuit training program this past fall but I think it was too intense for my current fitness level, plus it was kind of time-consuming. The natural body movement training program you're describing sounds simpler.

Just one quick question: are you saying people are working up to 10 sets of 15 reps of each of the three exercises per session? That sounds like a lot of sets, but I guess that would make it more of a endurance-focused workout.

Thanks so much for posting!

Vegan Run Amok said...

That should have said bodyweight and dumbbell, not just bodyweight. Oops!

Crystal said...

I agree with most of these points, especially the sleep one. I am all about getting enough sleep. I would rather get 8 hours of sleep and go for a late ride/run/swim than leave earlier with 6 hours of sleep.

I really liked this post. Thanks!

CPB said...

Thanks for the great comments!

Vegan Run Amok - the idea is to work up to 10 sets up 15 reps. It sounds like a lot but it normally doesn't take more than 30 minutes to complete the entire rotation.

I tend to do this when I'm watching tv in the evening. This is time that is normally spent doing nothing, I can still get my Food Network fix and do something productive.

Vegan Run Amok said...

Hey CPB, thanks so much for getting back to me! The TV suggestion is a good one, too. Stuff I can do in front of the TV is always more likely to get done than stuff that can't, ha!

I think I've found my new strength and conditioning program, yay! :)

CPB said...

I'm glad to hear! You'll surprise yourself the first time you do it. You're most likely much stronger than you think.

Doing some PT in front of the telly is also a good way to spend time with family. I've taken to spinning in the evening so I can spend time with my sherpa. He'll put in a movie and we'll watch it while I pedal away:)

Mark said...

Right on about the fancy wheels and helmets comment.

As much as we like gear, the advantage is pretty slight... even at 30 mph.

Generally, that money can be better spent in a good bike fitting, coaching, and race entry fees.

Anonymous said...

re: eating during Ironman, I found it really easy to let too long pass in between mouthfuls of food, and drinking, so I set my watch alarm to ring every 15 minutes, reminding me to have a mouthful of fluid and a little bite of food. After a while it feels like you are eating constantly, but it worked for me, and it meant I was never in 'debt', that I just had a little (just a bite and a mouthful) but continual flow of food and water into me. I think if you leave it too long between eating, especially during Ironman (or any Ultra event), your belly 'shuts down' and it cannot absorb anything.

Anonymous said...