Half-Marathon, any tips? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-24-2009, 10:47 PM
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Hello! I'm new to veggie boards and I came on here mainly because I'm becoming a vegetarian again (not that I was completely NOT one, but...it's complicated. Anyways...) Nutrition wise, I haven't really been treating myself well, and now that I joined a half-marathon, and will be training, I was wondering if there were any people who had any tips for vegetarians training for a half-marathon. Tips? =)
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#2 Old 11-25-2009, 03:47 AM
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Welcome to VB. I myself have been a vegetarian for 12 years and a vegan for 3, and I run 2 or 3 marathons per year. My interest in running many years ago started me down the path of veg*nism.



The training tips I would offer a vegetarian are the same that I would offer a non-veg:
  1. Find a good training plan - I suggest that you check out Hal Higdon's site (click here) for a plan that's right for you. Consistency in training is key to successfully completing your half-marathon goal. A good plan will help you avoid injury by gradually increasing your distance while giving your body days to rest, recover, and rebuild.
  2. Dedicate some time each day to working your core - Strengthening your abs, lower back, and glutes will allow you to run with the proper form. You don't have to go overboard on these, start off a 5 minutes per day and work up to 15 minutes per day. Check out Runners' World web site for runner specific core exercises.
  3. Get yourself a good pair of shoes from a store that specializes in running - Aside from event registration, running doesn't require much money. However, shoes are the one thing that you will have to spend money on. A good pair of shoes will help you avoid minor injuries (e.g. plantar fasciitis, shin splints, etc) that can sideline you. You can expect to pay around $80-$90 USD on a good pair of running shoes, and they should last you for about 400 - 500 miles. I suggest going to a running specialty store because the sales people are educated in different kinds of shoes (stabilizing, motion control, neutral) and can match you and your needs to the right shoe. Also, specialty stores usually will take back shoes if they don't feel right after a run or two.



With regard to nutrition, you will want to spend a bit of time and effort ensuring that you maintain a well-balanced diet. From your post, sounds like this is where you'll be focusing some of your attention. As a runner and a vegetarian, you'll hear a lot about protein. I find the topic rather tiresome. Experience has shown me that the recommended 15-60-25 balance (% of calories from protein, carbs, fat) does indeed work well. Carbs are your fuel. You will want to avoid simple carbs that come in junk food and highly processed foods. Fruit, veggies, whole grains (brown rice, oatmeal, etc.) are good sources. Protein is important for rebuilding muscles, and there are plenty of non-meat sources of protein: legumes, whole grains, quinoa, and nuts & seeds. (I leave out dairy as I am a vegan.)



Hope this helps and doesn't overwhelm you. Good luck.
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#3 Old 11-25-2009, 04:47 AM
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Hi. I just did a 50-mile run this past weekend on a mostly-raw vegan diet. I feel great -- much better than when I was racing as an omni. Prepare to have tons of energy. Cut back on processed foods -- eliminate if you can. Green smoothies are a fantastic way to start your day.



What are you base miles running now -- i.e. how far have you run? My first half I took my base miles and added 1 - 2 miles to that per week until I got up to 10-12 miles. Then I was ready on race day.



I recommend the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Fantastic book! Also, I think Chi Running has a lot to offer runners. YMMV of course.



Have fun!
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#4 Old 11-25-2009, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~~v~~ View Post

Green smoothies are a fantastic way to start your day.



What do you put in your green smoothies? I have been looking for some good tasting recipes.
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#5 Old 11-25-2009, 06:07 AM
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1 TB whole flax seeds, big handful of spinach or kale, 1 small banana (frozen), 1 cup wild blueberries (frozen), 1.5 cups cold water.



OR ... same base but rather than blueberries I add a pear and a handful of seedless grapes.



Sometimes I add a 2 TB hemp protein and 1 TB of agave to this, too.



I have a vitamix. Let it run for about a minute. Delish.
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#6 Old 11-25-2009, 07:16 PM
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Oh, wow, you two are a wealth of information! Thank you for this! I just started training, so I've only done 3 miles so far, and trying to do strength training. The website you gave you gave me will help me to even out how I divide up training, so thank you for that! I certainly don't want to get an injury. I did a marathon with team in training a few years back, but doing it on my own, I'm a little overwhelmed, so it's nice to have some structure.



Another thing I'm concerned about is that, well, I'm pretty slow. I'm at a 15 minute mile right now, and well, I hope I can build up my speed, but I don't think I can get to running too much faster by 12 weeks. Do you have any tips on that?



And I am sooo trying that green smoothie!
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#7 Old 11-25-2009, 07:18 PM
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Oh, wow, you two are a wealth of information! Thank you for this! I just started training, so I've only done 3 miles so far, and trying to do strength training. The website you gave you gave me will help me to even out how I divide up training, so thank you for that! I certainly don't want to get an injury. I did a marathon with team in training a few years back, but doing it on my own, I'm a little overwhelmed, so it's nice to have some structure.



Another thing I'm concerned about is that, well, I'm pretty slow. I'm at a 15 minute mile right now, and well, I hope I can build up my speed, but I don't think I can get to running too much faster by 12 weeks. Do you have any tips on that?



And I am sooo trying that green smoothie!
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#8 Old 11-26-2009, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kohitsuji View Post

Another thing I'm concerned about is that, well, I'm pretty slow. I'm at a 15 minute mile right now, and well, I hope I can build up my speed, but I don't think I can get to running too much faster by 12 weeks. Do you have any tips on that?



Given that your target event is only 12 weeks away, you probably won't have time to really work on speed. Based on personal experience and running literature, you should be running at least 25-30 miles per week comfortably on a regular basis (e.g. 4-6 weeks) before you start including any speed workouts into your regimen. Speed work is very hard on the body and can result in overuse injuries if done improperly or too soon.



You may find that your per mile average drops a bit as your running muscles become stronger and looser and your body becomes more efficient (YMMV). At this point in your training, though, I recommend that you focus on consistency (getting out for your regularly scheduled runs 3-5 times per week) and gradually increasing your distance. You can address speed or your next event.
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