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Vegan Nutrition and Running

2207 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Hannah&me
I'm a relatively new runner... I hit the outdoors in March and can currently run about 7K in a reasonable time...

But I'm loving it a lot and would like to train for a marathon. I'm currently on a low(ish) calorie intake because I have a bit more weight to lose (I eat on average around 1400-1700 and exercise most days) and know that I'll need to up my intake as I increase my mileage, so as to keep performance up.

I was wondering what kind of diet vegan endurance runners would be able to eat... I'd still like to lose body fat, but would also like to be very fit.

Any runners here got advice?
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You are automatically in awkwardville because you want to lose weight. Tot rain for such a beastly event, you want to eat so your energy stores are full, and during your ramp up in training for the event you're also going to want to eat so you can have the energy to get better and faster, and to keep energy stores full as well.

I can't really comment, it gets really confusing with the weight loss. My honest suggestion, keep losing weight, or go all out in training for the marathon. I have no answer of how to do both at once, I'm lazy, sorry.

One of my staples is lentils, though. 1c is roughly 80 carbs and 36 protein, depending on which type of lentil.

And again, about the weight loss. It saddened me to not compete until I met my weight loss goals, BUT I did compete anyways. I got smoked by everyone else in the marathon, but I did it for fun. Once I reached my weight loss goal I started to train more seriously.

You can probably google it, there are a bunch of sites that offer food and workout guides. Usually you'll need a few weeks or a couple of months to get in marathon shape.

Good luck, and let us know if you decide to enter one.
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There absolutely has to be a way of maintaining weight loss as well as being able to train for a marathon.
Its simply about calories in < calories out. So eat less than you are burning. But if you are burning more calories because you are training for a marathon you will definitely need to start eating more.
How are you currently trying to lose weight? Any particular foods you are avoiding??
A good way to eat for a marathon training is to 'carb load' this involves eating carbs the night before at dinner. The key will be to not have too many so that you put on weight or stop losing weight. There are lots of websites that are based around exercise and nutrition and that calculate how many calories burned etc on a particular run. And then if you log all your food you will get an idea of whether you are eating too much or maybe too little.

I like It has a pretty accurate mapping system where you can map runs almost anywhere and it measures elevation and distance accurately. They also have a nutrition section that I don't use but where you could log your food intake. Even just doing it for 2 weeks and seeing how you are doing is a good idea. That way you don't have to continually measure all your food exactly.

Let us know how you get on!
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I'm vegan and I love running. I'm not an expert, but I would say eat more veggies and protein. i find thatt when I run, carbs and grains 'slow me down' but vegtables and protein keep my energy up for a run. I think it's pretty simple; eat well with the food guide (modified for your vegan diet) and keep on running. Of course, don't forget water! Drinking more water has really helped my skin but a downside is it takes a while to go through you and you could get a bit bloated. The good effects weigh out the bad, so I'd still go with more water. good luck !
Like Kris said, when training, you stuff your face to replenish glycogen and such. If you're losing weight, your body is going to be running partially on fat, which isn't as efficient a fuel source as carbohydrates. You can't really multitask here. I would strongly suggest you loose the weight first.
I trained for running on my school CC team years ago and I remember being told carbs is where energy comes from, so eating pasta the day before running is good. However this was close to ten years ago, so I could be remember this wrong. I would also say lots of fruits and veggies cause they contain natural energy - this is coming from a personal opinion though. Also in order to be a good runner you need a lot of muscle mass in your legs, try a vegan protein powder (either a hemp one or vega). This will make you gain weight but lose size (like your legs will be smaller but weigh more cause muscle weighs more than fat).
I can't imagine training for a marathon and not losing weight. Just eat well (a lot more than you are now), eat healthy and balanced and you'll be sorted.
I run 10K six days a week and was 40 years old and when I restarted my run and in need of losing 20 lbs.

If you have significant weight to lose, don't over-think it....just run what is comfortable for you adding small increments at a time and eat without overdoing the carbs. Eat whole foods as much as possible....fruit, veggies. Whole grain carb....but light on those too.

With that extra weight be SURE to have great quality running shoes as you will be putting more impact on your body than you would at an optimal weight. Smaller, faster steps are the way to go.

One thing i learned, after investing in a Garmin running watch that measures heart rate, pace and calculates calories was that I was burning about 2/3 rds the calories that I thought I would be running at my fairly decent pace.

I think one mistake people makes is that they eat too many calories thinking they are burning them like crazy when they are is a myth that can eat whatever you want if you run. Even with my 10K program, surfing, doing step and light cycling, I can still only eat around 1500 calories to maintain my weight at 5'4"

Good luck!
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I love love love your enthusiasm! Its fantastic
I suggest getting your weight under control first, and enjoy your running. You'll build up strength and milage over time as a base for your marathon training.

General guidelines are to have a year's worth of running under your belt before you start training for a marathon. and My personal advice is to start your marathon training when you are ready to focus on JUST THAT. Its a challenge. Its hard. It sucks. Thats why not everyone does it I suppose.

I found that when going from 14 to 16 miles (and therefore going to >2 hr runs) I started having issues with the eating. OMGOOODNESS could I eat. Granted you're burning a TON of calories on that run, and once you go over 2 hours, your body starts using a different kind of fuel.... your naturally it freaks out. Once I got used to that, I obvious upped to 18 miles 21 miles, 24 miles. each time my body hated me.

you'll find that really frustrating if you're trying to lose weight. And when you're traning for a marathon you don't stop at 16 miles or 2 hours, you train for you 26. (4 hours for slightly above average female folks, 6 hours for the "joggger" bloke) and its every week. I gain a lot of weight in swelling too. Up to 4 lbs in a day? Will that be a trigger for you, if you're primary goal is weightloss?

what happens when you hurt yourself and cant run/work out/walk for 2 weeks? is it more important to train or to lose weight?

Just things to think about
enjoy your running and good luck! start researching training plans if youre super serious
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I have 16lb to lose (maybe 14-15... I don't weight myself often), I have already lost 34lb. I don't have a huge amount to lose and I currently map my calorie intake on MyFitnessPal... I can only run about 7K at the moment, with small bits walking, but only a few yards, most of it I run. I'm sure that I'll be at my target weight before I start any serious, serious distances, like a marathon.

At what point do I need to start 'carb loading'?

General guidelines are to have a year's worth of running under your belt before you start training for a marathon. and My personal advice is to start your marathon training when you are ready to focus on JUST THAT. Its a challenge. Its hard. It sucks. Thats why not everyone does it I suppose.
Maybe I should aim for a half-marathon this year?
I think a half marathon is a great compromise! Half marathon is a different challenge, but it will teach you about building mileage and following a plan.

Maybe start racing 5ks and 10ks since youre only doing 7k right now, register for a 10k. Make that your first goal. You'll see how a race works... getting your number, how the timing chips work. Running in large groups, can you keep your adrenaline under control... etc. You;ll find you might get excited and hurt yourself early in a race.

I really love running 10ks for fun
its just sucky that you have to double each time... 10k to half marathon to full, not really anything in between.

Carbo loading.... I know youre asking about nutrition, but I really believe that your body TELLS you what you need. I eat more bread/food in general thats for sure, but I never specifically eat tons of bread right before a long run. I find it doesnt make much of a difference. I need to eat properly to get a strong start but I will only get 2 hours out of myself until I need a gel/supplement, regardless what I ate the night before.

That being said, everyone's body is different, listen to yourself. They offer gels/sports beans at half marathons too, some people need them earlier.
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