Oct 20, 2019
WOW last weekend was a BIG weekend for the running community and this weekend was a BIG weekend in the plant-based community!
Eliud Kipchoge, a Kenyan long-distance runner (male), broke 2 hours in the marathon distance! That’s less than 5-minute miles per mile! Wow! This is quite a feat and an amazing accomplishment. He is definitely an inspiration to all of us on what the human body can do! Then there was Brigid Kosgei, also a Kenyan long-distance runner (female), who achieved the world record at the Chicago Marathon! Another amazing feat and accomplishment! She ran around a 5 minute/mile pace! WOW! That’s fast!!
How are these runners so fast? Well they definitely both have a strong desire and determination for their sport! And I’m sure both were given some talent, but they also lived a lifestyle where they ran A LOT. Kosgei ran to school as a child, so she wouldn’t be late to school. As Americans, we live very different lifestyles and sometimes, it seems like we have gotten lazier due to technology and advancements of our society.
Even though not entirely a factor, nutrition still plays a role in performance. I’d like to know what they both eat to fuel their bodies, but what I do know is that a few staple foods in Kenya are maize, millet, and sorghum which are grains often eaten with meats and vegetables. Stews, beans, and fish/seafood may be common dishes too. Ugali is also a common dish. Although their diet may not be entirely 100% plant-based, I bet they eat less processed foods and more vegetables.
Over the weekend, I finally watched The Game Changers, a documentary showcasing the benefits of a 100% plant-based diet for athletes and went to the first local CNY VegFest! The Game Changers was released in September, but this week was released on Netflix for million of viewers to see.
The response to the this documentary has been astonishing! So many athletes now wanting to try a plant-based diet. And for the first local CNY Veg Fest, 45 vendors were present with about 3,000 people who attended! I was astonished with the local vegan businesses and the amount of people that came! We decided to not even wait in the food lines, they were so long! And now with supermarkets and fast food chains getting on the plant-based kick, it seems to be a growing trend!
Of course, I’m all about eating more plant-based and believe there are benefits for athletes, but it’s important to remember to do what you feel is best for you and the lifestyle that you have or want to have not because its “trendy.”
Plant-based can mean eating less meat and more vegetables. And it can mean restraining from eating any animal-based products. To me, it depends on your culture and your values. Being 100% plant-based (aka vegan) isn’t just for health, it’s also for the environment and animal activism. But it’s important for athletes to know that you can be successful and fuel just as well if not better on a plant-based diet.
As for me, I’m back running about 20 miles a week and continue to eat mostly plant-based. I’m not 100% vegan, but I have found what works for me and am proud to say that I feel healthy and strong.