VegRUN: 5K to Marathon
In addition to a plant-based diet, regular exercise is a key ingredient for good health. In fact, exercise can be as effective as medication for heart disease prevention, heart failure treatment, and diabetes prevention, according to a recent review published in the BMJ. A workout is also good for the brain. A study in New York found that adults who exercised and followed a healthy diet reduced their risk for Alzheimer’s by as much as 60 percent.
“It’s a one-two punch for staying healthy,” says Susan Levin, PCRM’s director of nutrition education. “Plant-based foods are powerful all by themselves, and exercise takes another jab at heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic ailments.”
Want to get started? The Physicians Committee’s VegRUN program helps anyone interested in using a plant-based diet to train for a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon. And the program’s nutrition tips and recipes can help anyone in any sport improve overall athletic performance.
“Don’t go from zero to hero,” says world-class vegan cyclist and VegRUN coach Christine Vardaros. “Be sure to start slowly when getting into a training program.”
VegRUN’s weekly e-mail messages provide access to a website with 5K and 10K training programs designed by Wholistic Running’s Damian Stoy, Matt Frazier’s No Meat Athlete half-marathon and marathon training plans, plant-based recipes, and more.
Levin, who was a consultant for the books Eat and Run, by vegan ultramarathoner Scott Jurek, and Fit Quickies, by plant-based fitness expert Lani Muelrath, provides fit facts and nutrition tips.
VegRUN also delivers training and nutrition advice from Jurek, Muelrath, and more than a dozen world-class athletes.
“Stay healthy by making sure you properly hydrate and refuel with nutrient-dense, plant-based sources of glycogen post-workout—foods like brown rice, yams, quinoa, and lentils work well for me,” says VegRUN coach Rich Roll, who at age 40 made a decision to overhaul his life by adopting a plant-based diet and reinventing himself as an ultradistance endurance athlete.