While deciding to go plant based was largely based on improving my health, another huge part of my decision is to improve my fitness. I've been running consistently for about three years, and have run a 5k and two half marathons and while I've enjoyed getting into running, I've really loved swimming and biking more. So then why not put them all together and participate in a Triathlon!
My ever faithful running (now triathlon) partner, Marci, and I have decided to do the Olympic distance of the TriRock San Diego Triathlon in September of this year. While researching which triathlon would be my first we were looking for an event that had a great cause connected to it. The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America is the official charity sponsor the TriRock San Diego:
While training, you’ll also be raising funds to support research, education, and support programs for the 1.4 million Americans with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two painful digestive diseases.
I'm a strong believer in participating in events with a cause connected to it. Sure, we can pay a hundred dollars to run 13.1 miles, but knowing that a portion of that fee goes to St. Jude's, or Cure Mito, or Parkinson's Research any other charitable organization makes running (and swimming and biking) that distance that much more meaningful.
Building the Foundation
Knowing I am going to have to swim .9 miles, bike 22 miles, and run 6.2 miles, I figure I'd have better get into better shape. I had been running, swimming, and biking during the fall of 2012, but not consistently. Starting in January, I have had a new plan and a new nutrition lifestyle to go along with it.
Here's my general schedule I've been trying to follow since January (with a few missing days here and there):
- Mondays & Fridays: Swim - starting at 1200yds in January, increasing 100yds each week
- Tuesdays & Thursdays: Run - starting at 3 miles, increasing .25 miles each week
- Wednesdays & Saturdays: Bike - starting at 45 minutes, increasing 5 minutes every month
I've also been trying to get in a yoga practice two times a week. I'm not able to go out to a yoga studio (time constraints), but I have found a new yoga program that I absolutely LOVE called The Ultimate Yogi (full write up coming in the Yoga section).
Since day one of starting my plant based diet I have felt the effects in my foundation building. I can exercise the next day without feeling sore or tired. I feel energized and cleansed of the previous day. Here's the general nutrition plan I've been following:
- Breakfast: Smoothie of pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, flax oil, frozen fruit, kale, spinach and coconut water
- Morning snack: Avocado on vegan bread (sometimes w/ lettuce, tomato & vegenaise), or fruit
- Lunch: Usually leftovers from the previous night's dinner (many recipes here) or a salad with loads of veggies, or a sprouted wheat wrap with more avocado, tomato, lettuce, assorted veggies, vegenaise or hummus
- Afternoon snack: mixed nuts or apple and nut butter
- Dinner: See Recipes
- And LOTS of water - I try to drink about 64 oz a day
I've been feeling great, able to recover quickly and have been able to get back into the fitness routine much quicker than previous attempts.
Also, I've cut out most of the wine I used to drink. Yes, I was that person that came home from work and had a glass of wine (or two or three) most nights. I've cut back to having a glass (or two) on Friday and Saturday nights as much as possible and that reduction has also been incredibly significant. I feel better, I sleep MUCH better, and I'm rarely groggy. Its been pretty amazing so far and I'll continue to post about the training as I go. I'll be starting a new plan in the beginning of May to prepare for the actual event and I'll be posting that information soon!