Guest writer Lauren Buckel is a proudly vegetarian marathoner. And no, that’s not an oxymoron. She argues that it’s totally possible to skip meat without skimping on protein. Here are her rules for keeping a marathon-ready veggie-based diet:

  • Skip junk food. Plenty of unhealthy foods are vegetarian-friendly, but they’re less friendly to a training regimen.
  • Don’t rely on meat substitutes. They’re great for replacing meat in a pinch, but relying on them could easily mean missing out on other necessary nutrients. Head to the produce section instead.
  • Don’t Skimp on Protein. Replace the calories and protein lost when eliminating meat with other healthy alternatives like lentils.
  • Keep it creative. A meatless diet can get blah if you dine only on side dishes. Try new foods and switch things up frequently to maintain a balanced diet without getting bored.

The Takeaway: You can train hard while being a vegetarian. Simply make appropriate substitutions instead of skimping on calories and protein.

Track Training Progress

Diet isn’t the only factor to consider when training. The Runkeeper app could help plan an appropriate exercise regimen — and share those successes with the world.

Fun Quote

“The will to win means nothing if you haven’t the will to prepare.”— Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner