Rethinking the 10 Percent Rule for Increasing Mileage

For the past five weeks, I’ve experimented with a training schedule that’s entirely new to me, with great success. It’s simple:

  1.  Run every day.
  2. Start with just 20 minutes each day.
  3. Each week, increase the length of the daily run by 10 minutes.
  4. Do less when you need to, but not more.

(So far I’ve used Rule #4 only twice, running for half an hour on days when I should have run 50 and 60 minutes. It was largely due to time constraints, but I think that rest did me well.)

Why these rules?

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How Subway’s 3 New Vegan Subs Stack Up

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Subway's new vegan subs

Finally, a mainstream restaurant chain has taken a step toward embracing the dietary choices of vegetarians and vegans.

And, lucky us, it’s not just any old restaurant chain — it’s the world’s largest.

After a lengthy campaign from the good folks over at Compassion Over Killing, Subway announced last week that eight of their Washington, DC area restaurants would be testing out three new subs.

The Malibu Greek, the Italian Black Bean, and the Sweet Riblet are their names, and these new subs aren’t just vegetarian — they’re 100% vegan.

Why this matters

It happens to us all.

Even the most prepared of vegetarians will find themselves five hours into a long car ride, or sitting in the airport looking for something to eat besides a wilted salad and a roll. Most of us prepare by bringing snacks, homemade sandwiches, or following tips for traveling as a vegan, but sometimes the only option is to grab something on the road.

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The Spring’s Best NMA Shirt Photos!

On the first day of summer, in honor of most No Meat Athlete shirts being back in stock (finally!), I figured it was time for another round of fun photos people have either emailed to me or shared on our Facebook page this spring.

As I started to comb through the 100+ photos you all had submitted, I recognized a theme. Plenty of the photos were the standard race day shots — which are great; keep ‘em coming — but a larger number than usual were just slightly wacky. Is this how all runners act in the springtime, or could there be something in the quinoa?

Here are my favorites, in no particular order. You’ll see that not all are nuts, but most are. Keep it up!

Michael, “carrying the torches” on his way to a 128th place (out of 1700) finish at Litchfield Hills Road Race — at age 48:

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Two muddy NMA kiddos, having just finished their first race:

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Ray, who got some mean carrot ink done, the third NMA tattoo in existence (that we know of):

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Jeff, who inexplicably “lost his shoes” in the Lincoln Half Marathon:

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Julie’s seitan and veggie pot pie (technically from the winter, not spring):

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Nina on the Great Wall of China:

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Sarah with Biggest Loser Trainer Dolvette Quince at the SELF Workout in the Park Chicago (I haven’t watched the show in years — I know trainer Bob used to be vegan, but is Dolvette?):

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Several of our Facebook fans requested an Unlike button for this Tebowing shot, but I think what we really need is a Love button:

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Richard, after a 2 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats while wearing a 20-pound weight vest in 1 hour and 24 minutes. Hardcore:

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Brad and Ruth with NMA hero Scott Jurek, at an event for his new book (is that Chris McDougall I see in the background?):

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My buddy Pete, running down (and all the way back up) the Grand Canyon:

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Thanks for sending the photos, everyone, including the dozens upon dozens not included here. NMA fans are the best!

And of course, if you’ve been waiting around for NMA shirts to be available, now’s your chance! Check out the No Meat Athlete store to see the full selection, including the carrot-less (collective gasp!) stamp-logo shirts. And don’t forget to join our new store newsletter while you’re there.

Photo contest?

We’ve been thinking for a long time about having some sort of monthly Facebook contest, where whoever submits the best photo (judged on number of Likes, maybe?) would get something not-really-that-awesome, like maybe their picture as our cover photo (any will be better than our current one!).

Anyway, if you’ve got ideas for a fun contest or a good prize, we’d love to hear them in the comments.

PCRM’s vegRUN Program

VegRunlogo 300x220One more quick thing to tell you about — our friends at Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine recently launched a brand new program for vegetarians and vegans who want to train for a half or full marathon while also supporting PCRM’s cause.

It’s called vegRUN, and they chose to use my training programs from Marathon Roadmap and Half Marathon Roadmap as the main training plans, which is quite an honor! Several (much cooler) celebrity coaches are contributing too, including Brendan Brazier, Scott Jurek, Rich Roll, Rip Esselstyn and Christine Vardaros.

It’s not for any particular race, just a nice resource for plant-based runners looking to run a race this fall, with training plans, recipes, connection with the community through forums — and of course, it all supports a great cause.

Click here to learn more about the vegRUN program!

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Sometimes the Goal Just Feels Right

A few days ago, I stepped outside for my run and looked down to start my watch, just like any other day.

It read 24:32. Twenty-four hours, thirty-two minutes. I must have forgotten to press “stop” after my run the day before.

That’s when it hit me just how long a 100-mile race is. Although simply to finish is the main goal, 24 hours would be the number to gun for. Many runners take longer than that to finish, but some races won’t award you a precious belt buckle if you do. And some ultrarunners say you haven’t really “run” a hundred until you’ve done one in 24 hours.

But why, out of the blue, am I talking about a 100-miler?

In case you weren’t reading 18 months ago, I actually signed up for one back then, but never did it. And in a way, I think that particular goal — one that I really wasn’t ready for, one that overwhelmed me, and one that I now realize was only an attempt to keep my flame of motivation burning — is the thing that actually snuffed that flame out for a while.

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The Beginning Cyclist’s Guide to the Rules of the Road (and All Those Funny Hand Signals)

iStock 000003568033XSmallIf you’ve started cycling to become a stronger runner, you’ve probably discovered the rules of the road are often confusing, misunderstood, and, sadly, ignored.

It isn’t out of spite — it’s usually just lack of knowledge. However, when cyclists don’t follow the laws, they don’t just put themselves at risk, they give a bad name to other cyclists.

You know how people are always bitchin’ about how cyclists think they own the road? This is what I’m talking about.

But most cyclists aren’t reckless asshats — and yet that stereotype about cyclists is prevalent in almost every community.

To help clear the air, I’ve invited Laura, badass triathlete from one of my favorite sites, Frayed Laces, to help me put together a primer on what you should know before you hit the road, whether on your own or in a group.

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Interview with Scott Jurek, Ultramarathon Legend and Author of Eat & Run

eat and runOnly a very few athletes ever dominate their sport to such an extent that they’re considered legends in their own time.

Scott Jurek has done exactly that in the ultrarunning world. What’s even more inspiring is that he’s done it as a vegan. And the title of his new book, Eat & Run, should tell you he considers his diet to be a big reason for his success.

For many of us, Scott is the person we point to when someone skeptically asks, “Yeah, but can athletes really eat a plant-based diet and still be competitive?” And so we’ve been waiting a long time for this, for Scott to share his incredibly inspiring story, his advice on running, and his favorite plant-based recipes for endurance athletes.

In Eat & Run (out today, June 5th!), he’s done all three. Eat & Run is worth every minute of the wait. As I tell Scott in our interview below, it’s the first time since Born to Run (where Scott is prominently featured) when I’ve felt the overwhelming urge to stop reading and just run — and yet I can’t stop myself from turning the page to see what’s next!

Add to that over 20 recipes that Scott has developed, not just for running but for meals and snacks as well, and you’ve got a book that’s not to be missed. (I’ve already tried the Long Run Pizza Bread, Smoky Chipotle Refried Beans, and Apple-Cinnamon Granola, and they’re great. They pass even the most rigorous of tests; my two-year old likes them.)

I had the pleasure of talking to Scott last week about Eat & Run and many of the things I learned from it, like why he says anyone can run an ultramarathon, what he believes is responsible for his dominance in the sport, his approach to spreading the message of veganism, why he’s not against soy and oil (as is so fashionable these days), and what’s next for him. Oh yeah, and a little bit of Zen.

Check out our interview here (26:04):

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You can listen to our interview using the player above, or download it with this link (you may need to right-click and “Save Link As”).

Other links:

  • Learn more about Eat & Run and view photos and the book trailer on Scott’s website
  • Eat & Run on Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Listen to Scott’s previous No Meat Athlete interview

Thanks so much to Scott for taking the time to talk to us, some of his biggest fans, and for an amazing book. Seriously, check it out. It does not disappoint.

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How I Got Back My Running Mojo

It’s been just about a year since I took a break from ultrarunning, and I finally feel like I’m back.

In my last 50K, the first eight miles took me two hours, which at the time I thought was a crazy statistic. I mean, it was uphill, but 15 minutes per mile?

I had no idea it would take me well over seven miserable hours to finish that race. (To this day I have incredible respect for the runners who did the 70-miler on the same course.)

It’s not that I ran a terrible race. The winner took 5:11 to finish, and 2nd place ran 5:39, when at most 50K’s I’ve run, the winning time is under four hours.

It was just a brutal course, the hardest one I had run, for sure. To me, it seemed to take the same amount of effort as the Vermont 50-miler had.

During that race, I retired from ultrarunning several times in my head.

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