To Race or Not to Race?

People in running competition

That is the question … or at least the question we tackle in today’s episode.

It’s no secret that when it comes to running, Matt is a goals guy. He chases massive race goals that inspire and motivate him through training … sometimes for years. And in many ways, I’m the same. I know first hand just how powerful a dream race can be.

But I also love running for the sake of running, and can maintain months of consistent training with no race in sight.

So when a listener asked this question on the No Meat Athlete Facebook page, it sparked an interesting conversation.

Do runners need races, or should they run for the joy of running?

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • The power of a race goal
  • When racing is a bad idea
  • Alternatives to races … that can be just as motivating
  • The mistake most non-racers make
  • Why Matt wants you to give racing a try

Click the button below to listen now:

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7 Years of No Meat Athlete, in a Nutshell

Shell of walnut

So you’re new to No Meat Athlete, and don’t know where to start …

(If you’re not new, well, you can safely ignore this one.)

In more than seven years of being at it, we’ve produced a ton of content. Over 800 articles, close to 150 podcast episodes, systems for the marathon, triathlon, and meal planning, and a print book.

So where do you start?

Well, you’re subscribed to the emails, so that’s a good thing. (Or if someone forwarded you this and you want to get on the list, go here.)

Next, how about the podcast? Subscribe via iTunes or another platform, and you’ll get automatic updates about each new episode we make — one per week, usually.

Finally, dive in. A few nut-jobs (who I love, of course) have told me they started at the first post and read every single one, but these days that’s almost impossible.

So I’ve made it easy for you. Here’s a list of the 30 (give or take) most important, fundamental articles on No Meat Athlete, in five main topic areas, so that you can scan through and start with whatever most grabs your attention.

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The Life-Changing Habit to Start Today

A set of books in the library. Knowledge, Science

“Life-changing” is a big claim. Especially when it involves cleaning out your closet …

This conversation started back in January, when Matt read Marie Kondo’s bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. He said it was one of the best books he’d read in years, I said it wasn’t for me.

Boy was I wrong.

Today’s episode departs from our traditional topics of fitness and nutrition, and focuses instead on a habit we’ve both recently adopted. A habit that will free you from clutter, bring new energy to your home, and take you completely by surprise — I know it did me — with how good it feels.

Yup. It may even change your life.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Do your items spark joy?
  • How to start decluttering your home
  • Why it’s acceptable to throw away that ugly sweater
  • Thanking your items (Doug actually does this)
  • What to do with books, race medals, and other items you love

Click the button below to listen now:

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5 Non-Negotiable Vegan Foods to Eat Every Day (if You Want to Live a Long, Healthy Life)

berries

Everybody loves to talk about the latest and greatest disease-preventing superfood — but how many have you actually made a part of your daily diet?

As a cardiovascular nurse and nutrition consultant, I spend much of my time wading in the muck of preventable chronic diseases, and I’ve dedicated my life to understanding nutrition science and lifestyle medicine.

And more importantly for you, how those two disciplines can be used to prevent and treat disease.

What I’ve found is that certain health foods — normal foods, not hard-to-find superfoods — have a remarkable capacity to protect you from disease, increase athletic performance, and give you a fighting chance of living a long, healthy life.

Below I’ve compiled a list of five food types that meet this criteria. Foods that I recommend my clients eat every single day — without exception.

Here they are.

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Nicole Antoinette Interviews Matt Frazier

nicole-antoinette

This week on No Meat Athlete Radio, we’re doing something a little different.

Instead of me doing the interviewing (or shooting the breeze with Doug), I’m the one being interviewed — by my friend and fellow vegan runner and “big goals” advocate Nicole Antoinette.

This interview was first published on Nicole’s popular podcast, Real Talk Radio, and she was kind enough to let me rebroadcast it on our show.

It’s a long one, nearly two hours in length, but one of my favorite interviews that I’ve done, which is why I chose to share it. Nicole and I dig deep into a lot of topics — and not just the typical running and diet stuff, but a more personal discussion of achievement, failure, and the messy reality that setting big, ambitious goals.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did! Big thanks to Nicole for doing the interview and letting me share it; be sure to check out Real Talk Radio for lots more conversations like it.

Click the button below to listen now:

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The Vegan’s Guide to Traveling to a Destination Race

people running paris marathon france

This post was written by Doug Hay.

Race week is all about routine.

What you eat, how you taper, and the amount of sleep you get are all calculated and practiced.

When it works, you stick with it, race after race — it’s one less thing to worry about.

But even the best routines get thrown for a loop when your upcoming race requires travel.

I was reminded of this firsthand during a recent trip to Northern California for the Mendocino Coast 50K. My wife and I traveled around the area for a week before the race, sleeping in new beds, eating different foods, and not exactly staying off our feet.

It was a total blast, no doubt, but not ideal the week leading up to a race.

Fortunately, not all hope is lost when traveling to a destination race …

Today’s post is a 4-step guide to taking a smart approach to race travel, and the extra considerations you should take as a vegan.

And it all starts before you ever leave home:

1. Make a List, Check it Twice

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Our Start-to-Finish Guide to Marathon Training

People Running a Marathon

So you want to run a marathon …

How exciting! How scary.

While looking back at the NMA Radio archives a few weeks ago, Matt and I noticed a glaring oversight: marathon training for beginners.

We’ve covered general running advice, what to eat before a race, and even trail running, but somehow we skipped over one of the most sought after topics for runners.

Training for your first marathon will be a thrilling experience, filled with highs, lows, and lessons. But if you’ve never taken on such a distance, just thinking about the challenge can feel overwhelming. Fear not, we’ve got you covered.

In today’s post, we finally tackle the topic, and address all the basics of marathon training … from choosing your race to crossing the finish-line.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

  • Choosing the right marathon for you
  • What to look for in a training plan
  • Should you set a time goal?
  • Eating for strength, lasting energy, and recovery
  • Why a simple approach to pre-race fuel is a smarter approach
  • Our tricks to staying on pace

Click the button below to listen now:

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How to Balance Family and Training (and Guarantee Their Support)

Couple marathon running for exercise and fitness training

This post is written by Susan Lacke.

“Hey, honey. I’m going to disappear for about 15 hours each week to exercise. When I come back, I’m going to be really tired, so I’ll nap for at least a few hours.

“I’ll be hungry a lot, and you know when I’m hungry, I’m not very pleasant to be around. Basically, what I’m telling you is that you’re on your own for the next six months. But I’ll have a medal to show for it!”

Can you imagine uttering those words to your spouse?

Probably not. But when you sign up for a long race, that’s exactly what you’re saying.

Training for any event takes a lot of time, dedication and energy.

But training for a long race, like a marathon, ultramarathon, or Ironman triathlon, takes even more. It’s an incredibly selfish endeavor — you disappear for hours to train while your spouse takes care of the kids, and for what? A medal with your name engraved on it.

Where’s the trophy for the family?

It might seem like you’ll be the one doing all the heavy lifting when training for a race, but the ones you love will carry a burden, too.

I’ve experienced this firsthand: my husband has poked me awake during more than one date night at the movies, my brother has asked if I really need to disappear for a run during our family vacations, and I’ve missed several gatherings with friends in order to get my scheduled training in.

At first, when they sighed and said it was “no big deal,” I took that at face value.

Eventually, I learned it was a big freakin’ deal. My friends and family wanted to support me, but I wasn’t giving them anything in return.

There’s a line between “support” and “resentment,” and the side your loved ones fall on will depend largely on the choices you make.

So how do you guarantee those choices are good ones? Here are 8 steps to point you in the right direction …

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