Vegan Ultraman Rich Roll on How to Avoid First-Marathon Mistakes

Yesterday, I talked to Rich Roll, the well-known vegan Ultraman competitor (that’s a double Ironman over the course of 3 days) who is also the author of Jai Seed, a fantastic cookbook I reviewed a few months ago.

Rich was very generous to sit down and record a 40-minute interview with me, aimed at helping out the first-time marathoner and/or new vegetarian.

The full interview, along with five others with some pretty amazing vegan and vegetarian endurance athletes including Brendan Brazier, will is included as part of the Marathon Roadmap: The Vegetarian Guide to Conquering Your First 26.2.

Here’s a sample of our interview, where Rich talks about his first marathon, which sounds a lot like mine (i.e., lots of walking after Mile 18!).  He also talks a bit about the importance of following a program or working with a coach, and at length about training in the crucial zone that teaches your body to burn fat instead of sugar and go (in Rich’s case) for days.

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Enjoy the interview!



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  1. I’m really excited for this launch, Matt!

    I know a lot of people who have taken on coaches recently. And a lot of coaches who are starting to get a lot of coaching requests. I’ll be interested to hear more about his experience with the transition beyond what’s in the clip.

  2. Can’t wait for it! This totally makes him more relatable. =)

  3. Knowing how long it took him to build up his aerobic endurance is actually super-helpful. Now I won’t feel like a genetically-thwarted loser when I’m still jogging along at 2mph three weeks into the program! Thanks for this clip.

  4. Love the interview element to the site! It’s such a great way to “meet” athletes. I’m LOL about grim experience…yeah, been there. My second marathon (pre-vegan days) I went gluten and dairy-free two weeks before the race…and bonked at mile 15-ish. It was a long eleven miles before the finish line.

    I agree that education (and some coaching) really does help make the race experience more enjoyable (and successful)

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