No, not a “quick-and-easy guide.” No, not some “run-13.1-miles-without-getting-off-the-couch” gimmick.
You’re not afraid to put the sweat in. If it didn’t take some serious preparation, then the idea of running a half marathon wouldn’t be so freaking cool, would it?
But a spreadsheet with a few mileage numbers isn’t going to cut it – there’s so much more you’ve got to pay attention to if you don’t want to waste your time and risk hurting yourself.
(And by the way, blindly following one of those freebies is exactly how I ended up with a stress fracture when I first tried to train for a marathon, ten years ago.)
What if there was a first half marathon guide that was built just for people like you, who know that eating meat isn’t a requirement for doing some pretty kick-ass stuff with your life?
The Plant-Based Guide to Your First Half Marathon
I could have seriously used something like this back when I was getting into running (I was super-enthusiastic and optimistic, but always feeling frustrated by injuries and desperately trying all different workouts and diets to figure out what it took).
So about a year and a half ago, when I ran my sub-3:10 Boston-qualifying marathon, a full 100 minutes faster than my first marathon (that’s an improvement of almost four minutes per mile), I got the idea to put together a roadmap to help out others who were looking to run their first marathon. And people liked it so much, that I decided to put together a guide to your first half marathon as well.
If I was starting from scratch and wanted to run a half marathon, what would I make absolutely certain to do? How would I train to avoid those frustrating injury setbacks? What would I eat every day that would give me the most energy and help me recover quickly?
“I was never a runner … every time I tried it, something would just go wrong.”
I was never a “runner” but always wanted to be one. For almost a decade I tried to run but every time I tried it, I got bad knee pain or back pain or something would just go wrong.
I discovered your site and was so inspired by you and all of the other runners and just wanted to one day be able to say I could run a half. I did a few 5k’s and a 10k and it was such an amazing feeling that I knew I HAD to go for a half.
So I ordered the Half Marathon Roadmap, started training, and 4 months later, I am a No Meat Athlete half marathoner — I just finished my first half marathon at Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas! I could not have done it without the Roadmap and all of your advice in it. I just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH. I couldn’t have done it without you, your site, and your advice.
– Christina Gregory
You don’t need to be a super-athlete to do this
If you’ve been reading my stuff online for awhile now, you know that I like to keep running and food pretty simple. If your goal is to make the Olympics, then maybe it makes sense to count every calorie you eat and have a computer analyzing all your biofeedback. Believe me, I tried just about everything back when I was always getting injured and searching for a solution.
But for someone who wants to run their first half marathon – someone with a job, maybe a family, and not nearly enough time for all the other great things besides running that you’re interested in – worrying about all those extra details makes training for your first half marathon seem overwhelming.
What I’ve learned is that it’s not about restrictive diet plans, expensive supplements, fancy gadgets or 30-plus mile training weeks (at least, not for your first half marathon). Instead, it’s about showing up to run, week after week, consistently and intelligently, and giving your body the food and care it needs to recover for the next workout. Pretty simple, right?
No calorie-and-biofeedback-tracking iPhone app required. (In fact, that would drive me crazy enough to quit.)
The main problem you’re probably facing is overwhelm. There’s so much stuff out there, some of it good and some of it lousy. Maybe you’ve got a nice approach to vegetarian or vegan nutrition and some favorite recipes, but what changes do you have to make for half marathon training? And for that training, what’s really necessary? What parts can you throw away, to save yourself the extra time and wear and tear on your body?
“The biggest change I’ve noticed is this confidence I have now, that if I train hard enough, and smart enough, I can achieve any goal.”
I can’t thank you enough for writing the Half Marathon Roadmap. I’ve learned so much, it helped calm my nerves and to be perfectly prepared the morning of the race …
I’m addicted to my morning smoothies and even my husband is a fan of giant salads for lunch now. I’ve also dropped 14 pounds since last year, which is great. The biggest change I’ve noticed, is this confidence I have now, that if I train hard enough, and smart enough, I can achieve any goal. About 2 weeks before the big race my mother in law asked me how did I know I could run 13 miles if I never have before, and inside I just knew I could, and I said, “I’m just going to do it, there’s not much thinking about it, I’m not going to be the fastest, but I’ll finish.” I love my running life, and I can’t wait to call myself a MARATHONER! Runner for life right here!
-Steph, finisher, 2012 Providence Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon
What’s included with the system
Here’s what you get when you download the Half Marathon Roadmap program today:
The 118-page Half Marathon Roadmap Guide
The main guidebook features 4 main sections and covers all the details you’ll need to know:
- The mental game — setting your goal, choosing the right race, and a simple trick that virtually guarantees you’ll stay committed
- Smart training — how to properly build up the mileage and the fitness you’ll need to feel confident at the start line, while minimizing the chances of an injury
- The plant-based half marathon training diet — the foods you should eat to ensure that your plant-based diet is an advantage, not a hindrance (with special emphasis on what to eat before, during, and after your workouts)
- Conquering the race itself — every last detail you need to know about what you should be doing in the crucial days leading up to the half marathon, including a comprehensive race walkthrough, so that you’ll know what to expect at every mile
The 13.1-Mile Training Plans
- Two 12-week training plan options so you can decide which is best for you based on your particular goals and fitness level
- The “To-Finish” plan, designed to help you get across the finish line while minimizing the chance of injury
- The “Fitness” plan, with 5 types of running workouts that train different systems to ensure all-around fitness, so you won’t “just barely” cross the finish line
- Specific instructions for every workout, so there’s no confusion about what to do on what day
- An optional 6-week base-building plan to help you safely build your weekly mileage before you start, if you need to
- Built-in recovery days and weeks prevent injuries by giving your muscles time to rebuild (and you a chance to relax)
- Guidelines for adjusting the plan to meet your particular fitness needs
Plant-Based Meal Plan with Recipes
- Two-week meal plan showing you exactly what to eat, or to use as a framework for planning your own favorite meals
- 17 easy plant-based recipes fit for half marathon training, so you won’t have to spend time searching for recipes that might not be what you need
- All recipes are either vegan or include vegan options
- No calorie counting — you can eat as much as is comfortable of these filling, whole-food meals
Worksheets, shopping lists, and race checklists
Printer-friendly sheets you can print off to fill out, bring to the store, or travel with to your race:
- A goal-setting worksheet, with three steps to truly commit yourself to follow through
- Three shopping lists: one for each week of the meal plan and a general list of staples you’ll want to have on hand, so you won’t be caught without ingredients for dinner
- A checklist of what to pack if you’re traveling to race (trust me, you don’t want to realize on race day morning that you forgot your running socks)
- A checklist of what you’ll need to bring to the race itself or give to your spectators
BONUS 1: 6 audio interviews with plant-based endurance experts!
Given the drastic difference between my first marathon and my more recent ones, I like to think I have a pretty good handle on what works and what doesn’t. But I’m only one guy.
And that’s why I want to give you even more to learn from – six audio MP3’s totaling four hours, where you’ll get spot-on advice from vegetarians and vegans who are achieving incredible things in the endurance sports world.
When you download the Half Marathon Roadmap today, you’ll get instant access to my interviews with these amazing vegan and vegetarian athletes, which you can download to your iPod or burn onto CD’s and learn from their experiences and expertise while you run or drive to work:
Brendan Brazier, former professional Ironman triathlete, author of Thrive: The Vegan Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life and Thrive Fitness: The Vegan-Based Training Program for Maximum Strength, Health, and Fitness:
- Why a plant-based diet is optimal for recovery, and the best foods for training
- The problem with whey protein powder, and some better alternatives
- Why you need to make sure you don’t become a “starchitarian”
- How better nutrition can give you more time in your day
- How strength training can improve your running efficiency
- The three most important supplements that make training and recovery more effective
Matt Ruscigno, vegan Registered Dietitian who worked with Veganomicon author Isa Chandra Moscowitz on her most recent book, Appetite for Reduction, and has completed the Furnace Creek 508, a 508-mile solo bike race through Death Valley, three times:
- The protein-carb-fat ratio that Matt recommends to his athlete clients
- Three reasons dietary fat is not to be feared
- The one time of day when athletes MUST eat
- Three steps to successfully transition to a vegetarian diet
- How much protein you REALLY need
- A ridiculously simple approach to getting enough protein
- The nutrition mistake a lot of first-timers make during their training
Richard Roll, vegan ultra-endurance athlete named one of 2009’s “25 Fittest Guys in the World” by Men’s Fitness Magazine, placed highly in 2008 and 2009 Ultraman World Championships and completed 5 Ironman-distance triathlons in under a week, author of Jai Seed:
- How he went vegan and became the amazing endurance athlete that he is AFTER the age of 40
- The best investment you can make for your half marathon training
- The mistakes that made his first marathon a “grim experience”
- The most common pacing mistake endurance athletes make in their training
- Why Rich focuses on “high-vibrating” foods (and what exactly that means)
- Why he doesn’t count calories or worry about how many grams he’s getting of important nutrients
Ed Roshitsh, vegetarian athlete running across the entire United States this year, at 300 miles per week:
- How someone trains to run across the country
- The food he eats for energy while running (hint: it’s not many carbohydrates)
- Ed’s favorite vegetarian protein sources, and why soy isn’t a big one
- The calorie-dense food Ed starts every day with, and another he eats 2-3 pounds a day of
- Why he eats almost no grains
- The exercise he swears by for training his body to run on “borrowed” energy
Robyn Flores, vegan runner whose goal it is to break the American 24-hour treadmill record of over 114 miles
- How going vegetarian helped Robyn get off medication, and improved her energy, thinking, and health issues
- How she handled the protein issue when she decided to go vegetarian as an ultrarunner
- How to balance training for endurance sports with having a family
- Robyn’s favorite foods for fast, whole food energy (like the “MacGyver” salad)
- Her advice for making your change to vegetarianism last
- The beliefs about food and fitness that helped her recover from an eating disorder
Scott Spitz, vegan marathoner with a PR of 2:25:55
- The type and amount of a training that a runner at his level does
- What a typical day of training looks like
- How Scott gets all the nutrition he needs without counting calories
- Scott’s best advice for new vegetarians and vegans
- The importance of the taper period for making your race a success
These expert MP3 interviews will provide you with different perspectives from people at the top of the plant-based fitness game. You’ll hear their stories about what went wrong and what they got right when they first started training, so that you can apply it to your own training to avoid disasters. You’ll also get their different perspectives on how to make the transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet, and learn the fundamental plant-based nutrition concepts they adhere to.
BONUS 2: Audio Seminars from the No Meat Athlete Academy
For a limited time, I’ve decide to include two additional audio seminars conducted for the No Meat Athlete Academy. Each of these seminars, previously just released to a very small audience, include over an hour of in-depth advice and tips on specific subjects relevant to plant-based athletes. Here’s what’s included:
Meal Planning for the Busy Athlete with Heather Crosby
Heather Crosby is the recipe developer and author behind her site and cookbook YumUniverse.
- Heather’s take on controversial foods like soy, oils, and gluten
- DIY meal planning, step-by-step
- Simple tips to save time in the kitchen
- Saving money on healthy foods
- How to prepare meals that please plant-based eaters and omnivores alike
Running Injury Prevention with Jason Fitzgerald
Jason is a USAF-certified coach, 2:39 marathoner, and the author behind Strength Running, and he specializes in keeping runners healthy and injury free.
- The myths about injury prevention that can actually cause injury
- Why so many runners get injured
- The most important steps you can take right now to avoid injury
- The surprising truth about stretching
- Running form to injury-proof your stride
- How to choose a running shoe
“My best 3 miles were my last 3, and I’m looking forward to doing it again!”
I did my first half marathon in Ocean City, MD this weekend and it went great! I followed the tips in the Half Marathon Roadmap and they were so helpful. I especially loved your advice to ‘just finish’ and not worry about your time.I took your advice and didn’t get wrapped up in the hype and adrenaline. My best 3 miles were my last 3, and I’m looking forward to doing it again!
Thanks for all the info AND inspiration. You rock.
Who is the Half Marathon Roadmap for?
The Half Marathon Roadmap is for anyone whose next goal it is to run a half marathon on a vegetarian or vegan diet for the first time.
So it could be your first half marathon altogether, or perhaps you’ve run one before but never on a plant-based diet. Either way, the Half Marathon Roadmap will help you.
(If instead you’re looking to run a full marathon, you’ll want to check out Marathon Roadmap.)
While I really did aim for this guide and the Marathon Roadmap to be guides to your first races at each distance, a shocking number of people who buy the Half Marathon Roadmap or the Marathon Roadmap tell me they’re using them to improve on their times from previous races. So if you’ve tried training for a half before and it didn’t go so well, and you want to get a more comprehensive understanding of how to train for your half on a plant-based diet, that’s cool too.
Finally, if you’ve never done any running at all before — like if running a mile scares you — you should probably start somewhere else. While I do suggest some plans to get yourself up to 5K distance in this book, and include a six-week base-building plan that’s composed entirely of runs less than 5K in length, most of the focus is on getting yourself from 2-to-3 mile ability up to half marathon fitness.
What people have been saying about the Marathon Roadmap
To give you an idea of the quality you’ll be getting when you download the Half Marathon Roadmap, here’s what people have been saying about its predecessor, the Marathon Roadmap.
“I highly recommend the Marathon Roadmap. It covers all the pitfalls to ensure you won’t make them.”
“Passion and drive aren’t all that’s needed to successfully run your first marathon. You need to have a plan –- a map, if you will –- to get through a run of this distance. And for that, I highly recommend the Marathon Roadmap. It covers all the pitfalls to ensure you won’t make them.”
-Brendan Brazier, vegan professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author of Thrive, formulator of Vega natural sports nutrition line
“Insanely readable and realistic … the best ebook I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot of ebooks)!”
This ebook is insanely readable and realistic, and –- dare I say it? –- the best ebook I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot of ebooks!). Plus, I’ve never seen anything like it –- a complete guide to running a marathon for vegetarians and vegans. It was so thorough and complete. I don’t think I would’ve had a single question if I had read this book before my first marathon.
-Caitlin Boyle, author of Healthy Tipping Point
“Is everyone telling you that you can’t run a marathon on plants alone? Rubbish! Here’s a great way to prove them wrong.”
This book takes you deep into everything you will need to know to get it done right – from goal setting, to training to diet/nutrition and all the way through the race, it is an outstanding and very comprehensive primer. Soup to nuts – its all in there. A must read!
-Rich Roll, author of Finding Ultra and one of Men’s Fitness Magazine’s “25 Fittest Guys in the World” in 2009
Just so we’re clear about all that you’re getting with this system, here’s everything that’s included, all available for immediate download:
- The 118-page Half Marathon Roadmap guidebook, with all the details you’ll need to know to make your first half marathon a success
- Two 12-week half marathon training programs, one to simply help you finish and another to maximize your fitness, plus the optional six-week base-building plan
- The two-week meal plan, plus 17 easy recipes fit for half marathon training on vegetarian or vegan diet
- The goal-setting worksheet to get yourself laser-focused and ready to follow through with your training
- Three shopping lists, one for each week of the meal plan and a list of staple foods you’ll want to have on hand
- A travel checklist and race-day checklist, to make sure a simple oversight doesn’t ruin your race
- BONUS 1 — Six interview MP3’s with incredible plant-based athletes, totaling 4 hours of audio
- BONUS 2 — Two seminar MP3’s from the No Meat Athlete Academy, totaling over 2 hours of audio
This is a ton of stuff, and it’s everything you need (okay, along with a healthy serving of determination) to run your first half marathon on a vegetarian or vegan diet. And you get this entire system for just
I’m sure you realize that the information here, both what I’ve gained in 10 years of running marathons and ultras, and what the experts and vegetarian athletes I’ve interviewed have to contribute, is worth way more than this.
But still, I know there’s a tendency procrastinate when it comes to big, life-changing decisions. And the decision that you are going to run a half marathon is certainly one of those life-changers.
So don’t wait around. Be one of the few who take action, rather than the many who wait around saying “someday.”
Isn’t life too short to sit around saying, “Someday I’ll run a half marathon”?
Lots of people say that. But for most people, “someday” never comes. But if you’ve made it this far, I’m guessing that’s not you.
Make someday now. Click the orange button below to download your the entire No Meat Athlete Half Marathon Roadmap system for only
Please note: the Half Marathon Roadmap system is entirely downloadable, as PDF files and MP3’s. There are no hardcopies (and no shipping costs!). As soon as you complete your purchase, you’ll be redirected to a page where you’ll find the link to download the Roadmap and get started.
I would recommend the Half-Marathon Roadmap for anyone considering running their first half, vegan or not. The information outlined in the Roadmap helped me to sign up for, train for, and successfully complete my first half marathon. If you’re not 100% sure you can complete a half marathon (which I never thought I could do), trust me — you can! And the Half Marathon Roadmap can help you reach that goal.
I think I’m hooked on the race-day feeling. I’m already plotting which race I can sign up for next!
What if I don’t love it?
Test drive the Roadmap for two months. Pick a race, start your training, and get excited.
I think you’ll find that once you go about it intelligently and with a solid plan, training for a half marathon (and on a vegetarian diet, no less) is easier than you expected. As your body changes to adapt to the training and your clean-burning diet, I’m confident you’ll experience massive increases in your energy, your outlook, and even the way you feel when you get out of bed in the morning.
If you don’t absolutely find that all of this is true, and that you’re well on your way to conquering the half marathon and setting an example of the sheer power of a plant-based diet (or if you just don’t like it for any reason), then just let me know within 60 days of when you bought the guide. I’ll be happy to refund your money, and we can still be friends. I will, however, ask you to pass your copy along (for free of course) to a friend who you think could use it!
Click the button below now to download your copy immediately and start your training.
Want more details about what’s inside?
After having answered dozens, maybe hundreds of emails about marathon and half marathon training, and thinking for months about the best way to give you everything you need without overloading you with information, I’ve boiled the main guide down to four major sections. Here’s a look at what’s in each part.
Section 1 – Making it Real: Goals and Commitments
Obviously, if you’re going to follow a “roadmap,” you’ve got to know where you’re going. And it’s just as important to know why you’re going there, so that when you hit a bump along the way, you don’t just turn around and go home.
Once you’ve completed this section, you’ll have written down a few things about why you’re going to run a half marathon, and have taken some sort of action that commits you. Maybe for you that’s signing up for the race, or even something as simple as telling everyone you know that if you don’t run a half marathon by such-and-such a date, they can take your first-born and shoot you with paintballs. And you’ll have chosen the perfect race to target, based on a variety of important factors you need to consider.
Some of the main points we’ll hit in this section are:
- The three crucial steps to making a real decision (trust me, deciding to run a half marathon counts as “real”)
- Six factors to consider when choosing your half marathon
- Whether or not you should have a time goal (and if so, how to set the right one)
One of the neat things about this section is that you’re actually taking some actions. By the time you’ve finished reading it, you’ll be measurably closer to your first half marathon, having built a foundation by making some real-world changes that are pretty tough to undo.
Section 2 – The Training
This section gets into the nuts and bolts of training. You’ll setup your training plan and get familiar with the different types of workouts you’ll be doing – all designed to get you into half marathon shape while minimizing the stress on your body.
By the time you’ve finished this section, you’ll have answers to where you’ll do your long runs, how you should run so that you give yourself the best shot at avoiding injury, what exercise (if any) you should be doing besides running, and what you can do to speed your recovery between workouts.
Some of the highlights in the training section are:
- The training-plan mistakes people make that cause them to fail, and how you can avoid them
- Optional Hill, Interval, and Tempo workouts that are approachable for those who have never done this type of training
- How to take the intimidation out of the long run
- A simple technique for injury-proofing your stride
- Trail running basics, in case you want to give your legs a break from the pounding of the roads
- Cross training, equipment, foam rolling, safety and dealing with injuries
You’re probably incorporating some of these things into your training already – this section brings it all together into a cohesive, flexible plan whose only goal is to get you (uninjured) across the finish line of your first half marathon.
Section 3 – The Diet
Here you’ll learn the ins and outs of making a plant-based diet work with half marathon training (you’ll quickly see that it’s anything but a disadvantage).
If you’re already vegetarian or vegan, this section will help you meet the demands that half marathon training places on your body. And if your diet isn’t yet plant-based, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get it there.
The key points in this section are:
- How a plant-based diet can be a help, not a hindrance, for endurance training
- How to go vegetarian (and make it last)
- Seven guidelines to keep you focused on the right foods you need for training, without being so strict that they control your life
- How to eat before, during, and after your workouts to maximize performance and recovery
- The “Ultimate Smoothie Formula” – one recipe, endless possibilities for starting the day right
- Where to get your protein
- Common deficiencies for vegetarians and how to avoid them
Section 4 – The Race
After many weeks of tireless, determined training and focus, you’ve still got the biggest test of all – the 13.1 miles that will change your life forever. But if you don’t know what to expect, everything you’ve done might be at risk. And that’s what this section is for.
Here you’ll learn everything that nobody bothers to warn you about: what to eat during the days and hours before the race, pitfalls to watch out for if you’re traveling to your race, what to pack, how much to sleep… and lots more.
Here we get into:
- What you’ve got to remember to bring to the race
- What to eat in the days and hours before the race and during the race itself
- How to help your spectators help you
- What to expect at the expo and what to watch out for
- How to know if you’re going too fast
- A mental trip through the 13.1 miles
The coolest part of this section is the walkthrough (or should we say runthrough?) of the half marathon. I’ve broken the 13.1 miles down into sections for you, with specific instructions of what you should be thinking about, focusing on, and doing at each distinct part of the race.
This section will not only get you excited; it just might be the most important advice you can read for making the day the success you’ve imagined.
Oh, and by the way…the guidebook also features contributions from several well-known authors and bloggers, including Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness author Robert Cheeke, Karol Gajda from RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com, Operation Beautiful and HealthyTippingPoint.com author Caitlin Boyle, Clean Food and Clean Start author Terry Walters, Gena Hamshaw from ChoosingRaw.com, and vegan Registered Dietitican Matt Ruscigno.
Isn’t life too short to sit around saying, “Someday I’ll run that half marathon”?
Lots of people say that. But for most people, “someday” never comes. But if you’ve made it this far, that’s not you.
Click the button below to download your copy immediately and start the training that could change your life forever.
P.S. Even if you decide the Half Marathon Roadmap isn’t for you, I sincerely hope you make your half marathon dream come true somehow. The decision can change your life! If you’ve made it this far down the page, it’s obvious that some part of you really wants to be a half marathoner — so do something to commit yourself while you’re inspired, whether it’s with my program or not.