No, not a quick-and-easy guide. No, not some “run-26.2-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 running a 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.)
How do I build up mileage safely? Where do I even go to run 18 or 20 miles? How can vegetarians and vegans be sure they’re getting everything they need to put their body through such demanding training?
What if there was a first 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?
A vegetarian approach to your first marathon
I could have seriously used something like this back when I was training for my first few marathons (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 hour and forty-two minutes faster than my first marathon (that’s an improvement of almost four minutes per mile), I got the idea to put this roadmap together to help out others who are in the same spot I was.
If I was starting from scratch, 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?
You don’t need to be a super-athlete to do this
(By the way, I apologize if this page gets a little bit long. I want to make sure you’ve got all the information you need, plus there’s about four inches of snow on the trail where I like to run, so I’ve got nowhere better to be.)
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 when I was training to qualify for Boston.
But for someone who wants to run their first 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 running your first marathon overwhelming.
What I’ve learned is that it’s not about restrictive diet plans, expensive supplements, fancy gadgets or fifty-plus mile training weeks (at least, not for your first 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 one. 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 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?
“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, HealthyTippingPoint.com, author of Operation Beautiful
What’s in the guide
Here’s what you get with the Roadmap:
- A 139-page ebook packed with information specifically designed to cut through the clutter and give you everything you need (and more importantly, nothing you don’t) to run your first marathon as a vegetarian or vegan
- Included in the ebook: a 24-week training plan that tells you exactly what to do for several different types of running workouts and your long runs, a sample meal plan that shows you how to fit the nutrition you need around a busy schedule, 18 hearty, healthy, and easy vegetarian recipes fit for marathon training (all with vegan options), and everything you’ll need to know about the week before and day of your marathon
- Six MP3 interviews, totaling four hours, with incredible vegetarian and vegan athletes and well-known authors, including Thrive author and former pro Ironman athlete Brendan Brazier and Ultraman competitor and Jai Seed author Richard Roll, which you can download to your iPod to listen to while you run
- Contributions from popular 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, Competitor.com columnist Susan Lacke, and vegan Registered Dietitican Matt Ruscigno.
The ebook walks you through the steps you need to take to make your marathon happen:
- The mental game of getting motivated and committed and choosing the right race
- How to train so that you minimize the chances of getting an injury while making sure to build up the mileage you’ll need to feel confident at the start line
- The dietary guidelines to ensure that your body is getting everything it needs around your workouts and during the rest of your day
- How to navigate the final week and days leading up to the big race, where even a small mistake can ruin everything you’ve worked for
The expert MP3 interviews will provide you with different perspectives from people at the top of the plant-based fitness game. You’ll hear their first-marathon stories about what went wrong and what they got right, 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.
What’s in the Roadmap?
After having answered dozens, maybe hundreds of emails about 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 guide down to four main sections.
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 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 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 marathon counts as “real”)
- Six factors to consider when choosing your 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 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 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 what you can do to avoid them
- Two training-plan options: an 18-week plan for those who already have a good mileage base, and a 24-week plan that includes six weeks of base-building workouts
- 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
- Optional adjustments so that you can modify the intensity of the program to suit your needs
- 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 marathon.
Section 3 – The Diet
Here you’ll learn the ins and outs of making a plant-based diet work with 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 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 give your body what it needs before, during, and after your workouts
- Staple foods for the vegetarian athlete (with a sample shopping list)
- The “Ultimate Smoothie Formula” – one recipe, endless possibilities for starting the day right
- A two-week sample meal plan that you can model yours after
- 18 healthy, hearty, easy vegetarian recipes (all with vegan options) so that you’ll know exactly what you’re eating
- 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 26.2 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 26.2 miles
The coolest part of this section (I think) is the walkthrough (or should we say runthrough?) of the marathon. I’ve broken the 26.2 miles down into quarters 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.
“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, elite ultra-endurance athlete, one of Men’s Fitness Magazine’s “25 Fittest Guys in the World” in 2009, author of Jai Seed
The audio interviews
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 created the interview section – six audio MP3’s totaling four hours, where you’ll get advice from some vegetarians and vegans who are achieving incredible things in the endurance sports world, so you can learn from them and be inspired.
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 plant-based foods are optimal for recovery, and the best ones for marathon 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
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 foods 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
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 for vegetarian athletes
- 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-time marathoners 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 marathon training
- The mistakes that made his first marathon a “grim experience”
- The most common pace 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
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 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
- Advice for new vegetarians and vegans
- The importance of the taper period for making your race a success
Who is the Roadmap for?
The Marathon Roadmap is for anyone whose next goal it is to run a marathon on a vegetarian or vegan diet for the first time.
If you’ve never run a half marathon, that’s fine…all that’s required is that you’re capable of running three miles at a time, several times per week, before you start this program. (If you can’t run three miles yet, check out some 5K programs first.)
But be clear about your goal. If your real goal is to run a half marathon, and a full 26.2 seems fun but it’s not the thing that really excites you, I wouldn’t recommend the Marathon Roadmap. In that case, get a half-marathon program instead. But if you want to run the full 26.2, and to do it on a plant-based diet, then let’s talk.
You can get the 139-page Marathon Roadmap, the six audio interviews with incredible plant-based athletes, and lifetime updates whenever I add content and make improvements to the Roadmap, all for $27.
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. Just to be clear, everyone who buys the Roadmap will get:
- A 139-page downloadable ebook, complete with training plan, sample meal plan, shopping list, recipes, the race-day walkthrough, and contributions from popular authors and bloggers
- Six interview MP3’s with expert vegan and vegetarian athletes and authors, totaling about four hours, that you can burn onto CD’s or download to your iPod to listen to while you run
- Free updates if new content or interviews are added
And if I decide to add more content to the guide (like additional recipes or interviews) the value in the program will increase, and of course the price will go up along with it.
So if you want the Marathon Roadmap, along with lifetime updates if any new content or interviews are added, there’s no sense waiting until the deal isn’t as good.
“The more I read, the more I found myself nodding and thinking, ‘Wow, I think I could actually do this.'”
I didn’t know exactly what to expect, because first, I really had no interest in running a marathon, and second, I had even less interest in not eating meat.
But I couldn’t put the book down. I was fascinated by everything I was reading, and ended up reading all 139 pages in 48 hours. The more I read, the more I found myself nodding and thinking “wow, I think I could actually do this.” Never in a million years did I anticipate I’d even be interested in trying a vegetarian diet…now I’m going to do it.
I loved the book. The thing I appreciated the most about it is how it lays everything out for you in small, very attainable steps. Like I’ve mentioned, going vegetarian never even crossed my mind, but after reading Marathon Roadmap, I really believe I can do it. A great resource for anyone training for a marathon or anyone thinking about trying a vegetarian lifestyle.
-Ryan Sullivan, NoMoreBacon.com
“From meal plans to training plans, the Roadmap saved so much time and effort…”
I learned about the Marathon Roadmap just as I began preparation for my first marathon. The comprehensive guide provided this novice with so many valuable do’s and don’t’s that most simply learn through painful experience. From meal plans to training plans, the Roadmap saved so much time and effort which was used to actually prepare for the race. In the end, I achieved my personal goal running a 3:36 on a very demanding course. No telling what the result would have been without the Marathon Roadmap. Even experienced marathoners will see its value. I know it will be my guide to my next marathon and beyond. Thanks Matt!
Click the orange button below to download your copy of the No Meat Athlete Marathon Roadmap and your audio interviews, so that you’ll get the whole package for only $27.
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.
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 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 bigtime 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 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!
Can I just get the ebook without the interviews?
The interviews that come with the Marathon Roadmap are an incredible value. It’s hard to replace listening to someone at the top of the game — someone who lives this stuff, day in and day out — because when you get to hear them speak, you really pick up on the attitudes and beliefs that make them so great at what they do.
But I can understand that some people just don’t listen to MP3’s. Maybe you don’t have a commute where you can spend time listening to something, and you don’t like to wear headphones when you run.
For you, there’s the ebook-only option, for only $18. And don’t worry — the ebook stands completely on its own. The interviews are simply a supplement that make it even better and more inspiring.
Click the button below to get the ebook only, for the reduced price of $18.
P.S. Even if you decide my book isn’t for you, I sincerely hope you make your marathon happen 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 marathoner — so do something to commit yourself while you’re inspired.