On the surface, running seems like a simple sport. You lace up your shoes, put on the right clothes, and get going. Easy enough, right? Sure—but a few other things are crucial to being a good, healthy runner, and you’ll need to think about those when you’re training for that big race.

pigs running

These pigs have the right idea. Let’s get to it!

Much like for any other sport, taking care of your body in order to get the most out of your workout is a number one priority. Everything from the pair of shoes you’re wearing to the meal you ate two days before a race makes a colossal difference.

zach-vegan-runner

Here’s a throwback to my high school running days. Ignore the horrible tan lines.

It’s 100 percent possible to kick ass on the trail as a vegan. In fact, did you know that Scott Jurek, one of the world’s most dominant ultramarathon runners, has been vegan since 1999? He also holds the U.S. record for the longest distance run in 24 hours, at 165.7 miles. No big deal if you’re a vegan badass like Jurek.

[peta-gif gif_id="4006" width="300"] I know. That’s a lot of miles.

All right, let’s start with the basics: You won’t get anywhere without the proper equipment. It’s super-easy to find awesome vegan running shoes. Try brands such as Brooks, Saucony, or Merrell. It’s best to go to your local running store and have the salesperson find the pair that fits you best.

brooks-running-shoes

My trusty running shoes. Mine are from Brooks!

You can’t simply dress like a runner, though—you have to eat like one, too. And it’s not about stuffing yourself with as much pasta as humanly possible, either! You’ll need lots of protein since it’s critical to providing long-term energy and rebuilding muscles after runs. Great sources of protein for vegan warriors like you include nuts, grains, soy meats, and greens, such as kale and broccoli.

And we’ve got you covered when you need an energy boost midrace. Vega makes endurance gels that will sustain you so that you can keep killing it during that marathon you’ve always wanted to run. And of course, the gels are 100 percent vegan and work like a charm.

That should be enough to get you started—now fuel your body right, hit the trails, and show the world what being a vegan runner is all about!

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