Dec 2019 - Lynn Robinson (UK) on running as a Vegan
Please introduce yourself (and something on your choice of diet - how long have you been a running vegan?)
Lynn Robinson, 51 years young, originally from Yorkshire, England and have been living and working in the Turks and Caicos islands for the last 17 years as a scuba instructor, boat captain, snorkel guide, puppy rescuer and a former mermaid. I was vegetarian for 16 years then transitioned to a vegan diet in 2011 initially for health reasons and now also for the animals and the planet. Quitting dairy was the best thing I ever did to improve my skin health after suffering from acne for many years. Eating a healthy plant based diet also gave me more energy and I have very a very quick recovery time from my races with very little inflammation.
Your experience in GlobalLimits Cambodia? Is this your favourite GlobalLimits race?
GlobalLimits Cambodia was another outstanding and very well organized race and the support along the way from the local Cambodians was uplifting and a joy to see, particularly the first day when little kids along the route handed out flowers and at one point I was running along with a big bunch of flowers in my hand. I loved the flat course, especially as I live on a very flat island with no chance of any serious hill training. The finish line at Angkor Wat was a very memorable experience and the temples along the way were also amazing to see and run by. I have enjoyed all three GlobalLimits races: Albania being my first in 2017 followed by Bhutan in 2018, both of the former ones been much hillier but also outstanding races. It is very difficult to say which is my favourite as I have thoroughly enjoyed all 3, each with their own set of challenges. After the Cambodia race I did attend the Hariharalaya yoga and meditation retreat just outside Siem Reap, which was another amazing experience in itself, and for this reason I would definitely be tempted to run the Cambodia race again
Your diet - what do you eat to sustain strenuous multi-stage race?
As a vegan I have never had a problem managing to find good food to eat during a race. This year I found good nutritious vegan food from The Backpackers Pantry with my favourite breakfast being the Peanut Butter and Raisin Oatmeal and my favourite dinners were the Three Sisters Stew and the Mexican Cowboy Beans and rice. The dinner portions are for 2 but I had no problem devouring the whole package at the end of each day. Another vegan runner was using the FirePot brand of dehydrated foods, which I am tempted to try next time. I usually also carry a vegan energy bar during the run or dates and nuts. This time I was using Tailwind powder in my water for the first time on a multi day race and I found this was more than enough to keep me going, even on the long stage of 62kms. I also had the Tailwind post workout recovery powder for after my run. One thing I do miss while on these events are fresh fruit, especially watermelons, oranges and mangos. Cambodia did have an abundance of coconuts along the way which was a welcome relieve during a hot day.
What is your recommendation for multi-stage race runners who intends to shift to a plant based diet?
I would certainly recommend transitioning onto a plant based diet a good 3-4 months prior to a multi-day race so you can find what works the best for you and also give your body time to adjust to a healthier way of eating. Smoothies are my daily go-to when not traveling with a good mix of bananas and other fruit along with some good leafy greens such as kale, spinach. I usually throw in one or two raw brussel sprouts, a bit of ginger and fresh turmeric then add a concoction of various powders including moringa, spirulina, maca, chaga, cacao, pea protein, chia seeds, hemp seeds, peanut butter and oats. There are so many great resources online to get ideas and recipes including support from Vegan Runners UK. Being vegan however doesn't necessarily mean being healthy due to the abundance of processed vegan foods on the market now so whole foods plant based is the best way to eat the majority of the time. I also highly recommend watching the documentaries The Game Changers, What the Health, Forks over Knives and PlantPure Nation to name just a few.