Q & A with Vegan Runner Matthew Woodman

Matthew (Matt) Woodman is a vegan runner extraordinaire – one of the top vegan runners in the UK.  If he’s not winning races, he’s placing in the top 10 or less.  In addition to kicking some serious ass in races, Matt also hits the gym for weight training and bodybuilding, and he was invited to give a talk on vegan nutrition and exercise at the Paris World Vegan Day in 2011.  His vegan diet gives him excellent quality of life – both physically and mentally.  Being healthy and not having animal consumption on his conscience sure sound like great bonuses to me!

Here are the stats to prove Matt’s superhuman running powers.

- He won the Stebbing 10 mile race, Ricky Road Run, 9.3 miles and 5K on the Rides trail race – all in 2011.
- He’s ranked in the top 650 road runners in the UK (and there are many tens of thousands of ‘em!)
-  5 mile time: 27.10
- 10 mile time: 54.40
- Half-marathon: 1.15.22

Do you have any nutrition tips to share with fellow active vegans?

Don’t worry about protein, calcium or iron! You will obtain all these from a balanced vegan diet.

Have dried fruit, seeds, avocadoes etc. on hand to snack on.

Listen to your body – if you are hungry, then eat! Don’t count calories – people’s metabolism and activity levels vary.

Eat 5 or 6 meals a day rather than 3. 

As a vegan athlete, what sorts of foods do you prepare or pack when you travel?

Flapjacks, apples, bananas, chocolate, dried fruit (prunes/dates/figs), crisps/chips.

How do you think your life would have been different, had you not decided to become vegan?

I do not think I would have been in such good health and I would have aged more.

What about vegans who are just beginning to exercise or those who want to be more active?  Any active living tips you’d like to share?

Do something you enjoy rather than what everyone else does or what is flavour of the month.

Do activities that fit in with your lifestyle. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss training days. You won’t always be fit and strong during every exercise session. I believe that verying training sessions is very important as the body responds better and it keep things fresh.
Be realistic – if you haven’t trained for many years you’re not going to change that overnight. Focus on long term and sustainable goals.

Cross-train. I am a strong believer of the benefits of doing more than one form of exercise. I run, weight train and also regularly circuit train.

Many thanks to Matt for giving us a glimpse into his vegan athletic lifestyle.  Rock on!

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