Being Vegan Helped My Ultrarunning

being vegan


I ran my first ultra marathon in 2015. It was a 100 km.

Race Report – Bhatti Lakes 100 km 2015

I can safely say that I was a bit naive about the training then. I knew that I needed to run a lot but safely, of course, to not to get injured. I ran increasingly more and started developing a weekly bout of cold and cough.

Go to the archives of 2015, you will find week wise training updates for this race.

Now, this bouts were accompanied by running nose(as if someone has opened up a tap) and continuous sneezing. It used to go on for hours at a stretch. Anti allergic meds or any other old wives techniques had no effect on my condition. It could start at any point of the day without any warning or trigger. I was miserable and frustrated but still kept running.

Endurance Running and Immune System

I continued the same way of training in 2016 as well. And of course, I was a non vegetarian then. When the problem didn’t stop, I consulted regular doctors, hired a nutritionist(fired her after a month because she couldn’t solve my problem), spoke to ultra marathon runners on FACEBOOK groups and forums and read stuff. There was no solution to my problem.

However, at some places the concept of BEING VEGAN was cropping up again and again.

That was the same time, I also went deeply into listening to podcasts. I even wrote a post about it.

4 Podcasts A Runner Must Listen

When I posted it on Social Media, one of the readers commented that he can see a vegan bias in the list. That’s when it struck me, I should try going vegan!

Bdw I am a huge fan of Rich Roll’s Podcast! Do check him out. I just adore this guy.

I am a Bengali to start with. And our diet is primarily fish, meat, eggs and all desserts made of dairy. It’s famous in the entire world. So, being vegan doesn’t go well with my system and culture. But I still took the plunge and announced it in this video.

I Have An Announcement To Make

Now this is funny!

After a couple of days of becoming vegan, my wife wakes up early morning(miracle!) and feeling surprisingly loving, offered to make me some milk tea and toast and omelette. I sheepishly said that I have turned VEGAN! Well, she quietly turned around, went out of the kitchen and slept again.

At this time of writing the article, I have been vegan for almost more than 10 months now. And I have run one 50 km race and two 100 km ultras in that time. And I haven’t had a single bout of flu and haven’t fallen sick till now(knock on the wood!). Isn’t it amazing!

Here is the rewind journey of 2017 on being vegan and an ultrarunner.

I feel so good and my recovery has improved on being vegan. Now I can train more and also I am now just taking 3-4 days to get back to running after a 100 km race. Basically by eating more fruits and veggies, the improved blood flow is leading to faster recovery from workouts. That’s what I like to believe the reason for faster recovery.

Also now that I am not falling sick and recovering well, I have increased the volume of my training.

The decision of becoming vegan was first for improving health and immunity and later for saving animals and environment. I actually never saw or I will say tried to understand the aspect of cruelty towards them earlier because of the culture and society I was brought up in.

But now I am very happy for making this decision but still people around me feel so sad or I will say curious about the conversion. I can understand their feelings but I chose to ignore them. Now I have started telling them, forget the food and appreciate the company of people and the conversations you have with them. It itself makes a simple vegan meal such a memorable one!

I don’t regret this big step which I have taken in my life. In the bargain, I have started entering the kitchen more and trying my hand on some vegan cooking. Here are some of my videos on it.

Vegan Ice Cream and Smoothie

Vegan Butter

Vegan Pasta

I will not lie about the fact that life has become bit hard in terms of consuming food in social gatherings since I have become a vegan. But I take pride in it and have become more conscious of the food I put in my mouth.

Even during Bhatti Lakes 100 km 2017, curd rice was being served as lunch. I chose not to eat it and continued running only by consuming fruits. I survived but I was happy! There is happiness in stubbornness I guess.

Bhatti Lakes 100 km 2017

I guess that’s it. I hope you now know my reasons to turn vegan. A very simple one – to improve my athletic abilities.

Till then stay fit and keep running.


Do you struggle with your immune system with increased training load?

Have you considered going vegan for health sake?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 Neel banerjee

Author: Neel

I am Neel and the creator of borN. I am an ultra marathoner, scuba diver, adventurer, writer and father of an extremely active child.

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