Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches, vegan triathlete
Antoine is a Canadian multisport athlete specialising in triathlon. His strongest distance is 70.3, half ironman, which is a 1.9 km (1.2 mile) swim, 90 km (56 mile) cycle and a 21.1km (13.1 mile) half marathon run.
In 2015 Antoine turned professional. “I compete as a Pro triathlete so most of my competitors are full time athletes much older than me (I'm only 23 [in 2016]) but I've had some good results in my second year as a Pro....Next year, my objectives are to be in the top 3 in most of my races and qualify for the 70.3 World Championship.”
Antoine is also a student at University in Food science and Nutrition science.
In 2014 he finished second in the National Olympic distance Championship. Over 2014-5 he completed three high profile half-ironmans finishing 19th, 13th and 8th, the fastest of which was 4 hours 10. He also finished second in the National Long Distance Championships.
Another change from 2015 was Antoine’s transition to a vegan diet. “I stopped eating meat in 2013 but I became vegan during the Summer of 2015” Antoine told us in 2016.
“I stopped eating meat for animal ethical reasons but my reasons for going vegan were mostly environmental. I watched the Cowspiracy movie and I immediately decided to become vegan.”
This was shortly before the National Long Distance triathlon (half ironman distance) which he finished in 4:01. “My best time before was 4:10 so that was a great improvement” he told us afterwards.
Since making the change Antoine has been hampered by issues related to his bike, including a flat tyre at the ITU Long Distance World Championships. He still completed five high profile events, recording three top ten finishes and breaking the four hour barrier three times. The sub-4 hour event is an achievement Antoine is particularly pleased with.
He has also appeared on vegan podcasts including Lean Green Dad, Live Planted and Go Vegan Radio.
“My interest in veganism and especially the environment and animal protection has definitely increased since I became vegan” he said. “I am completely vegan. Of course it is sometimes harder when I travel for races and training camps but I can always at least find rice and beans no matter where I am.”
“At first, my training partners and competitors thought that I was making a mistake by going vegan and that I would become weak and that I would lack energy. However, since I'm thriving and improving they now respect my choice since they noticed that I'm not becoming weaker!”
The demanding training regime is testament to the suitability of Antoine’s approach.
“I train between 20 and 35 hours depending on the time of the year and most of the time is spent biking. I also swim, run and do strength and core workouts at the gym. Also, during the winter I like to do some cross-training such as climbing, cross-country skiing and fat biking. I used to compete in cross-country skiing races so I still enjoy to ski.”
What does he eat?
“I'm a big fan of salads and my favorite salad is a mix of arugula, kale and spinach with extra virgin olive oil and good quality balsamic vinegar. Depending how hungry I am, I'll add beans, sweet potato or anything I can find in my refrigerator. I also eat lots of bananas. This is what I eat before swimming in the morning, when I ride my bike and I use lots of bananas in desserts recipes, such as vegan banana ice cream.”
The diet and the training enable Antoine to focus on his ambitions.
“I want to continue to improve and be on the podium in many half Ironman and full Ironman races. I also want to compete in the 70.3 World Championships next year and the Ironman World Championships in a few years. I've also dreamed for a long time to win the 70.3 and Ironman Tremblant because it is a big event close to my house and I decided to become a Pro triathlete after watching this event.
“However, long term, I would like to become a multisport athlete and compete in a variety of events, such as trail races, long distance bike races, triathlons combined with alpine climbing and maybe even the Ultraman (a triathlon lasting 3 days: 6.2 mile swim, 261 mile bike and 52.4 mile run).”
“There are many ways to promote veganism and competing and thriving as a vegan athlete is a great way to promote this lifestyle. So creating a community of vegan athletes and connecting with each other is a great way to reach more people. I hope to reach more people by continuing to compete as a Pro triathlete, by talking at conferences and writing articles. Also, I would like to write books. I am currently studying Nutrition science and Food science and I want to write a book about plant based sport nutrition and a book about nutrition and its impact on the environment.”
Handle is @antoinejdtri for twitter, instagram, snapchat.