Mirsad Abdakovic, vegan long distance runner

Mirsad is one of a large and growing number of extreme distance athletes competing internationally on a vegan diet.

His talent for running has been evident since youth. In 1989 aged 15 he won a national championship in cross country running.

Since then he has taken a win and course record in the 2017 Munich 24 hour race (221km). He took second in the London 12 hour trail race in 2015. He took third (315 km) in the 2015 Austria 48 hour race, Mirsad also lists as a highlight the 2017 Hungary 6 day race where he took 17th in the world with 718 km.

  • Course record at the Munich 24 hour race (221 km)
  • Ironman triathlete with a 10:21 time
  • National record for 12 hours, 24 hours, 28 hours and 6 days

Mirsad has completed the legendary 246 km Spartathlon in 2014, and was placed 3rd in his age group at the 50k Championships in 2019.

Showing his versatility as an athlete he also has an ironman time of 10:21.

In 2015 Mirsad broke the national 12 hour record as well as the 48 hour record for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Two years later he added the 24 hour record and the 6 day record.

Mirsad has taken part in several World Championships. They include The 24 hour Championships in 2017 and 2019, and the 2019 50 km Championships. He’s participated in two ultra trail championships, in Spain (2018) and Portugal (2019), as well as the 2018 world 100 km event.

Vegan

In 2015 Mirsad stopped eating meat, and at this stage consumed very small amounts of animal products. In January 2018 he stopped the remaining non vegan products and has been vegan ever since.

“ I am completely vegan, what means for me that I also just wear vegan shoes or clothes” Mirsad told Great Vegan Athletes. “ My cosmetic products are also vegan. While travelling I use to take my food with me because at some places (airport, or little cities) it`s harder to find vegan meals or restaurants.”

Mirsad started thinking about this from the book ‘Alkalise or die’. The book explains some negative biological effects of an animal based diet. He went on to find out more about this, and was also influenced by the film ‘Earthlings’.

He says he was motivated by the effect on “my health, the planet and the poor animal welfare”.

How do you fuel ultradistance running?

“My diet is based on vegetables, fruits, rice ,potatoes, whole grains , nuts and basically every food that grows in and on the ground” Mirsad says.

Mirsad’s weekly mileage is usually around 150 km when preparing for marathons, 50km or 100 km races. They consist of “long slow distances and fast intervals.

“For longer races above 24 hours I usually train about 200-250km per week. This will be long slow distances.”

With performances like his, clearly there are no issues with his diet, and Mirsad is supported by other runners. “Some of them are also on their way to live a completely vegan life, and others are having their first experiences with vegan meals” he says. “I am glad to see that I am a role model for many.”

The future offers more opportunities, and there is more to be achieved.

”I look forward to working on better results and I think that`s way more easy with a vegan lifestyle. Many successful athletes are also on a plant based diet and every one of them has the same experiences with more power and a better health.

“I also would like stand as a candidate in a function of the IAU (International Association of Ultrarunners).”

“The new generation is much more responsible for our planet , health , animals and I believe they will deal more and more with topics like the environment. I think it`s more important to become an environmentally friendly person which has a look at their consumer behaviour.”

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