Vegan shines in the European Championships
Lisa has just returned back from racing in the Cross Duathlon European Championships in Ibiza. The run-bike-run race was set it the very pretty yet undulating coastal resort of San Miguel on the northeast side of the island. The first run was 6.3km across cliff edges, coastal drops and sandy beach front settings followed by 18km on the bike largely in the mountain side forest and featured an impressive 25% incline climb which had to be completed on the route three times. The final run was 4.2km in the same setting as the first run.
Usually a candidate for the sprint duathlon, (Lisa finished 12th in the World Championships for her age group in Denmark in July this year), Lisa chose to compete in the cross event this year as a personal challenge but also to utilise the mountain bike roots that started her love for cycling. “The course was amazing but totally brutal, it was by far the hardest race I have ever been involved in and with that came the one of the biggest sense of achievements when I crossed the finish line”. Lisa finished 5th in her age group and 20th female overall in 2.18.02.
Donning the usual GB kit adorned with vegan messages Lisa once again took the opportunity to spread the vegan message by displaying Peta, Vegan society and Veganuary logos on her kit along with Bravura Foods the veggie vegan business she co-owns with long-term business partner Karl Morris. Lisa added, “I love spreading the positive message and I do get a lot of vegan chants and support on the way round. It has also been nice to talk to many of the athletes about incorporating plant based eating into their lifestyle for performance gains. I am a big advocate of this”.
Fuel for the race
"In the four weeks prior to the race, I upped my carbohydrate intake by 10-15% to sit at about 55% and also ensured protein intake stayed somewhere near the 100g mark daily. Brown rice, oats, sweet potato and brown pasta featured in the week leading up to the competition as my carbohydrate go-to options and protein was a mix of tofu, seitan, protein powders and nuts.
"I also kept a close eye on hydration (an area I often forget about) to ensure peak performance. The day before the race I chose to eat muesli and strawberries for breakfast, seitan slices and grilled vegetables for lunch and opted for my favourite penne pasta with tomato and basil with some bread for good measure for dinner. Snacks during the day included nuts, oat cakes and rice cakes."
Lisa turned vegan aged 21, having dropped meat as a six year old child. "I am a huge animal lover and that was originally my reason for going veggie at the young age of six as I remember reading a leaflet that came through the door about farming and battery farming and even at that young age, I made the connection that meat was actually of animal origin and felt it was wrong to carry on eating any meat for that reason."
She has recently won a local 5k race, and has more outings planned. "Over the coming weeks I have a few local running races planned and the all-important Brighton 10k with the Vegan Runners Team is something I am looking forward to being involved in. I have also qualified for next year’s World Duathlon Championships in Spain (April) and the European Championships in Romania (July) so they will be too big areas of focus for me next year. Training for those competitions will start in the New Year. "
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