by MPD
Categories: People, Sports
Tags: .
Photo: Eirini Vourloumis for The New York Times

Worried that switching to a plant-based, planet-pleasing diet is going to keep you from achieving your wildest athletic dreams? Think again!

In a recent New York Times piece, ultramarathoner Scott Jurek shared the secret to his many athletic successes: hard work and a vegan diet.

“None of this is weird,” he said. “If you go back 300 or 400 years, meat was reserved for special occasions, and those people were working hard. Remember, almost every long-distance runner turns into a vegan while they’re racing, anyway — you can’t digest fat or protein very well.”

The meat-free athlete is hard at work training for a 24-Hour Run world championship in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France. How does he do it? Simple. He eats the right kinds of food.

“The whole issue,” he said, “is exactly that: getting enough calories. The first thing to worry about isn’t so much what you eat, but how much you eat. You have to take the time to sit at the table and make sure your calorie count is high enough. And when you’re a vegan, to increase your calories as you increase training you need more food. This isn’t an elimination diet but an inclusion diet.”

Wanna know more about Scott’s fast-paced life? Scoot on over to NYTimes.com and read more!