Jen Rulon - Ironman - 70.3

Here is a conversation that I hear all the time about 70.3 Ironman Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon in Lubbock, TX.

Athlete: When is your next race?

Me: In 1.5 weeks. 70.3 IM in Lubbock.

Athlete: OH MY GOD. You are doing Lubbock?

Me: Yeah. Why not? It’s a great race.

Athlete: It’s hot. It’s hilly. It’s Lubbock.

Me: Oh, have you done that one?

Athlete: No that is what I have heard

Me: So, you have never done Lubbock but you are listening to someone else fears about the course?

In 2001, I wanted to do an Ironman 70.3 and back then, it wasn’t event called Ironman 70.3!  I saw one in Texas. Signed up for it!  Yes, it was Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon. I had NO IDEA of what I was getting into and honestly didn’t know how challenging the course really was. But, I knew I wanted to do a half Ironman before my full Ironman (IM-WI in September 2002).  I chatted with my coach at the time and we discussed things about Lubbock:

What I knew about Ironman 70.3 in Lubbock:

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It is time. It is Race Week. You are at the venue and you are ready to “ROCK THE SHIT” out of your race. Let me break down your week for you.

You are TWO days from your Ironman Triathlon! 

You are excited, hanging at the Expo and grabbing your Ironman Branded Gear. You start hearing what people are saying about their training and how many miles they done. You head back to the hotel. You get your T1 and T2 gear ready. Bike is ready. You sit with more athletes at dinner. They talk about the “war” stories of how much training they did. They pull out their phone to look at their data. You observe.

You are ONE day from your Ironman Triathlon! 

You eat a LARGE breakfast and realize you have to start tapering your food today. You head down to the bike drop off with your bike and TI/T2 bag. You start hearing MORE people discuss their training. You head back to the hotel. You jump on your social media. You see EVERYONE talking about Ironman this and Ironman that. People keep talking about the weather. Is it wetsuit legal? What do you do?

STOP EVERYONE…I am FREAKING OUT OVER HERE! 

About 5 months ago, I reached out to my viewers to find out what they were interested in when it came to learning about triathlon and BEYOND. One of my questions was, “What would you like to see more of on “JenRulon.com” Blog?”  Almost 65% of you said “Every Day Nutrition.”  I couple of you chimed in saying that you were vegan. DAMN, I know NOTHING about that, so I figured I would do some research.  On a side note, I opted to take out dairy for a month now and honestly, it has been going really well. At first, I missed it but I was relying on it as a source of protein. Now, I am forced to cook and eat Greek Yogurt and Granola for Dinner :) 

Eating Vegan: Benefits and Caveats

Veganism has been around for decades but has gained more attention in recent years. In fact, the number of Google searches for the term “vegan” has nearly tripled since 2014! Because of its rise in popularity, more and more people are asking about its benefits, drawbacks, and practicality, especially for serious athletes. In this post I’ll describe what a vegan diet is, explain some of its biggest health benefits, and mention some caveats and recommendations for those considering it.

What is a Vegan Diet?

According to the Vegan Society, “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.” In terms of nutrition, that means not consuming dairy, eggs, meat, or any other products of animal origin. This is different from a more general vegetarian diet, in which meats are avoided but other animal-based products may be consumed.

Benefits

While some people decide to avoid animal products for ethical or environmental reasons, many adhere to a vegan diet for its proven health benefits.

Weight Loss

One of the best-known health benefits of a vegan diet is its ability to help shed extra pounds. Removing animal products means replacing them with foods that are naturally less calorically dense and packed with fiber. This means that it’s possible to feel more satisfied while eating fewer calories!

Several randomized control studies (the gold standard in scientific research) demonstrate that a vegan diet is associated with significantly greater weight-loss and reduction in body mass index (BMI) scores, EVEN when compared to other more conventional low-fat, vegetarian diets (Jakse et al., 2017; Moore et al., 2015; Turner-McGrievy et al., 2017; Turner-McGrievy et al., 2007). Moreover, the subjects in several of these studies were permitted to eat ad libitum, or until they were satisfied, meaning that they didn’t have to restrict their food intake to lose weight.