Announcing the No Meat Athlete Triathlon Roadmap

It was a curse word and a triathlon that brought me to No Meat Athlete.

As a new vegetarian, and even newer triathlete, I was a bit lost. Whenever I’d Google “vegetarian triathlete,” the results were sparse and not at all helpful. I only knew one plant-based person — who chastised me for being “only” a vegetarian — and one triathlete, an omnivore who chastised me for thinking I could do a triathlon on a diet that was, as he said, “completely stupid.”

Though on opposite ends of the spectrum — one vegan, one omnivore — their bottom line was the same:

I was doing everything wrong.

At first I’d shrink away, full of self-doubt. Sometimes, I’d even shelve my triathlon ambitions altogether. But one day I decided that I didn’t need anyone else’s answers; I only needed to find my own.

I was going to be a triathlete, I was going to do it as a vegetarian, and anyone who told me I couldn’t could just go eff themselves.

From Couch, to Runner, to Triathlete, to Ironman

Back then, No Meat Athlete was still Matt’s dinky little running blog (I say this with love). But at the time, it was one of the only resources available for active vegetarian and vegans. As it turns out, the dinky little blog was actually the meeting place for an incredibly engaged plant-based community.

Through the site, I met many other vegetarian and vegan runners — some who (gasp!) wanted to become triathletes, too. Some were nervous that their swim skills weren’t up to snuff for a triathlon. Others couldn’t fathom how to find the time to train for a swim, bike, and run. All of us had questions. Lots of questions.

Though Matt, a runner, couldn’t answer our questions about triathlon, he encouraged me to find the answers, and to share them with the NMA community — so I did.

I bought my first bike. I signed up for (and panicked in) my first open water swim. I learned how to fuel during a triathlon, and what foods were best for recovery. I crashed my bike and got right back on.

I did a sprint triathlon. I did an Olympic-distance triathlon. I became a stronger runner. I rode 100 miles on my bike. I did an Ironman.

And I did it all as a vegetarian.

I made a lot of mistakes in my first year as a triathlete. To be honest, I made a lot of mistakes my second year, too. And my third. Even now, as an Ironman triathlete and a writer for Triathlete Magazine, I’m discovering that I still screw up from time to time.

It’s what I do. It’s what we all do. We can’t learn from our mistakes unless we make them.

Over the last few years, I’ve connected with hundreds of other plant-based triathletes, from newbies to elite and professional triathletes (yes, they exist in plant-based form! Just ask Rich Roll and Hillary Biscay). Every one has a similar story of cobbling together their training plan and philosophy as a result of trial and error; there’s never really been one definitive resource for the plant-based triathlete.

Introducing the No Meat Athlete Triathlon Roadmap

Matt and I have received many, many requests for a triathlon version of the popular Marathon Roadmap and Half-Marathon Roadmap guides. (Matt, our resident math geek, puts his estimate at “either a bajillion or gazillion.”)

Well, we heard you. Loud and clear.

For the past few years, we’ve been compiling all the things readers have asked me about triathlon — your concerns about being a bad swimmer; the worry that your mountain bike isn’t acceptable for your first triathlon; the bewilderment over what to wear; how to train for the swim, bike, and run; and how to do it all on a plant-based diet.

The Triathlon Roadmap, designed to help you get to the finish line of your first sprint triathlon, answers all those questions for you, and many more.

If you want to become a triathlete, you don’t have to guess anymore, or assemble bits and pieces from different triathlon and plant-based nutrition experts. All you need is here (including the input of several of those experts), and we’ve eliminated the guesswork for you.

Writing this Roadmap has been a labor of love: I love triathlon, I love the plant-based lifestyle, and I love this community. Of all the things I’ve done as a No Meat Athlete, this Roadmap is, far and away, my proudest accomplishment.

Don’t get me wrong, crossing finish lines can be pretty fun — but it’s a lot more fun crossing them with fellow members of the No Meat Athlete community. I’m excited, and I hope you are, too.

Click here to learn more about the Triathlon Roadmap, along with a special early-bird deal now through Friday, August 16th.

About the Author: Susan Lacke is an Ironman triathlete, writer for Triathlon Magazine, NMA’s Resident Triathlete, and now, author of the No Meat Athlete Triathlon Roadmap



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How to Train for Your First Triathlon on a Plant-Based Diet

triroadmapcoverEver wished there was just a roadmap to guide you to the finish of your first triathlon, starting from where you are now? The No Meat Athlete Triathlon Roadmap covers everything you need to know to train for and race your first triathlon on a plant-based diet, including:
  • How to choose the perfect race for YOU
  • A 12-week training plan that shows you exactly what to do to safely increase your fitness and endurance
  • What to eat before, during, and after your workouts in order to maximize their effectiveness
  • Equipment basics, so you know what you need (and what you don’t)
  • A sample meal plan with 20 high-energy plant-based recipes for endurance training
  • A walkthrough of the race itself, so you'll know just what to expect on race day
  • Audio interview with pro Ironman triathlete Hillary Biscay
Click here to learn more »


  1. Excited to see this published!

  2. Pauline R says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey, I like your honesty about how you had setbacks on the way as I think we tend to think most athletes go from zero to hero overnight. Looking forward to seeing this published 🙂

  3. Which distances of triathlons does the road map cover? I’m doing my first marathon this fall and I’m thinking of trying a sprint or Olympic length.

    • Drake, it’s for sprint triathlons. Lots of the guidelines and principles will apply to longer distances, but to get started Susan recommends a sprint, and that’s what the training plan is designed to get you to do.

  4. Jon Weisblatt says:

    Thanks Susan,
    you people are making it harder for me to come up qwith excuses for not trying something new. Rock on!

  5. David Reynolds says:

    I’m trying to get my game back on par.
    I had an achilles injury back in January during a marathon and have had issues ever since.
    I went from trying to run every couple days to see if it was better, to once a week, to a couple weeks then finally saw the doctor and had to shut it down for a few months.

    It’s been a struggle and I’m just now starting to run again. only up to about an hour so far.
    In the mean time I have maintained my bike fitness and upped my swim fitness.
    The biggest problem I have dealt with is not being as disciplined on my diet since I was not “really” training for the next race.

    This is my 3rd season in Triathlon and just now finished my first sprint of the year as I train for a for my 4th HIM in Nov.

    I’d love to know what works for you all in training.
    Meal wise before, during and after.
    Quick and effective. Recovery ideas etc.
    I’ve been winging it for a while 🙂
    I want to up my game and come back stronger than ever.

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