How I Run on a Vegan Diet

by Patrick Sweeney

[Patrick is easily on my list of top three favourite runners on the planet. If you read his blog, you know he’s also a total weirdo-nerd with a very discernible writing style. He runs ultras. He wears kilts. He runs barefoot. He eats veggies – what’s not to love? Pat also holds the Guinness World Record for most miles run on soft sand in a 24-hour period.

Patrick has a crazy life so it’s hard to pin him down to write something – I’m lucky he did it for me. I wanted him to put some thoughts down because he runs insane distances on a vegan diet. He also eats very unconventionally, even for a vegan. To me, he is living proof that clean eating works.]



I am a poor bastard (by choice). I make money when it is needed and pay my bills on time. The world is my playground and I like to explore it. I am a runner. I don’t wear shoes when I train and try to run at least 77 miles a week. I am sponsored to run by a beer company and a sandal maker. I was an active little fat kid with a happy childhood growing up on a fast food diet. At the age of 12 I was about a foot shorter and weighed up to 165 lbs.


I do not eat animal products.

My body functions best on a high carb diet with about 10-15% (or less) of protein. Currently I’m on about 3,500 – 5,000 calorie a day diet. My weight averages around 145 lbs, give or take 5 lbs depending on what I’m training for.


1. Our meat-eating practice is not sustainable for our planet. Meat production is the biggest cause of both deforestation and global warming.

2. I like animals. I’m not going to walk up and kick your dog, nor do I feel it’s okay to torture animals just because I don’t see it being done and my food comes inside a plastic package or is served to me.

3. Egg-laying hens and dairy cows live some of the most horrible lives imaginable. If you eat dairy you are most likely contributing to the veal industry (that’s where dairy cows calves go).

4. My body does not need meat.


Like I said before, I’m a poor bastard. I shop for produce twice a week at the farmers market and also hit up the .99 store for thick skinned produce which is less susceptible to pesticides if it is not organic.


I like to have around 1,500 calories for breakfast and at least 4 pieces of fruit.

Each morning I usually consume at least 2 pieces of citrus, plus a banana or two. Some type of whole grain is also part of my morning routine. It is common for me to eat anywhere from a couple pieces of toast to a whole loaf of bread.

I am also a coffee drinker. I like my coffee as black as possible and mostly Australian beans. I have a big sweet tooth and like to eat a few Deglett or honey dates with my java. At least once a week I cook a stir-fry of veggies with no sauce or oil.


I am not much of a restaurant person. I would always rather make my own meal than have someone prepare it for me and then have to wait for another person to bring it to my table. Lunch mostly revolves around 2 things – quinoa and lentils, which I make in my rice cooker. Every 2 or 3 days I cook up a batch and have the leftovers. I like to steam veggies on top and let their flavors and vitamins soak in below. I also like to add a little ponzu and sriracha for flavor.


I try to make homemade pizza at least four nights a week. Whether it can really be called pizza, you be the judge. A common pie includes: whole wheat dough, tomato, onion, garlic, cilantro, spinach, carrot, jalapeño, black beans, and most importantly – avocado


When I leave my house to go for a run I try and always bring a few pieces of fruit and veggies for me snack on when I am finished.  I also try and keep raw almonds or peanuts in my car if I need some quick calories.

Lately my favorite snack has been bean sprouts. I can put them on anything or eat them plain. I go thorough at least a few 2 – 4 lbs a week.

I try to eat at least one avocado every day. I also like to make my hummus and eat it with some fresh veggies.


I do not carbo load the night before. I keep my diet exactly the same.

For breakfast I limit my coffee to one cup and usually take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (or 2) with me.

Some people can’t handle eating real food while running and opt for gels and other packaged crap. When I’m running an ultra, give me real food and lots of it. My favorite is watermelon.


I like beer during the day. Wine with dinner. Bourbon for desert (with a little 98% Cacao Chocolate and fresh jalapeño).


I’m too lazy to to write anymore.I’m not really going anywhere with this post anyway. If you got this, you must really be bored or perhaps slightly deranged. Either way, if you want to further explore my exploits, check out


Dude, There’s Seaweed on my Pizza!

30-Day Vegan Challenge With Vega

Top 8 Vegan-Friendly Foods for Runners