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30 Minute Vegan Meals For Runners

Whether you’re a vegan marathon runner refining your marathon training nutrition, a vegetarian runner, or just someone looking for a plant based diet for running, this roundup post is for you!

I see a lot of queries for vegan athlete diets and meal plans. When working with runners, together we do come up with a rough meal plan with ideas and substitutions for certain macronutrient groups.

I feel that this is helpful for them to visually see how much they should be eating and understand proper substitutions and sources of each macronutrient. 

And if you happen to be looking for more ideas for a vegetarian diet for runners, this post applies as well!

easy air fried tempeh recipe cooked in air fryer bowl

Why a Vegan Diet for Running?

Whether you choose to be vegan or not, there’s no denying that a plant based diet for runners is gaining momentum.

I think there’s a lot of validity in plant foods, however my nutrition philosophy is that I want people to eat the foods that feel best in their body.

For some people, that’s exclusively no animal products, while for others, having some animal products may work well for them.

No judgment whatsoever. This post is not meant to shame, but instead, meant to provide helpful plant-based vegan meal options for athletes that can be ready quickly and some nutrition insight for how to be a healthy vegan athlete. 

roasted beets and butternut squash salad with arugula and cheese in white bowl

What Should Go Into a Vegan Athlete Meal Plan?

These 30 minute vegan meals can fit perfectly into your vegan athlete meal plan.

While I don’t break down calorie allotments because all of our bodies need different amounts of calories, I do want to convey that vegan distance runners do need to be mindful they are eating enough in general.

Vegan foods tend to be high in fiber which can lead to early satiety. Therefore, a vegan marathon diet plan and vegan runner diet needs to be sufficient in energy.

Having easy vegan snacks available, like these healthy cereal bars, are helpful!

two white bowls with roasted vegetables and topped with pomegranate seeds and tahini dressing next to blue counter cloth

Many of the easy meals shared here should help for those busy marathon training nights when time is scarce for cooking. 

You can use this grocery list for athletes as a guide, as many of the options here fall within a vegan or plant based diet. 

Vegan Runner Diet Necessities

Like all runners, vegan distance runners should focus primarily on carbohydrates before a run or workout. Many plant-based foods are carbohydrate-based so this typically isn’t an issue.

Beets are one of my favorite runner friendly plant foods (aside from my beloved sweet potatoes) that have been shown to help with performance. This is specifically due to their nitrate content. 

However, a vegan runner diet may also be high in fiber, which can be problem some on the GI system, especially around a run. 

Therefore, limiting high fiber sources before running may be helpful. More information on runners stomach and nutritional recommendations in this post. 

plant based bowl with beans, peas, vegetables and quinoa

Protein and carbohydrates become essential after a run or workout. Contrary to popular belief, runners following a vegan diet should not have issues getting enough protein.

It just takes a little more planning and making sure to incorporate vegan sources of leucine for optimal recovery. 


It’s important that plant based meals are balanced in macronutrients, but also micronutrients, specifically iron, Vitamin B12, calcium and Vitamin D.

There are so many important properties of these micronutrients, including bone health, energy and oxygen transport, improved immunity and more. It is also helpful to be aware of iron sources for runners, specifically.

For example, if you are not consuming heme sources of iron (which come from animal sources), pairing your food with Vitamin C can help with non-heme iron absorption. 

For more information on specific macro and micro needs on the vegan runner diet, check out my fueling course: Nail your Nutrition.

We have a whole module geared towards needs for the vegan athlete meal plan, and specifically, vegan female athletes. 

Vegan Marathon Training Fuel

A vegan marathon runner or vegan long distance runner shouldn’t have too much trouble with finding fueling options for during the run, either.

Everyone can follow the same plan for race day fueling, whether you’re using a vegan diet for marathon training or eating animal products, too. 

Need a vegan diet for marathon training? Many gels and chews are made without animal products. I also have some ideas for real food fueling options, like dates and homemade energy bites.

Chocolate Pomegranate Energy Bites | These Chocolate Pomegranate Healthy No-Bake Energy Balls are the perfect high-fiber on-the-go snack, naturally sweetened with dates. Not only are they full of antioxidants, but they are gluten-free and can be made vegan. 

However, athletes will need to avoid honey and beware of products with whey or casein, egg, and milk powders.

Don’t forget about the electrolytes either, and make sure you’re reading ingredients for electrolyte powders and post-workout mixes. 

Vegan Meals For Runners

These vegan meals for runners are perfect for a vegan athlete diet and vegan athlete meal plan.

Vegan Snacks for Runners

I think these quick and easy vegan meals should help you maximize your training and performance out of the kitchen, while still optimizing your vegan athlete meal plan and nutrition in the kitchen. 

Don’t forget about breakfast! The breakfast hash and sweet potato breakfast bowl are some of the best breakfasts for vegan athletes. 

It’s all about becoming more efficient – still allowing time and energy to cook nourishing meals, but not spending all of your time doing so – especially if you’re spending hours upon hours training, you have kids and demanding jobs, etc. 


What’s your go to vegan meal or favorite recovery meal?

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  1. The chorizo and potato taco looks amazing! I would sub in actual chorizo instead of vegan chorizo but I totally want to try that.