This year ZONE3 Ambassador Samantha Taylor has been taking the cross-tri world by storm and recently claimed bronze in the World Age Group Cross Triathlon Championships in Ibiza. We recently caught up with Sam so she could take us through what training and nutrition looks like for a plant-based athlete. Note, any nutrition supplements Sam talks about in this blog are what works for her and nutrition is a very specific topic that should be worked out on a case-by-case basis.
I thought a good day to cover would be #workoutwednesday! This kicks off with a 5:30 am alarm to go to Everyone Active Fareham pool for an early doors swim. I try and swim three times a week, with one session being more endurance-focused, the other tempo and the final one including higher intensity intervals. This morning I did a tempo set of 1,900m. That’s the distance for a middle-distance triathlon and with my cross triathlons being around the 1,500m mark, it works well trying to gauge what effort I can sustain so I don’t start too fast and blow up or start too slow and have more left in the tank giving me unnecessary time to make up on the bike and run.
Post swim I’ll have a shake of water with High5 plant-based recovery drink, to get me a quick hit of protein, fast-release carbohydrates, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals in what really is a delicious-tasting smooth drink.
Back home, breakfast is a big bowl of porridge made with Oatly organic oat drink covered in fruit and seeds. My corner shop has some delicious strawberries from a local farm, so they have been my current topping of choice. But any mix of berries will do and it’s normally from a frozen packet.
My lunch break activity depends on how I’m feeling, so it could be a quick run or a stroll around the local park. As long as I get a break from my laptop screen and some fresh air, I’m happy.
Lunch is often a what can I make quickly and easily affair. Toast with peanut butter and strawberry jam is a common one, or more recently I’ve been enjoying a sandwich filled with Sacla vegan pesto, sundried tomatoes and Violife epic mature cheddar flavour block.
I had some bananas going a little bit too ripe the last few weeks, so I’ve now got into the habit of baking banana bread for my mid-afternoon snack. I got the original recipe from Bosh! By Henry Firth and Ian Theasby and edited it slightly when I didn’t have all the ingredients. I use the following and it’s simple to make. Just mix everything together, pour into a loaf tin and bake for 60mins at 170 degrees Celsius.
- 250g plain flour
- 150g light brown sugar
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 110g dairy free butter
- 3 ripe bananas
- 60ml of oat milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
After finishing up work the final training session of the day is on the bike. In the winter this is an online cycling class with Ray Redman Fitness at the Park Health Club, on my bike on the turbo. In the summer months, or the few months it’s nice outside, I’ll take my bike out into the real world and enjoy either a spin on the country lanes with the road bike, or a pedal along the local trails on my mountain bike.
Wednesday’s dinner has become traditional beer and pizza night for my husband and me. After a busy day, it requires zero cooking effort and equally importantly it’s quick when we are hungry after the cycling. My favourite is Dr Oetker Vegan Margherita Pomodori Pizza and a bottle of Corona Cero. With no alcohol and carbohydrates, it’s a great recovery drink! I’m a chocoholic, so a few squares of dark chocolate (vegan friendly of course) is my usual go-to dessert. Most often it’s Lindt 70%.
Other favourites include:
- Mac and Cheese – recipe for which is also from the Bosh book and Applewood’s vegan block is the best melting vegan cheese I’ve found.
- Fully loaded salad with leaves, veg, beans and tofu
- Vegetable curry (mix normally includes a selection of cauliflower, sweet potato, broccoli and or courgette) with Holy Cow Delhi Tikka Masala
- Pieminster pie and salad
If you are wondering how I hydrate, throughout the day there will be plenty of cups of Earl Grey tea with Oatly and glasses of water. If I’ve been sweating a lot during training I’ll have a High5 zero electrolyte to a glass of water also.
To ensure I get all the vitamins and minerals I need on a plant-based diet, I use Better You’s Vegan Health daily oral spray which contains vitamin D3, B12, iron and iodine.