Everything a Vegan Marathon Runner Eats to Stay Fueled During a Week of Training

Vegan marathon runner Katie Fox shares her Sweat Diary.

vegan marathon runner

Vegan marathon runner Katie Fox shares a behind-the-scenes look at her week. Photographs courtesy Katie Fox.

Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money people invest in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle in Philly. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one Philadelphian to spend a week tracking everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. Want to submit a Sweat Diary? Email ccunningham@phillymag.com with details.

Who I am: Katie Fox (@katiegraceface), 33, from Fairmount

What I do: I am a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, which means I use data and tools to lead teams to improve their processes. I have worked in pharmaceutical manufacturing for a long time, and just switched to a local healthcare institution. I am currently training for my first 50K and my fourth marathon (Philly!).

What role healthy living plays in my life: I’ve always been active, but just started running “seriously” in the past four to five years. I discovered City Fit Girls a few years ago and quickly joined their weekly Wednesday night run club. I have made so many friends through CFG — friends who I run with, travel to races with, bike with, go to happy hour with, and just have fun with. The running community in Philadelphia is fantastic and it keeps me excited and engaged in the sport.

Health memberships: I have a membership to my local Philadelphia Sports Club, which I use primarily for the treadmills when it’s super super cold, or super super hot ($20/month). I currently have a class pack for yoga at Lumos Yoga & Barre, $150 for 10 classes. I mostly run outside!


vegan marathon runner

Overnight oats for breakfast for this vegan marathon runner. Photograph courtesy Katie Fox.

5:30 a.m. — Up before my alarm! I make my way to the kitchen to turn on the Nespresso machine. I make a quick cup, adding a splash of Oatly oat milk and pumpkin spice Nut Pods creamer, then harness up my dog for our morning walk.

6 a.m. — I made overnight oats yesterday for the week (oats, pumpkin, almond milk, walnuts, chia seeds, maple syrup), and I eat one of these before jumping in the shower and getting ready for work. I have some time, so I start on a new book.

7 a.m. — I’m starting a new job today! I commuted to the suburbs for the past few years, and now I can walk, bike, or take a bus. Today I planned to walk, but the rain is just annoying enough to opt for a Lyft. I grab an iced Americano from Whole Foods as a Monday treat ($5 with tip).

10 a.m. — Quick break from new-hire orientation. I bought a bunch of protein bars from Sprouts this weekend, and I packed a No Cow bar for a snack today ($2). Have you heard the term ‘runger’? It’s real. I ran 18 miles yesterday and my body is recovering and needs food!

12 p.m. — Lunch is provided by work! It turns out to be a nice boxed lunch: veggie/hummus sandwich, pear, small bag of chips, and a Larabar-like energy bar! I eat the sandwich and chips and water, and save the pear and snack bar for later.

vegan marathon runner

A snack plate before dinner. Photograph courtesy Katie Fox.

5:30 p.m. — Finally home. I grab a key lime LaCroix (current fave!) and take my dog for a nice long walk.  I’m hungry and I’m not sure when my boyfriend will be home, so I make a snack plate to hold me over. Baby carrots, celery, cucumbers, pretzels, and baba ganoush.

8 p.m. — My boyfriend offered to take me out for dinner to celebrate my first day of work, but it’s rainy and I’m exhausted, so we order sushi delivery. I get my faves: tofu skin roll, cucumber avocado roll, sweet potato roll, and miso soup.

9 p.m. — HGTV and a glass of wine, then bed.

Daily total: $7


vegan marathon runner

A bagel with cucumbers makes the vegan marathon runner training diet. Photograph courtesy Katie Fox.

6:30 a.m. — Planned to get up early and run, but I wasn’t feeling it, so I slept in a bit. Dog walk and Nespresso. I made a fancy bagel sandwich with a Dave’s Killer Bread plain bagel, Miyoko’s lox-flavored vegan cream cheese, and cucumber slices.

8 a.m. — Walk to work! I stop at Wawa for a pumpkin spice coffee with almond milk ($1).

10 a.m. — Finally get to meet with my new boss and see my new office space! It’s on the 12th floor of a new building, and the view is outstanding. I spend the morning doing e-learnings and admin tasks. I snack on another new-to-me bar, a R.e.d.d mint chocolate chip bar ($2).

12:30 p.m. — A coworker and I run down to the bistro in our building for lunch and I grab a tofu sandwich. It’s not bad, a hoagie roll with veggies and raw tofu and avocado, with a side of chips ($11).

5:30 p.m. — Home, walk the dog, eat an apple. I want to go for a run, but the weather is awful. I end up skipping the run and doing chores — laundry, dishes, general cleaning.

7:30 p.m. — Dinner is a big salad with air-fried tofu and lots of veggies. My boyfriend gets home late from work, so we eat dinner together and catch up before calling it a night.

Daily total: $14


vegan marathon runner

Four soggy miles for this vegan marathon runner. Photograph courtesy Katie Fox.

5:30 a.m. — Got up with my alarm today! Coffee, dog walk, and banana.

7:15 a.m. — Four very soggy miles. It’s not super hot, but it’s VERY humid, which is almost worse. I had a headache the whole time and desperately wanted to scrap the run, but I’m glad I didn’t. I drop a Nuun tablet in a big bottle of water and chug it before jumping in the shower.

7:45 a.m. — Out the door in record time! I take the bus to work for the first time without incident. Way to go, self.

8:15 a.m. — At work I have another jar of pumpkin oats for breakfast, with a can of nitro cold brew.  Lots of e-learnings and meetings today.

10:30 a.m. — I am getting hungry, so I grab a snack from my desk, a vanilla Evolve plant protein drink. It’s not great but it will tide me over until lunch ($3).

12 p.m. — Lunch with the team! I packed leftover tofu, half an avocado, a bunch of fresh veggies with baba ganoush for dipping, an apple, and a key lime LaCroix.

3 p.m. — Snack attack. I’ve been sitting at my desk for a few hours, and have been very diligent about drinking water, but my stomach is grumbling. I have another No Cow protein bar, a handful of pretzels, and a handful of almonds ($2).

3 p.m. — Last meeting is done. It’s humid, but the sun is out, so I walk to do errands and get home. My last stop is Trader Joe’s, where I pick up an assortment of things for dinner tonight as well as snacks for at work. I’m a firm believer that a robust snack drawer makes life better ($49).

vegan marathon runner

Meatless beeftips for dinner. Photograph courtesy Katie Fox.

6:30 p.m. — Finally home. I take my dog out for a walk and then get to work on dinner. I make baby bok choy with cherry tomatoes and Gardein beefless tips. I know some vegans turn up their noses at ‘fake meat’ products, but I find them to be great for quick and easy meals. I top my masterpiece with a creamy sriracha sauce and sesame seeds and call it good to go.

9 p.m. — Leftover birthday cake, TV, and bed. Early to bed, early to rise.

Daily total: $54


vegan marathon runner

Nighttime run views. Photograph courtesy Katie Fox.

6 a.m. — Get up, make a coffee, take the dog out for a nice long walk. It’s cool out! And not humid! Shower and get ready for work, and then make rye toast with peanut butter and Trader Joe’s Apple Cider Jam — so good!

7:45 a.m. — I make another Nespresso, this time with TJ’s pumpkin almond milk to take with me to work. I hustle out the door and get to the bus just in time.

10:30 a.m. — Uneventful morning at work. I’m still working through lots of training modules and desk work. I take a quick break for a Trailnuggets Pro bar and make a cup of tea ($2).

12 p.m. — I have meetings in University City after lunch, so I walk over from my building in Grad Hospital and grab lunch with a few coworkers. I get a random assortment of things: fresh veggie spring rolls, hummus and pita chips, and a pineapple kombucha ($18).

4 p.m. — I head back to my office for a few minutes, and grab a bag of veggie chips to eat with my leftover hummus ($3).

5 p.m. — I’m still figuring out commute options, so today I take an Indego bike back to my neighborhood. My commuter bike has been in the shop for a tune up, and it’s done! I stop at Philadelphia Bikesmith, grab my bike, and then head home to take my dog for a walk and get ready to run.

6:30 p.m. — Head out for a run! It’s a beautiful night, but it’s getting dark and I didn’t wear a reflective vest or headlamp. Whoops. Guess it’s fall! I do a five-mile tempo run, which feels great.

8 p.m. — Dinner is quick and easy; raw veggies and baba ganoush, leftover Gardein beefless tips from last night, grapes, and a bottle of water with Vega Recovery.

Daily total: $23


vegan marathon runner

Mediterranean food and a LaCroix for this vegan marathon runner. Photograph courtesy Katie Fox.

6:30 a.m. — Nespresso and dog walk! Breakfast is another jar of pumpkin overnight oats, with an extra splash of maple syrup.

10:30 a.m. — Another uneventful morning at work. Most of my coworkers are working from home, so the office is very quiet. I break for a snack and have another R.e.d.d protein bar — this one is peanut butter chocolate and it’s really good. I’ll definitely get more of these next time I’m at Sprouts ($2).

12 p.m. — Tomorrow is the Bike MS: City to Shore (MS CTS) ride! I’m riding 100 miles with a couple friends and my boyfriend (and 7,000 other cyclists) from Cherry Hill to Ocean City, New Jersey. It will be my fourth MS CTC century ride. As if a full day of cycling isn’t enough, Sunday is the Ocean City, New Jersey half marathon, my favorite local race. This will be my second year doing these events back to back — a friend and I have deemed it ‘sports weekend.’ It’s a true challenge, but SO fun. I need fuel for the bike and the run! I walk over to the University City Philadelphia Runner and grab a bunch of Clif Bloks ($12), and then stop at the Magic Carpet food truck for a delicious platter of my favorite Mediterranean foods ($10).

3 p.m. — I wrap up work for the week and head out. It’s a beautiful afternoon, so I decide to walk home, a perfect opportunity to catch up on a few of my favorite podcasts and soak in some vitamin D. I stop at Whole Foods on my way and get the Inspired Brews kombucha on tap for a Friday treat ($5).

5 p.m. — My bf and I are driving both of our cars down to Ocean City tonight, leaving one car there for Sunday. I pack some snacks (pretzel snaps and peanuts) and we hit the road.

8 p.m. — Finally home. We make a big pot of pasta (Carbs! Eat them!) and get our bikes ready for an early wake up and a long day tomorrow.

9 p.m. — In bed, ready for a fun weekend!

Daily total: $29

Weekly Totals

Money spent: $127

Miles run: 9 (very low milage week between big milage weekends!)

Pumpkin-flavored items consumed: 10

Cups of coffee: 9

Overnight oats: 3

Energy bars: 5

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