Vegan triathlete Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches snagged fourth place at the recent half Ironman in Chatanooga – smashing his personal best to finish in three hours, 53 minutes, and 48 seconds.
Desroches’ run, which saw him finish just five minutes after the winner, has left him eyeing a podium finish in the future.
“I think it went well because I raced a smart race,” Desroches told Great Vegan Athletes. “I didn’t go too fast on the bike so I still had energy for the run and I fuelled well on the bike. On the run, I didn’t start too fast, so I still had some energy in the tank to finish strong.
He also swam well, finishing 1900 meters in the water in first place.
According to Desroches, nutrition plays a major role in these strong performances. “I believe that fuelling properly and eating lots of fruits, vegetables, grains and beans and not much processed foods has helped me stay healthy during those big training weeks.”
Putting in the work on training was also fundamental. “I think the key in training was consistency and being able to train a lot of hours (with lots of quality training) week after week without getting injured or too tired,” he said.
“In my training camp I trained up to 39 hours and ran up to 130 km which I would have never been able to do before. I recover a lot better from big trainings and races and I believe that what I eat (as well as sleep) is a big factor.”
The Canadian is now aiming for two higher-profile races at the Half Ironman distance before taking on a competitive Ironman: 2.4 miles of swimming and 124 miles on the bike before running a marathon.
“My goal for the Ironman is to finish on the podium, but I want to be able to battle for the win and try to qualify for the world championship,” he said.