Vegan Athlete Takes Her Best Ever Placing At World Duathlon Championships

Lisa Gawthorne, who represented team Great Britain at the event in Spain, is a vegan food supplier outside of sport
Vegan athlete Lisa Gawthorne
Vegan athlete Lisa Gawthorne in action (Photo: Instagram)

Vegan athlete Lisa Gawthorne achieved her best ever world placing at the recent World Duathlon Championships in Spain.

Gawthorne, who works as a vegan food supplier outside of sport, placed ninth in her age.

Preparing for the event

Preparation wasn't ideal: "I had four episodes of asthma attacks earlier on in the week leaving me with a bad cough, sore chest and lack of oxygen, so it just made it hard work in comparison to other races," Gawthorne told Great Vegan Athletes (GVA).

Posting on social media soon after the race she said that 'runs were much slower than normal'.

Racing

The Sprint Distance race started with a 5km run, which was two laps of the town of Pontevedra.

"I felt ok to start, it started on a run track then traced all the mini back streets which contained quite a hill that we had to tackle twice," Gawthorne said.

From there she faced a 20 km cycle stage.

"Half the which was uphill averaging six percent incline, so it was a tough climb, but a very fast descent down the same hill we climbed up. Then it was back into transition for the final run which was one lap around the town (2.5km) which is where I felt quite a lack of oxygen. I probably only lost a minute or two overall with the asthma issues but I am still really pleased overall."

'The first of many'

Limitless Triathlon Coaching posted on social media: "Unfortunately for Lisa, she had to contend with severe asthma in the days leading into the event and she was unsure of whether to race.

"This, therefore, makes her achievement even more amazing and one that she should be truly proud of. Having competed for team GB as an age grouper for just one season, this is Lisa's first top 10 in her international age group career, and hopefully, I'm sure, the first of many.

"Over the last 12 months, her bike fitness has improved tremendously, and this has then be reinforced by both 5km and 10km running personal bests. Both have been down to consistency and hard work."

Fuel

Good nutrition also plays an important role. According to Gawthorne, her diet is comprised of 'a good ratio of carbs to protein and lots of pulses, vegetables and mixed proteins – tofu, seitan, tempeh and nuts'.

"In addition to that lots of water to keep hydration at the right level and also flaxseed and avocado with quite a lot of salads and meals to deliver some much needed essential fatty acids," she told GVA.

Regrettably, the catering was not good for the event, and choices were limited to pizza and pasta.

"It’s so different to the UK, but the good thing is that most athletes like carbing up, so most don't mind. I would have just liked to have seen some more options other than that, but I did bring some food over with me anticipating that this may have been an issue."

Coming up next

Resting on her laurels is not an option for Gawthorne, as the European Championships in Romania are not far away in June.  Before that she has her first race for her country in a different category – running only.

"I have the England race for my age group – the Simply Health 10K in Birmingham so lots happening," she said.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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Great Vegan Athletes was set up to celebrate the incredible achievements of elite vegan athletes, and highlight that a vegan diet is in no way a hindrance to athletic excellence. The writers profile more than 100 top level athletes - including world champions and world record holders across a range of sports, as well as spreading news of their success. The site can be found at www.greatveganathletes.com and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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