Raw Food Diet and Running


Raw food diet and running

Life before becoming a Raw Runner

January 2003, I’m 34, drunk (again), 42 pounds overweight, and a long time sufferer of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Acute Urticaria & Psoriasis and well on the way to becoming an alcoholic. Would this New Year be the same as previous ones? No way!

I signed up to a local gym and began a training program of 3 times a week light weights and cardiovascular workouts. I also attacked my IBS with herbal tinctures & cranial osteopathy (alternative I know but a friend cured his IBS using this) and experimented with my diet …

Raw food diet and running

March 2003, three months on, still suffering from IBS and now weighing 89kg (196 pounds – now 46 pounds overweight!), still binge drinking with 23% body fat and struggling to keep below a 36 inch waist, for my 5ft 9in (175cm) frame, something had to change.

May, June and early July 2003, I sustained injuries to my knees and shins, and a break from running for 3 weeks and calf raises solved both problems.

June 2003 I had come to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to achieve any of my goals the way I was tackling the problem(s), time for a different approach.. I decided to tackle my IBS first, (disgusting) herbal tinctures, osteopaths and amateurish attempts at altering my diet hadn’t worked, so I searched and searched the Internet and kept coming up with something called fasting which some claimed might cure IBS, along with a myriad of other bowel problems. I don’t believe in panaceas but after suffering with IBS for over 25 years I was willing to try something as extreme as fasting (yes I mean extreme - not eating anything for longer than 4-5 hours was a completely crazy concept in my opinion). But how does one do a fast? I had no idea, someone suggested going on a retreat, I found one (www.karunaretreats.com) and in July booked myself on a 7 day fast in September (ironically at around the time magician David Blaine was doing his TV box stunt in London). I started to read around the subject of fasting (see resources for some excellent books for both first timers and seasoned fasters) in preparation of my decision to fast.

July 2003, I decided to start training for a 10k race to give my gym workouts some purpose. I had lost about 7 pounds and the all the effort down the gym coupled with my new found resolve to do the fast in September encouraged me to get down to some serious training/running for the first time. I was determined to run a sub 50 minute 10k at the first time of asking and be injury free. I had also cut out wheat products from my diet.

August 2003 , Arundel Castle 10k – Wow - I completed my first 10k in 49:41 (ok I had actually run my first 10k about 5 years earlier around Silverstone, in about 53 minutes after 3 ‘training’ runs the week before!). I was absolutely knackered after the Arundel race, but I had done it and I was pleased I had managed to sprint the last 100 metres – more left in the tank J and I had already broken a psychological barrier of 50 minutes. I was hooked on running and racing!

September 2003, the week before the fast I stopped eating raw fish/sushi (a near daily indulgence) and all forms of dense vegetable protein (I stopped eating animal meat when I was 19) and refined/processed foods. Although feeling a little weak & hungry from the pre-fast detox, I felt better than I had done for ages and no IBS for over a fortnight.

The fast was surprisingly easy, along with the twice daily colonics. The retreat leaders (Dao and Sho) really helped me through my first fast with daily yoga classes & walks, daily seminars on bowel care and the benefits of raw food (Dao has been high raw for over 15 years, the first 10 years of which were 100% raw), plus we discussed loads of topics such as Permaculture, Veganism and you know just stuff. At the end of those 7 days I felt like I was born again, my body felt repaired and a day after breaking my fast I had my first normal stool for 25 years, I nearly cried with joy.

November 2003, I did another 5 day fast after a six week break from the first fast. Fasting meant a two week interruption to training and after an ok, albeit ill-prepared 10k at Crowborough at the end of November, I started on a eight-week, high raw, hard training program of running, determined to get below 42 minutes, I don’t know why I chose 42 minutes maybe it’s a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy kind of thing? After the interruption (!) of Christmas and my last bout of IBS (triggered by 4 days of eating cooked food) I ran in the Chichester 10k in February 2004 and ran it in 42:03. I was now around 70kg. In six months I had lost nearly 3 stone and knocked 7 ½ minutes of my 10k PB.

I was determined to give the raw food diet a good go. Since September 2003 I’ve been increasingly high raw. I’m not 100% (I don’t think it is necessary to go 100% and still enjoy superb health). I’ve not touched eggs or fish (this was more than just an informed decision, after the fast I simply didn’t crave sushi any more even though I must have fantasized about eating every day during the fast). My only long term concern with my new diet/lifestyle is the lack of or reduced intake of B12. I don’t currently take a B12 supplement at the moment. However, I do eat a lot of sea vegetables, blue-green algae daily, and take soil based organism probiotics which may (jury still out) provide some usable B12. Time and a blood test (at the end of this year) will tell if I am deficient in this vitamin.

Raw food diet and running I still enjoy the odd bit of (unpasteurised) goat’s cheese. I also have a weekly home made curry or stir fry (with brown rice). Everything else I eat is pretty much just plain (organic) fruit and vegetables. I still drink alcohol now and again but it’s a fraction of what I used to consume and typically just the occasional glasses of Organic (vegan if possible) red wine. As of September this year, I’ve made a conscious effort to try and not to binge drink ever again. Along with my IBS, my Urticaria has completely gone. I still suffer from a mild form of psoriasis on my palms but this condition is rapidly improved if I increase my consumption of hemp seeds!

September 2004, I’m currently running about 30+ miles a week and enjoying my new found health. I weigh 66kg (145 pounds), have a 29 inch waist, with approximately 8% body fat and I’ve maintained that weight for the last 3 months. As well as running well I’m lifting heavier weights. My short term goal is to run a sub 40 minute 10k (40 minutes feels like the illusive 4 minute mile!).

November 2004, I've just reached my goal of a sub 40 minute 10k (39:59)! My weight has increased to about 67kg, the weight training and plyometrics & bananas are probably responsible. My % body fat is about 6%. I feel very fit & healthy. I'm increasing my weekly mileage to ~40miles in preparation of a sub 39 minute 10k and 1/2 marathons.



August 2008, nearly five years have passed since I switched to a predominately raw food diet. Of those five years I'd estimate that approximately 3 years have been 100% raw, the remainder has fluctuated between 70-95% raw. The only regular supplement I take is B12 (mega dose once a week, normal dose 6 days/week), this is because I ran into high homocysteine levels as my B12 levels plummeted over the course of 2-3 years. I also take a milk thistle complex (out of guilt maybe for what I used to to do to my liver), I may reduce this to twice weekly and see how I feel going forwards.


I now weigh 68.5kg and have 8% body fat.

I run about 30 miles/week, do weights 2-3 times a week, cross-train(bike) twice a week and do yoga once a week.


I am currently on a 100% low fat raw vegan diet in preparation for a marathon in the UK in December :-)

Training |  Gallery |  Links |  FAQ |  Blog |  Raw food diet and running About |  Races & Results
Running. Sun food living foods Raw runner Raw runner
Raw-runner > About

 Subscribe to Newsletter

Copyright © 2004 2008 www.rawrunner.co.uk All rights Reserved

Raw food diet and running