Laura Kline is one of the world's best Duathletes, having won the Duathlon National Champion in both long course and short course races over the span of her career. Duathlon is a sport that requires athletes to run, then bike, and then run again, combining two sports that require mental and physical strength to perform at the highest level. She is also an ultra runner, racing 50k at a clip, and finishing second overall and first in the female master's division of late. Oh, and she is vegan. Her meat-eating days ended about half a lifetime ago.

Kline, rounding the corner on her mid-40s, and still going strong, racing distances as both a Duathlete and Ultra Runner, is considered an older athlete in a sport that leaves many competitors sidelined with injuries, burnout and a lack of endurance and strength as they get into the master division. So now more than ever she has to use all her gifts and strategies to stay uninjured and compete against women who are younger, and coming up strong in the sport of ultra-running and Duathlon. One of those strategies is her diet of plant-based proteins and the other is her mental training and focus.

Shifting to a Vegan Diet

"Becoming vegan was the best decision I ever made," Kline told The Beet, about her life-changing move to go vegan back in her 20s. It allowed her to train better, improved her endurance, and led to the string of successes that put her on the map as a multi-sport athlete. Now she is known as a successful vegan athlete and others routinely ask her for her tips, tricks, and vegan recipes, so she has compiled a few of her favorite recipes in this blog. 

As for her mental training, she uses a new app, called RewireFitness, now in beta, that helps athletes train their brains to focus and tune in to what's happening as they push their bodies to new limits. In this video, Kline talks about how helpful it is to get stronger mentally since this is the one piece that will bring down a race performance faster than any other factor. She uses a mental training app RewireFitness, and a mantra "Strong and Focused," in her training. She comes back to her mantra any time she senses her mind wander.

Mental Strength

"The worst suffering for me during a race is definitely mental. Even if it starts as physical, it becomes mental. And it's hard to come back from that," so now she trains mentally and physically to keep her brain focused," she explains.

"Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, Doing the hard workouts and feeling completely depleted. When I'm performing at my best I just feel empowered and I feel invincible ... the energy is super high. the energy just feels great."

Kline adds: "I like to live in that zone where I'm performing at my best. I don't want to become complacent... I like who I am when I'm in athlete mode."

Kline stopped eating meat in 2001, when she was just 24, and said she noticed improvements very quickly. Four years later she ditched the dairy, and she says she was inspired by Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Diet books. (Brendan Brazier is the formulator and cofounder of Vega, and also the author of the Thrive book series; creator and host of the Thrive Forward web series, and editor in chief of Thrive magazine.)

 

For stories of other vegan cyclists check out this link. To see the full video interview with Laura Kline, check out this video.