Ultrarunner Robbie Balenger doesn’t cease — and consuming inexperienced helps him go.
The vegan athlete’s 100% plant-based diet gave him the “superpower” stamina to set a brand new world record for running essentially the most laps round Central Park in lower than 24 hours — all with out the meaty gasoline many excessive athletes swear by.
“The plant-based diet helps me to excel as an endurance runner,” Balenger, 36, informed The Post. “Breaking down animal protein can be laborious on our [digestive] systems.”
His day by day meal plan packs on the vegetation: For breakfast, he hundreds up on kale and fruit smoothies, a spinach-salad with chickpeas and olive oil for lunch and a bowl of beans, brown rice and blended veggies for dinner. Menus like this one powered Balenger to circle the 6.1 mile perimeter of New York City’s premier park an unprecedented 16 instances on March 21.
Starting at 6:05 a.m. on the chilly first day of spring, Balenger accomplished the 98-mile trot in a bit of over 18 hours. And simply “for fun” he hoofed it for an additional 2 miles, rounding out his trek to 100 miles.
No stranger to pounding the pavement, in 2019, Balenger ran 3,175 miles throughout the US — starting in Los Angeles and ending in New York — in simply 75 days. It was a triumph he initially thought was solely accomplishable by fictional runner “Forrest Gump,” he stated with amusing.
Balenger and a buddy from London additionally did a 100-mile jaunt round their respective cities within the midst of the pandemic final 12 months.
Since swapping out gooey cheeseburgers and sirloin steaks for his homegrown vegetables and fruit in 2018, Balenger — who first took up skilled running at in 2014 at age 29 — has skilled a daily boost of energy that helps him accomplish his Herculean efforts.
He and fiancé Shelley Howard domesticate their very own veggies in a 3-foot-tall self-watering, self-fertilizing lettuce develop tower. The stackable develop field permits residence garners to lift as much as 36 vegetation at a time.
Balenger and Howard eat what they develop and drink tons of water to remain hydrated all through the day. Then he runs about 60 to 70 miles every week preserve his power and endurance.
“Plants are easier for our bodies to break down, and they give us more energy to complete challenging physical activities.”
The lean, imply running machine’s record-breaking zip round Central Park trampled the run of earlier titleholder, Aaron Zellhoefer, who looped the panorama 11 instances in 14 hours final June.
“Everybody sets the bar for the next person to break,” Balenger stated, noting that Zellhoefer congratulated him on besting his time and distance. “He’s plant-based too.”
And whereas Balenger doesn’t have fast designs on shattering his personal world record with a quicker and additional zoom round Central Park, he’s planning run the 500-mile Colorado Trail within the Colorado mountains this summer season.
He’s additionally hoping to summit all 58 of the peaks over 14,000 toes in Colorado earlier than Labor Day.
But he encourages anybody that’s focused on breaking his Central Park world record to set their minds on giving it their all.
“It’s all about striving to do your absolute best,” Balenger stated. “As long as you’re out there giving it all you got in a healthy and safe way, you’re already a champion in my eyes.”