Name: Carter Denne
Year of Birth: 1989
Birthplace: Erie, PA
Current Residence: North East, PA
Sports: Track and Cross Country
- 400m = 51.9 (split)
- 1,000m = 2:31.7
- 800m = 1:53.8 and 1:52.7(split)
- 5k = 16:05
- 10k = 33:31
- half mar. = 1:21 (trail)
Why did you become vegan?
After my daughter was born I began to understand how precious life is. I just could not justify the taking of life from any other living being after that point.
When and why did you become interested in running?
I started out riding my bike with my dad when he would do his running. This became a form of bonding in which we were able to talk and connect. I wanted to continue this father and son bonding, so I began to run with him. I progressed into running a mile or two with him when I was about 12 years old. By age 13 I had run my first 10K and I haven't slowed down since.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
I consume a whole foods vegan diet. Eating whole foods allows you to eat in a very flexible manner while maintaining optimal health. I eat a variety of cooked and raw veggies and seeds with raw nuts and fruits. Eating healthy is that easy and that hard!
How would you describe your training program?
Because of other priorities, I have a much more limited amount of time to train than other athletes I compete against. Therefore, my training is short and to the point. It is made up of; high intensity tempo runs about three days a week, one day of intervals, and one day of distance. I try to keep all of my workouts to about an hour long with the exception of my longer runs.
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
For the past six months I have been using raw meal by Garden of Life. This stuff is great. It is all raw with loads of micronutrients including your B12. It is also higher in protein and carbohydrates making it great for pre and post workouts. To learn more about it check out the product ingredients and my review of it on http://modernlifestyleblog.com/reviews/raw-meal-by-garden-of-life/
How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
I avoid telling most people I am a vegan, that is, until after I beat them. Most people peg vegans as some stereotypical tree huger that can't be an athlete. That's why leading by example is the best way to show others what being a vegan is all about. After I tell someone who knows me that I am a vegan, they are sincerely interested and want to learn more. There is no better feeling then helping someone else learn to help themselves.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
The protein comments I get have become so cliché. Also, it gets irritating when people think you only eat salads and tofu.
Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
Like I said before, leading by example and giving people the cold hard facts about diet and health is the only way to get people on your side. With that said, my father has become a vegan and many of my close friends as well as teammates have adopted a whole foods diet.
What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
Not taking it too serious. If you take training too seriously then it becomes a job. If you relax and work within your limits your body will thank you. Most people burn out through over training and simply don't enjoy something that used to be fun. You will be better at anything that you love over something you hate.
What do you like best about being vegan?
By eating in a clean and kind way, you begin to develop a more efficient body and a clearer mind. Aside from the obvious physical benefits, I like to tell others about the surprising mental clarity that comes as well. For years I had struggled with a semi drossy state will in class. After becoming vegan I have been able to reduce studying time and get better grades because of this mind clarity.
What do you like best about being fit?
I can do anything I want and no one but myself can limit my experiences in life.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with running?
Learn to run properly. If running is painful then you aren't doing it right. It is a skill that requires you to learn how to do it before you can be good at it. Also, learn to love your injuries. Injuries will tell you more about yourself than any PR or trophy.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Do it like taking off a band aid. There is more than enough support out there, just ditch your old unhealthy ways and learn as you go. If you become weak, eat more. If you become hungry all the time, eat more. It is that easy and that hard.
What motivates you in life?
My family provides me with all the motivation I need and more. A simple smile and hug from my daughter gives me the motivation to perform in all aspects of my life.
What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
Robert Cheeke, Tony Kay, and Brendan Brazier's video
Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
I work for a company right now called modernADVOCATE that is working on a humanitarian project to build a hospital in Napal. This company is working to make the world a better place. Please see the website and support the cause.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
- ahatma Gandhi