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Many people assume that endurance athletes cannot succeed on a vegetarian diet. The truth is that the percentage of runners who are vegetarian is higher than in the population as a whole. Nuts, seeds, soy and other beans can provide more than adequate amounts of protein.
Running and vegetarianism actually make sense, since both contribute to a longer, healthier life. (Vegetarians tend to live longer than non-vegetarians – and have lower rates of heart disease, most cancers and other serious health problems.)
Some well-known vegetarian athletes include: Martina Navratilova, Paavo Nurmi, Robert Parrish, Hank Aaron, Billie Jean King, Edwin Moses, Bill Walton, Carl Lewis, and Steven Seagal.