Interview with Franz Preihs: Vegan Ultra Endurance Cyclist
Written by Leigh-Chantelle
Created Thursday, 11 July 2013
Franz Prihs is a professional vegan ultra endurance cyclist who spends most of the year training and participating in different ultra endurance events worldwide. He has completed most of the world’s longest and toughest endurance cycling races like RAAM (Race Across America 3000 mile nonstop), Le Tour Ultime (the tour of France nonstop), XX-ALPS (crossing the alps nonstop with over 50.000 meters of vertical climbing), Crocodile Trophy in Australia, Race Around Slovenia, Alpentour and many more.
I grew up in the hardcore music scene, with lots of vegan straight edge bands. When I was about 20 I started to become straight edge and simultaneously became vegetarian and vegan after a couple of months.
How and why did you decide to become a vegan?
It went hand in hand with becoming straight edge.
How long have you been vegan?
I have been on a vegan diet from 2000 until 2006 and again from 2008 until now.
What has benefited you the most from being a vegan?
I simply feel more comfortable with myself and I can look into every animal’s eye with respect.
What does veganism mean to you?
For me, being vegan and living straight edge is a personal way of life. I don’t actually care too much about humans, but I am very active with animal liberation work.
What sort of training do you do?
I am a professional cyclist, so most of my training is cycling. I also do a lot of climbing and mountaineering.
How often do you (need to) train?
I train about 20-30 hours per week endurance plus around 10 hours a week climbing or pumping iron.
Do you offer your fitness or training services to others?
I do a lot of motivational speeches for public audiences and I am also involved in a campaign for “sober” living
Strengths, Weaknesses & Outside Influences
What do you think is the biggest misconception about vegans and how do you address this?
Most people are curious that I am able to ride my bike 3000 miles nonstop on a vegan diet – they wonder if I can get enough calories and protein from a plant based diet. But basically I don’t explain too much. It’s my life, my way, my rules.
What are you strengths as a vegan athlete?
I feel “cleaner” somehow and I burn thing easier.
What is your biggest challenge?
Being vegan is no challenge at all.
Are the non-vegans in your industry supportive or not?
I really don’t care about support of non-vegans. They can do whatever they like to do – as long as they don’t want to argue with me.
Are your family and friends supportive of your vegan lifestyle?
Basically, it’s the same as above. Since I was a kid, I’ve lived it my way. I really don’t care too much about such kind of support.
What is the most common question/comment that people ask/say when they find out that you are a vegan and how do you respond?
I don’t discuss - I do my own thing. If they are asking, I tell them that I am vegan. If they ask me why, I don’t respond. If they are not vegan, they will not understand it anyway.
Who or what motivates you?
My performance in endurance sports motivates me.
Food & Supplements
What do you eat for:
Breakfast - Soya Milk Banana Shake, two slices of whole grain bread and some cashews
Lunch - all sorts of pasta, rice and potatoes with vegetable and bread
Dinner - the same as for Lunch
Snacks (healthy & not-so healthy) - cashews, macadamia nuts, bananas, apples and smoothies
What foods give you the most energy?
I think I can go really well on whole grain pasta.
Do you take any supplements?
I don’t add any supplement to my diet expect a vegan multi-mineral supplement!
What is your top tip for:
Gaining muscle - maximum strength training 3 times maximum 8 repeats with maximum weight
Losing weight - endurance training
How do you promote veganism in your daily life?
I work close together with Austrian vegan platform vegan.at
and I support Animal Liberation Racing
. Their jerseys are available to athletes worldwide supporting the same cause. My goal is to raise awareness of the unethical treatment of animals helping the guys with my promotion work.
How would you suggest people get involved with what you do?
Check me out on FaceBook
or on my website
and watch me perform in the world’s toughest endurance races!
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