Vegan Liftz is a community-supported website. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through our links. Learn more.

Running Inspiration For Teenagers: Diet Plans And Cross Training Tips For Teen Athletes

Last updated: May 23, 2022

The word diet sends up alarms, but, in this case, it is not about less food; it's about more.  Teenagers already eat their weight in groceries. When teenagers are athletes, finding the balance between yummy carbs and healthy greens is not an easy task.

Teens or not, all runners and athletes need the extra oomph and motivation to stay on track.

Cross Country Workouts for High School Runners

Hill Tempo Run - Start with a 10 to 15-minute tempo run on a flat surface or terrain. Jog three minutes, and start a series of 200m hill sprints. Slow to a jog for the return trip. Finish with 2 miles at a tempo pace.

Long Run with Changes of Pace - Begin with a 12-mile long run. Over the last three miles, do 6 1-minute surges.

To create a running playlist, check out our blog.

Cross Trainers vs Running

Athletes that cross-train are training outside of their primary sport. For runners, cross-training builds endurance and stamina while reducing the number of miles they run.

According to medical professionals, running doesn't damage muscle, joints, and bone and may even protect some people from arthritis. But, it is good to give running muscles a break.

Adding cross-training to a regimen helps to clear up imbalances and strengthen muscles.

A common misconception is that vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based diets are dangerous or do not work for athletes.  The truth is that it is better for some athletes than a carnivore diet.

Diet Plan for Teenage Runners

A common misconception is that vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based diets are dangerous or do not work for athletes. 

The truth is that it is better for some athletes than a carnivore diet.

The first thing you should know is that a diet plan for a teen runner is not about food restriction. It is about eating the right things.

  • Cooked and raw veggies
  • Fruit
  • Beans and legumes
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Brown rice
  • Pasta
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Pitas and bagels
  • Grains and seeds
  • Hummus
  • Nuts, nut milk, and nut butter
  • Soy products

Food Is Fuel

Carbohydrates are essential for any athlete. But, it is easy to grab a bag of chips or a carb-loaded snack when on the run and hangry.

Fruits, vegetables, and grains have enough carbohydrates to pack the punch a teenager needs to feel fueled for their run.

Best Running Insoles for Shin Splints

Shin splints are a great enemy for runners. It is defined as acute leg and shin pain caused by prolonged running.

The Physix Gear Sport Full-Length Inserts are made for all athletes regardless of gender. It helps to decrease pain and discomfort caused by shin splints and runners' knees. 

Vegan Snack Idea for Runners

Hummus Quesadilla - You want something easy to pre-make and store. Hummus quesadillas are a plant-based and protein-filled snack. Add some greens to the hummus between the tortillas for a little extra fuel.

Soy Yogurt and a Banana - Traveling to competitions takes time and fueling before an event is essential. Packing an easy-to-grab snack in your teen's gym bag will remind them to power up before a track and field meet.

Warm-Up Exercises

High Knee March - Place a six-inch hurdle in front of you. Get into the athletic stance, a bent hip, and knee position. The objective is to step over the hurdle with your knees high. Keep marching with your knees high for 5 yards. Repeat the drill 5 times.

The Best Vegan Running Shoe for Teenage Runners 

TechLoom Wave from AP is a vegan unisex running show with superb ventilation and durable rubber outsoles. You can even remove the laces for a more streamlined look.

The Wave running shoes have a customizable lockdown for when you pull your laces tight. It's an awesome safety feature that reduces the chances of a trip and fall accident.


What do teen runners eat before a competition?

A high carb and moderate protein diet are optimal and are best to eat 3-4 hours before an event. Eat a high carb but light snack 30-60 minutes before a race if you need a bite.  Long-distance runners will need to fuel up with additional sports drinks and snacks.

Is cross-training good for teen athletes?

Cross-training can help reduce the chances of severe injury and burnout. Also, it helps to improve movement patterns and develop new skill sets. The recommended age to start crossing training is 10-12 years old. 

How do I motivate my teen athlete during the offseason?

Most teenagers lose motivation regularly. Running is seasonal for most schools. But tons of races out there make running fun and challenging.

Virtual races are gaining popularity because you can participate no matter where you live. You can find the challenge level that best suits the teen and their interest. 


About the author

Leave a Comment