Age is merely a number for Rich Roll.
Roll is a former attorney who is popularly known as a vegan ultra-endurance attorney. He was best known for finishing the Ultraman World Championships in less than 3 days. This was composed of a 6.2-mile swim, a 261.4-mile cycle, and a 52.4-mile run. A mighty feat, if you ask me!
He is also a famous author, best known for his memoir ‘Finding Ultra’ as one of the best-selling books he published. Roll is a wellness advocate and renowned host of a popular podcast ‘The Rich Roll Show’ in which it has more than 3 million downloads and constantly belongs to the top-10 list released by iTunes.
Being dotted as the 25th fittest guy in 2009 by Men’s Fitness Magazine is not something that Rich Roll has accomplished overnight. This resulted from his intense training, strong discipline and dedication, and, among all, following a strict diet plan.
So how did a humble attorney become a vegan ultra-endurance athlete? Read on and find out!
Who is Rich Roll?
Born on October 20, 1966, Rich Roll is an athlete, a wellness advocate, public speaker, former lawyer, and a podcast host from Malibu, California. While he may look like your typical jack-of-all-trades, you wouldn’t believe that he has mastered all his endeavors.
He is a former entertainment attorney transformed into one of the best ultra-endurance athletes setting records in his wake.
Looking back, Rich success has never been easy to achieve. Despite the fact that he was a part of a swim team during his university days at Stanford University, he struggled with alcohol and drug addiction for many years.
At the age of around 40s, he decided to create a huge change in his lifestyle. Rich decided that he must put control over his health. Then, he decided to become a dedicated vegan.
He started his journey in the world of endurance sports at the same time. While I always praise many athletes starting at a young age, I couldn’t help but feel much admiration for someone at Roll’s age taking this turn.
Moreover, he also started to go on daily training, particularly with running and swimming. One of his greatest accomplishments is competing and completing five Ironmans on five various Hawaiian Islands in less than a week.
He sticks to his plant-based diet, which is something he loves to recommend to everyone through his public speaking and published book, namely; Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself and The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family.
Rich Roll's Workout Routine
Rich Roll is on training for about 10-15 hrs a week when there is no upcoming race. But spends 25 hours per week when preparing for an event like Otillo.
“But when I get ramped up, and I’m really gearing up a couple of months before a big event, it can escalate to 25 hours a week,” he says. That is spending more than three hours of training every day. “It almost becomes a second job,” he says.
Regardless of his training for a race or not, Rich ensures to keep his workout routine centered on swimming, running and cycling or the three triathlon disciplines. He usually begins his day with a run and takes about 1-3 hours. Sometimes, he goes swimming first or cycling for 2-3 hours.
“Every day’s a little bit different,” Roll says.
Here is a detailed everyday routine of Rich Roll:
- Monday: This is Rich’s “sacred rest” day.
- Tuesday: He goes for a double-run.
- Wednesday: He performs a 6000-8000m swim in the morning and 2-4 hours cycling in the afternoon.
- Thursday: He goes for a long run in the morning and yoga in the afternoon.
- Friday: He usually starts with a long swim and then immediately follows a 3-5 hour bike ride.
- Saturday is 9-10 hours cycling.
- Sunday is a 60-70km run.
Rich Roll’s Detailed Exercises
Swim. Bike. Run. Repeat.
He spends most of his training hours performing these three activities.
He takes time to perform stretching or do a yoga exercise regularly. For him, this is very important, especially as we get older.
Maintain a Strong Core
He ensures to perform push-ups, sit-ups, planks, lunges, squats, kettlebells, and medicine balls when working out. He also performs basic exercise that comes with weights such as bench press, floor exercise, and sled workouts.
Rich Roll's Diet Plan
Rich Roll is popularly known as a vegan athlete. This may lead you to rethink going vegan.
He only eats plant-based foods. Rich started his vegan lifestyle after deciding to change around his 40s finally.
He prepares green smoothies made from beets, kale, berries, and spirulina, and some maca during his breakfast. Rich usually eats nuts and berries for his snacks and blackened vegetables or salad prepared for his lunch.
He considers dinner the biggest meal for the day and usually prepares a vegetable lasagna or veggie enchiladas, or sometimes burritos. Rich believes that most individuals are focusing much on protein intake, and it is much better to have one scoop of protein powder once per day or even every other day.
- Low Protein 20%
- Mid-Fat 40% 40%
- High Carb 70% 70%
Rich Roll’s Diet Details
Rich prepares one liter of water and adds it with apple cider vinegar.
A green smoothie will always be present. This is made with Vitamix and usually consists of spinach, beetroot, kale, chard, blueberries, beet greens, coconut water, blackberries, acai, maca powder, flaxseeds, chia, banana, and hemp seeds.
When he feels extra hungry, Rich prepares cold quinoa that includes a blueberry with almond milk and chia seeds. He also pairs it with gluten-free toast with almond butter.
- During training
During his training, Rich prepares 900 calories of Perpetuum added in a water bottle.
He prefers to drink coconut water whenever he performs a long cycling workout, and pairs it with some snacks like dates, bananas, sweet potato, and almond butter. He also ensures to have electrolyte tablets, and dates, when he goes for a long-running workout.
And when he performs a long swimming session, Rich prefers to stick with drinking water and coconut water.
Rich immediately rehydrates himself by drinking water or coconut water. Then, he repeats drinking a green smoothie that comes with a banana and one scoop of protein.
Rich prepares a big salad for his lunch. It is usually steamed or blackened veggies or grazed on raw nuts (brazil nuts or almonds).
He prepares a big meal that is personally cooked by his wife, Julie.
Rich Roll's Food To Eat
- Leafy Greens
- Almond Milk
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Brown Rice
- Gluten-free Bread
- Gluten-free Pasta
- Coconut Water
- Chia Seeds
- Ground Flax
- Hemp Seeds
Rich Roll's Food To Avoid
- Soft Drinks
- Junk Food
- Artificial Ingredients
- Hydrogenated Fats
- Refined Foods
- Processed Foods
Rich Roll's Workout Supplements
Rich ensures to take a Perpetuem to help him stay strong and for long-term energy.
Since 22 Days nutrition protein powder is a plant-based, Rich ensures to add it as one of his source of protein,
Protein-fortified sports drink
Rich prefers to have Hammer Nutrition’s Sustained Energy, as it effectively provides steady energy to any individual and can help remove any lactic acid in the body.
He prefers to have a Cytomax sports mix, as it provides quick energy when he needs it.
More protein powder
He also takes Vega’s All in One protein as one of his sources of protein. This supplement contains plant-based protein, minerals, vitamins, omega-3 ALA, probiotics, antioxidants, and fiber.
He prefers to have FRS fatigue-fighting recovery drinks, improving one’s health and training performance. This recovery drink contains antioxidants, quercetin, green tea extract, and vitamins.
Rich Roll's Lifestyle
He sleeps better in a Tent
For a few years now, Roll has been sleeping inside a tent. This way, he says he can reconnect to our primitive roots. He shares that he needs an 8 hours sleep, and it will always be a top priority of his schedule.
Rich Roll’s the Power of Now
He says that putting much focus on the present will help you remove any pressure to think things, such as ‘I’ll never eat another cheeseburger.’
Rich Roll’s Secret of Success
Rich says that in order to see a clear result, he needs three important factors; rigor (clear rules), specificity (concrete routines), and accountability (having clear answers to your own missteps). There are principles that I personally admire and recommend.
Rich Roll’s the Thirty-Day Rule
Another key factor that helps Rich to be successful is having a stick plan and promise to yourself for 30 days.
Becoming one of the fittest men alive is possible at any age and Rich Roll proves just that. You can make a change of lifestyle once you put your mind and heart into it. Be it fighting against bad vices, committing to change bad eating habits, or getting up to get rid of a sedentary lifestyle.
It’s never too late.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is through constantly challenging yourself.