Madi Serpico, vegan triathlete
Madi Serpico is a Triathlete who at age 21 (in 2014) has already competed nationally and in international competition.
Results include 15th at the International Edmonton World Cup, 2012, 13th in the 2012 Pan American Cup (Magog) and 10th in the Canadian National Championships. In April 2013 she was ranked as the 6th woman under 23 in Canada. Career highlights also include a Bronze at the Xterra World off-road triathlon and she has won the Wildflower triathlon under 19 category four times and the 20- 24 category twice, placing as 4th female in 2013. In 2010 she was names Off-Road Triathlete of the year. In 2013 she was named Alberta under 23 Athlete of the Year.
The triathlon is a demanding endurance event, with the Olympic distance starting with a 1500m swim, followed by a 40k cycle and a 10k run. Madi trained a lot as a child in running and didn’t consider herself a strong swimmer. She trained hard at this with a swimming club, putting in 6-8 sessions a week for 2 years. As a result her swimming is now at the same level as World Cup competitive triathlete. Cycling developed fairly quickly for her, making her an overall successful triathlete.
Madi is vegan and gluten free, turning vegetarian at age 16 and then vegan in late 2012. “I did some research and watched Forks over Knives and Earthlings and decided that I didn’t want any part of animal cruelty, not to mention putting poison in my body.”
Veganism has not been a difficult concept to introduce to her coach, as she was already vegan and encouraging a natural diet, eliminating things like sugary sports drinks. Among other athletes there is a curiosity. “Most people I train with aren’t vegan athletes but it doesn’t bother them as much. I just get a lot of the same questions like 'how do you get your protein?' I have a detailed response now that I give them on what plants have more protein than meat and why I am a vegan athlete. Most of the time athletes are jealous of my food choices and what foods I make.”
Madi eats a lot of kale, various fruits and one of the densest sources of calories – avocados.
The bright future
As she develops as an athlete Madi has plans. “My plan over the next few years is to compete internationally on the ITU WTS circuit and be a contender. I would love the chance to represent Canada at the Summer Olympic Games.”
No Meat Athlete is a great running resource
Full disclosure: 50% of any book you buy on there goes to support this website but there's also a ton of free resources there