Dr Beat Knechtle
+41 (0) 71 226 82 82
Dr Katharina Wirnitzer
+ 43 (699) 10404244
Prevalence in running events and running performance of endurance runners following a vegetarian or vegan diet compared to non-vegetarian endurance runners: The NURMI Study
It is reasonable to assume that a vegetarian or vegan diet is compatible with successful endurance and ultra-endurance performance?
The NURMI Study will be conducted in three steps following a cross-sectional design. Step 1 intends to determine epidemiological aspects of endurance runners (any distance) using a short standardized questionnaire. Step 2 intends to investigate dietary habits and running history from eligible participants (capable of running a half-marathon at least) using an extended standardized questionnaire. Step 3 intends to collect data after a running event on finishing time and final ranking as well as a post-race rating of perceived exertion, mood status, nutrient and fluid intake during the race.
Ethics board St. Gallen, Flurhof 7
9007 St.Gallen, Switzerland
Dr. med. Susanne Driessen
phone: 071 494 24 91
Study code: EKSG 14/145
The NURMI Study will be conducted in three steps following a cross-sectional observational design using online questionnaires. Core region are German-speaking countries of Europe such as Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Cross sectional study
Patient information sheet
We investigate the types of diet and running performances.
We assess dietary and running habits, running events, as well as quality of life with online questionnaires only.
Primary outcome measures
In addition to running performance adjusted to performance level, the primary outcome is the prevalence of types of diets (omnivorous, vegetarian, vegan) among runners attending running events. Individual finishing time will be measured by the running events professional timing system and will be calculated as percentage of the overall winner’s time.
Secondary outcome measures
Outcomes from Step 1 are: nationality, sex, age, body weight, height, BMI (calculated), type of diet, attended races in past two years, finished running distances, personal best time on each distance, number of planned events for 2014/2015, in-race food and fluid consumption, daily/weekly training frequency, daily/weekly training load, period of preparation for main event, and aim of race participation.
Outcomes from Step 2 are: years of running experience, motivation for running then and now, assisted training, years of race experience, training intensity, medium/long-term goal of racing, additional specific kinds of training, specific diet including supplements, specific training/diet prior to race, diet on day of rest/training/race, pre/in/post-race diet, specific gear, relevant medical measures, and quality of life and health-related behavior.
Outcomes from Step 3 are: pre-race: body weight (including clothing and shoes). In-race: individual finishing time, individual runtime as % of overall winners time (calculated), ranking, calculated pace, temperature, wind, air pressure, humidity, sunlight. Post-race: body weight (including clothing and shoes), calculated weight loss, RPE (Borg) whole body/respiratory/legs, mental mood, fluid and nutrient intake including breakfast, and dietary strategy during race.
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Participant inclusion criteria
For the epidemiological pre-study (Step 1) any subject active in running (any distance as well as any performance level) can participate.
For successful participation in the main study (Step 2 & 3) a complete data set consisting of the following four items is required:
1. Written informed consent
2. At least 18 years of age
3. All NURMI questionnaires completed
4. Successful participation in a running event of either half-marathon or marathon distance
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
1. Participation in other clinical trials simultaneously
2. Have impaired health status or known diseases
3. Use doping agents
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Austria, Germany, Switzerland
Trial participating centre
Institut für Hausarztmedizin der Universität Zürich
Universitäts Spital Zürich Pestalozzistrasse 24
Zurich University (Institut für Hausarztmedizin der Universität Zürich)
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Planned publication of three results patients and participation in the ECSS 2017.
IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study is not expected to be made available due to data security. All data are treated according to appropriate Federal Data Security Laws. Since the Study Coorinator is located in Austria, the data are held in fulfilling the Austrian in line with the international Data Security Laws.
Gathered data will be stored pseudoanonymised. Each subject will be assigned an identification code (ID), which will be kept in a separate database. Questionnaire data and subject’s registration data will be stored in different databases.
ID linkage will allow us to assign questionnaire data to each subject’s data set. All members of the research staff are bound to their professional obligation to discretion. Data will be used and analysed exclusively and only in the context of the NURMI Study. Access to the server as well as the file- and database-backups is restricted to the IT staff of the study team and the hosting Provider (also a project partner), and further the statistics team.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Not expected to be available
Results - basic reporting
2016 protocol in https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4831958/