What started as a hobby became a shared passion.

About us

Jana and Simon are a married
couple who reside in Durbanville, Western Cape, South Africa.

Some of the bedrocks of their relationship include; a shared love of the outdoors, an active healthy lifestyle, and making ethical food and lifestyle choices. Dating throughout high school and university, Simon began studying sport science and Jana managed to convince him to start running with her.

What started as a hobby became a shared passion for the both of them. Later, Jana began her journey towards plant based living and a vegan lifestyle and Simon followed suit, culminating in years of plant based mountain adventures, including renting an old van with friends and road tripping through Patagonia, living off vegan empanadas and tagging snow-covered peaks – a trail runner’s dream.

Since then, they have added three children (plus two dogs and three cats) to their happy and bustling family. Through Rooted in Dirt (RID), Jana and Simon share their passion for running with their athletes, who they coach to achieve their running goals. The RID platform allows them to share the theoretical knowledge that they have gained through their continued learning and their experiential knowledge through deliberate practice of both running and plant based living.

Their clients follow various diets and being plant based is not a requirement for joining the RID family, however if you are interested in learning more about thriving as a runner on a plant based diet, then this is certainly the right place to be. Jana and Simon take a holistic approach in providing their athletes (whether recreational or advanced runners) with all of the scientific and evidence-led tools to enhance their running performance.

Simon is the main driver of the coaching aspect of RID, while Jana drives the plant based living and nutrition aspects of RID. Together they are a formidable team, who have taken a leap of faith and turned their passion project into a means of providing for their family.

Simon

(Bsc, BscHons, Msc, PhD candidate)

Simon holds a Master's degree in Sport Science, he is a lecturer in Sport Science and his teaching and research involves preparing athletes for competition, training load monitoring of road and trail runners, as well as applied strength and conditioning. He is one of the leading trail running researchers in South Africa, having recently published his first article on physiological performance indicators in trail running and registered for a PhD in Sport Science aimed at determining key performance indicators in trail running. An amateur runner who competes regularly on the road and trail circuit in the Western Cape, South Africa and constantly striving to improve his performance, Simon believes strongly in concurrent endurance and strength training to better performance and avoid injury and was a formerly qualified Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA.

lightlyfunky
lightlyfunky

Jana

(LLB, LLM, Admitted Attorney (RSA))

Jana is an admitted attorney and holds a Master's degree in Law. Following her passion, she moved away from law and became certified in both training essentials and programme design for endurance running (SSISA) as well as plant-based nutrition (partnership between the T Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell). An amateur runner and outdoor enthusiast, Jana believes that her plant-based diet contributes to her improvement in performance and recovery while playing an important role (along with strength training) in keeping her healthy and injury free. Jana enjoys being creative in the kitchen and fueling her and Simon's training runs, races and recovery.

They take turns cooking for and coaching one another. It works out well for them.

Simon

(Bsc, BscHons, Msc, PhD candidate)

lightlyfunky

Simon holds a Master's degree in Sport Science, he is a lecturer in Sport Science and his teaching and research involves preparing athletes for competition, training load monitoring of road and trail runners, as well as applied strength and conditioning. He is one of the leading trail running researchers in South Africa, having recently published his first article on physiological performance indicators in trail running and registered for a PhD in Sport Science aimed at determining key performance indicators in trail running. An amateur runner who competes regularly on the road and trail circuit in the Western Cape, South Africa and constantly striving to improve his performance, Simon believes strongly in concurrent endurance and strength training to better performance and avoid injury and was a formerly qualified Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA.

Jana

(LLB, LLM, Admitted Attorney (RSA))

lightlyfunky

Jana is an admitted attorney and holds a Master's degree in Law. Following her passion, she moved away from law and became certified in both training essentials and programme design for endurance running (SSISA) as well as plant-based nutrition (partnership between the T Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell). An amateur runner and outdoor enthusiast, Jana believes that her plant-based diet contributes to her improvement in performance and recovery while playing an important role (along with strength training) in keeping her healthy and injury free. Jana enjoys being creative in the kitchen and fueling her and Simon's training runs, races and recovery.

They take turns cooking for and coaching one another. It works out well for them.

Simon’s running stats (include):

Mountain Series Challenge (winner)
Multiple African X multi-day stage races on trail
CT Marathon – 42.2km on road (03h30)
Ultra Trail Cape Town – 35km on trail (13th out of 534)
Numerous half marathons – 21km on road (01h30)

Jana’s running stats (include):

PUFfeR (Peninsula Ultra Fun Run) – approx 80km (mostly) on trail (approx 10h45)
Ultra Trail Cape Town – 65km, 35km on trail
Numerous multi-day stage race events on trail (African X, Southern Cross Trail etc.) 
CT Marathon – 42.2km on road (first attempt at marathon-distance on road, sub 04h00)
Numerous half marathons – 21km on road (incl. sub 1h40 Two Oceans half)

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