Elite runner Shalane Flanagan holds multiple American records, she won the bronze medal in the 10,000-meter race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and she'll represent Team USA in the marathon at this summer's Rio Olympics. So how does Flanagan fuel while running 120+ miles a week? In her forthcoming cookbook, Run Fast, Eat Slow, Flanagan shares the surprisingly delicious-sounding recipes she swears keep her satisfied and largely injury-free. (A few examples: Long Run Mineral Broth, Can't Beet Me Smoothies and her go-to Race Day Oatmeal.) For the book, Flanagan partnered with former college teammate and graduate of the National Gourmet Institute, Elyse Kopecky, to create nourishing recipes for runners that dispel food myths (like fat is bad) and embrace nutrient-dense whole foods. We caught up with Flanagan and Kopecky on their favorite recipes from the book and what Shalane is most looking forward to eating in Rio.
Shalane, you kept a food journal leading up to the Berlin marathon. What did you learn from it?
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SF: When we first kicked off our cookbook project, Elyse asked me to keep a food journal so she could study what I ate and translate it into nourishing recipes for the everyday runner. It was great inspiration for the book, but it also helped me improve my own diet. Elyse showed me I wasn’t getting enough healthy fats and taught me to make simple switches like buying whole milk plain yogurt instead of low-fat sugary yogurt. Getting more fat in my diet has enabled me to feel satisfied, more energized, and now my racing weight comes naturally—no deprivation needed.