Shalane Flanagan: world-class marathon runner, 4-time Olympic games attendee and now the first American female to win the NYC marathon since 1977.

In the height of training, Shalane ran 115 miles a week, over 8.6 times the length of Manhattan and equivalent to 460 laps around a track. I, on the other hand, walk an average of 4 miles a day with what I consider to be a "super far walk to campus."  While I can rarely say no to froyo or late night eats, Shalane follows a strict diet to perform in such a way and stay injury free. No wonder we are on such different pages here.  

As one may infer, Shalane's diet is extremely healthy, often sugar-free and full of nutrient-dense foods. Yet, Shalane is a firm believer in filling her body with all the nutrients and substance it needs to compete competitively. She steers clear of low-calorie runner diets that are often a misleading trend amongst many involved in this sport. This led her to co-write her own cookbook Run Fast, Eat Slow with Whole Foods chef, Elyse Kopecky. This New York Times bestseller is filled with delicious wholesome recipes that will fuel you to be able to accomplish anything. 

A typical day includes:


The first thing she eats in the morning consists of a bowl of oatmeal with nuts, bananas, berries, honey, cinnamon or whole milk yogurt topped with ginger molasses granola (a favorite featured in her cookbook).

Mid-Morning and Post-Workout Snack

Snacks are just as important too, and Shalane has a smoothie made with fruits, veggies, whole-milk yogurt, almond butter, coconut water, and ginger.


The second full meal of the day is often a grain salad made with wild rice or quinoa, seasonal veggies and a dressing made with olive oil. Other options include eggs with spinach and cheese or some dinner leftovers. 

Afternoon Snack

An afternoon snack may be her very own "superhero muffins" or a handful of nuts before her second workout of the day. 


She often closes out with a very protein heavy meal. She has a love for red meat where she often cooks bison, grass-fed steak, salmon or dark meat chicken with a side of sweet potato fries.


Even Olympians and marathon winners need dessert, which for Shalane often includes a wholesome treat with herbal tea (but her real favorite splurge, donuts).   

But now for the real talk... what are the pre-race and post-race meals?

Hotel room service doesn't cut it for Shalane.  Her race day oatmeal is her go to. It is easy to travel with and digest quickly. The breakfast bowl is filled with instant oats, banana, nuts, berries and a little sea salt. Even though she runs 115 miles a week when training, Shalane is human and needs a little luck just like the rest of us. Therefore, it is tradition to use McCann's Irish Oats to cure any last minute superstition. 

But truly what does one eat after winning the NYC marathon and training for four decades? A slice of New York City PIZZA.

So next time, you can totally justify going for that extra slice. The diets of well-trained athletes are often thought out and planned around the necessities, but Shalane Flanagan makes sure to treat her taste buds while doing so. If you want to learn more about Shalane or the food she eats, her cookbook is available here!