If you’ve ever watched Olympic track runners on TV and wondered what they eat to keep their muscles fueled and energized, join the club. Molly Huddle is a USA long-distance runner who takes her training and nutrition seriously, but doesn’t believe in excluding “bad foods” or denying herself from dessert. We caught up with this inspiring Olympian and asked her what she likes to eat in a typical day, and here’s what she told us:
My diet approach is loose and pretty much guided by training. I’m trying to eat in a way that helps me recover, rebuild muscles and replenish glycogen so I can run hard again the next day. It’s more about making sure I include the right things rather than excluding foods. As a runner, I try to focus on eating enough carbohydrates, red meat, fish or other high quality proteins, vegetables, fruits and enough calories in general. I don’t really exclude much, apart from trying to avoid processed foods, limiting dairy during allergy season and trying not to drink much alcohol in season (gotta at least try, right?)
I usually eat a sweet breakfast. I love pancakes and fruit with maple syrup, or oatmeal with some honey and fresh berries. I’ve recently been trying to eat slightly less sugar, so I’ve been trying this this savory oatmeal with an egg and avocado. It sounds a bit odd but it’s delicious and it fuels my body for a morning track or a long run. I also love starting my day with a cup of coffee. I go for New Harvest coffee, which is my favorite local roast. For flavor, I add some honey and steamed flaxseed milk. I rotate through a variety of non-dairy milks. I like this one because it has added pea protein in it!
I try to eat within an hour of working out to hit that optimal window of muscle refueling. I love ordering the chicken Mediterranean wrap from one of my favorite lunch spots, Three Sisters. I also love their spinach, mango, strawberry, cayenne smoothie. It’s tasty and convenient, and it’s a great way to wrap up running ten miles on the boulevard right across the street.
On most days, I do a shorter run in the afternoon as well, so I always need a light snack beforehand. I usually have the lemon-lime Gatorade Endurance Formula drink to rehydrate after the morning workout, and then I make a bowl with banana slices, peanut butter, fresh cherries, and some granola made of oats, honey, almonds and poppy seeds.
This dinner was made by my husband while I was running. He’s the best! He used a HelloFresh meal box to make a Vietnamese Marinated Steak. The marinade was soy sauce, brown sugar, jalapeño, garlic and lime. Paired with Jasmine rice and pickled cucumber and radish salad, it was amazing! I struggle to drink enough water some days but adding some flavor like lemon helps make it more enticing.
I have a major sweet tooth, and I eat dessert almost every night after dinner. I notice that I crave less sugar when I eat solid meals and adequate protein throughout the day, but I always like to have a little treat. I’m a big marshmallow fan, so tonight I made a dark chocolate s’more. It’s a satisfying but not crazily over indulgent treat. Plus, who doesn’t love a homemade s’more?