ASK AN ATHLETE: As an Ultra Runner, What Do You Eat?

By Meredith Edwards

First I will mention that I try to eat a gluten-free diet. I do this because I feel I train/race better and recover faster. I also don’t like dairy much. I will eat cheese but have cut out milk completely. These are just personal preferences.

I try to eat what’s in season when it comes to veggies and fruit. I also cook most of my food on a Sunday for the whole week. This really helps me because I am usually on the go between work, training, and going out in the mountains. I very rarely drink alcohol. I don’t really like it and I don’t go out much. If I had to list the number of drinks per month it might be 1 or 2.  When I do drink it’s usually a glass of red wine.

This is what I eat during an average training week:



2 cups of oatmeal- Add organic brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins.

1 apple or kiwi

12 oz of hot lemon water

1 Chocolate Almond milk 8oz

I always start my day out with hot lemon water. I love it. It’s a great way to kick-start your digestion. It’s a natural detox and alkalizes your system. I will drink lemon water throughout the day because of what it does. I don’t drink coffee just because I don’t like it, but I drink a lot of tea, especially Sport Tea.


Lunch & Dinner

On Sunday when I cook my food for the week, I start out with:

6 red beats

4 chicken breast

1 bushel of carrots

Jasmine white rice

Green Lentils

  • Beets: I roast them in the oven. I will peel them and put them in tin foil with olive oil
  • Chicken: Olive oil, lemon pepper seasoning, and lemon wedge and oven bake
  • Carrots: I just peel and cut in half
  • Rice/lentils: Cook in water and salt

I will dice up all the beets, chicken, and Tupperware everything. I work Sunday through Wednesday so I keep it at work and for lunch and dinner just grab what I want.



I’m always eating so here is what I buy for snacks:

Pumpkin seeds (sometimes I mix pumpkin seeds with dark chocolate chips)

Dark Chocolate covered almonds

Ginger Chews


Fruit salad  (pre-made at the store)

Rice crackers

Rice cakes with peanut butter


I like to drink 8oz of liquid every hour. This is usually water, hot lemon water, or Sport Tea. I find the more hydrated I am the less I crave bad foods. I go out once or twice a week and I always get the same thing: Thai Curry Bowl with Chicken, Rice Noodles, and Veggies. I will pick up 8oz of raw tuna or steak to eat on those off nights from work but still have rice, beats, lentils on the side

I like sweets so to avoid eating them I carry ginger chews around.

I really like to bake so when I do want a cookie or pie I will cook it myself and try to cut out butter, and oils and replace with peanut butter and honey. I will also make this on Sunday and split it up for the week


Cheat Foods

When I do cheat I love:


French Fries

Chocolate cake with buttermilk frosting


Potato chips

The bottom line is if I’m craving fat I’ll eat it, especially when I’m in high mileage training. I just try and listen to my body and if it’s craving it I’ll eat it.




2 cups of oatmeal, a pinch of sugar

1/2 Avocado

1/2 Banana

1 cup of green tea


1.5 hours before race: 16 oz of water

30 minutes before: total ATP supplement


During Race

Every 30 min one gel pack

Every 2 hours Honey stinger waffle

Every 4 hours- real food! Whatever I want or can get down–usually potatoes with salt


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