Sunday 7 May 2017
Start time: 12:06pm
On Friday night, Eliud Kipchoge ran a marathon in 2 hours, 25 seconds. His feat was streamed live on Twitter and Facebook, and brought a huge audience to a sport that often gets no attention at all. For some context, that’s 4 minute, 36-second miles. It was a somewhat controversial event, sponsored by Nike of course, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that the 32-year-old Kenyan has altered expectations of the possible, at least, as it refers to running.
Perhaps that’s why I’m so obsessed with Run Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan. Flanagan’s personal best time in the marathon is 2 hours, 22 minutes. That’s 5 minute, 25 second-miles. I think it’s a natural but curious impulse to try to emulate your heroes by eating like them. Bodies are so different that one person’s diet will most likely not be suited to another person at all. That’s why I hate “Eat like the pros,” and articles of that ilk. It can even be dangerous for young athletes who interpret such food diaries as gospel rather than voyeuristic curiosities. I think generally, though, Flanagan and her co-author and fellow runner Elyse Kopecky, have worked out dishes that can feed all sorts of bodies in motion. The recipes are so deeply rooted in common sense that I think of Michael Pollan’s famous quote, “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.”
I’ve spent the majority of this weekend outdoors, and eaten several meals from food trucks or stalls. To balance it out, Annie and I have been making bucketfuls of Run Fast, Eat Slow’s Kale-Radicchio Salad with Farro. The salad looks like confetti and tastes as bright. The miso-lemon dressing is tangy. The fiber-rich farro keeps you full. Annie has had it for dinner four nights in a row. If you’re chowing down after a long run, I recommend adding some filling protein and/or fat on top such as chicken, a fried egg, or avocado.
I don’t have any pictures of our version, and I can’t promise it’ll help you break two hours in the marathon, or even three or four, but I can share the recipe.