Shalane Flanagan Is Still On The Go, And So Is Her New Cookbook

The way Shalane Flanagan tells it, she and her cookbook co-author Elyse Kopecky had no intentions of producing a follow-up to their 2016 New York Times bestseller “Run Fast. Eat Slow.” 

But fans begged the New York City Marathon champion and her University of North Carolina teammate-turned-nutritionist BFF for an additional volume with simpler, quicker recipes.

Thus, “Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow,” was born. 

You can buy “Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.” tomorrow, August 14.

“Really busy parents trying to make a healthy meal for their kid, graduate students who are on a budget, college students who are limited by the confines of a dorm room—they were basically begging us to write another one that would fit the mold of their lifestyle,” the four-time Olympian told FloTrack by phone.

The hardcover is the same length as the first volume (256 pages) and, in addition to the mouth-watering recipes and full-color, Instagram-ready food portraits, features educational sections like tips for budgeting and meal prep, core routines, a Flanagan-approved, day-by-day marathon training meal plan, plus an impactful Q&A with Dr. Jennifer Carlson of Stanford University about eating disorders and nourishment-related energy deficiencies in adolescent runners.

The prevalence of disordered eating in distance runners is one of the reasons that Flanagan and Kopecky chose not to include calorie counts in most of their recipes—the sole exception being “Energy Squeeze,” an energy gel substitute made from sweet potatoes, dates, peanut butter, chia seeds and sea salt. 

“After our first cookbook launched, we received emails from runners who were upset that we didn’t provide calorie counts and carb, fat and protein measurements. Despite the complaints, we received more emails from happy fans relieved to eat without numbers dictating their appetites," Kopecky said. "For our second cookbook, we stand by our belief that calorie counts have no place in the kitchen. When you’re slicing and dicing real food, what really matters is taste and satisfaction.”

And the recipes certainly do sound tasty.

Flanagan fans will be pleased to hear that the book includes one of her go-to recipes from her historic New York City Marathon build-up in the Thai Quinoa Salad, a salty-sweet, taste bud-pleaser topped with peanuts, jalapenos and dressing made with fish oil, lime juice, soy sauce and honey.

Fans of the first cookbook’s Superhero Muffins can experiment with three new versions: Apple Carrot, Pumpkin Spice and Beet Blueberry Molasses—all of which contain hidden veggie ingredients. 

There’s also a new twist on the popular “Run Fast. Eat Slow” High-Altitude Bison Meatballs with the “crispy and snackable” Turkey Trot Meatballs.

What I’m most excited to try out are the dynamic duo’s take on smoothie bowls and power bowls, both of which are trendy food items right now.

“Power bowls feature different healthy grains, veggies and sauces with different kinds of protein,” Flanagan said. “We’re trying to be flexible with people with different resources and teaching them how to create different kinds of healthy food.”

Press for the latest cookbook is a welcome distraction as Flanagan is at a crossroads of sorts in her professional running career. She finally won an Abbott World Major Marathon last fall in New York and made a valiant attempt in Boston’s brutal conditions for a second win. 

Is retirement still on the table, as she claimed last November before NYC?

“Sooner rather than later, but I’m not exactly sure when that would be. I’m trying to decide what my next step is,” she admitted. “After Boston, I took a good chunk of time off and was not doing a lot of training, but then Jerry [Schumacher] really wanted me to help Shelby get the American record [in the 5K] this summer. I was on a get-fit-quick plan, so I crammed some fitness in for three weeks and thankfully, was able to round into form quick enough to help her.

“Now, it’s just reevaluating what my next goal is athletically—or if I do have any goals. But I’ve also been transitioning into helping with training programs [for the Bowerman Track Club].”

(Flanagan announced on Monday that she will be racing the New York City Marathon in November)

Houlihan’s 14:34.45 American record is 10 seconds faster than when Flanagan set the standard as a 26-year-old at the Mt. SAC Relays in 2007. She held the record for three years.

Flanagan’s 5K American record at the 2007 Mt. SAC Relays:

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FloTrack's post-race interview with Flanagan:

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It felt even more special to pace Houlihan through two miles in Heusden because Flanagan, in turn, was only able to break the record with the aid of her teammate at the time, Erin Donohue.

“I knew she was completely capable of it,” Flanagan said of the 25-year-old Houlihan. “I see even more room for improvement.”

Neither was she surprised when another BTC athlete, Courtney Frerichs, broke the American record in the steeplechase in what was a whirlwind weekend for Schumacher’s training group.

“I’m at a time when I’m not taking personal goals so seriously and I’m actually able to be there on the track, timing and helping them,” she said. “It’s a super rewarding process because I’ve invested my time and I feel like they’re my goals, too, so when you see them happen, it’s as good as if I had set the American record.”

The additions of recent college graduates Karissa Schweizer and Vanessa Fraser to the BTC crew make their elite women’s group pretty formidable. Between Flanagan, Houlihan, Frerichs, Amy Cragg, Gwen Jorgensen, Emily Infeld, Marielle Hall, Kate Grace and Colleen Quigley, every woman has made an Olympic team and many have earned world or Olympic medals.

“I would have been retired years ago if I didn’t have teammates,” Flanagan said. “It’s so much easier to do the work when you have an environment where we all enjoy each other’s company. There’s a lot of giggling and making fun of each other and if I didn’t have that at this point, I definitely would not be running at this level.”

“Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.” hits the shelves tomorrow, August 14.

2020 World Indoors Called Off Amid Coronavirus Fears

March’s World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China have been postponed to 2021, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the host nation.

Craig Engels Is Off And Running In 2020 As Only He Can

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By itself, Craig Engels’ weekend in Boston was routine enough— the 2019 U.S. 1500m champion was tasked with pacing the men’s 5,000m on Friday night before racing the mile the next day. His training partners Paul Tanui and Eric Jenkins ultimately missed the 13:13.50 standard as Engels strained to get through 2600m— “I definitely underestimated what 4:12 pace felt like”, he said— and yet he came back on Saturday to win the mile in 3:56.85 on tired legs.

Nico Young To Chase American Junior 3k Record At Millrose Games

Nico Young will begin his final track and field season with quite the record attempt. 

Five Takeaways From The Weekend: Jessica Hull On The Rise

The 2020 track season got started in earnest over the weekend as droves of top professionals debuted and many impressive collegiate performances took place. Here were the takeaways from Boston, Albuquerque and New York:

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The 2020 track season got started in earnest over the weekend as droves of top professionals debuted and many impressive collegiate performances took place. Here were the takeaways from Boston, Albuquerque and New York:

Donavan Brazier Is Still In Monster Shape

At the risk of overanalyzing a season opener in an off distance, Donavan Brazier’s 1:14.39 600m in Boston on Saturday was further proof that the 2019 world champion remains in a league of his own among 800m runners. Although his competition at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix was overmatched as expected, Brazier hammered away alone to the second-fastest indoor 600m ever, behind only his 1:13.77 world best from 2019. And it was easy. So easy that the 22-year-old managed a shrug across the line as if to say sorry, not my best but it will have to do.

Just look at this gear change as he assumes control of the lead:

Word is that Brazier isn’t planning to run World Indoors this year, but his brief indoor campaign could still bring more fireworks as he next targets the Millrose Games 800m on Feb. 8. A lowering of his 1:44.41 indoor American record will be the expectation given his dazzling season opener.

A New Name Emerges In The NCAA Women’s 60m

Texas sophomore Julien Alfred wasn’t expected to be a contender in the women’s 60m dash this season after posting just a 7.36 best as freshman. But after running 7.10 (#6 NCAA all-time) over the weekend in Albuquerque, the St. Lucia native is in the thick of the title hunt. Just 18 years old, Alfred had a modest freshman season highlighted by a second place finish in the Big 12 100m. That’s why her defeat of reigning NCAA 60m champion Twanisha Terry is such a surprise.


Tyler Day Puts Edwin Kurgat On Notice With 13:16 5k In Boston

The race featuring Olympic silver medalist Paul Tanui and 13:05 man Eric Jenkins disappointed in that no one hit the 13:13.50 Olympic standard (Tanui won in 13:15), but the silver lining was the performance of Northern Arizona senior Tyler Day, who ran 13:16.95 to surpass Galen Rupp as the third-fastest collegiate all-time indoors. It’s not like the time was a total shock— Day ran 13:25 in May— but eclipsing arguably the greatest distance runner in U.S. history carries significantly more weight than simply a nine-second PB.

Naturally, the question now becomes whether Day can translate his stellar performance into an NCAA title in March. Although he’s a standout cross country and 10k runner, Day was just 13th in the 5,000m at NCAA indoors last year and then failed to qualify for nationals outdoors despite his 13:25 being the fastest mark of the season. A great time-trialer, but it remains to be seen if he can thrive in a championship 5k setting.


That, and the presence of 2019 NCAA XC champion Edwin Kurgat, will make winning in Albuquerque a tough task come March, but this just might be a different version of Day than we’ve seen before. He did push a 12:58 man to the line, after all. Add in NCAAs being held at 5300 ft. above sea level (he trains at 6900 ft.), and it would seem that Day has a real chance to avenge past shortcomings in the 5,000m this March.

BYU’s Whittni Orton Remains On A Tear

It will be interesting to see which events BYU star distance runner Whittni Orton competes in at NCAAs, as Orton secured another outstanding mark on Saturday (4:29.76 mile at Dr. Sander Invite) to go along with her 15:22.98 5k from December. Orton, who placed seventh at NCAA XC in November, continued her ascent over the weekend from solid collegiate runner to stud collegiate runner by finishing just a step behind 2019 World Championship finalist Nikki Hiltz and breaking the Cougar school record.

Orton has previously been a miler, so her running the mile-DMR double at NCAAs seems most likely. The 5k is also stacked with Katie Izzo (15:13 PB), Weini Kelati (15:14 PB) and defending champion Alicia Monson representing significant roadblocks. All three beat Orton at nationals in cross country. The mile could ultimately feature four-time NCAA champion Dani Jones, so it’s not like any path to the top will be easy. But Orton’s continued rise should make her a threat in any event that she chooses, and whichever route she takes will have a significant impact on the distance races at nationals.

Jessica Hull Might Be On The Cusp Of A Breakout

No performance at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday was more expertly crafted than Jessica Hull’s 4:04.14 1500m win, as the former NCAA champion let training partner Konstanze Klosterhalfen do all the work before cutting her down in the final 10 meters.

It is just one race, of course, but beating someone of the caliber of Klosterhalfen-- the 2019 World Championship 5k bronze medalist and 4:19 miler-- proves that Hull’s finishing speed is elite. The 23-year-old missed the 1500m World Championship final last October, but only after she ran a 4:01.80 PB. The type of form she showed in Boston indicates she could be a medal threat at March’s World Indoor Championships. 

Beyond that, it’s going to be tough to make serious noise in an event as deep as the women’s 1500m outdoors in just year two as a pro, but Saturday suggests that the best of Hull is yet to come.

Brazier Solos #2 All-Time 600m, Hull Kicks Down Klosterhalfen At NBIGP

(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Three Events To Watch At BU: Jenkins/Tanui/NAU 5k, Engels In The Mile

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The 2020 BU John Thomas Terrier Classic is this Friday and Saturday (Jan 24-25) in Boston and will be Live on FloTrack. A fast men's 5k and the season debut of Craig Engels in the mile are among the top events to watch this weekend:

Weekend Watch Guide: Fast Boston 5k, Elite Sprints In New Mexico

Several of the top distance runners and sprinters in the country will be on display this weekend on FloTrack as we stream two days of action at the BU John Thomas Terrier Classic in Boston and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collegiate Invitational in Albuquerque this Friday and Saturday. U.S. Olympic hopeful Eric Jenkins and training partner Paul Tanui will chase the 13:13.50 Olympic 5k standard along with several NAU stars on Friday at BU, while reigning 60m hurdles world champion Keni Harrison will face 2019 NCAA champion Chanel Brissett in the hurdles at New Mexico on Saturday. That, and so much more, can be seen on our live slate Jan. 24 - 25:

As Trials Approach, Three Contenders Speak On State Of Shoes

As the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials rapidly draw near, tensions surrounding the fate of Nike’s controversial Vaporfly shoes are at an all-time high. Reports in recent weeks that World Athletics is set to ban the shoe have led to speculation of when a potential rule change would be made and what specifically the governing body seeks to outlaw. With less than 40 days until Atlanta, both action or inaction by World Athletics will be a major storyline in the race for Tokyo. 

Eight Sub-2:21 Women Set To Contest 2020 Boston Marathon

(c) 2020 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Houston Organizers Award 'Top U.S. Male' Prize Money To Two Runners

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The Houston Half Marathon organizers decided to award their "top U.S. male finisher" prize money ($2,000) to two athletes this year.

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The Houston Half Marathon organizers decided to award their "top U.S. male finisher" prize money ($2,000) to two athletes this year.

At first glance, the top American at the 2020 Houston Half Marathon appeared to be Jared Ward, who crossed the finish line first in 1:01:36. Finishing less than two seconds behind him was former BYU runner Nico Montanez, who currently trains with the Mammoth Track Club under Andrew Kastor.

Heading into this race, Montanez's resume (1:04:29 PB) wasn't enough for the elite field; therefore, he was relegated to the American Development Program field. As a result, Montanez had to start in the second corral behind the elites.

The initial results recorded Montanez's chip time as four seconds faster than his gun time. Nico confirmed in his post-race interview that he took about five seconds to get to the starting chip mat. 

Here's a screenshot of Montanez's splits after the race—his start time is set to 7:01 a.m. and 3 seconds (the time of day when he crossed the starting mat).

Because Montanez's chip time of 1:01:34 was faster than Ward's chip time of 1:01:36, the Houston organizers took a page out of the Boston Marathon's book and decided to award the 'top U.S. male' prize money to both Ward and Montanez.