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Emma Bates and Keira D'Amato's Running and Nutrition Tips

Emma Bates and Keira D'Amato's Running and Nutrition Tips

Keira D'Amato and Emma Bates are two powerhouses of the professional marathon world. Keira D'Amato, who returned to the world of professional running in 2016, recently set the American record in the half-marathon in a blazing fast 1:06:39 at the ASICS Half Marathon on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Emma Bates trains in Boulder, Colorado with Coach Joe Bosshard and in April of 2023 was the first American woman to finish the Boston Marathon. We sat down with them to discuss their nutrition strategies and running tips to help you become an even stronger runner. 

Keira D’Amato’s Running Tips

  • Mindset is everything! Before a hard workout or a race, think of a short but powerful mantra to repeat to yourself when it gets tough out there. 
  • It’s amazing to push yourself, but even better to push others to achieve as well. After breaking the American Women’s record for Half-Marathon, Keira told us that she looks forward to congratulating the next woman to move the bar forward.
  • Crosstrain! In addition to her running workouts, Keira makes sure to add in hip and ankle mobility sessions, yoga, and pilates to her weekly training sessions to stay flexible and strong. 

Keira D’Amato’s Race Day Nutrition Plan

Keira's balanced breakfast combined with the Edge Energy Gels sets her up for her fast races. It is vital to include long-lasting carbohydrates in your race day nutrition to keep your energy levels steady throughout the whole race.  

Pre-Race Breakfast

  • Oatmeal with Chia Seeds
  • UCAN Energy (1 Scoop, Cran Raz Energy mixed with 12 oz water)
  • Coffee
  • Sipped on UCAN Energy all morning (a second bottle of 1 scoop Cran Raz mixed with 12 oz of water)

During the Race

  • UCAN Edge every 10k while racing; 3-4 total gels during race (Pineapple and Orange flavors are her favorite)

Keira’s Pro-Tip: Don’t be afraid to fuel even though you might not think you’ll need it, rather than wishing for it mid-run. “I love the way it makes me feel. Listen, I’m running fast, I’m hurting, the gel gives me a moment of joy and helps with the hangry thoughts.”

Keira D'Amato Drinks UCAN Energy


Keira D’Amato’s UCAN Fueling Strategy 

  • Pre-load with fuel in the morning so that you go into your workout feeling strong and motivated. 
  • Make sure you fuel consistently in your workouts. On runs that last longer than an hour, Keira takes a UCAN Edge Energy Gel every 45 minutes. 
  • Recover well post-training. Keira can sometimes get lightheaded when she doesn’t get enough calories after a workout. She relies on her favorite Vanilla UCAN Energy + Protein immediately after a hard effort.

Emma Bates’ Running Tips

  • You’re only as strong as your core. Emma makes core strengthening a priority all-year and focuses on exercises for her abdominals and back.
  • Strong hips = strong running form. Emma trains her hips post runs with band exercises. Having a hip band exercise routine helps her prevent injuries. When hips are weak, stress is placed on the knees causing other muscles to overcompensate which can result in muscle strains. 
  • Find a support system! Having a community of people who support you, your goals, and your training is so important to hold you accountable and motivating.

      Emma Bates’ Race Day Nutrition Plan

      Pre-Race Breakfast

      • 1 slice toast with peanut butter and jelly
      • Coffee

      During the Race

      • Emma takes one UCAN Edge every 5K as she races; total of 7-8 gels during race (Pineapple and Strawberry Banana flavors are her favorite)

      Emma’s Pro-tip: Balance is the goal. Sometimes before a race, Emma will have a glass of wine to make sure she’s relaxed. It’s equally as important to treat yourself when you’re training hard and eating nutritiously. She told us that “it’s a special routine before a race, a nice little treat!”


      Emma’s Morning Race Rehearsal Routine

      • Wakes up 3 hours before race start time

      • Eats her pre race breakfast

      • Puts on her clothing that she laid out the night before

      • Light stretches and lunge matrix for activation 

      • In the car on the way to her run location, she visualizes how she wants her workout to go 

      • Pumps herself up by listening to music 

      • Starts the run (uses this time to be present during each mile) 

      • Takes the first half of the run to get a rhythm going and pushes the second half of the run to really simulate the race


        Emma & Keira's Favorite UCAN

        Best Seller

        Strawberry Banana Edge

        Strawberry Banana Edge

        Strawberry Banana


        Pineapple Edge

        Pineapple Edge



        Cookies & Cream Energy + Protein Powder
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