Sara Hall is one of the top marathoners in the world and her career is a testament to longevity and perseverance. She has the 2nd fastest half marathon time and 3rd fastest marathon time ever for an American woman. In 2020, she set a new marathon personal best of 2:20:32 at The Marathon Project and became the first American to podium at the London Marathon since 2006, placing 2nd. Sara has placed in the top 10 several times at major marathons, is the world record holder for the treadmill half marathon, a 3-time US 10 Mile Champion, and 2-time 20k National Champion.
As a Human Biology major in college, Sara took a keen interest in how to optimize the body for both health and performance. Sara has prioritized a low-glycemic diet to keep her metabolic systems in top shape to sustain her body through many miles. Here are some of her nutrition and recovery tips!
Sara Hall’s Nutrition tips:
- Including protein in your diet is so important to keep your muscles strong and your hunger satisfied. Sara emphasizes protein in all of her meals and she even drinks a protein shake before bed to help her recharge overnight.
- Limit added sugar whenever you can to help make you a healthier and more balanced athlete. Sara keeps added sugar to a minimum in her daily nutrition routine. Her training fuel consists of UCAN and ketones, both of which contain zero sugar so they don’t cause her blood glucose to spike and crash.
- Variety is key! Sara has a balanced nutrition regimen locked-in before a race. She recommends including different kinds of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, fiber, and healthy fats to give your body the micronutrients it needs to keep you strong and healthy. Before a big race she focuses on simple carbohydrates like pasta, rice, and mac & cheese instead of a fibrous, vegetable heavy meal to help deter any GI issues that might arise.
Sara’s Race Day Nutrition Plan
- Two scoops of Cocoa UCAN Energy + Protein and two scoops of Plain UCAN Energy Powder
- Pineapple UCAN Edge Energy Gel at the startline + KetoneIQ energy shot
- 1 scoop Lemon UCAN Energy every 5k or 10k depending on how she feels
- Two scoops of Cocoa UCAN Energy + Protein immediately after; Thai pumpkin curry with shrimp a few hours later
Sara’s Recovery Tips:
Sara’s longevity as a marathon runner is due in large part to her focus on recovery. Getting your muscles repaired after a hard workout and ready for the next training session is vital for injury prevention! Here are some of Sara’s favorite recovery tips:
- Scrape through any muscle that feels tight with a muscle scraping tool. Easy flushing massages are also great to help with soreness.
- On an off day, get blood flow to your legs with exercises that are not taxing. For example - jumping in the pool, elliptical, easy running, or cycling.
- Sleep as much as you can! It is so important to get solid REM sleep to recover fully.
- Even on rest days, keep protein a priority in your daily nutrition. Your muscles need the extra protein to repair and recover for your next workout.