How the Pros Fuel: Spotlight on Emily Infeld

This week features 2016 Olympian and 2015 Outdoor Track World Bronze medalist, Emily Infeld! Emily is an experienced runner with a wealth of knowledge regarding injury and nutrition. Keep reading to hear some of the lessons Emily has learned throughout her running career.

Emily Infeld

  1. Who are you?  Emily infeld, 26, 5k/10k track runner, from University Heights Ohio-east suburb of Cleveland and currently live in Portland, Oregon
  2. Short description of running experience or greatest achievement? NCAA champion, professional runner for Nike and Bowerman Track Club. 2015 outdoor track world bronze medalist for 10k,  and 2016 Olympian for 10k.
  3. What is your your favorite pre-workout snack? Meal? I love oatmeal with cinnamon, banana and peanut butter for breakfast or a snack before a workout. Also pretzels, pumpkin seeds, and clif energy blocks!
  4. How do your refuel after an easy day? Hard day? I always take iron after my morning run or workout. If I just had a super hard workout I’ll have some sort of protein bar-Clif Builder’s bars if I’m super hungry or maybe just normal Clif if not. An easy day I normally will have some sort of fruit and maybe some pretzels and nuts or a lighter bar. Then I make sure to have a meal at most an hour later!
  5. When it comes to running and nutrition, do you believe they go hand in hand? Yes I do! I feel like you work out so hard you need to properly fuel your body for the workout and fuel for recovery as well!
  6. Many runners believe they need to cut calories to run faster times. Do you believe that you need to be “thin to win”? I think I look different from the stereotypical distance runner, I have a lot more muscle especially my legs. I for sure have been self conscious about this early in my running career and would compare myself to other distance runners. But I learned everyone is different, everybody is soo different. I think you should be healthy and definitely make sure you are eating enough! Some gals have more muscle mass than others, I don’t think anyone should try to force their body to look different than it normally would. This will only cause injury and the cycle of injury is already so prevalent in our sport when you push your body to the max that you just properly fuel to last through the long season.
  7. Eating disorders are a very prevalent topic in the running world, more so than they used to be. Why do you think that is? I think there is a lot of comparison. People look at a few women and try to force their bodies to match those women. It may be a body type that is a result of a compilation of years and years of work and high mileage weeks-you can’t starve yourself to try to match that or you will likely be injured and unhappy. The comparison game is hard; I think it comes from a competitive place, and I do think that competitive fire and fierceness is fabulous but it needs to be channeled correctly. Instead of focusing on becoming someone else, focus on becoming your best self. I also think people try to take shortcuts they want to lose weight now and instead of letting your body naturally develop with proper fuel and training they try to force a certain body. Patience is key here and also a love for your own self and body! Everyone is different and beautiful and I think we should be proud of this. It’s hard and there’s an element of perfectionism and wanting to match an idol maybe but I think everyone is perfect in their own individual self and should never try to become someone else!
    Emily Infeld
  8. Have you ever struggled with negative body image? If so, how did it affect your running? Yes I definitely have! I actually lost a lot of weight my first year as a professional and I think because of this it definitely played a role in my injury cycle. I just wasn’t paying attention to my nutrition. I wasn’t fueling after runs and I was happy that I seemed “fit” and “thin”. But I lost my muscle, my power and strength and I wasn’t racing well. It has taken me awhile to get back to my equilibrium and I would rather be a little on the “heavier” side (I feel ridiculous saying this-but I just mean I would rather make sure I am on the upper end of my own individual equilibrium to prevent injury).
  9. If you could give one piece of advice to younger runners, what would you tell them? Love yourself and be happy with yourself! It’s more of a struggle for some opposed to others. But just don’t be too hard on yourself, be kind and loving! And if you want ice cream eat it!!! Especially if it’s almond brittle salted chocolate ganache Salt N Straw ice cream 🙂
  10. What are five staple foods in your diet? Pumpkin seeds, apples, oatmeal, eggs, and carrots.
  11. Do you have any healthy food hacks? love adding beets to smoothies for iron! I will make Greek yogurt dip for veggies-I love Ellenos full fat unsweetened plain yogurt and adding spices to it (garlic, salt, cumin, rosemary, whatever you have and like!) and then dip veggies in it-soo easy and yummy!
  12. What is your favorite pre-race meal the night before? I love penne pasta with meatballs, some veggies, and rolls!
  13. Ultimate post-race meal or treat? A hot fudge brownie sundae, wine and pizza
  14. Any last words of wisdom? Be happy, passionate, patient and kind to yourself and others 🙂 Emily Infeld
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Author: Johanna

Runner, photographer, breakfast lover and mountain hiker. Passionate about nutrition and inspiring others.

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