In the world of endurance sports, 35-year-old ultramarathon runner Courtney Dauwalter has established a reputation for herself thanks to her distinctive diet and training regimen. She has recently risen to become one of the best athletes in the world, despite always competing in her trademark loose-fitting T-shirt and basketball shorts.
Dauwalter started running in 2017 and has since accomplished some remarkable feats. She won the 100-mile Western States race in 2018 and the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, one of the most difficult trail races in the world, in 2019. She resumed her winning streak at the Big’s Backyard Ultra by accomplishing an amazing 283.3 miles in less than 57 hours despite the hard year of 2020.
In a recent interview with Runner’s World, Dauwalter shared insights into her training and eating habits. Despite her demanding training schedule that involves several hours of running on Golden, Colorado’s trails, she maintains a relaxed approach to her diet, stating that she wants to enjoy life fully and eat whatever sounds and tastes good without worrying about it.
Dauwalter’s typical training day starts with two cups of coffee with French vanilla creamer, followed by dry cereal straight from the box, with her current favorite being Cinnamon Toast Crunch. After a gym session of bodyweight exercises, she heads out for a two- to four-hour trail run fueled by Tailwind Nutrition drink mix, Honey Stinger waffles, or chews. For lunch, she typically eats vegetables with hummus or fruit, while her dinner mainly consists of vegetables.
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Unlike many athletes who follow strict training regimens, Dauwalter listens to her body and decides how much and how far she will run each day. She stated that sometimes, her preparation for a run doesn’t match the run itself, but she listens to her body, brain, and systems and allows her feet to dictate her training.
One of Dauwalter’s indulgences is nachos, and she enjoys experimenting with different toppings with her husband. They’ve even developed a Thanksgiving-themed version with toppings like ground turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, fried onions, dried cranberries, gravy, and jalapeños. Dauwalter brainstorms new nacho ideas while out on her runs and is considering developing breakfast and dessert versions and Mediterranean-style toppings with feta and olives.
When it comes to race-day fuel, Dauwalter’s go-to is mashed potatoes. She mixes in butter, salt, pepper, and some sour cream, which she claims goes down easily and provides plenty of calories. Dauwalter’s relaxed approach to training and nutrition demonstrates that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to success in endurance sports.