Interview | Adelle Tracey

Seattle born middle distance runner, Adelle Tracey, has put in some spectacular performances in the past twelve months, which are sparking a lot of conversations. After narrowly missing out on selection for Rio, Adelle was clocked at 2:01:80 in the British Champs to secure her spot at the World Championships last year.

During the most recent indoor grad prix in Glasgow, Adelle was one of the stand out performers, and at only 24 years old, must realistically be considered one to watch ahead of the 2020 Games.

We stole a few moments with Adelle ahead of her competition at the Commonwealth Games 2018 to find out how she is fuelling her performances...

Adelle, ahead of a race, what sorts of food/snacks are you having, & when are you eating? "When your racing away its sometimes hard to get exactly what you need pre race. I always travel with some Pre-cooked Tofu (as I am Veggie) to make sure I can get enough protein in a meal about 3-4 hours before I race. For carbs I make do with whatever is available so normally that's rice or pasta and some steamed vegetables . An hour before warm up my go-to is a Naked bar (coco orange flavour) a banana, coffee (flat white) + 2 pro plus!"

Do you have to carbo-load, or similar, in the build up to a competition? "I run the 800m so I don't really carbo load as my event only lasts around 2 minutes. I do however  tend to opt for less fibrous carbs like white rice & pasta so that I can get a quicker release of energy".

So what sorts of foods do you eat after competing? "I almost always have a protein shake right after competing and cherry juice to aid recovery and reduce DOMS. Then I’ll try and get a good meal in - I love thai green curry and after a race you normally don't feel like eating much so I try to go for something that tastes good".

Does your diet change much between off & on-season? "Yes. I think off-season is bit of a novelty for most athletes. Don’t get me wrong I will have a slice of cake in season but I think the process of making smarter meal choices to fuel your body kind of goes out the window in off season". 

What are your thoughts on protein bars & shakes? "I dont use bars much but I find shakes a good way for me especially as a vegetarian to get a quick source of protein if you can’t get a meal right away. However I’d always say I’d try and eat food over a shake if I can".

Do you eat much at the gym/after the gym? "I don't normally eat in the gym but afterwards I’ve recently started having quark quite a bit with a bit of granola & fruit".

What does a sprinters gym session look like for you (lots of weights, or cardio, or a mix)? "I am middle distance therefore my gym sessions are a mix of Strength (Squats, RDL’s, Rows) , Power (speed squats, Box jumps, CMJ’s) and Conditioning (controlled band work, Core & Glutes). The cardio comes from my session in the morning and run in the evening either side of my gym in the afternoon". 

What is your cheat meal? "I love pizza & dessert - which would always be sticky toffee pudding". 

What meal(s) do rely on the most at home?  "I do sweet potatoes a lot with roasted vegetable and a kale and avocado salad and my other go to is lentil spag bol which normally turns into a chilli or lasagne later on!"

Do you have a favourite recipe? "I really like making protein balls. I just use a bit nut butter, blitzeds pecans or walnuts (because they crumble best) Caoca powder, a little coconut oil and dates + desiccated coconut!"

Is there anything you actively avoid? "I have no food allergies therefore I don't think there any need to avoid certain foods. I am vegetarian though - I have been all my life so I guess I avoid meat & fish".

How important is hydration at your level? "Very important. I use hydration salts on session and race days but tend to just drink water & juice on the days in between".

You've been an elite athlete for a number of years now, has you diet changed or developed in this time? "Definitely. I have always eaten healthy meals but I think now I have more of an awareness of how to eat to fuel myself. Particularly being veggie I’ve learnt a lot to over the years about protein and Iron rich foods. Being an athlete what you put in is what you get out those little changes made in nutrition can make a big difference in performance".

Do you have any pre-race rituals? "I don't really have any - I think its good to not have to many pre-race rituals, the less routine you have the more adaptable you can be to changes in circumstance, which is inevitable in sport".

Do you have a favourite place to compete in? "I love racing at Watford. I’ve raced there since under 13 so it holds some good memories"

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