Here's How A World Champion Runner Actually Eats And Trains

    Dinner is literally carbs with a side of carbs.

    This is Sanya Richards-Ross.

    At the moment she's training to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games.

    So how does someone run 400 meters (a quarter mile) in 48.7 seconds?

    For starters: Pull-ups, squats, push-ups, step-ups, and dips.

    Even though her sport is running, about 40% of Richards-Ross's training is strength-based — she lifts weights three to four days per week. Getting stronger all over with functional movements like squats, push-ups, pull-ups, step-ups, and dips helps her prepare for heavier, more explosive lifting later in the season.

    Then come the pretty heavy barbells.

    Olympic lifting is an important part of Richards-Ross's weight training, and also one of her favorite ways to work out. It requires the lifter to move a barbell from the floor to overhead using speed, precision, and explosive power, all of which are crucial to sprinting. Practicing different variations of these lifts (like the hang cleans Richards-Ross is doing here) helps her sprinting, especially when it comes to exploding off the blocks at the very beginning of a race.

    And of course she runs five days a week.

    She also does 1,000 sit-ups every night.

    Another important part of her training is 100% mental.

    BTW, Richards-Ross only takes six weeks off of training a year.

    With all her training, Richards-Ross's diet has to keep her fueled for workouts and help her recover from them afterward.

    After her first workout of the day, she heads home to make lunch.

    Her between-workouts snack is a scoop of fruit-and-vegetable salad which she makes in a big batch to eat throughout the week.

    After two workouts, a nap, maybe a massage, and probably some time with her physical therapist, it's time for dinner: brown rice with vegetables and whole wheat linguine.

    Once a week she has one of her favorite treats: rum raisin ice cream or cheese pizza.

    Richard-Ross says that she tries to take cheat days on weekends so that she can enjoy things like birthday cake and eating out, because she hates "being the person who can't eat anything," she says. Keeping her cheat meals to a once a week helps her stick to her diet overall, she says. "I actually look forward to Saturday or Sunday ... I think it’s important to have those things in your diet to look forward to. It refocuses me for Monday when I'll stay on my diet until cheat day comes around again," she says.

    She's also got a soft spot for Skittles.

    What a hero.