The Smoothie Olympic Marathoner Shalane Flanagan Swears By

Your new pre-workout snack.

Images courtesy of Alan Weiner

Can’t Beet Me Smoothie

For speed-workout days

Serves 2

Beets continue to gain respect among runners for their performance-enhancing benefits—and for good reason. Beets are packed with nutrients and are rich in antioxidants and minerals, all good things for your cardiovascular health.

Since Elyse couldn’t convince Shalane to eat a big beet salad for breakfast, this beet-rich smoothie is how Shalane now fuels up before a hard morning workout. The coconut water gives a boost of electrolytes, and the almond butter helps her body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in the beets and blueberries.

Shalane shared this recipe with elite marathoner Matt Llano while training together in Flagstaff, and this has become his go-to smoothie.

This recipe makes enough for two, so your running buddy (if you have one) can fuel up, too. Or you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

1 cooked beet (see directions below), peeled and quartered

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 small frozen banana

1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other milk of choice

1 cup coconut water

1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled (use edge of spoon)

1 tablespoon almond butter

In a blender, place the beet, blueberries, banana, milk, coconut water, ginger, and almond butter. Blend on high speed for several minutes until smooth.

For rushed mornings, this smoothie can be made the night before and simply stirred in the a.m. and sipped while you lace up.

Two Easy Methods to Cook Beets


Wrap unpeeled, trimmed beets individually in foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven at 350F for 1 to 1 ½ hours, depending on the size. Beets are done when a butter knife easily pierces through the center of each beet. Cool, peel, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Place trimmed beets in a small pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until a butter knife easily pierces through the center of each beet, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool, peel, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Recipe excerpted from Run Fast Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. By permission of Rodale Books.

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