What Athletes Eat: Shalane Flanagan's Marathon-Training Salad

On Monday, hometown girl Shalane Flanagan will run in her third Boston Marathon, aiming for a top-three finish in what has already been a lightning-fast season. In September, she made headlines at the Berlin Marathon with the second-fastest time ever for an American woman. We talked to Flanagan about how she fuels her marathon training, and her upcoming cookbook of healthy eats for fellow runners. She also gave us a sneak peek at one of her favorite recipes, a lentil salad she eats during high-volume training.

Day and time: A Tuesday evening at 6 p.m.

Place: In Flagstaff, Arizona, while training for the Boston Marathon

What I'm eating: Grilled peppered steak and Moroccan lentil salad with apricots and almonds

Why I'm eating it: When I'm training at high altitude I crave red meat. Grass-fed beef is full of iron, good fat and protein to fuel my intense training. The lentil salad recipe ensures I get my veggie fix and the sweet spices in the dressing are great for fighting inflammation.

The salad is one of my favorite recipes in my forthcoming cookbook, Run Fast Eat Slow. I'm currently writing it with my longtime friend Elyse Kopecky (also a runner!).

The full recipe:
Moroccan Lentil Salad
Time to create: 45 minutes; Serves six

1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked according to package directions
1 cup dried green lentils, sorted and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 medium-size carrots, peeled, grated
2 cups loosely packed chopped kale
1/2 cup toasted pistachios or almonds, chopped
1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots, chopped
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted, chopped
1 tablespoon Ras el Hanout (Moroccan spice blend)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 small shallot, minced

To cook the lentils and couscous: Place the lentils in a medium pot, add the salt, and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat then turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender but not mushy, about 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Cook the couscous in a separate pot according to package directions. Fluff and set aside to cool.

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup and shallot. Set aside.

To assemble the salad: Place the carrots, kale, nuts, apricots, olives and Ras el Hanout in a large salad bowl. Add the cooked couscous and lentils and toss until evenly combined. Add the dressing and toss again. Taste and, if needed, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and another drizzle of olive oil. Cover the salad and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.