Aisha Praught Leer is a 1,500m runner who competes for Jamaica. She’s a multi-time national record-holder, the 2018 Commonwealth Games steeplechase gold medalist, and trains with Team Boss, in Scottsdale. The Jamaican-American citizen and Illinois native is currently preparing for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games and running some big workouts to ready herself.
Praught Leer says she’s always had a pretty good relationship with food, but that she has to keep an eye on her nutritional intake, as it’s a fine line for her between well-fed and under-fueled. “I’ve always been pretty good with my food intake, but I’ve learned over the past few years that being the lightest I can be is not a goal that suits me – at all. Now, I think of what I eat in terms of, ‘How strong can I be? How well-fueled can I be?'” She continues, “Anytime I slack or get forgetful with nutrition, that’s important calories I’m missing. When I come up short on calories, my body reacts immediately. I’ll get sick or I’ll develop an injury.”
Here’s a look at everything Praught Leer eats in a day to fuel her training, and keep her happy and healthy.
7:30 a.m. – Wake up time. She gets roughly nine hours of sleep a night.
7:45 a.m. – Breakfast for Praught Leer is usually sourdough toast with peanut butter, half a banana, honey and a little salt on top. She’ll drink a coffee with oat milk and water with a Nuun tablet alongside the toast. One thing to note: Praught Leer is lactose-intolerant, so there will be no dairy on this list.
9:00 a.m. – Training session number one. On this day, she had a track workout that included a three-mile tempo, one-mile interval and then 2 x 800m. Including the warmup and cooldown, the workout was nine miles in total.
10:30 a.m. – Snack time. Post-workout and pre-gym, Praught Leer had an oat milk latte, with one scoop of plant-based protein, plus water and more Nuun.
10:45 a.m. – Lift session.
11:45 a.m. – Lunch is roughly one cup of white rice, half an avocado, three eggs and a mixed greens salad with carrots and bell peppers.
Noon – Netflix and chill.
1:00 p.m. – Praught Leer then had a physio appointment, where she drank two sparkling waters.
2:15 p.m. – Snack number two was a dairy-free Belgian waffle with vegan butter, peanut butter, honey and a cup of berries. She also wanted to add some more protein, so she ate some roast turkey.
5:00 p.m. – Snack number three, ahead of her cross-training session, was an English muffin with hummus and turkey.
5:25 p.m. – Afternoon cross-train, which was a 35-minute aqua jog. After this workout, she’ll have more Nuun with some collagen powder mixed in.
7:00 p.m. – For dinner, Praught Leer had a Thai green curry with chicken and vegetables with white rice.
8:00 p.m. – For an evening snack she’ll usually have some dark chocolate and probably more bubbly water.
9:00 p.m. – Before bed, Praught Leer does a few rehab exercises to close out her day and prepare her body for tomorrow.
9:30 p.m. – Bedtime.
Praught Leer says her diet is not very restrictive, but she also doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. “I don’t crave sugary sweets necessarily – I’d rather eat chips. My rule of thumb is, if I feel like it, I eat it. No food is off-limits.” When it comes to alcohol, she has a glass of wine four nights a week, unless there’s a big race on the horizon, in which case, she skips the booze.
Praught Leer’s biggest nutrition tip for all runners is, “Don’t skimp on food. You’ll have a longer career, you’ll be happier, you’ll train better, sleep better and run better if you fuel your body properly.”