Dairy Keeps Elite Athletes Running, Olympic Hopeful Elle Purrier St. Pierre Says

Elinor “Elle” Purrier St. Pierre holds the U.S. record for fastest times in the women’s indoor mile and two-mile races. She’s also a dairy farmer, having grown up on a 40-cow operation in Vermont and currently living on one with her husband as she trains for a shot at the Tokyo Olympics.

Those Olympics, like everything else, have been disrupted by COVID-19, which last year sent Purrier St. Pierre back to Vermont, away from her training partners at Team New Balance Boston and in need of a new approach to top-level preparation for some of the most important races of her life.

“Up here I’m pretty by myself. So it was pretty tough, but I ironed out how to do it up here. I figured out that I needed to get the job done,” she said. “So I bought a lot of my own equipment, and I found new places to run, and once I got settled in, I’m so happy that I have this home to come home to and train here. And I do feel very grounded here.”

Purrier St. Pierre also discusses how dairy has helped her own fitness, and how it’s a crucial part of an elite diet. Purrier St. Pierre, who studied nutrition at the University of New Hampshire, says she couldn’t reach the heights she’s attained without it.

“The first thing I do when I get done running is, I chug a glass of milk. And I just know everything in there is going to help me do better,” she said. “It’s got the perfect ratio of carbs and protein, when you add the chocolate, and just so many vitamins and minerals. It’s crazy what a great resource it is for athletes like me.”

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