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Elise Cranny on RED-S, body changes, and inspiring young runners to celebrate their strength


Elise Cranny is a professional mid-distance runner who competes for the Bowerman Track Club (BTC) in Portland, Oregon. Elise was a standout runner at Niwot High School in Colorado, where she won two 4A state cross country titles and ran the 3rd fastest high school 1500m time ever (4:10.95). Elise then attended Stanford University, where she was a 12 time All-American and finished second at the NCAA Championships four times. She was a key part of Stanford’s 2018 third-place trophy in Outdoor Track and was the anchor for the Card’s perennially contending Distance Medley Relay. She joining BTC in the early spring of 2019, she has run a PR of 14:48:02 in the 5k, the 7th fastest women’s 5k time in American history. Recently, Elise has opened up about her struggles with Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports (RED-S), and she mentors young female athletes through the organization Voice in Sport.

Discussed in this episode:

  • Elise’s experience with RED-S
  • Why the period is such an important tool for athletes
  • Body image and comparison
  • Mentoring young athletes
  • Stress fractures
  • Staying the course when getting over an under-fueling and injury cycle
  • Places to go for professional help: NEDA Project HEAL McCallum Place


“For so long the conversation was ‘more, more, train harder, get leaner!’ I think we still need to work on changing that message, particularly in the running community–focusing on gaining strength instead of losing weight, and getting that consistent, long, healthy career.”

“What I come back to a lot is asking myself, ‘how do you feel? Do you feel strong and powerful? Then can we try to focus more on that than on appearance and what we look like?’”

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*The RED-S/eating disorder series is sponsored by FEM Protein Powder. You can follow FEM Protein Powder on Instagram @femproteinpowder and you can order online at Use promo code SOCIALSPORT at checkout to receive 10% off your order.

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