Jackie Dikos, RD, CSSD
Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, Nutritionist
Jackie Dikos is a board certified Registered Dietitian (RD) with board certification as a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Dietetics at the University of Cincinnati and completed the Indiana University Dietetic Internship in Indianapolis. Jackie provides individualized nutrition counseling and education to those seeking assistance in sports and fitness related nutrition, weight loss or gain, medical nutrition therapy, disordered eating, and general health and wellness. Her professional history includes clinical experience working with medical conditions in infants, children, and adult populations. She speaks on nutrition, health, wellness, and exercise in a variety of settings including the club, team, and corporate environments. She has been a contributor to Running Times Magazine and www.runningtimes.com; and has been cited as a source in other popular magazines including Runner’s World, Women’s Running, and Shape.
Jackie strives to stay current with nutrition research and trends as a member of the American Dietetic Association, Indiana Dietetic Association, Central Indiana District Dietetic Association, and the ADA Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutritionists Group (SCAN).
As an athlete herself, Jackie’s athletic career is highlighted as a participant in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Team Trials in the marathon. She is a member of PowerBar Team Elite and Personal Best Training.
Notable performances include:
10 mile: 59:16
Half Marathon: 1:17:32
50k: Gnaw Bone Winner 2013
* Mt. Rainier Summit 2011
* Competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Team Trials Marathon
* Chicago Marathon 15th place female finisher in 2007.
* Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Winner in 2010.
Growing up as one of 9 children had its challenges. I recall cross country team members in high school thinking that it wasn’t fair that I tallied extra weekly mileage because I often ran to and from summer practice. I’m not sure if they realized that I was just trying to get to practice. In high school I was an above average runner, but I never made it to the state meet other than on a 4 x 800 relay team. Even in college at the University of Cincinnati, I improved to nearly breaking 18 minutes on the track for 5k, but never a national championships birth.
After college running was more for the health benefits and to maintain some sort of fitness. I ran 3 marathons, all the Chicago Marathon. To prepare I used the Hal Higdon training plans. I felt good about training as I attempted parts of his advanced training plan. The plans served their purpose; I successfully finished all three marathons in a 3:15. When all was said and done, I considered myself an average runner and put in average training effort. I logged at best 30-40 miles/week and as few as 20-25 miles/week with little to no speed work.
After giving birth to my first son, my competitive spirit went into high gear. We bought a treadmill a month after he was born since my husband had such an erratic work schedule. Running on a treadmill day after day would get tedious. Before I knew it I was challenging myself workouts similar to my college days to mix things up a bit. I’d run early in the morning before my son woke, or they were late day runs after work. Many, many of my miles were logged either on the treadmill or pushing the running stroller during this complicated time in our lives.
It was 7 months after the birth of my son that I ran the Indianapolis Mini Marathon and finished 14th with a 1:24:29. I think I earned a little prize money for being one of the top Indiana finishers. It was this race that was a motivational turning point for me. If I could do this, surely I can do more.
That summer I logged personal records. I ran a 17:55 5k and a 5:09 mile. Later that fall I met my current coach, Matt Ebersole. We sat down for a 1 hour meeting where he very briefly brought up an Olympic Trials Marathon attempt. I remember laughing to myself thinking this guy is crazy. I did appreciate that I had potential because I was still only logging about 30 miles a week, but questioned my capabilites at the national level.
By spring Matt had me up to 50 miles a week and an improved Indianapolis Mini Marathon performance of 4th place with a time of 1:20:26. It was after this race that he really pushed to go for the Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon. At the time I was so proud of the fact that I was a working mom running 50 miles a week. It felt like so much. How could I possibly fit in more?
With the support of my wonderful husband, Matt got me up to 90 miles a week by the fall. Such mileage was an achievement for me in and of itself. I got down to a 17:06 5k and achieved what I once thought was the impossible – Olympic Team Trials Marathon qualification. I finished the Chicago Marathon in 2:45:35, nearly 1.5 minutes under the 2:47 qualifying mark.
Since becoming a Sports Dietitian I have a much deeper appreciation for the role of nutrition in sports performance compared to my early days of running. I now have 2 children and earned qualifications to the 2008 and the 2012 Olympic Team Trials in the marathon. I truly embrace the world of sports performance and nutrition both personally and professionally.
It’s never too late to challenge, train, and dream big!