The ability to dynamically control mRNA translation has a great impact on many intracellular processes. Whereas it is believed that translational control in eukaryotes occurs mainly at initiation, the condition-specific changes at the elongation level and their potential regulatory role remain unclear. Using computational approaches applied to ribosome profiling data, we show that elongation rate is dynamic and can change considerably during the yeast meiosis to facilitate the selective translation of stage-specific transcripts. We observed unique elongation changes during meiosis II, including a global inhibition of translation elongation at the onset of anaphase II accompanied by a sharp shift toward increased elongation for genes required at this meiotic stage. We also show that ribosomal proteins counteract the global decreased elongation by maintaining high initiation rates. Our findings provide new insights into gene expression regulation during meiosis and demonstrate that codon usage evolved, among others, to optimize timely translation.