How the Collegiates Fuel: Spotlight on Karissa Schweizer

Hello SRC, happy Thursday! This week we have the privilege of hearing from 3x NCAA champion, Karissa Schweizer! Karissa shares advice on running strong and reminds us all to love the sport of running and do what makes you happy.

Karissa Schweizer

  1. Who are you? Karissa Schweizer, 21, Urbandale, IA. University of Missouri mile through 5k specialist.
  2. Greatest running achievement? Some of my greatest achievements thus far have been 2016 Cross Country NCAA champion, 2017 indoor 5k NCAA champion, and 2017 outdoor 5k NCAA champion. 5 time All-American. Four time SEC champion.
  3. What is your your favorite pre-workout snack? Meal? My favorite pre-workout snack for a morning workout is coffee and toast with peanut butter and jelly. When I have afternoon workouts I love to make kodiak pancakes with chocolate chips topped with a banana and peanut butter.
  4. How do your refuel after an easy day? Hard day? I usually practice in the morning, so my favorite way to refuel is a large breakfast. My go to breakfast is a egg-white scramble with lots of vegetables and potatoes, topped with a lot of salsa, and a side of jelly toast. And with that, to satisfy my horrible sweet tooth I usually have yogurt with lots of fruit topped with granola and Nutella.
  5. When it comes to running and nutrition, do you believe they go hand in hand? I believe nutrition plays a huge factor in running, just like how you can’t expect a car to run without fuel. I typically try to eat healthy but I have learned that strict dieting doesn’t work for me and if I am craving something I will eat it!
  6. Many runners believe they need to cut calories to run faster times. Do you believe that you need to be “thin to win”? The idea of being thin to win is sad; I wish this wasn’t the stigma of our sport. Personally I have had times when I’ve gotten too thin, but I quickly learned that I do not run well in that state, always feeling tired or weak, and am able to recognize when I need to put on some weight.
  7. Eating disorders are a very prevalent topic in the running world, more so than they used to be. Why do you think that is? I believe eating disorders are becoming more prevalent in the running world because of the results some individuals may experience (through faster times) as a outcome of losing weight. I think the other problem is the comparison game, when they see other runners that are really thin and running well. The issue with this is that no one sees that a body can’t sustain this. Girls that are running well because of an eating disorder may only be running well for a season before their body starts to shut down on them.
  8. Have you ever struggled with negative body image? If so, how did it affect your running? Yes, I struggled with this when I first started college running. It was a different atmosphere than high school and I started eating more salads for dinner because that’s what everyone else was doing. But then I would pig out at night because I was still hungry. I was very inconsistent my freshmen year and I believe this was due to the transition into harder training, and constantly comparing myself to others. I learned that comparing does nothing and you need to eat what you know works for you.
  9. If you could give one piece of advice to younger runners, what would you tell them? I would tell younger runners to always run for the love of the sport, once you start deviating away from that its hard to run well. Always strive to run happy, even if that means taking a day off when your body needs it, eating that dessert when your craving it, or just enjoying a easy run.
  10. What are five staple foods in your diet? My five staple foods are peanut butter, yogurt, eggs, steak, and pasta!
  11. Do you have any healthy food hacks?  My healthy food hack would be substituting non-flavored Greek yogurt for sour cream, taste the same to me and a lot healthier than sour cream.  
  12. What is your favorite pre-race meal the night before? Pasta with meat sauce and lots of breadsticks!
  13. Ultimate post-race meal or treat? My favorite post-race meal is pizza and a must is a dessert, usually ice cream or donuts!
  14. Any last words of wisdom? If you have a craving satisfy it! The key is moderation, but I strongly believe that you need to be happy and enjoy the sport to run well!
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Author: Johanna

Runner, photographer, breakfast lover and mountain hiker. Passionate about nutrition and inspiring others.

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