How the Collegiates Fuel: Spotlight on Emma Abrahamson

This week features the perspective of collegiate runner, Emma Abrahamson. Emma is a member of the Oregon Cross Country & Track team and was a part of the 2016 NCAA Women’s Championship team. Emma is an strong believer of fueling your body with whole foods, you can follow her on Instagram @onecrazedfoodie for fueling inspiration!

emma abrahamson

  1. Who are you? Emma Abrahamson, 20, from Carlsbad, California, University of Oregon track and field and cross country, middle-distance runner (800, 1500/mile).
  2. Short description of running experience or greatest achievement? I have been running competitively since I was 9 years old. Member of Oregon’s 2015/2016 Pac 12 t&f championship team, 2016 women’s cross country NCAA championship team. 1500 PR of 4:18.
  3. What is your your favorite pre-workout snack? Meal? When I have morning practice, I always eat the same breakfast: oatmeal with banana and peanut butter and coffee. If I have afternoon practice, I like to eat toast with peanut butter and banana. So you could say I definitely run on peanut butter and bananas. oatmeal
  4. How do your refuel after an easy day? Hard day? I always make sure to get in a snack immediately after working out on both easy and hard days, lately that has been an apple and protein shake if I am on the go. I prefer to make a smoothie if I have time to go home with a bunch of frozen fruit, spinach, and protein powder. Then I eat a big nutritious meal 1-2 hours later.
  5. When it comes to running and nutrition, do you believe they go hand in hand? Yes! Your body is an engine, and you need to fuel it right to get it to run fast. A big part of recovery is eating well so your muscles can rebuild off of the nutrients you consume. Eating healthy has boosted my energy both on and off the track and because of this I am a huge advocate for eating whole, nutrient-rich foods.
  6. Many runners believe they need to cut calories to run faster times. Do you believe that you need to be “thin to win”? Absolutely not. Every runner is built differently, and you can see that when you look at the starting line at big races. The best thing you can do is accepting who you are individually and doing your best with your body! Fueling your body right and being confident is far more important than cutting calories to look a certain way.emma abrahamson
  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? For some reason, this sport brings about the idea that being the thinnest possible will help your performance. Some runners have found temporary success this way, but in the long run your body cannot sustain itself with lack of fuel. I do not think body positivity is addressed enough with female athletes because it can be an uncomfortable topic for some. Over the past couple years, I have seen more and more conversation surrounding body image struggles and fueling as an athlete, but I believe we can spread the word even more!
  8. Have you ever struggled with negative body image? If so, how did it affect your running? Definitely. Especially my sophomore year, it was hard for me to line up on the starting line of a race towering over other runners. Towards the end of the year, my confidence was very low and it affected my motivation on the track. Once the year ended, I took a step back and I began to realize that outward appearance has no correlation to my performances. Now as time has passed and I’ve taken this motto to heart, I have never been happier with my body and what it has done for me.
  9. If you could give one piece of advice to younger runners, what would you tell them?Focus on loving yourself and fueling your body with what makes you feel your best. Treat yourself often, and don’t compare yourself to others! Enjoy the process and try not to focus on an end-result too much. If you focus day by day on the process, results will follow. And find a good balance among all aspects of your life.
  10. What are five staple foods in your diet? Oatmeal, bananas, peanut butter, chicken, brussels sprouts.
  11. Do you have any healthy food hacks? Lately I have been adding frozen zucchini and avocado to my smoothies. I highly recommend it – it makes the texture super creamy!
  12. What is your favorite pre-race meal the night before? I am very flexible since I travel and don’t have the same option every time, but if I had a preference it would be either pasta with meat sauce, or chicken with potatoes and veggies!
  13. Ultimate post-race meal or treat? Probably a burger and fries, with some sort of peanut butter-flavored ice cream after!
  14. Any last words of wisdom? I cannot stress enough to not compare yourself to others. Focus on doing what feels right for your body, and your body will reward you! emma abrahamson
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Author: Johanna

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

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