How the Collegiates Fuel: Spotlight on Grayson Murphy

Welcome back SRC! This week we have a unique perspective from Utah runner, Grayson Murphy! Formerly a soccer player, Grayson has transitioned into the running world and shared some things she has learned along the way.Grayson Murphy

  1. Who are you? Grayson Murphy, 21, Salt Lake City, Utah, Junior on University of Utah TF/XC, 5k, 10k, 3k steeplechase.
  2. Short description of running experience or greatest achievement I just started running my sophomore year of college (previously I had exclusively played soccer) so I am still kind of a newbie and have a lot to learn about running. The last 3 years of running have been quite the whirlwind but I am really proud of myself for making it to the Indoor NCAA Championship in the 5k; that is something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to accomplish on such little running experience.
  3. What is your your favorite pre-workout snack? Meal? I am gluten intolerant so I have to pick and choose my snacks carefully and purposefully. I am slightly obsessed with the oats’n’honey Nature Valley bars as  a pre-workout snack. I can’t eat a lot before I run so I have to stick to snacks right before, but I usually eat oatmeal for breakfast on workout days and it helps me stay energized and full for an afternoon workout.
  4. How do your refuel after an easy day? Hard day? There isn’t a lot of difference in what I eat on hard vs. easy days, I just eat more on harder days. I like to stick to the “eat the rainbow” motto and try to include a lot of vegetables, then always have some carbs, a protein, and some good fats in my meals. Immediately following a hard workout I make sure to get some protein and some carbs to start the recovery process.
  5. When it comes to running and nutrition, do you believe they go hand in hand?Absolutely! I think of my nutrition as just an extension of my training/recovery process and plan. What I eat has a lot to do with how I feel physically on any given day. I think that if you want to reach your full potential as a runner, a lot of time and diligence should be put into how you are fueling your body correctly to meet your individual needs.Grayson Murphy
  6. Many runners believe they need to cut calories to run faster times. Do you believe that you need to be “thin to win”? No, I think “thin” has some negative connotations associated with it. I believe that if you fuel your body properly, your body will naturally gravitate toward a size/weight that is the most efficient for you individually for running as fast as you want to. In my short 3 years in the running world I have encountered an alarming number of individuals with the “thin to win” mentality and they almost never end up happy or successful in the end.
  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 think there are a lot of factors that play into this. I think seeing girls at the collegiate level who are obviously not fueling properly but are running really fast is a bad influence. I also think that some runners think that by looking like the pros, they will run like them. But these pros have had years and years of hard training to earn their bodies and you can’t just make that happen overnight, you have to respect the process.
  8. Have you ever struggled with negative body image? If so, how did it affect your running? Breaking into the running world as a sophomore in college was definitely interesting. I have always been on the small side but when I started running, I suddenly wasn’t the smallest one anymore, and a lot more emphasis was being put on size as compared to the soccer world. This was something I had to adapt to. But I have had good coaches, teammates, and other positive influences that have helped me to stay true to the training process and not try to take any shortcuts along the way.Grayson Murphy
  9. If you could give one piece of advice to younger runners, what would you tell them?Don’t forget to have fun! And remember, that your sport doesn’t define you. Running is something that you do, not who you are. You are so many other wonderful things (nice, smart, creative, adventurous, etc.) so don’t forget about those too!
  10. What are five staple foods in your diet? Oats, eggs, bananas, chicken, peanut butter, (coffee! – that’s a food right?)
  11. Do you have any healthy food hacks? I like taking celery, carrot, and bell-pepper sticks with me to class so I have something to munch on. This way, I am getting an extra serving of veggies and I don’t get too hungry in between meals, so I’m less likely to overeat on the less nutritious stuff at mealtime just because I’m so ravenous.
  12. What is your favorite pre-race meal the night before?I like having potatoes in some form (french fries, mashed, baked, roasted, etc.) along with a nice piece of salmon with some veggies on the side. This makes me feel full, but not gross, and energized the next day.
  13. Ultimate post-race meal or treat?A good (gluten-free) burger and some french-fries are a classic go-to for a meal after a good race! However, I can also be found at the sushi bar or gourmet mexican food restaurants getting a slightly more expensive treat.
  14. Any last words of wisdom?Whatever sport you play, I encourage you to take a moment every time you’re doing it to remind yourself why you’re really there; it’s for fun!  And in life (as well as in running), don’t be scared to take risks and try something new; you never know, you might pick up a new sport or skill that you never knew you were really good at!Grayson Murphy
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Author: Johanna

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

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