Share the Run: Q + A with Grayson Murphy

Grayson Murphy crosses the finish line.

When she’s not studying for her Master’s degree or cuddling with her cat, you can find professional runner Grayson Murphy training in the mountains…or on the roads. Oh, and also on the track.

Murphy, a professional runner for Saucony, is the 2019 World Mountain Running Champion and the 2019 and 2021 U.S. Mountain Running Champion. If you’re not familiar with mountain running, imagine running up and down steep terrain, trying to beat your competitors and get to the finish line as fast as possible all without tripping on a rock or stumbling over a twig.

She was also a mind boggling five time All-American runner in college. She even finished sixth at the 2021 Olympic Trials in her favorite track event, the 3,000 meter steeplechase.

Murphy brings a free-spirited and creative flair to both her running and her website, Racin Grayson. You can read about her latest adventures, shop her personally designed training logs and connect to her social media. We sat down with Murphy to talk about running, entrepreneurship and Saucony’s Share the Run challenge.

Pro runner Grayson Murphy smiles.

FF: Where are you training right now, and what are you currently training for?

GM: Most of the time I’m in Salt Lake City, Utah and some of the time I’m in Bozeman, Montana. I can't complain about the views.

Track is starting again in the spring, so I'll be focusing on track and possibly some road races. This year is pretty unique because Mountain Championships and VK [vertical kilometer] Championships will be held during the two weeks following the U.S. Outdoor Track Championships. So, right at the end of June and beginning of July I'll be switching disciplines. I’m planning to race the 3,000 meter steeplechase in the U.S. Championships.

FF: Are you still pursuing your Masters of Sustainable Natural Resources?

GM: Yes, I have about one quarter left plus my thesis. I’m getting close!

For my thesis, I’m going to be working with a real estate consulting company about sustainability trends in new housing developments. I’ll look at what people are looking for when it comes to buying houses in those developments and what developments can do to increase sustainability. It’ll be interesting to dive deeper into that.

FF: You've had tremendous success on the track, on the road and in the mountains. How much of that success can be attributed to your mental game?

GM: I tend to get bored easily with the same stimuli, so being able to mix it up on different surfaces and across different disciplines gives me a chance to reset. I can adjust my expectations and make sure I'm having fun and challenging myself in new ways. That's something that keeps me motivated. While it might not be a one size fits all approach, it helps me stay in the sport and want to keep progressing with it.

Pro runner Grayson Murphy runs.

FF: Tell us about your training planners, and the inspiration behind them. What can runners expect from those?

GM: I've always kept a training log, I think most runners do in some form or another. I was tired of having my training log and my daily planner and having to keep two books at one time. I wanted to have everything in one spot to make it easy. I drew a training planner by hand for myself and suddenly I had a lot of people asking me where I had gotten it. That’s when I realized that there’s a market for this and I'm not the only one who wants to put their training, appointments and schedule in one spot.

The 2022 training planner is the fourth edition I’ve created. It's been really fun to keep learning as an entrepreneurial experience by having a small business.

Creating the planners is a nice way to interact with the running community outside of races. It's not dependent on races or performance. It’s all about relating to people on a very basic level of wanting to improve and keep track of things. That applies whether you're a professional runner or you're just getting started.

FF: What does Share the Run mean to you?

GM: Since I train alone almost 99 percent of the time, sharing runs with people in the literal sense is something that I value because I don't get to do it very often. I'll take any running company I can get! It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you run, it's about having a good time and sharing miles together. I think that's something a lot of people can relate to. Sometimes running is just a fun time to connect with a friend and it’s not necessarily about going fast or going hard. That’s what sharing the run means to me.

Keep Reading