Ross Murray Q&A

We caught up with the British middle distance runner for training tips, stories and a few jokes.

What have been your personal career highlights?

The London 2012 Olympic games, it was fantastic and the best experience of my life. I’m very grateful to have been able to run there and every time I see the Olympic stadium I just go ‘wow.’ I stayed in the Olympic village and that was a fantastic experience. Before the games everyone was a bit nervous about how they were going to do, but after everyone let their hair down and we all had fun.

Did you make some friends for life?

Not really, ha! I made some good friends, but that’s a strong word. I’ve got friends I went to school with who I don’t talk to anymore [laughs]…

What are you currently training for?

I had surgery in the summer so I had 10-12 weeks off, I had my Plantaris tendon removed so I’ve been back eight or nine weeks and things are going really well. I’m in full training; I’m as fit as I’ve ever been for this time of year so it’s positive.

Talk us through your weekly training

At the minute I’ve been hitting 70-75 miles a week and doing some gym work and a lot of rehab work in between.

It consists of usually:

  • 50 and 30 minutes Monday
  • A hard session Tuesday
  • 90 minutes Wednesday  
  • Threshold run Thursday
  • 50 minutes Friday
  • Hills Saturday
  • 90 minutes on Sunday

So you don’t have a rest day?

No. I went about a month or five weeks without a rest day recently.

Do you have a strict recovery regime then?

There's a recovery company, Ros Nutrition, who look after me so I’m grateful for that. So everyday as soon as I’ve finished training I take it; it’s a protein/carbohydrate drink so I have that with a banana. I noticed a massive difference when I started using it after training about six weeks ago. I’d done about three weeks of training without using a recovery product before but as soon as I started taking it my energy levels were higher the following days – I’d recommend it to everyone. They make me my own flavours too; they’re making me a mint choc chip one.

Do you have a lot of stretching in your routine?

No. I get physio and a massage once a week and I see a chiropractor once a month. I don’t stretch after each session but that’s just personal preference for me, I tend to not get too tight and I think the massage, physio and chiropractor keeps on top of it.

How much gym work do you do?

I do two sessions of gym and conditioning work a week and maybe a few session with bicep curls for the girls and to keep well conditioned and robust to injury.

How did you get into running?

I got into it because I was just that kid at school who had far too much energy as you’ve probably guessed! I just wanted to do everything so when the opportunity came up to race, I took it. I was racing against the older kids who were maybe 2-3 years older and I kind of won so thought I’m quite good at this and my mum is a runner. I did my first race when I was 8, went to a club when I was 10 and then made my first England team when I was 14 and my first GB team when I was 16-17. So I think that was when I knew I might be quite good at it.

Do you love it?

I love it - I’m a running geek deep down.

Is training ever a chore?

It’s only a chore for me when the weather is bad. I’m lucky enough to be going to Australia at the end of December as a training trip for four weeks of altitude training and three weeks racing around Australia, so I should come back with a good tan! I’ll be the only one with a tan in March, I’ll be wearing a vest even if it’s like four degrees. When I was injured through the summer and I couldn’t run I couldn’t really cope, I was a bit depressed, I couldn’t do anything. I had chronic fatigue as well so I wasn’t allowed to train anything. I literally sat and did nothing, put a bit of weight on and felt sorry for myself. But I’m alright now!

What have you got coming up?

Nothing until Australia, then I’ve got a race in Tasmania and a race in Australia. It’s a 5K series, it’s my first proper 5K on the track, so I’m really looking forward to that at the start on February. Then I do a mile a race on the 21st Feb and Kiprop is running that I  think!

Will you ever go into longer distance?

Maybe when I’m older, 30 or something. Once I’ve given everything I can over 1500 metres and given 5K a good go.

Do you any have figures of inspiration who you look up to?

I was a big Steve Cram fan, because he’s from the North East and we’ve got a lot in common, I always looked up to him. And I quite like Usain Bolt, he’s just a cool guy. He’s got a spark and he changed the way sprinters come across. 

Do you have a training partner?

Yes, I train with Andy Vernon, he’s faster at the moment but hopefully eventually I’ll beat him - he’ll love that. 

Does it help having a training partner?

Oh massively, you don’t do anything crazy in training as everyone knows what we’ve got to do. Nobody runs off too hard, we work together so it helps everybody. We do pretty much every session together.

What do you do when you’re not training for the rest of the day?

I’ll talk you through a typical day:

  • Get up about 8am.
  • Have a bowl of porridge; go to training for 9, back usually about 11 – 11.30am.
  • Then I go for lunch at the café that I go to everyday until about 2pm.
  • On hard training days I have scrambled egg and salmon with granary toast and a pot of tea.
  • At the moment I’m doing uni work so I got straight to Café Nero and bash out some uni work, I’m studying sport science – typical – wish I did history.
  • Then I come back, play a little bit of computer, Grand Theft Auto, and chill out for a bit, then I’ll train again in the evening if I need to. Then I’ll come back and make dinner and then watch some TV and get about eight hours sleep – I think any more than nine is too much.

I’m very lucky; I’m lucky that I get the support of Nike, I’ve been with them since I was 16, so 7 years now. They support me and give me so much great kit, lots of nice trendy gear.

Do you do much technical work on your running?

I’m a pronator. I’ve got special orthotics from a guy in Belgium who’s the best guy in the world – he did Paula Radcliffe’s. I run on my toes, if you see my shoes after I’ve used them the backs of the heels have tread like they’ve not been run on. I’ve started doing drills and strides for my technique and stuff so do that once a week.

What are your favourite treats?

Once a week I love a Dominos or Nandos. You’re doing 70-75 miles a week you need to eat. A bowl of frosted Shreddies before bed or something as a treat.

Do you have a mantra or a motto?

It’s my tattoo:

'It is easier to die when you have lived so go and make your memories' - I didn’t make that up but if you wanna put my name to it…

Ross Murray was speaking at the #FlashRun event at the Nike Covent Garden Store. Be seen and stay protected from the elements this winter with the new Nike Flash Pack. Visit nike.com for details’


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