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Grayson Murphy on Threshold Love, VO2 Max Disdain, and “Lifetime Mileage”

If you’re not already familiar with Grayson Murphy, you will be soon! Grayson’s talent, work ethic, and positive energy have created a force to be reckoned with in the running world.

Some runners love the length and challenge of the marathon, while others revel in the intensity of the 5k distance. Trails and mountains call to many runners, but few manage to tackle the challenges of all of these types of races with mastery and dominance. Training for races as varied as a road marathon and a vertical kilometer requires an enormous aerobic engine that revs high and hard.

My guest on this week’s episode is likely a familiar name, as she is a two-time world mountain running champion, and a 4-time US national champion in mountain running and the vertical kilometer. Grayson Murphy is one of the best runners in the world and the breadth of her success is amazing. In addition to her mountain running accolades, she has been a finalist at the US Steeplechase Olympic Trials and has qualified for the 2024 Olympic Trials marathon.

Grayson Murphy on threshold training, the vertical K and more

Grayson joined me on the podcast for episode 279 where we discussed her path back from multiple injuries and how she handled them mentally and physically. Aside from her running, Grayson is a small business owner at Racin’ Grayson where she has designed an annual training log and planner.

Despite her speed, Grayson has a particular dislike of VO2 workouts. Threshold runs and strides are her happy place, as are the roads and mountains. In our discussion we go into depth on Grayson’s training and how she structures her workouts for success, including:

  • Grayson’s current adventures, including a trip to Patagonia
  • Her recent health concerns and how it has impacted her training
  • How Grayson’s focus on endurance training gives her great breadth for racing
  • The pain cave of the vertical kilometer (and how I’ve been challenged to try one!)
  • How Grayson uses limited and specific VO2 max workouts in training
  • The concept of “lifetime mileage” for runners
  • Grayson’s future racing plans

Grayson’s success has come in part from her ability to understand what works best for her mind and body. Our conversation will help you understand how you can apply some of these concepts to your own training. Enjoy!

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Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank you MOBO Board!

Invented by renowned physical therapist Jay Dicharry, MOBO helps you stabilize your stance with an innovative rocker board that’s set up on two fins. The design effectively forces you to drive your big toe into the board to improve your stability. I was pretty arrogant going into my first session on the MOBO Board. How hard can it be to balance, right? Well, I was humbled pretty quickly!

Even if you’re a good runner, better balance, stability, and proprioception is going to help you have a more powerful stride and prevent more running injuries. You’ll learn how to improve the efficiency of the kinetic chain from your hip to your big toe. Because as Jay likes to say, it’s not just how strong you are, but how well you use that strength.

I was just at a weekend physical therapy workshop (lol I was the only running coach) and learned how important (and rare) this simple movement is. Save 10% with code STRENGTHRUN10 at checkout at

Thank you High Performance Lifting!

We’re also supported by one of our most popular training programs: High Performance LiftingWe now know that muscle loss and less testosterone is a dramatic performance limiter as we age, especially among men. The best way to counteract the aging process and hold on to your youthful running performances is to get stronger. 

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While there are no secrets to great training, High Performance Lifting has been my secret weapon to create faster runners. Check it out here to see all the details. You can opt for the strength programming only, or get a version of the program with a running plan library and a series of expert interviews to help you take your running to the next level. Sign up today.

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