Katelyn Tuohy Q&A: News After the Olympic Trials (2024)

Katelyn Tuohy Q&A: News After the Olympic Trials (1)With the Olympic Trials complete, it’s time to release KT's Clusters and discuss what lead to this collaboration. Katelyn Tuohy is aname that has become synonymous with running, but one I wasn’t aware of untilshe contacted me on Instagram in 2022. The NIL had just begun in the NCAA andKatelyn was looking to partner with brands she liked. After reviewing Katelyn’sbackground and realizing how accomplished she was as a runner, I was flatteredshe would have an interest in partnering with a small bakery like GranolaFactory.

While we didn’t partner in 2022 due to our unfamiliarity ofthe NIL, I contacted Katelyn again this past winter after she turned pro. Iwanted to pitch her on an idea that wasmore than just repping our brand onsocial media. I knew she had an interest in food, so I proposed teaming up on agranola product that would not only have her name and image on the package, buther heart and soul in the recipe. Katelyn loved the idea, and a few weeks latershe flew to Bethlehem and spent two days with me in the kitchen testing recipesuntil we landed on the perfect batch.

Every morning, I start my day with a run followed by granolaand yogurt. Katelyn starts most mornings the same way, so we both understood thatfueling our bodies with the right food leads to optimal performance. InKT's Clusters, we baked with real ingredients such as rolled oats, butter, honey andpecans. The result was a granola that provides energy without sacrificingquality and flavor.

With the trials behind her, there’s more to granola inKatelyn’s sights now that she’s back to training at a high level. I sat downwith Katelyn to discuss all things running, food and fun before her granolarelease.

Q&A with Katelyn Tuohy

Katelyn, if I told you a year ago that you’d be releasinga granola cereal that has your name, image, and baking ability in every bag,what would you say?

I wouldn’t believe you if you told me a year ago that I’dhave my own granola, which is something so unique and so cool. As a kid you seefamous athletes on a Wheaties box. And these are such well-known athletes and theyhave such an impact on so many people’s lives. To have something in common withthem is super cool. And it’s definitely unique that I got to make the granolamyself. Getting to pick the ingredients is super cool and something that othershaven’t had a chance to do before. So instead of being just a face on a well-knownproduct, we actually got to make our own product the way I wanted that includedthe ingredients I like.


KT's clustershas a great mix of ingredients, includingpure honey, roasted pecans, toffee bits and pumpkin seeds. What inspired thisunique mix of flavor and texture, and why did you opt for a clusters?

The inspiration came from my two favorite flavors: theHoney Pecan Original Blend and theToffee Almond. TheToffee Almond was probably myfavorite beforeKT's Clusters. I really like the flavor and the fact that it wasclustered together so you could eat it as a snack or put it in your granola oryogurt bowl. It had a lot of versatility which I liked. It made it easy for asnack or to put it in a meal, so I think that’s what inspired it.


I think every runner has a moment when he or she realizesthat food is vital to optimal performance and recovery. Can you recall thistime in your career and how did it start to shape your dietary habits?

My freshman year of high school in the indoor track season Iwas going for my first title in the 1500 and I lost. That outdoor season I wasdetermined to win my first state title. So what I did was try to focus on thelittle things, one of them being nutrition. At the time, I thought I was making healthy decisions and healthyhabits, and I was, but obviously not to the extent I do today. I tried to focuson eating nutritious meals and fueling my performance allowed me to make a hugejump. I ended up winning the state title that year. I attribute a lot of thatsuccess to nutrition.


What are some of those nutritional changes you madethroughout the years? How do you think they helped you feel better either whenyou’re running or when you’re recovering.

It was definitely a learning curve, but one of the mainthings I’ve learned is that timing is big and something I’m still learning andplaying around with. But coming into a training session under fueled ordehydrated can make workouts so much harder and affect your recovery. So that’ssomething I definitely have been working on and I think has helped me a lotbecause training is meant to damage your body. Repairing it is what makes youbetter. That requires a lot of energy, so if you’re not adequately fueled youwon’t be able to adapt to the hard work and training you’re doing.


What role does granola play in your meal planning? Do youprefer it for breakfast, lunch or a snack?

I think granola is one of my main fuel sources just becauseof its versatility. I can eat it out of the bag even 20-30 minutes before aworkout because it doesn’t hurt my stomach, and it fuels me well and I’ve beenusing it for years. I love throwing itin my yogurt bowls to get some carbohydrates in with my protein, and I’ll addfruit to make a meal. Sometimes at the need of the night if I want I littlesnack I’ll grab a handful just because I love the taste.


Do you like to cook and bake, and if so, do you have anygo-to recipes or recipe creators?

I’ve gotten into cooking now that I’m a professional and havemore time on my hands. I was definitely spoiled growing up because my momcooked all our meals I don’t think we ever had a night where we didn’t have afamily dinner. It was something I grew up with, having home cooked meals, soit’s an important aspect in cooking for my performance.

A lot runners have cookbooks. We talked about Shalane [Flanagan]'s cookbook, Run Fast, Eat Slow, so I’ll get some inspirationfrom her.


What’s something that you’ve cooked recently that youthought was really good?

I love making bowls, like some sort ground meat, rice andsome sort of sauce that’ we’ll whip up from scratch. We’ll throw some salsa inthere, like a peach mango, or some guacamole to get a good mix of proteins,carbs and fat.


Describe a recent workout day. What was the workout andwhat did you eat in preparation and in recovery?

Katelyn Tuohy Q&A: News After the Olympic Trials (2)Good question! I guess we can talk about today being adoubleworkout. So double threshold, which means I have a morning thresholdsession, take a gap in between and rest during the day, and then come back inthe afternoon for a second session, and then potentially a little lift and coreafter.

Before my first session, I’ll have something pretty lightjust so my stomach isn’t upset since we have to go pretty early this time ofyear and I don’t have a ton of time to digest in the morning. I’ll grab a baror granola and a little yogurt. I’ll come back and have a bigger meal with alot of protein and carbs to fuel the second session. And then after the secondsession I’m definitely getting in more protein and carbs. I stay hydrated throughoutthe day, notjust with water but electrolytes.

I try to eat specific foods during specific time windows tomaximize performance and recovery. A lot of people think that fueling is justfor the session, but it also aides in recovery. It’s super important to fuelafter your session to repair your muscles and making sure you’re gettingprepared for the next day.


Do you aim for any specific dietary guidelines whiletraining? High Protein?

When it comes to protein, I’m trying to get as much in as Ican. And it helps to have supplements like protein powder and bars to get agood amount of protein in without whipping up a big meal. You want to getprotein in within 30-60 minutes after working out. When I was in college it washard to fuel after workouts because you’re rushing to class, but now that Ihave time it’s a lot easier and has definitely made an impact on recovery.

Pre-workout I’m trying to get in carbs and protein andminimize the fat which I’ve found can upset my stomach. It’s a learning curveand you have to figure out what works for you.


I know about your accomplishments as a runner, but whatoriginally drew you to the sport? When did you realize you had a natural talentand passion it?

We were very athletic growing up, and we were often coinedthe fast kids where we’d win the school mile. We’ve kind of always been “praised”for being athletic and fast growing up. Once my older brother started running,I was playing soccer and decided to join the indoor track team to work on myfitness for soccer. It only took a couple of weeks to fall in love with thesport. I quit soccer in 7th grade, which was a huge shock toeveryone because I was obsessed with it. And the rest is history because I’vebeen running ever since.


As you look back what were the greatest challenges youfaced in the sport and how did you overcome them?

I think being so young and having a lot of attention wasreally hard on me. I grew up as social media and running platforms were becominga huge thing. I had a lot of pressure and attention on me at a young age.Everyone in the sport experiences setbacks at times, and mine were injuriesthroughout my career. I’ve had a couple injuries that set me back for a while,and a lot of people will speculate and put pressure and criticize you, whichhas always been the hardest thing for me. But being able to have my circle of people Ilove and trust, like my family, friends, teammates and coaches has allowed meto get through those hard times and come back stronger.


You’ve performed at a high level since the 7thgrade, which is a long time in this sport to be at the top of your game. Wasthere ever a time that you didn’t like running and considered giving it up? Ithink this is a feeling that many runners face at some point. How did youpersevere through these feelings to become the person and athlete you aretoday.

There was definitely a period in high school that thepressure became so much for me that I almost started being unhappy when it cametime to race. I almost didn’t want to do these big meets and I felt like everytime I stepped on the track I had to win or set a record or run the fastesttime of the year. I was pretty stressed and unhappy for a short period, and my parentsrecognized that and encouraged me to take a step back. It took a little bit oftime, but then I realized why I fell in love with the sport to begin with, whichwas primarily the people and my teammates, and the enjoying for training andprocess. Realizing that allowed me to overcome those feelings. I took a stepback and focused more on having fun with my teammates. And my senior year ofhigh school ended up being the most fun I had with the sport. Even though myperformance maybe wasn’t the best, just being able to enjoy the season with myteammates and making memories made me fall in love with the sport again.


What advice would you have for younger runners enteringthe sport at the high school or collegiate level?

I think leaning on people in my circle, so I kind of just letgo of what people on the outside thought. I stopped reading articles that werewritten about me or comments on my Instagram that people would make. I just focusedon being present and in the moment, and enjoying training with my friends. Mybrothers run so I get to train with them, which is super fun. I try not to puttoo much pressure on myself because at the end of the day I perform at my bestwhen I’m my happiest.


What do you think will lead to younger runners toenjoying the sport for a very long time?

Letting go of comparison. I always enjoyed running because Iliked pushing myself and having that internal motivation. One of my favoritequotes is “Comparison is the thief of joy.” So not focusing on what otherpeople are doing and just focusing on success and progress in my own trainingdefinitely makes it more enjoyable. And then just getting to share the hardworkouts, the races, the highs and lows with my teammates and friends andpeople I love who are involved with the sport has made running more enjoyableoutside of competition.


You just ran the 5K at your first Olympic Trials. Whatare your takeaways?

The Olympic trials was my first professional race, which isnot an ideal way to start competing at the biggest meet of the year, but aftermonths of setbacks and injuries it just felt good to be back on the track andrepresenting Adidas and my friends and family, and get back to doing what Ilove. Just being happy and healthy was an amazing feeling. It left me hungryfor more just because I got a taste of what it’s like competing again. I need afew more training blocks under my belt before I’m back being in the shape Iwant to be in. It was just nice getting in there and competing with the bestwomen in the country.


Most runners can recall their best races as if they justhappened yesterday. What do you consider the best race of your career? Whatmemories do you have during this race and what do you think lead to it beingyour best performance?

Katelyn Tuohy Q&A: News After the Olympic Trials (3)I think each cross-country national has been some of my bestperformances. I had the motivation to do it for my teammates. I remember myfirst xc nationals, I completely red-lined. It was in March of 2021, and it gotpushed back because of Covid. I was just a freshman, and I got thrown into thebiggest race of the year. I was running all out for my teammates, doingeverything I could, and it was probably one of the hardest I’ve pushed myself.Each cross nationals after that was the same way, fighting for my teammates andnot even thinking about myself. Just trying to get every second and every placefor them. Those are definitely the races I look back and are most proud ofbecause I know they were doing the same for me.

I think one of my favorite track memories was the Millrosegames last year, it was one of my first times back at the Armory since highschool. I got a nice warm welcome from the fans, so that was really coolbecause I was lining up against Olympians, American record holders and some ofthe best in the country. All the officials from when I was in high school werethere and it was good to see them. It was great to be home and go back to wheremy whole running career started.


What do you have planned for summer training and racing?Any PRs you hope to accomplish by the end of this year?

I plan on doing a race in Los Angeles at the end of July and thendoing my first European circuit so I’ll head to Europe and race three to four timesout there depending on the schedule. I’m just excited to compete as aprofessional. Personal bests are great, but this year I really want to focus onjust racing and hopefully the times will come with that.


What’s new in your life outside running and granola? Howdo you spend your free time?

Just living the “Pro Life.” Eat sleep, train, repeat, and Ilove it. It’s been great now that the summer is here. My younger brotherdoesn’t have school anymore, and my older brother Patrick came to Raleigh andhe came to Eugene. We’ve been training a lot together. They’re my two favoritepeople to run with, obviously because they’re my siblings and I love them. There’salmost no embarrassment with them. If one of us gets dropped, it is what it is,and if one of us has a good day it’s great, too. We’re encouraging each otherand we just want the best for each other. It’s fun that we all have the sharedjoy for the sport. My parents love it, too, because they just think it’s supercool. We’re getting them into the sport more. We love watching track and talkingtrack. It’s just a family bond, I guess.-

Katelyn Tuohy Q&A: News After the Olympic Trials (2024)
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