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Courtney Smith


May 21, 2024

Conquer Murph: Essential Fueling Strategies for Success

Understanding the Murph Workout

Murph is one of the most revered and challenging workouts in the CrossFit community. Named in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, this Hero WOD (Workout of the Day) consists of:

  • 1 mile run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 squats
  • 1 mile run

Completing Murph is no small feat, and proper preparation is key to performing your best and minimizing the risk of injury. One crucial aspect of preparation is fueling your body appropriately in the days leading up to the workout and enhancing recovery afterward.

The Importance of Fueling Leading Up to Murph

The week leading up to Murph is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Energy Levels: Proper nutrition ensures you have the energy reserves needed to sustain high-intensity exercise.
  2. Muscle Endurance: Carbohydrates and proteins support muscle endurance and recovery, allowing you to perform better during each segment of the workout.
  3. Hydration: Staying hydrated aids in muscle function and helps prevent cramping during the workout.

Fueling Strategies for the Week Leading Up to Murph

1. Carbohydrate Loading:

  • Why: Carbs are your body's primary energy source. Loading up on them ensures your glycogen stores are full.
  • How: Gradually increase your carb intake about 3-4 days before Murph. Focus on complex carbs like whole grains, sweet potatoes, fruits, and vegetables.

2. Protein Intake:

  • Why: Proteins are essential for muscle repair and recovery.
  • How: Ensure each meal includes a good source of protein, such as lean meats, eggs, dairy, or plant-based options like beans and lentils. Aim for at least 1.2-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

3. Hydration:

  • Why: Proper hydration supports muscle function and prevents fatigue.
  • How: Drink plenty of water throughout the week. Consider adding electrolyte-rich beverages, especially if you sweat a lot during workouts.

4. Healthy Fats:

  • Why: Fats provide a slow-burning energy source and help with vitamin absorption.
  • How: Include healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil in your meals.

5. Avoiding Unnecessary Stress:

  • Why: Reducing stress helps your body focus on recovery and preparation.
  • How: Avoid trying new foods or supplements the week before Murph. Stick to what your body knows and responds well to.

What to Eat Before Murph

1. Carbohydrate-Rich Meal:

  • When: Eat your pre-workout meal 2-3 hours before starting Murph.
  • What: Focus on a meal rich in complex carbohydrates to provide sustained energy. Examples include oatmeal with fruit, a whole-grain bagel with peanut butter and banana, or brown rice with lean protein and vegetables.

2. Light Snack:

  • When: If you need a small boost closer to the workout, have a light snack about 30-60 minutes before starting.
  • What: Choose easily digestible carbs, such as a banana, a small smoothie, or an energy bar.

3. Hydration:

  • When: Drink water throughout the morning leading up to Murph.
  • What: Aim to drink 16-20 ounces of water 2-3 hours before the workout and another 8-10 ounces 20-30 minutes before starting.

Enhancing Recovery with Food Post-Murph

Recovery nutrition is just as important as pre-workout fueling. Here's how to optimize your post-Murph recovery:

1. Immediate Post-Workout Nutrition:

  • Carbs and Protein: Within 30 minutes after Murph, consume a meal or snack that includes both carbohydrates and protein. This helps replenish glycogen stores and kickstarts muscle repair. Examples include a protein shake with fruit, Greek yogurt with berries, or a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread.

2. Hydration:

  • Rehydrate: Drink plenty of water and consider a recovery drink with electrolytes to replace lost fluids and minerals. Coconut water, sports drinks, or a homemade electrolyte drink can be great options.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Foods:

  • Why: These foods help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation.
  • How: Include foods like berries, leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds in your post-workout meals.

4. Balanced Meals:

  • Why: Balanced meals ensure you get a mix of macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) for overall recovery.
  • How: Focus on nutrient-dense foods like lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits.


Preparing for Murph is about more than just training hard; it’s about fueling your body correctly to perform at its best and recover efficiently. By following these fueling strategies, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle Murph with energy and resilience, honoring the memory of Lt. Michael Murphy with your best effort. Remember, CrossFit MNC is here to support you every step of the way. Together, we’ll conquer Murph and make this year's event one to remember!

Feel free to reach out to our nutrition coaches for personalized nutrition advice or any other questions about preparing for Murph!

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