Colleen Quigley is an Olympic runner who has earned nine NCAA All-American honors, along with multiple medals. Before graduating high school, Colleen turned down the chance to move to New York to pursue a career as a model in exchange for a full ride to Florida State University, where she chased down an NCAA National Title in the steeplechase and eventually became a US Olympian. Talk about following your dreams. Besides being a celebrated runner, Colleen has also recently become an entrepreneur. She is starting gRUNola, a company offering granola full of healthy fats from coconut oil, almonds, walnut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and a dash of maple syrup. Wondering what this impressive athlete eats in a day? Find out below.


What I eat: Overnight oats.

The time I eat it: 7:15 A.M.

How I make it: The night before, I take a mason jar and fill it with: 1/2c old fashioned or quick oats, a collection of nuts and seeds,1tbsp of chia seeds (soaks up some of the liquid and forms a gel, so helps create a nice thick texture), one scoop of protein powder (I alternate between chocolate and vanilla), a splash of tart cherry concentrate (fights inflammation!), 1/2tsp black strap molasses (high in minerals like iron, which is great for runners!), dash of sea salt (I use a brand called Jacobsen Salt, local to Portland!), 1c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (can use regular milk too). Put all the ingredients in the jar the night before, shake, and place in the fridge.


What I eat: Date balls.

The time I eat it: After my morning run, before my lift and swim, around 10am.

How I make it: I make these date balls at home just for this purpose–I am hungry after my morning run (I got in 10 miles) but still have an hour of strength training and 30 mins of swimming, so gotta get some fuel in. Here is the recipe.


What I eat: Power bowl.

The time I eat it: 12:30 P.M.

Where I get it: I made this when I got home. I try to have the grain (I used quinoa this time) and vegetables (I used roasted brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and beets) and protein (I used grilled chicken thighs) all cooked and in the fridge beforehand so all I have to do is heat it up and put everything together under a bed of greens (I used arugula this time) and spread the dressing (I used a homemade lemon-miso dressing) and some pickled onions over the top. Full recipe here.


What I eat: Hummus and carrots. 

The time I eat it: 5:30 P.M.

Where I get it: I got hummus from the store and chopped up some carrot sticks to dip in it. I was cooking dinner and needed an appetizer–always hungry!


What I eat: Homemade pizza with sweet potato crust.

The time I eat it: 7 P.M.

How I Make It: Here is the recipe. Tonight’s pizza toppings: red sauce (cheated and bought a jar), fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, fennel sausage, onions, red peppers, and spinach. After cleaning up dishes, I had a chunk of dark chocolate while I sat in my Normatech recovery sleeves and watched some Planet Earth/checked emails.


Workout I did: Our hard workout days right now are Tues and Fri with a long run on Sunday. So Wednesday is an active recovery day. I ran 10 miles at 8:30am, then did some stretching and strength exercises in the gym for about an hour. Then I hit up the pool and did a 30-min swim (I find that even when I’m healthy, a swim helps flush out my legs and helps me recover).

The time I do it: Started at 8:30am with my teammates, got out of the pool around 11:30.

Overall thoughts

The Wednesday morning run always starts slow, because we are all tired and sore from yesterday’s hard workout. But after a few miles, our muscles have gotten a chance to warm up and we are moving at a normal pace. We averaged about 7mins per mile for 10 miles. I love lifting weights/doing strength work in the gym because I know it helps me be a more explosive/powerful runner and helps to prevent injury. I have some videos on my site of some of our go-to gym exercises you can check out here.

What are other wellness activities or habits that make you feel like your best self?

Last year, I started a practice of meditation and now call it my “secret weapon,” because I really have found it to be so important in keeping me feeling mentally/emotionally in the right place to train hard and be my best self both at practice and in my personal life. And you guessed it! I wrote all about my experience with meditation on my site too! Check it out here. I really enjoy interacting with fans and using social media as a way to connect with other runners and athletes. I do my best to respond to any messages/emails and share as much as I can about the things I do that I feel have been super important to my success. This interaction with other athletes energizes and motivates me and keeps me on point with my own work! If I tell people I do something or eat something, I better stay true to my word! I also love hearing the success stories. When someone sends me a picture of themselves with their braids in on #fastbraidFriday saying they ran a new PR, qualified for state, or ran their first marathon, it makes my heart so happy! 🙂

Want more from Colleen? Get more recipes, updates, workouts, and more here.

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