Olympian Morgan McDonald is a distance runner with four NCAA titles (cross country, indoor 3000m and 5000m, and outdoor 5000m) to his name. Originally from Sydney, Australia, he has represented his country at senior level since 2017 and currently has a 5000m personal best of 13:13.67. Part of the On Athletics Club, he's got his sights set on being the world's best runner. He's got a fun YouTube channel too.
Why running and how did you get started?
I first started running at my school when I was about eight years old, doing cross country. From a young age, I was lucky enough to be talented, and I quickly fell in love with competing and trying to be as good as I could be.
On days where you might not feel like training, what inspires you to get out there?
Trying to achieve my goal of being the best runner in the world.
Can you tell us about a race that a) taught you a few lessons in this sport? Or b) you would want to relive?
When I was younger, I went through a phase where I became focused on trying to run quick times on the track. When I would race with this mentality, it always seemed like I would fall short of my goals. After going back to what I had been doing previously, which was just racing against my competitors in the race – rather than the clock, I got back to racing well and clocked quicker times than before. This taught me that the pure competition of racing is what enables me to push myself to my limits, and this has been my mentality ever since.
Do you have a special pre-race ritual?
Not really. My race days tend to look the same, but I try not to be very superstitious about anything. The most constant thing is having coffee two or three hours before my race. From this point onwards, I tend to be in my pre-race warm-up routine, which doesn't ever change very much.
Is nutrition a big focus for you? And, what would you say is your go-to meal after a tough run?
Nutrition is definitely a big focus for me and something that I enjoy spending time on. My biggest go-to after a tough run is a smoothie. I find this to be the easiest way to get in all the nutrients that I need quickly, so that I can get the best recovery possible. My smoothies usually have orange juice, yogurt, frozen fruits, banana, and protein – but I will mix it up a bit now and then.
What are your top tips for a speedy recovery after training?
My top tips for a quick recovery are getting some food in, making sure that you take it easy for an hour or two after your workout, and getting a good sleep at night.
Who is your "team"?
My team includes all the people that are close to me. This is my family, friends, girlfriend, and now, luckily, the On Athletics Club. I have always been fortunate to have many great people around me to give me advice and guide me.
What was the best piece of running advice you ever received?
If you're not enjoying it, then it's not worth doing it.
Running is a pretty trivial activity when it comes down to it, and I think having this perspective makes it easier to enjoy it during times when it is tough or when you get a little too caught up in it. This certainly doesn't mean that it should be easy, but I always hope that I can enjoy the difficult times and the easy.
Apart from running, what are your passions?
Cooking, reading, occasionally making YouTube videos, video games.
What's your favorite On shoe and why?
At the moment, it's the Cloudflyer. It just comes down to how it feels when I'm running in it. Running in this shoe feels like nothing is weighing me down, and at the same time, all my tendons and muscles feel well supported.
What's your favorite item of On apparel and why?
For me, it's the Insulator Jacket. The material is comfortable and lightweight while keeping you warm. This is just how I like my jackets to be.
Finally, why On?
I chose On because it is clear that they are making something special. Their attention to detail and quality in every aspect – whether it's with products, the OAC or in anything else that they do – aligns with how I like to go about my business.
It's clear to see how the brand will continue to grow and have success as they stick to this, and I would love to be a part of it.