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Alumna of the month - September 2009

Sam Murphy
BSc (Hons) in Exercise and Sport Science, 2001

Graeme Lloyd-Roberts

Sam’s journey since graduating from London South Bank University (LSBU) shows how you can make a career from your lifelong passion. Her path has taken her to writing for the Guardian and Observer Sport Monthly to being a successful running coach. Sam is also involved in the nationwide Women’s Running Network, an organisation that helps to motivate and support women to take up running.

Her story begins while working as a journalist in the nineties and enrolling on the BSc (Hons) Exercise and Sports Science course in 1998. By following her passion for health and fitness the combination of her work and study was the start for advancing her career.

Sam gained a BSc (Hons) in Exercise and Sport Science in 2001. Achieving the added honour of the prize for the highest overall mark in the year she graduated.

I absolutely loved the course and the research and study that went with it, and I was delighted to receive 1st class honours, and a prize for the highest overall marks in the year when I graduated.

The course gave her the foresight to realise there was a good market for authoritative articles on health and fitness. Sam found that course lecturers could be a good source for handy quotes for some of the features she would later write for publications in The Guardian and Zest magazine!

After graduating, she remarketed herself as a specialist journalist, covering health-related fitness and sport. Sam writes regularly for The Guardian, The Financial Times, Observer Sport Monthly and Health & Fitness. She also writes for women's magazines such as Easy Living and specialist sports titles like Cycling Plus.

With a reputation as an informed expert on her subject, Sam has gone on to appear on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4 and Radio London to discuss topical fitness issues. She can often be seen presenting at The Vitality Show and the London Marathon's Training Weekend.

Having enjoyed adding fitness to her career in journalism, Sam went on to qualify as a running coach and personal trainer, which, combined with her writing work, gives her daily routine plenty of variety and challenge.

Sam’s skill as a personal trainer has allowed her to be the resident expert for the Guardian newspaper's 'Project Marathon' in 2009. This is a feature that follows those preparing to take part in the marathon with useful advice for participants.

Sam keeps in contact with LSBU staff and can be found on the end of the phone asking for opinions or a quote when doing research for an article. She was a recent 'guinea pig' for the 3rd years LSBU physiology practical, running ragged on a treadmill while breathing into a tube all in the name of research.

Alongside numerous articles, she has had 7 books on fitness and running published. In particular the book Run for Life has been translated into 10 languages and sold over 200,000 copies.

Sam has a business website with information about her books; articles and one to one coaching sessions, visit for further information.