How They Train! Kristine Cox

January 2012


  • 34

How many years have you been running?

  • I began competing in the 1600 meter distance when I was 9.  I ran in high school, as well as college. I have been running pretty consistently for 25 years. 

Lifetime personal records

  • I don’t keep records…Mile 5:30something, 5k 18:30something, Half Marathon 1:32, Marathon 2:56 in 2001. We all age and abilities change, so I find “PRs” irrelevant. This year, I was a Grand Prix point junkie, so I tailored my training for those events. I like to run several marathons and half marathons a year, so I have my running schedule written out for at least six months in advance.

Consider your training over the past 6 months to one year.  How many miles a week do you typically run when not injured and consistently running?

  • My mileage has increased in the past six months and my average has been around 50 miles per week. It has fluctuated over the years from 20 to 80.

What does your typical week of running look like?

  • Monday: Rest, or cross train cycling or swimming and stretching.
  • Tuesday:   Warm up 1-3 miles. Speed work. Workouts at Maclay track or St.Marks Trail include distances from 100 meters to 1600 meters. I determine pace by combining current performances and goal performance and referring to for time parameters. Warm down 1-3 miles. STRETCH!     
  • Wednesday: Mid-week Mid-long Run 10 to 15 miles. STRETCH.
  • Thursday: Warm up 1-3 miles. Tempo or Steady State for 3 to 8 miles, again pace determined by Warm down 1-3 miles. STRETCH.
  • Friday: Maintenance Run or Recovery Run. 5 to 9 miles. STRETCH.
  • Saturday:  Grand Prix Races, or General Aerobic 5 to 8 miles with strides. STRETCH.
  • Sunday: Long Run. Ranging from 13 to 22 miles. STRETCH.

How does your training vary over the course of a year?

  • As a 9 year old I ran very little mileage; in high school mileage increased, as well as in college. I ran through my 7th month of pregnancy & resumed when my daughter was 6 months old. There have been times that I ran very minimally and times nearing excess.

Do you take recovery or down time?

  • ABSOLUTELY!!!  Minimum recovery after a marathon is two weeks, one or more weeks for half marathons. I always cross train during these times.  

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • 8 or 9 hours during peak mileage. During low mileage weeks, I have difficulty sleeping. Melatonin and Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time Tea help.

What time of day do you normally run?

  • I prefer mornings

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • Nothing significant over the past year. My poplitius (knee) is tight right now, but I am in recovery mode from Portland marathon, so no effect, really. I have had past discomfort with achilles, plantar, & hip flexors.

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  • I eat 3 Flintstones gummy vitamins everyday, 45mg. Iron with 500mg. Vitamin C in the morning, and 3mg. Melatonin when I can’t sleep well.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • ASICS!!! I prefer Kinsei or Kayano for stability or Nimbus for neutral.

Do you race in a different type of running shoe?

  • I have a pair of Nike flats for 5K races. My opinion is that my foot, leg, joints & hip health deteriorate with excess usage of unsupported shoes. 

Do you use weight training?

  •  NO weights, I would frighten Arnold Schwarznegger with the muscle mass I can gain with even light weights and high repetition!

Do you stretch? 

  • YES!!!   EVERYDAY!!! Feet, achilles, gastrocnemius (calves), quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, gluts, abs, lats, pecs, deltoids, & trapezius. Running is a full body sport, so I stretch everything.

What are your favorite running routes?

  •   Every trail in Tallahassee is great, but my heart is in my home state of Colorado.

What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else?

What examples can you give of specific training methods, and what were the results?

  • Running is my pleasure, but when I get results, it is pretty exciting.  Following pace specifications is important. I get results when I don’t just run randomly.

What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training?

  • Don’t duplicate my training. Form a training plan that is tailored to your needs. Don’t get discouraged EVER. Running is fun, if it is not, find an exercise that is fun.