Keen ultrarunner and obstacle course racer Kris Rugloski, 25, took part in her first HYROX fitness event in 2020. Just two years later, she was crowned the HYROX Female World Champion at the 2022 HYROX World Championships in Las Vegas, with a winning time of 1:07:21. Here, she chats to WF about her journey so far and what a typical training week looks like to her…

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Kris Rugloski on her HYROX journey

‘Growing up, I was an active, energetic kid who played outside a lot, but I never played sports of any kind. My main introduction to fitness came around five years ago, when I decided to try an obstacle race for fun. I got hooked pretty quickly, found a passion for running, and joined a great gym where the focus was on functional fitness, longevity and mobility.

‘Between my running, gym sessions and obstacle course races, I learnt how to run well, train properly and live healthily while having a lot of fun. I entered my first HYROX in Dallas back in February 2020, because it was something new.

‘HYROX is an endurance-based event held in indoor arenas that alternates eight 1km runs with very functional but basic movements, such as wall balls, sandbag lunges, sled pulls and rowing. The functional element really appealed to me because any active person can complete the moves, unlike other fitness events where you might spend years learning to master something like an Olympic deadlift.

‘My first race was difficult but it immediately piqued my interest because I knew I could do a lot better, plus the atmosphere was very intense and so much fun. It turned out I’d always been a competitive person – I just never really had an outlet to express it! Since finding fitness, I’ve competed in four or five HYROX events and lots of ultrarunning races, including several hundred-mile courses, so I’m definitely making up for lost time. I wish I’d found running and fitness sooner.’

kris RugloskiKris Rugloski’s typical training week

‘On average, I train for around two hours a day. I work almost 40 hours a week as a full-time nanny looking after a three-year-old and a one-year-old, so I definitely train around my job. But I’m lucky that I get to involve the kids in some of my training, whether that’s running them to the park, squeezing in a little sandbag workout during their nap times, or taking them hiking – carrying two kids in a backpack up a mountain builds a lot of leg strength that absolutely carries over into HYROX!

‘I like the fact that I’m able to compete in something at a high level, but the training is at a very basic, foundational level, and I think being generally active goes a long way. I try to get some kind of run in every day and do a sprint workout once a week. In terms of strength training, I train for 20-30 minutes a day doing basic functional movements like squats, lunges, deadlifts, pull-ups and press-ups, using kettlebells, sandbags or my bodyweight.

‘But when a HYROX competition gets closer, I’ll do more HYROX-specific workouts once or twice a week to fine tune things. I’ll put more time in on the SkiErg, the rowing machine and the sled push (the latter being the activity I have to work hardest at), and I increase my training sessions to an hour because that’s around the same amount of time it takes me to complete an event.’

Nutrition, recovery and vital kit

‘I take my nutrition and hydration seriously because you can instantly get so much further ahead in your health and fitness when you eat well and drink enough water. I eat as much real food as possible and have three solid meals a day, but I don’t count calories or macros. Food is fuel, and with all that I ask of my body, I want to make sure that it’s fuelled appropriately.’

‘Sleep is essential – sleep deficit and training do not go well together! But I also try to see a chiropractor once a week to realign my body and work through any muscle tightness I might have, so I’m not working against my body in training. I think a lot of people see stretching and yoga as a bonus, but I think it’s very important for recovery. Before bed and when I wake up, I like to spend 10 minutes doing a little top-to-bottom mobility flow to get all my joints moving and working well, along with some deeper muscle stretching.’

‘I don’t like Spandex shorts because I need room to breathe, so I wear running shorts for training. When it comes to footwear, I like minimalist shoes. I think feet should be allowed to be feet, so I run exclusively in zero-drop shoes. And I look for a wide toe box because your feet have so many nerve endings and they shouldn’t be cramped up – the sensory feedback you get from them is so important! For HYROX, I wear the Altra Rivera shoes, but I also like Vivobarefoot shoes for training, walking and trail running.’

kris Rugloski hyrox champion

Kris Rugloski’s greatest achievment

‘I’ve been on the fitness scene for four or five years but I feel everything has been building to this year. I’m at a place for which I’ve built up my fitness and my running, and I’m now able to excel in those things. Winning the HYROX World Championships was a massive thing for me.

‘It feels really good that everything I am doing, I am doing for myself because I enjoy it, and I enjoy challenging and pushing myself. But it’s also great to see all of my hard work coming together. I also completed a series called The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning this summer, for which I did four of the biggest 100-milers, so that was another big achievement. I’m just really fortunate to be able to do something that makes me feel so happy and fulfilled.’

Words: Joanna Ebsworth | Photography: HYROX