Competition

Kris Rugloski on Surprise HYROX World Championship: ‘I think I’ve found myself in these spheres’

June 6, 2022 by
Photo Credit: Kris Rugloski
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On May 14, Kris Rugloski achieved a major goal. She won the HYROX World Championships in Las Vegas, NV, with a time of 1:07:21. She entered the weekend as the 12th seed, but she chased down several top athletes and blew through the eight stages featuring a mix of endurance events and functional fitness.

“Yeah, I honestly did not realize until probably like 40 seconds before I actually won that I would/could actually win,” said Rugloski. “I guess that’s probably kind of the largest stage I’ve ever competed on. Against all of those–you know, it’s an international field. A lot of athletes I’ve never competed against.

Rugloski entered the weekend as the 12th seed, and she struggled during the sled push and the sled pull. However, the situation changed when she reached the fourth station that featured burpee broad jumps. She was performing well while an athlete she viewed as phenomenal was struggling.

  • “I hadn’t realized that I was catching up to the top of the field until the farmer’s carry when – and I actually just watched the live feed recently–like, I didn’t take any breaks, and they started like several lengths ahead of me.
  • “And I made up that time just by moving steady on the farmer’s carry. And it caught me off guard when I left the farmer’s carry to go for that next run lap. … They were like right in front of me. And I was like, ‘Wait a second, that’s first and second, and I’m right behind them.’”

It’s all in the training: The HYROX World Championships features a mix of workouts that spuns multiple training styles. There are one-kilometer runs, wall ball shots, burpee broad jumps, sandbag lunges, SkiErg, rowing, and sled pushes/pulls.

Rugloski trains for this variety of events by taking a multi-pronged approach. She does interval training on the machines, runs an average of four to six miles each day, and she uses a functional strength program.

  • “Two things that I definitely do is–like with the lunges, I always try to lunge with heavy weights and do a lot of like extra volume on that.”
  • “And then the other thing that I found is helpful with the wall balls is that the women’s weight in HYROX is a 14-pound weight. But I always train with a 20-pound [ball] and I found like I can do a 20-pound in most of my training. I’ll do sets of 25 to 30 with a 20-pound and then every once in a while I’ll go light and like really get to feel that.”

A packed schedule: Winning the HYROX World Championships is a difficult task on its own. It requires preparation, dedication, and the ability to block out the noise. It also requires some time to recover after the adrenaline fades away.

Rugloski had all of the required elements for winning the prestigious event, but she did not immediately begin the recovery process. Instead, she competed in a Spartan event the very next day and finished third overall at Big Bear. This performance was a result of all of her hard work and training her body to take on new challenges.

  • “I think coming off of the HYROX win was a huge confidence booster. I guess switching gears is a lot of just like, ‘Okay, what does my body need right now? It needs a lot of hydration, it needs a good meal, and a nice rest.’ And so those are the three things I did because it was literally 12 hours after one was the next competition.”
  • “I think, also, a huge factor in there is the mentality. I guess I always try to keep things light-hearted, you know, not a lot of pressure. I definitely expect a lot from myself personally, like privately, but I try not to project it. I feel like that just puts a lot of other people’s pressure on you, which I have found is not at all helpful.”

What’s next: Rugloski has achieved a considerable amount in 2022. She won the HYROX World Championships, finished third in a Spartan Race in Big Bear, won a Spartan Race in Austin, and won a Savage Race. This was all in the month of May. So what is next?

  • “I think I’ve kind of found myself in these spheres, and I’m still kind of testing myself within that. So I guess in the HYROX, the OCR, the ultra running, I definitely kind of have goals in there.”
  • “I guess one of my biggest goals is I’d like to do 100 100-milers. I read this article, there’s only like 17 people that have done 100 100-milers in their lifetime. That’s kind of like a little niche thing, but that’s something I want to do.”

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