Riley Cook

After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?

I am still driven by the desire to be better. I don't feel I've reached my ceiling in running, especially in the longer distances, and I would like to see how fast I can get. I feel like there's this faster, smarter, and well-trained version of me out there that I just need to find. Besides that, running every day in the early morning is the best way to start any day in my opinion. Running is part of who I am. I was born to run and I plan to run even when personal records are elusive due to age.

How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?

Motivation is not much of an issue anymore for me. It certainly has been in the past. But I am so entrenched now in a daily/weekly running routine that I just get up and go. It would be extremely weird and disappointing if I slept in. I also meet several training partners throughout the week, which is what really helped me get into this routine where it's not a question if we're meeting up or not in the morning. We all know we are going to meet up and get the run in. The key is consistency. Once you form the habit, it just becomes natural. Missing a day of running would be like not showing up to work for me.


On average, how many times and miles do you run a month?

I run anywhere from 280 to 375 miles a month I'd say. When I'm running more than 80 miles in a week, I will also include a few doubles. I would guess I run about 35 times a month.


What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?

That's a tough question.


What are your favorite types of fuel for running and why?

I don't do much fueling when I run, which is probably one of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to the marathon. I just don't like to have anything in my stomach when I run. But, I will take an occasional gel or GU. Sometimes I'll eat a Honey Stinger waffle before a run in the early morning. I like to drink Nunn or other electrolyte drinks after a run and also a chocolate milk.


What's your favorite cheat food & drink?

I have a terrible diet for a runner! There was a streak in August/September where I was eating a king-sized PB Snicker's a day. I have a sugar tooth and can often be found eating candy, pastries, etc. I do better with the drinks, avoiding sugar. I used to drink Coca Cola Classic all the time, but I've switched over to Coke Zero now (which also isn't the best, but better than Coke).  But every now and then I can buckle down and go without sugar for 2 to 3 months and when I do, I don't cheat at all. I'm like a recovering addict, if I eat sugar just once during a sugar fast, it's all over! Forget about it!


Do you like ice baths? Why or why not?

Do I like them? No. Do I do them? Maybe 2 to 3 times a year when my mileage is really high and my legs are just tired. I mostly don't like them because I am the biggest wimp when it comes to cold water! I hate getting wet with cold water. I'm that guy in a race when someone is spraying people with a hose to cool them off that says, "no thanks" and goes out and around to avoid getting wet. But I do think ice baths can be beneficial.


What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?

Be consistent. That's the tip I always give. If you are consistent in getting in your runs, you will improve. If you aren't consistent you will see inconsistent results and maybe get frustrated. My second tip would be don't ever give up. We all experience setbacks and moments where we think our best days are behind us. But stay consistent and consistently look for ways to slowly increase training and your day will come!


What is your favorite running accomplishment so far?

I think it's a toss up between breaking the 4:00 mile equivalent in the 1,500-meters and winning my first marathon. Both moments were times where once it was done I just thought to myself, "Finally! I did it. All that hard work and all that sweat has paid off".


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