Runner's Talk with Frances Koons

Frances Koons won the 5000 meter at the 2010 Penn Relays on April 22, 2010 in 14:43.78, setting a new personal record by almost 15 seconds. She was a 9-time NCAA All American for Villanova University, where she ran cross country and track. Mighty Milers was lucky enough to ask Frances a few questions about her career!

1. When did you become interested in running?

I started running cross country in the fourth grade. I was pretty small and not very coordinated which ruled out most sports that involved throwing, catching, kicking, etc. I really got into running after I won my first race (a 1.5 mile cross country race) in the 7th grade. My older brother told me he would tell the new kid in class I had a crush on him if I didn't win that race. Needless to say, the rest is history.

2. How do you mentally prepare yourself for a race?

I take confidence in the fact that my coach has prepared me, envision different race scenarios the night before, and most important of all, on the start line, I smile, take in a deep breath, and fill my head with positive thoughts.

3. How do you stay motivated on days when you don't want to run?

Usually days I don't want to run are cold, wet, or windy. When this happens I check the weather in other parts of the country. Inevitably, I see that it is sunny somewhere, and that is where my competitors are training hard. That gets me right out the door.

4. What is your training schedule like?

Long intervals on Mondays, a pace run on Wednesdays, speed work on Fridays, easy run and strides on Tuesdays and Thursdays, long run on Saturdays, and a short run or a day off Sundays.

5. What do you eat before a race?

If it is a morning race, a plain bagel toasted with peanut butter and a banana. If it is later in the day, I just eat what I usually would for lunch – whatever I am in the mood for.

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