Tuesday, February 08, 2005

An Interview with Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man [extended]

[I'm reposting this interview so everyone can see the dialog at the bottom - thanks for your questions! - SD]

Dean Karnazes saved my bacon once, and he had no idea at the time. In my first trail marathon (Golden Gate Trail Marathon), I started out strong and found myself with the front two guys at mile six. Worried that my newbie pacing would leave me crawling, I asked the runner next to me for advice on taking in calories, which he happily shared. Then he started telling me about how it differs when you run 100, 150, 200+ miles, or say, in the South Pole or across the deserts of Death Valley. Needless to say, I thanked him for his advice, slowed considerably, and faded back from this crazy man.


(Dean Karnazes running in San Francisco)


At the finish line (where Dean, his wife Julie, and daughter Alexandria cheered for every finisher like they were family), I asked around and realized I had been running with one of the wildest ultra running bad asses on the scene. He was in the midst of completing a book, “Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner,” sharing some of his madcap adventures (like running 146 miles across Death Valley in July, to the top of Mt Whitney), his insights gleaned from years of traveling and competing across the globe, and what it’s like to push the limits of human endurance. He’ll be embarking on a ten-city book tour beginning March 17th—the day his book is released—beginning with an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. However, if you want a glimpse of him earlier you can pick up the February issue of Runner’s World and find Dean on the cover, along with a feature story inside. He was gracious enough to let me ask him a few questions for us trail runners.

1) Even among ultra runners, you are an extreme athlete. This year you managed to win the Badwater Ultramarathon, considered the “World’s Toughest Footrace,” (135 miles across Death Valley and up the side of Mt. Whitney) less than two weeks after finishing top-ten at the Western States Endurance, and then went on to complete the 262-mile Saturn Relay all by yourself. Dare I ask what’s next?

DK: A nursing home (laughs). Actually, I’ve got a pretty full season ahead. I’m hoping to earn my 1,000 Mile Silver Buckle at Western States (10 sub-24 hour finishes), and I’ll probably return to Badwater to defend my title. I’ve also been experimenting with this contraption called a Hydro Bronc that allows me to run on water. It was designed for ice rescues on frozen lakes, but I’ve been running in the ocean on it. I’m hoping to run from Catalina Island to Newport Beach, which is 26.2 miles—a marathon—on water. That would be a first. And I might be the only person ever to have caught a wave by running, as I’ve taken the thing out in the surf a few times. It’s pretty wild running through a pack of guys surfing.

(Dean Karnazes in a Hydro Bronc)


2) Do you think there is any limit to how far a human could run in one shot?

DK: I think the biggest barriers are psychological, not physical. The human body is an amazing machine; if we can just get beyond our perceived limitations, I think we can achieve more than we ever thought possible.The farthest I’ve gone in a single push is 262 miles. That was three nights without sleep, which got pretty psycho. The course I followed (Bodega Bay to Calistoga to Santa Cruz) was pretty hilly, and it rained for twenty of the hours I was running, which was a drag. On an easier course with better weather conditions, I think 300 miles nonstop is doable.

3) I wrote about the “runner’s high” last month, and am curious to your personal experience. How would you describe the “runner’s high” most of us feel at the end of a marathon, vs what you experience at mile 50, 100, 150, or 200?

DK: It’s more of a complete body high after these long distances. The first few days afterward you feel like you’re in a comma—kinda like the worst hangover you’ve ever had, combined with being in a train wreck. When the “runner’s high” finally kicks in, it’s like you’re floating on air. Sometimes the euphoric feeling can last for weeks. It’s almost like a drug I guess, only it’s self-induced.

4) What are you thinking about when you run? Is that where the book came from?

DK: The idea of the book came from a slideshow I gave, but much of the actual writing of the book was done while running. Let me explain: I’m asked to speak on running quite often, and at the conclusion of my presentations one of the most frequent comments I got was, “That’s an amazing story, you ought to write a book.” So finally I did. I’d just go running with a digital record and dictate into it as I ran. And that’s how much of the book got written.It’s almost a fairy tale story, because the first publishing house we sent the manuscript to - Penguin Books - called us the next day with an offer. That’s pretty rare for a first-time author.

5) What could a reader expect from your book? Is it for trail runners, endurance athletes, or could anyone give it a read?

DK: Pretty much anyone could give it a read. It’s about running, sure, but there are broader themes about life and the many life-lessons learned along the way. The book has gotten really good reviews, in some pretty big press, by both runners and non-runners alike. For me personally, it’s been a remarkable journey. The book has been given pre-release praise in Publisher’s Weekly and The San Francisco Chronicle, and I’ve appeared in GQ, Outside Magazine, Runner’s World, Trail Runner, and been on NPR. Upcoming, the book will appear in Esquire, Men’s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure, and the New York Times, and I’m being interviewed for feature stories in FHM, Sports Illustrated, and Time Magazine. A 60 Minutes interview of me is airing in March, and I’ll be on Letterman to launch the book (I guess he’s a big time runner). In my wildest dreams, I never thought running would take me where I’m going.

Sounds exciting! I’d love to ask a few training questions if you don’t mind.

DK: Sure.

1) In training, how many miles per week do your longest weeks go? Do you speed train, or is it all long runs?

DK: I don’t speed train per se, but I do run the hills hard. My longest weeks can be up to 120 miles, but usually they’re around 70 or 80. I’d like to log more miles, and I’d like to do more speed training, but I’m basically a working stiff with a regular job and a family. So there just isn’t the time. Maybe if my book does well, I can spend more time training, which I’m sure would benefit my racing.

2) Given the photos of your quads gracing the covers of GQ, Trail Runner, and Runner’s World, I imagine you also do some weight training. Do you cross-train in other sports as well?

DK: (Laughs) I would say “disgracing” the covers more than gracing them. To answer your question, the gym is my outlet of last resort. I get bored silly indoors, and much prefer going mountain-biking, windsurfing, snowboarding, climbing, or surfing.

3) When you run beyond 100 miles, what is your caloric “steady state”, ie, what is your average calorie burn per hour? And how many calories do you take in? What do you think is the most calories you have burned in one event?

DK: On these long runs, I’m what I call an “opportunistic eater,” meaning that I eat anything I can get my hand on that has lots of calories. Usually my diet is very strict: I don’t eat any refined sugar, I consume only good fats (i.e., mostly mono and poly unsaturated fats and omega-3’s, and eat no trans fat or hydrogenated oils), and avoid refined foods. However, on these long runs, I find it impossible to consume enough calories eating wholesome foods, there’s just too much fiber and bulk that fills me up without providing the necessary calories. So, on these longs runs I resort to highly refined foods and calorie dense items, like pizza and pie. During one 200-mile run we kept a food log, and I consumed 28,000 calories in 46 hours and 17 minutes of running. And I still lost five pounds!

4) What is your source of fuel (drinks, gels, etc.)? Do you ever mix in solid foods? Are there different nutrition issues that you have to take into account when running beyond 100 miles?

DK: Running beyond 100 miles requires a balance of science and art. Much of what I’ve learned has been through trial-and-error. For instance, in running across Death Valley this past summer, I consumed eight gallons of Pedialyte (an electrolyte replacement beverage designed for children with diarrhea and vomiting). I find that Pedialyte sits really well in my stomach. And I almost always eat solid food on runs over 100 miles. That seems to be threshold for me, less than a hundred and I can pretty much get away with liquid only if need be.

5) I imagine you have a pretty strong support crew. Who comes along most of the time? Do any of them get out and pace with you?

DK: I have the best support crew in the world - my family. (Laughs) They’re the only ones who feel sorry enough to join me on these multi-day runs. And it’s great having them! They all run with me for stretches, even my kids (Alexandria 10, Nicholas 7). The only one who doesn’t run with me is my wife. She only runs if someone’s chasing her (more laughs). She does lots of cheering, though, and sympathy eating.

6) Any advice for someone targeting their first 50-miler? 100-miler? 150-miler?!?

DK: Train like a mother. Your will to train has got to be as strong as your will to win. You simply cannot “fake” your way through these longer distances. You have to pay your dues by training like crazy.

7) Lastly, where do you see the future of ultrasport going?

DK: Judging from the interest in my book, there seems to be somewhat of a fascination with ultra endurance sports at the moment. A common response I get when someone learns that I’ve run a hundred miles in a clip is: “WOW…I didn’t even know that was humanly possible.” Guess I shouldn’t tell them I’ve run 262 miles in a clip (chuckles). I think the awareness of ultrasport in the general will increase dramatically in the short term. People find it so intriguing, word is spreading fast. I don’t think this awareness will necessarily translate into high numbers of people wanting to run farther than 100 miles, but I certainly think more people will want to try their hand at going beyond a marathon. It’s a step into the unknown—running beyond a marathon—and it’s very exciting and mysterious to try it. There’s a certain primal appeal, it gets in your blood.

Thank you for the interview, Dean, and best of luck on the book tour. If you miss Dean on tour, you can purchase his book, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, at Amazon.com or other fine booksellers beginning March 17th 2005. You can also visit his site at http://www.ultramarathonman.com. For those of you wanting to ask questions, feel free to leave a comment and perhaps Dean will respond.

You can also check out the other two interviews we have done where he discusses what it took to run 350 miles, and his goal of running 500 miles.

Cheers,

SD

77 comments:

  1. Great interview! Thanks for asking the training questions. By my calculation (28,000 calories / 47 hours), Dean's "steady state" was 595 calories per hour, not counting the five pound weight loss.

    - Marcus

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  2. How much did he rest on the 262 miler? I can't imagine you wouldn't at least stop to change your socks. That book is going to be cool. Jennifer B.

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  3. I clicked on your Amazon link, but it said the book is "not yet released".

    - Charlie1

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  4. Charlie1 -

    Dean's book won't be released until March 17th. But if you order from Amazon.com now, they will ship it to you as soon as it's ready.

    Thanks,

    SD

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  5. More interviews!!!!

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  6. Is 262 miles the world record for the longest run in one shot?

    How much do his feet swell?

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  7. I can barely get my kids to drink Pedialite. That stuff tastes horrible. But it does work!

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  8. Dean was also present (and running!) when Chris Bergland beat the 24-hour treadmill world record in April, 2004. Not sure how he fit it in his busy schedule.

    Y'all can read about that journey by clicking here - http://www.chapmanlogic.com/treadathalon/ .

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  9. The above treadathlon link says that Dean and Chris were burning 1000 calories an hour...a bit different than my 595 calorie calculations.

    - Marcus

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  10. Hey, very cool article...well done and of course, with a super great person!

    I'd written an email to Dean (via his website) last year after getting more involved with trail running and specifically reading about Dean in TrailRunner mag.

    I'd just wanted to let him know how much I'd admired him for who he was, as an athlete and person all around. Particulary in comparison to the "hero/athletes" that are held in such high esteem for some odd reason in this country...you know the ones...the multi-million dollars dudes who get paid millions upon millions of dollars to smack a ball over a fence and shuffle around some bases, and then sit back down for another 20 minutes. I think you know what I'm getting at; professional athletes, what is that??? :-)

    Anywho, I digress...I didn't expect a reply, just wanted to say a note of thanks to Dean. He sent a reply back later that day and was appreciative of the comments. Why aren't these the types of folks kids admire, that others look up to? Just laid back folks doing their best, pushing their bodies, minds and souls for the sake of seeing what they can do and being more in touch with themselves and life...NOT to be on the cover of SI!

    Take care :-)

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  11. Or in Dean's case, "pushing their bodies, minds and souls for the sake of seeing what they can do" and THEN getting on the cover of SI. SI Women's, no less. ;oP

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  12. Thnaks to everyone who has written in. Dean Karnazes here. I'm somewhat new to the world of Blogs, but I'll try to answer some of your questions.

    Regarding the recent 262 mile run, it was a nonstop effort. That said, I did stop to change more than I would have liked to. It rained for about 20 hours along the way, and I got saturated. So I changed my outfit and shoes to try and prevent blisters. My intention was not to change as much as I did, but sometimes Mother Nature can alter even the best laid plans :-).

    Regarding a world record for the longest continuous run, there really is no record to speak of. Defining “continuous” becomes blurry, I am told, because no one has ever defined what stopping means. Is changing your shoes considered stopping? Using the restroom? Etc… Also, the course makes a big difference. Running in the bay area, with all the hills, is much more difficult than when I’ve run around a flat track. So, if you were really trying to crack 300 miles, doing it on a running track would certainly be the easiest format (but not nearly as fun!).

    Men’s Journal called the 262 mile run an unconfirmed record. To be honest, I wasn’t trying to set any records, I was doing it as a fundraiser for organ donation as part of the Saturn Relay (www.TheRelay.com). I succeeded in reaching my fundraising goals, which means more to me than setting any running record.

    Lastly, thanks for all the interest in my upcoming book, “Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner.” Yes, you can order it now on Amazon, but it won’t ship until March 17th, when the book is released. I hope that any of you who read it, enjoy the book. It’s a story that any runner can relate to, and it’s gotten some pretty good reviews so far. So I’m happy about that.

    If anyone is interested in coming to a book signing, I’ll post a list of bookstores that I’ll be at on my website soon: www.UltramarathonMan.com

    Until then, Keep Running!

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  13. Man, that is so cool that Dean would respond directly on the blog. And he even tries to be humble about breaking a world record!!!! Very cool.

    (Michelle G)

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  14. Maybe this is an obvious question, but does Dean take steroids, EPO, or HGH? It's not like ultra running is a highly regulated sport. You're lucky to get a doc on site, let alone a blood screen.

    Larry

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  15. Dude, this interview is everywhere. I just found it on two triathlon web sites and three other blogs! I keep thinking he's on tour, but it's just the same interview over and over...but without the comments at the bottom. Great stuff though. I look forward to the book.
    -EricB

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  16. Unreal interview! That was really cool! My first run was a 14 km event that my husband and I decided to run, without previous training, that morning. We loved it and have been running ever since - we did, however, feel so bad the next day and had to take the day off work. I cannot imagine how Dean felt the day after his 30th birthday! Thanks for sharing the interview and to Dean for coming back and answering questions.

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  17. Not one mention of the book being dedicated to our late Sister, Pary. I guess you'll have to read the book to understand the passion and motivation that her passing created deep in Dean's Soul. A very stirring read on a number of fronts. Go Bro!!

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  18. At the time of this interview, the book hadn't been released. From what Dean has told me, his late sister, Pary, has always been an inspiration to him. I'm sure there is more about this in the book.

    SD

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  19. At 3600 calories per pound, if we count the five-pound weight loss that would be an additional 18,000, giving a total of 46,000 calories burned.

    46,000 calories/47 hours = 979 calories burned per hour.

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  20. Suggestion regarding the pedialyte -- make your own.

    It's cheaper, easier to transport (just add water), can be customized (may tweak electrolytes or change flavors and caloric makeup), add vitamins, etc.

    Use sodium chloride (regular salt), potassium chloride (Morton salt substitute), calcium (cloride or citrate), water soluble vitamins.

    I add to my choice of sports drink as most sports drink provide too many calories, not enough electrolytes per cc to allow for their use as a total replacement fluid during intense, ultra distance excercise (ultramarathon, ironman tri, etc). You just have to do the math re. fluid, caloric and and 'lyte loss during excercise during excersize to figure this one out.

    As distances become longer and longer in a particular discipline (running, biking, . . .) the choice of replenishment becomes more critical for optimum homeostatis.

    5K - nothing
    10K - nothing or some water
    13.1 - water / carb / ? electrolyte
    26.2 - water / electrolyte / carb / ? protein
    50 miler - just finished my first, so don't know what to say, except as above plus refined 'junk' food as Dean had mentioned.

    Well, may be getting off the subject, but my point is - you can make your own mixtures and while it may not be critical for everyone, if you think about it and experiment with these things, it can make your journey into running longer and longer distances more interesting.

    Oh, also, get an accurate medical scale and use it on training runs and at intermediate points on long runs. You will learn lots!

    Working of website for this stuff - will update, thanks.

    dj

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  21. great interview! I just read his book "ultramarathon man". The best thing he said in the book is that he is reserved and never boast his accomplishments. It's all mental toughness. And that's a true RUNNER..I highly recommend his book..both nonrunner and runners.
    Melody C. Los Angeles

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  22. Absolutely, totally, completely nuts!... but in a good way. If he ever gets tired of running, he can compete in bodybuilding... The dude is ripped!

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  23. I really enjoyed this interview but I love the book. I've bought it just a couple of weeks ago and I'm already read it twice going for one more time. It also got myself into running and I said this so with an email to Dean without expecting any message back since he must be super busy. But, as humble he is, he did replied to my email and I found this spetakular great. This guy is amazing.

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  24. I used the inspiration gained from reading "Ultramarathon Man.." to join a friend running across Indiana last wknd. I covered 56 miles (30 more than I ever had before). I wouldn't have done it w/o being inspired by Dean's story and I couldn't have done it w/o understanding how you must eat. I'm pumped!!

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  25. I saw a couple of negative reviews of Dean's book on Amazon.com from a few ultra runners. Like he somehow declared himself the spokesperson because he called the book Ultramarathon Man. It's an autobiography, people!!! Of course it's about him! And guess what - it's not about you!!!

    Some people just kill me.

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  26. Yes, there seems to be a few ultra-runners out there that aren't big fans of Dean Karnazes or Pam Reed tooting their own horns. I was just reading this forum --> http://www.running-forum.com/running/running_300_miles_wo_stopping_386598.html , and a good one at cyclingforum, and both point out that neither of them really set any records.

    Meanwhile, Scott Jurek wins his 7th Western States. Oh great trail blogger, why don't you interview somebody like him who isn't interested in selling books?!?
    Dot

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  27. Thanks, Dot. I've put out the request to Scott Jurek, but he doesn't seem interested.

    There is a pretty good interview on him in last months ultrarunning magazine if you're interested. He sounds very spiritual and down to earth.

    SD

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  28. I have had the pleasure of meeting Dean and he is as pleasant and down-to-earth as he comes across in print. As a runner, and more importantly as a person, he is the "real deal." More power (and miles) to him.

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  29. My partner received Deans book for a Christmas present. I finally borrowed and read it in 3 days. Amazing for me!! I couldn't put it down. What an awesome book and what an amazing guy!! Would love to meet Dean one day if he ever comes "down under"?? Thanks Dean for sharing your own personal life, thoughts, family and inspirations with us all!
    Maree
    New Zealand

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  30. Dean, Thanks for sharring your life with us. I started and could not stop the read. 5 hours later I was pumped. You helped me understand that we control our lives and no one else should influence that in a negative way. I have been trying to get BACK into shaped for the past few months, but have been met with oppositon from the ones I love the most. Thanks for the motivation to realize that I control my future. Any chance you will be coming through Dallas any time soon?

    See you on the road

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  31. Hey You in Dallas,

    Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and expressive message. I really appreciate your warm sentiments. Be assured that any inspiration my book may have provided you has been reciprocated tenfold when I read your story.

    Currently I do not have plans to be swinging through Dallas. But that could change, and I will update my website if it does.

    Again, thank you for writing. I wish you the very best in your journey back to health, and long may you run….

    Warmest regards,
    Dean Karnazes

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  32. Scott in Dallas3/27/2006 11:32:00 AM

    Dean,

    Thanks for the reply. One equipment question: What kind of shoes do you wear on your training runs? I noticed you are working with Northface. Do they supply you with shoes? At 6'1" 185 my Mizunos are good, but I could use a little more cushion in the forefoot.

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  33. Hey Scott,

    The Asics Gel Nimbus is a great shoe, and I like the Mizuno Wave Creation as well. Certainly the Nike Pegasus has loads of forefoot cushioning (though not much support if you need motion control).

    Yes, I have been working with The North Face and we've developed a new line of running shoes. They won't be on the market, however, until August.

    Hope that helps, and I wish you the very best in all your endeavors.

    Warmest regards,
    Dean K

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  34. Dean,
    Thank you for your sharing your experiences and various words of wisdom. I started running (leisurely) to overcome some personel hardships these past few months and reading your book has given me the continous drive to further my limits physically and mentally. There is a profound purpose in using our bodies and capabilities for the better good and you prime example of it. Keep up the running.

    Also,
    This blog is a great interview. Keep it up and run strong.

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  35. Dear John,

    Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful message. I’m glad that you enjoyed my book, and I appreciate you sharing such warm sentiments.

    I wish you the very best in all your endeavors, and long may you run…

    Sincere regards,
    Dean Karnazes

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  36. Dean,

    I am preparing for my second ultramarathon later this year, and the one thing I seem to struggle with the most is my mind. Yes, mind! Three hours into my running and I am mentally depleted. I run out of motivational thoughts to carry me through. Especially when there are no spactators to entertain your lonely run? How do you motivate yourself, play your mind to not to affect your muscles?

    Edith

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  37. Hey Dean,

    I remembered you from your windsurfing days and articles in Windtracks. I recently went through major surgery and found your book in the local library. I blazed through it in a couple days. Knowing the bay area topography, it was amazing discovering how far you run!

    Cool thing is, a couple days after reading your book I was doing some hiking near Deadmans and saw you running along. I shouted 'hey Dean' and you gave me a big shaka.

    I've been running 3-4 times a week since recovering and when the going gets hard I think of how far you ran. It makes things seem really easy.

    Take care bro.

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  38. Thanks for the note, and for the shout & shaka :-) Hope the recovery is going well, and keep charging!

    All the best,
    Dean

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  39. Dean,

    I was very inspired by you book after I read it, and was actually astounded at how many similarites we have. I mean, I love to windsurf, I hate trak, I love cross country, and I whant to make a difference in someone as well, like how you ran 226 miles to save valeria from her failing heart.
    I am only 13 years old, but I still love to run. The farthest I can run is actually 14 miles which I have been building up to over the past two months. My endurance level may not be that of a grown man such as yourself.
    When I gave a book report on your book to my class, they couldn't belive that anybody could run that far. And if I had heard that someone had run 260 miles (or 100 for that matter) without stopping I would have not belived it. But by reading your book, I can belive that it is possible and almost anything is possible, we have no limits to what we can do.
    I do have one question and I am hoping you will answer it. In your book you mentioned Mt. Everest a lot. Are you planning to climb the big mountin. If so then I would suggest that you don't. If you don't know what happened in 1996 with Rob Halls expidition then I suggest you read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer if you have time.
    -Nick

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  40. I work for a local TV station in South Florida where you visited recently and left a copy of your book. A coworker handed it over to me because he knows I am an avid runner and book reader. I have to tell you, I could not put down your book from the moment I picked it up. You are such an insperation!! Thank you Thank you for taking the time to put your life into writting so that others can learn from your experiences.
    On page 232, first paragraph, last sentence, "If we could just free ourselves from our perceived limitations and tap into our internal fire, the possibilities are endless. That is the quote in which I will base the rest of my life upon. Thank you, Thank you!!

    Robin~

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  41. I work for a local TV station in South Florida where you visited recently and left a copy of your book. A coworker handed it over to me because he knows I am an avid runner and book reader. I have to tell you, I could not put down your book from the moment I picked it up. You are such an insperation!! Thank you Thank you for taking the time to put your life into writting so that others can learn from your experiences.
    On page 232, first paragraph, last sentence, "If we could just free ourselves from our perceived limitations and tap into our internal fire, the possibilities are endless". That is the quote in which I will base the rest of my life upon. Thank you, Thank you!!

    Robin~

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  42. Hello Robin,

    I’m glad that you enjoyed my book and I really appreciate the warm sentiments you expressed in your message.

    Best wishes in all that you do, and long may you run…

    Dean Karnazes

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  43. Hey Nick,

    You sound like quite a remarkable guy. Your endurance level might not be that of a grown man, but you certainly have the heart. 14 miles at 13 is fantastic!

    Regarding your question, Mt. Everest is definitely on my “to do” list. I promised myself I’d wait until my kids were in their teens before making the attempt, just in case something unforeseen should happen to me.

    I've got another adventure in the works for later this year that you might find interesting. Check out: WWW.ENDURANCE50.COM

    Okay Nick, keep charging!

    All the best,
    Dean

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  44. Dean,

    Thanks for replying to my message, I will keep running. I also checked out that website. I wish you luck on that run it looks really cool. I don't think anybody has ever done that before and you'll be the first.

    Thanks again,
    Nick

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  45. Hi Dean,

    I'm finishing your book and I've found it very interesting! Your achievements are impressive and I liked to read about the strong motivation is driving you.
    Since 2 months I restarted running (I used to be a runner in high school).I'm 32 years old, working for a big company here in Milan, windsurfing as much as I can. I will be in Hookipa in September for an holiday I’m dreaming about since I was a beginner. I planned to leave Maui at the end of the month but, reading about your endurance50 and about Maui Marathon, I finally decided to postpone holiday to have the chance to run the marathon! It will be my first one and I just 3 month to be in shape for 42K...I'm just running 12K 3 times a week but your book gave me the right boost to be ready for October 4th...any brief advice to be ready?

    Thanks!


    Ago

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  46. Hey Ago,

    Wish I could join you for some windsufing in Maui! Have a blast, and I look forward to seeing you for the marathon.

    As far as training, you sound like you’re in great shape already. You’ll want to increase your daily mileage up to about 30-40 miles per week if you can, and you might want to try a 20-miler just to get used to the longer distance. The overall pace during the marathon won’t be really aggressive, so if you can build your base mileage I think you’ll be just fine.

    Okay Ago, hope that helps. See you soon!

    All the best,
    Dean

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  47. Dean,

    Scott from Dallas. It's been a few months and the weekly mileage is up and the weight is down. I plan to take a run at my first 50 miler in February with the Dallas White Rock marathon squeezed in this December. At least 3-4 of my friends have read your book since I finished it back in March. They all are amazed at your accomplishments. Thanks for giving me some inspirational thoughts to keep me going while I am running in the 100+ Texas heat.

    Take Care

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  48. Dean,

    I just started reading your book, excellent stuff. I have just begun running at 28. The way I justify getting up earlier (not much time, new baby, work etc.) and adding milage is by thinking, Dean runs 10 times this it's no big deal.

    Thanks for the excuse,

    Jeff

    P.S. I hope to meet you in Chicago this fall, I won't be running, the registration is closed. Maybe I can run in Green Bay WI.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hey Dean,

    Fun book! I laughed out loud at times and had to explain to my wife what was so funny. I'm glad you figured out the seat controls in the Lexus.

    I have a training question you might be able to help me with. I've been running for about 3 years and have been troubled with ITB pain at times. It's no problem anymore on normal training runs at distances I'm familiar with, but when I go beyond, it flares. Last January I did a 50k on rocky/hilly terrain in Bandera, TX. (It's real flat in north Texas where I live.) The first 18 were great but I stopped at an aid station and had alot of pain soon after starting again. I did the run/walk for a while but running got to hurting so much at times my leg would involuntarily collapse under me. I eventually finished. After recovering, training resumed for another 50k in May in San Antonio. 20 milers were no big deal. No pain. I ran a training marathon by myself a few weeks before the race. No pain. I was ready. About 3 miles into the race, we got hit with a thunderstorm. Heavy rain, lightning and hail. That stuff hurts! The trails turned to small rivers and the lower drainage areas turned into waist deep rivers. I had a blast! Again, the first 20 miles were great. I felt and ran strong even through mostly ankle and knee deep water. Then the pain hit. My ITB pain flared and my hip flexor was killing me. I slowed and walked some. Then the sun came out and the trails turned to glue-type mud. It built up on the shoes and made my walk very slow and painful. Again, I eventually finished.
    So, here's my question... Do these problems/pains go away after breaking some distance barrier? Will I get "past that" after enough training to where it's not an issue no matter what the distance? For example, is it accurate to think if I can run 50 miles without a flare up, I can run 100? I understand pain is included in distance running, but is this the type of pain you have to deal with? Is what I've experienced in my 50k's a legitimate injury that would prevent me from finishing a 50 or 100 miler or should I just quit complaining and go through it? I'm registered for a 50 Miler in the Palo Duro Canyon (near Amarillo,TX) in October. I guess a simple way to answer all my questions would be to answer this... Should I work up to running a few 40-50 mile training runs or do a few 25-30 milers, hope for the best and go through the pain if it comes?

    Any advice would be greatly

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for the very nice note. I’m glad that you’re enjoying my book, and I’m psyched to hear that you started running. I look forward to the possibility of running with you in Green Bay. Until then, best wishes in running, and in life!

    Dean Karnazes

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hey Jason,

    I think it’s terrific the way you’re pushing the envelope and expanding your limits. That said, I’d hate for you to injure yourself in the process. It’s really tough for me to offer advice on your question, because everyone responds differently when they go hard the way you are. My best bit of guidance would be to listen to your body. Try to find the balance between pushing to the edge, versus going over it. The pain should begin to lessen when your base mileage increases, but give it time.

    Okay Jason, hope that helps. Best wishes on your upcoming 50 Miler in the Palo Duro Canyon, and beyond…

    Sincere regards,
    Dean Karnazes

    ReplyDelete
  52. Dean -

    Thank you for writing the most inspirational books I have ever read. I was actually able to finish your book in a train ride to and from work and read it a second time a week later. In fact, this book has made the rounds in my family and friends and many have been inspired in their own way - either to get in shape for their wedding, to run ultras or to just ask themselves "Why do they do it?" in every aspect of their life - not just running.

    I hope to be running side by side with you in New Jersey (your Endurance 50 stop before the NYC Marathon) as a tune up for my first Ultra - the Knickerbocker 60K.

    Best of luck in your Endurance 50 quest.

    - Robert

    PS - Scott, great interview. Really supplemented the book for me.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Robert -

    Dean is cranking out his 50 marathons, but asked me to relay the following reply:

    "Thank you for your very kind words, I really appreciate it! I look forward to the opportunity of running with you in NJ as a training run for your first Ultra.

    All the best,

    Dean Karnazes"

    ReplyDelete
  54. I just happened to pick up a copy of RunnersWorld with Dean on the cover a couple of weeks before the St. George Utah marathon. The next morning during a training run with my girlfriends, I told them about Dean doing 50/50/50, and we realized we had a chance of actually seeing Dean during the marathon on Oct 7. Halfway up the Veyo hill I was thrilled to hear my girlfriends yelling, "Jody, we found Dean!" He talked to us for several minutes and was so pleasant and friendly. And every day since last Saturday as I'm hobbling around I've been thinking that Dean's running another marathon! Dean, you rock! Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  55. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  56. My teacher told my class so much about you.Then I told my parents about you.I decided to write about what you did so when I have children I can tell them about you.I am in Running Club at my school.And I ran 25 miles during the year so far.I am tring to get to 200 miles for the whole school year so I can get a big trophy.Maybe when I get older I might run marathons just like you did.
    -Brianna

    ReplyDelete
  57. Dean:
    Ultramarathon man - inspiring.
    50 in 50- simply a awesome.
    running home across the country-priceless

    Love reading your book and articles. You've got me intrested in running beyond 26.2

    Matt D.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hey Dean,
    I read your book and found it a SUPER read, I recently bought it for my sister also for crimbo knowing she would love it.
    We are both massive sport enthusiasts, with a long history in competitive sports. I competed in Modern pentathlon internationally when younger, always done track running and always swum. Which eventually led me to Triathlon which I love.
    I do go out alot alone on big runs, biggest to date was a 36 mile run over the Brecon Beacons (Wales), was only meant to be a marathon distance but we forgot to account for the contours on the map and it ended up alot longer Ooops.
    Anyway, In your book you never mention injuries or any aids that you might use to prevent injury, such as massage. I have spoken about you with other chums that have read your book. I always keep saying he must just prefer to sound positive and not mention them. You must get injured doing those kinda distances. Well do you, or are you just very lucky!
    I hear that you are doing an event in Italy this year in some ski resort. I only know that as my sister whom has moved there (Treviso) met a friend of yours (girl) they mentioned Gaylord who you talk about in your book. Anyways what you up to over there, I am due a visit there and it would be great to see you in one of your challenges if possible. Let me know if you need a water boy!
    Have a look at my pics from a race when I was in Aus, enjoy the pic's
    Cheers
    JK
    Hope to hear from you soon mate GOOD LUCK for the New Year

    http://www.sparkypix.com/Splash-N-Dash/Vic_Champs/pages/111_VicAquathlon.htm
    http://www.sparkypix.com/Splash-N-Dash/Vic_Champs/pages/107_VicAquathlon.htm

    ReplyDelete
  59. I interviewed Dean Karnazes once also. Amazing!!

    Someone suggested I should interview you sometime, too.

    While we do shows on everything, the health and fitness ones have been very popular with the audience.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I have have learned some useful facts and perspectives about running and marathon from friends that I made at http://www.cyberfriends.com. It is amazing as to how some activities are utilized in exactly the same manner in many different parts of the world...

    ReplyDelete
  61. The book was so powerful, that I dropped it midway in my dim-light room around midnight and decided to go for a run.

    It was a healing adventure, I saw a lot of things that night which started with a shooting star (not a coincidence) and a full moon. I thought about the 'listening to your heart' bit , which was really an inspiration in doing something that most ppl write off as impossible, or irrational.
    One love
    From AUSTRALIA
    Imroze

    ReplyDelete
  62. Keep it going Dean - your book got me beyond 26.2 miles and got my brother working towards his first Marathon.

    Prepping for a 250 mile 6 day stage race in Atacama, Chile now.. next?

    Thanks
    Campbell

    ReplyDelete
  63. great book, but i have to disagree with all the "humble" comments about dean...as i type this he has just fallen 20 miles short of beating chris bergland's 24hr treadmill world record, the same record he and dean ran for in april of '04, and chris set. the kicker is that dean didn't tell chris, his supposed "friend", that he was going to attempt it until the day before he did. dean is the equivalent of the "neon deon sanders" of running. for true humbleness and candor look to chris bergland, a real humble ultra-marathoner, and triple ironman champion. btw, a good friend of mine from college works for chris at a manhattan running store.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Dean, you still reading these blog entries?

    THANK YOU for continuing to take the high road when it comes to some of the comments posted on blogs. You've done great things and I'm sure that you will continue TO DO GREAT THINGS going forward! Thanks for raising all of the money for charity that you did during your NYC treadmill run! :)

    Also, thanks for taking the time to return every email I've ever sent you (only 2, who's counting).

    I ran my first 30 miler a couple of months ago right after I read your book for the 2x. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    Sincerely,

    Tom Jr.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hi Dean. Not many people make me say wow. I started running in 1999 after some 10 years of not running and being told by doctors that I would never again after breaking my neck in 3 places playing pro rugby. I still have problems with my left side but in those 9 years I've done many triathlons (3 ironman) ultramarathons (100km and MDS) and Jungle marathon in Brazil 2008. I'm planing Badwater... I cradit my motivation to amazing people such as yourself for the encouragement to push the limits. Thanks you for your book and your kindness. God Bless. Roy Chen-Campbell. Vancouver. Canada. http://fuze.ca/roy/

    ReplyDelete
  66. if you find comfortable running shoes then you can do running happily...other wise you may face some
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  67. Great interview and great information i have got with the help of these questions in this interview.I know its not about
    turbulence training
    which i was looking even then its really helpful for me.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Hi,
    Do you have an email adress I could contact you at ?
    Best regards

    Sophie Dosik

    sophiedosik@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  69. wow, i can't imagine it, but it is intriguing to think how you'd feel at 50 miles or so ... I've done marathons (feel like a wimp after reading this though) and know how bad that can feel, i can't imagine doing back to back to back to back marathons !! wow.

    ReplyDelete
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  74. i think you need your own tv show. thanks for all the stories....very interesting, including the comments others post. with all the adventures, run, bike, whatever and the vast array of people you come across with, i can already picture a sitcom. Good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  75. A runner in my heart and always will be. I admire your passion and have read your book six times so far. I always give the book away after reading it then buy another. I love to run and hope to qualify for Boston someday. Thanks for all the inspiration from Wayne in North Carolina, the next time your nearby send me an email. wmcintyre62@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete

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