The Podcast
Episode 41: Kris Gethin - Man of Ultra
Apr 16, 2018 · 43 min
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Our favorite bodybuilder-turned-triathlete stops by to discuss his latest challenge and triumph, a 50-kilometer high-desert ultramarathon in the middle of winter. The man who has famously "never missed a meal in 19 years" also talks about his recent experiment with intermittent fasting, and his next adventure: an unsupported ultra-triathlon in Yellowstone National Park!


- Why an ultra? "I wanted to show people that, look, you can be 'muscle-bound' and do these things."
- On the post-competition emotional "abyss."
- "It was relatively low-cost. It's like an hour and a half drive from my place, so, if I was crawling over the finish line by my lips, I wouldn't have far to drive home and collapse."
- How he prepared and scheduled his training—both running and bodybuilding.
- The value of the BOSU-ball squat for runners (it's all about the ankles).
- His low-volume approach: "I have to look at the point where I'm gonna have diminishing returns."
- On competitiveness: "Because I think it's good to just participate in all these things, yeah, I'll probably walk away with a lot of participation medals and never a winner. I was very, very competitive [as a bodybuilder], but now I look a bit further from that because I enjoy the process more."
- On the power and positivity of the ultra-running community: "They're having such a great time. And, I think there's lot of benefits that can be done and you can really improve your longevity by not going to the extreme, but just participating and enjoying the process."
- Race day: What he expected, and his inspirational experience—except when "I got my balls handed to me."
- What he ate and drank and used for supps during the race.
- "You can't go by your watch or your heart rate monitor or anything like that. It has to be very intuitive: Can you keep up this pace for the next 30 miles with this elevation, not really knowing how much elevation is to come ahead?"
- On pain: "When it does come to you in a race like this, it's like OK, now we're just gonna be partners for the next two or three hours or so."
- "Everything was either up or down, so after running for the first eight miles up, I was thinking, 'God, I can't wait to go down,' and then after running six miles down, I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, I can't wait to go up.'"
- His biggest mistake: Stopping at 20 miles to eat. "I should have just ate whilst walking."
- "The senses are heightened to no end. If anybody was cooking something, say, 16 miles away, I'd probably smell it."
- His bodily changes during training, and his intense fasting protocol prior to the race.
- On fasting: "It all comes down to changing your perspective. So, I was thinking, 'Look, I'm not dying here, I'm not gonna starve to death, I'm not one of these people that could be in a third world country that doesn't know what they're gonna be eating. I'm OK, I'm fine with this.' It was just hard to train legs."
- The importance of protein for runners.
- His next adventure: an unsupported ultra-Ironman through Yellowstone Park.

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