Last week I was lucky enough to attend Never Stop London’s event An Evening with Ultramarathon Man Dean Karnazes. The whole event was in anticipation of the London Marathon, and was part of the promotional tour for Dean’s new book, The Road to Sparta.
The evening took the form of an interview with Dean, followed by Q&A from the floor, and then wrapping up with a book signing. It was a great evening, all thing said, and here are some of the things I learned:
Dean Karnazes does not get muscle cramps
“Those things look really painful!” – Direct quote. This, I have to say, made me hate him a little.
Running is all down to good biomechanics
I mean, at least as far as Dean is concerned. And whilst a lot of your biomechanics is genetic, there’s still a lot you can do. This comment in particular has given me a kick up the backside to work on my own…er, backside. Yoga and pilates can do a lot for runners, and I’m determined to complement these with strength training and mobility work as I make my comeback.
Fuelling an ultramarathon with dates will not go well for you
When Dean did the Road to Sparta, he decided to fuel “as his ancestors did”- and that involved a lot of dates, olives and bread. Sadly, it would turn out, dates are not great for the digestive system… let’s just leave it there.
Dean Karnazes has an insanely high lactic threshold
Dean has, like many elite athletes, been studied at depth by the sports science community. At one point, he was stuck on a treadmill for a lactic threshold test that should have taken 20-30 minutes. He was on there for over three hours, unable to reach the lactic threshold, and had to leave before the test could be completed…. he had to go pick up his kids. As Dean said, sometimes it comes down to good genetics.
Keeping active throughout the day is just as key as having a “workout”
Dean not only runs almost every day; he has a standing desk, and switches up his work day with HIIT circuits, pull ups and core work. The idea of not just having an actual workout in the day, but just having that active mentality really hit home for me – it definitely fits with my whole Move your frame mantra for 2017.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how humble Dean was for a man of such impressive abilities. Later on I saw that during his London Marathon effort he decided to stop, on several occasions, to give out hugs and have a chat with supporters. Love that guy!
How did everyone get on at London?
Lots of love,