Dean Karnazes is the author of the book, “UltraMarathon Man: Confessions Of An All-Night Runner”. This book was published in 2005 but it was only when QuickSilver Runner mentioned his name in his blog last December 2007 that I knew and heard the name of this famous ultra runner. The second time that I read about this guy was in the book of Pam Reed entitled, “The Extra Mile” who was the strongest contender for the Champion Runner in the Badwater Ultramarathon in 2003, only to be defeated by Pam Reed in few minutes.
The book of Dean Karnazes is a very inspiring one for runners, most especially to those who would like to run farther than the marathon in order to test their endurance and accomplish more than running a marathon race. Through this book, I was able to appreciate and find out that there is a group of extraordinary endurance runners who are dedicated in their training, preparation, diet, health and other technical aspects for ultrarunning.
Dean Karnazes had finished so many ultra running events like: the annual Western States 100-Mile Runs, Badwater Ultramarathons, South Pole Marathon, and The Relay, a 199-mile footrace which is participated by teams with 12 member-runners but he ran the distance alone. He was a team of one in the said The Relay Ultra Running Event finishing the distance in 46 hours and 17 minutes! Since then Dean Karnazes had been a popular figure in endurance runs and his participation in such races were tied with charity works to help children who are in need of medical treatment.
Dean K ran the famous 50 marathons in 50 States in 50 days finishing this feat at the New York Marathon last November 2006. Last March of this year, he won the Atacama Crossing in Chile which is a 250-kilometer race in 6 stages at Atacama Desert. Last month, he finished the Gobi March in 4th place held at the Gobi Desert, China which is also a 250-kilometer footrace in 6 stages. Next Monday, he is expected to join the 82 runners who will participate in the 2008 Badwater Ultramarathon.
Here are some tips from Dean in preparing for Ultra running events:
1) When preparing for an ultra running event, he runs at least 70-100 miles per week. Wakes up at 4:00AM and run 3 hours before bringing the kids to school and going to his office. He takes another 45 minutes to one hour quick run after office work. On Saturday mornings, he runs 30-40 miles.
2) For a 50K or 50-mile event, he suggests doing at least one eight-hour training run. For 100-miler, he recommends doing an all-night run to simulate race condition without sleeping.
3) An ultrarunner should be properly hydrated with water and energy drinks with electrolytes. In his early ultra running events in the 90s, he was using Oral Pedialyte for his electrolyte replacements.
4) His daily diet consists of 40% Carbohydrates; 30% of Protein & 30% of Fats. He eats salmon 4-5 days a week and lots of organic salads.
5) He trains half and half for the roads and trails. But he prefers more time running on the roads.
6) He goes to the gym for muscle strengthening workouts. If he can not make it to the gym, he does 4 sets of 50 push-ups and 4 sets of 90 push-ups—once in the morning and once in the evening.
In 2004, Dean Karnazes won the Badwater Ultramarathon covering 135 miles in 120-degree Fahrenheit temperature in 27 hours and 22 minutes of non-stop running.
He is a columnist for “Men’s Health Magazine” and the President of Good Health Natural Foods. He lives with his wife and their two children in San Francisco. To know more about him and his schedule of ultramarathon races, visit www.ultramarathonman.com.
I hope I will be able to watch his movie, “The Ultramarathon Man”, on 31 July 2008 (in the USA) and buy a copy of his new book, “50/50”.
I recommend this book (“Ultra Marathon Man”) to every runner. Happy reading!