Eating Pizza While Running–Interview with Dean Karnazes

The theme of today is obviously pizza. There are worse things I could talk to death, right?

Remember how I was a total creeper at the New York City Marathon expo when I spotted Dean Karnazes?

im creeping on dean k 256x456 thumb1 Eating Pizza While Running–Interview with Dean Karnazes

Well, his PR peep must have heard my desperate cries because I was recently contacted to interview him.

For those that aren’t big running fans – Dean Karnazes is the most awesome ultra runner in the world. He’s written several books, ran 50 marathons in 50 days a 200 mile relay and so much more.

But, the reason he’s my favorite is because he once ATE A PIZZA WHILE RUNNING! He called it an Italian Burrito – love that.

Interview with Dean Karnazes

RER : How did you train for New York? Do you even need to train to marathons at this point?
Karnazes: For me, I run marathons as training for longer ultra-marathons. When I run NYC I look at it as a training run more than a race. It’s too short a distance for me to be competitive. (laughter)

RER: How did the NYC Marathon go for you?
Karnazes: Just a walk in the park. (more laughter) In sincerity, the NYC Marathon is probably my favorite of all, and I’ve run hundreds of races on all 7 Continents of earth.

I once ran 50 marathons, in all 50 states, in 50 consecutive days, and NYC was the 50th and final marathon, so I have many fond memories. I usually run it in around 3-hours, and this year I think I was 3:04. Maybe one year I’ll train harder for it and improve my time, but right now I’m just enjoying every step of the way.

RER:  Do you do speed work? What type?
Karnazes: For speed work, I primarily do something called, “hill repeats.” Essentially, I run at tempo up a hill, and then jog back down. Typically I’ll do 5-6 repeats of varying duration and incline.

RER:  How many miles are you running a week right now?
Karnazes: It varies tremendously because of my rather insane travel schedule. A typical range is somewhere between 70 to sometimes upwards of 200 miles per week.

RER:  What do you eat before a long run? After?
Karnazes: Usually before a run I’ll have some Greek-style yogurt – unsweetened and full fat, along with some berries or a chopped banana and some nuts, either almonds or walnuts. Afterward I’ll rehydrate with some ZICO coconut water unsweetened and lots of organic fruit. For protein my favored go-to is wild Pacific salmon. Living in San Francisco the supply of fresh seafood is plentiful.

RER:      What do you do to recover from your runs? Ice bath? Compression?
Karnazes: First and foremost, I replace the fluids and electrolytes depleted during the event. I’ve tried just about everything, but find that simple coconut water works best. When practical, I find ice baths to be tremendously beneficial, and I am also a big proponent of compression.

The other thing I highly recommend, which might be a bit counterintuitive, is going for a run the next day. Okay, it’s more like a hobble, but I encourage people to try to run a few miles the day after a race. I think getting your heart rate elevated and moving you body really helps flush out your system from the metabolic byproducts created during the race. Active recovery is something I practice and it helps.

Question: If you saw someone famous that you adore – would you go up to them?

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