Training For Ultra's Training Diaries - Issue #24


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Guest: Dean Karnazes

Episode Title: Episode 200 with Dean Karnazes

Bio: Dean Karnazes is one of those guests that needs no introduction. His first book Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, was a bestseller and served as many people’s first glimpse into the mysterious world of ultrarunning. Since then, Dean has written four more books and run hundreds of more races. Some of Dean’s accomplishments include running the Western States 100 13 times, running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days, winning the Badwater 135, swimming across the San Francisco Bay, running 350 miles without sleep, and running a marathon in the South Pole. Dean is a great runner and a great storyteller - he is famous for pushing his own mental and physical limits and inspiring others to do the same. He believes in embracing adversity, developing one’s relationship with nature, cultivating good habits, setting a good example, never limiting yourself, and finding fulfillment in experiences. Although Dean was an outdoorsy kid (hiking across the Grand Canyon at just 12 years old) and running cross country in high school, he took a break from sports starting in college to pursue a corporate career. On his 31st birthday, though, everything changed, and he realized affluence was not making him happy, so he ran 30 miles, and that marked the beginning of his new life as a “guy who loves to run.” Recently Dean ran ten marathons in ten days in Greece, and in 2023 he hopes to run from the Dead Sea to the top of Mount Everest! 

You may also like: 

The Training For Ultra Podcast with Rob Steger: Dean Karnazes (the Ultramarathon Man) (

The Training For Ultra Podcast with Rob Steger: Episode 51 - Dean Karnazes w/ Michelle Barton and Dave Braunlich (

Quotes from podcast episode:

“I knew I could just go run 200 miles on my own, but I kind of wanted that race environment.” - Dean Karnazes 2:40

“Most people don’t even know that humans can run 100 miles.” - Dean Karnazes 4:30

“I ran 200 miles, and then I thought maybe I can go further than that.” - Dean Karnazes 9:33

“I don’t experience pain anymore.” - Dean Karnazes 11:29

“200 miles is definitely an oddity.” - Dean Karnazes 13:18

“The last couple of times I ran the 200-miler I didn’t even change my shoes once.” - Dean Karnazes 14:50

“I write, but I have never thought of myself as a writer.” - Dean Karnazes 20:43

“A lot of the writing is done on the run.” - Dean Karnazes 21:52

“I am so allergic to routine I literally cannot do the same thing two days in a row.” - Dean Karnazes 26:16

“I write by impulse.” - Dean Karnazes 26:25

Episode Timeline:

1:16 Genesis of the 1-man-200-mile relay

5:10 Ultramarathon Man movie

6:50 Finishing Badwater ten times

 9:05 Running beyond 200 miles

10:30 Sleep deprivation and pain

12:45 How the 200-mile distance has changed

15:00 What gets Dean excited to train

17:30 Aging as an athlete

18:25 The next 200 episodes…

20:36 How to write like Dean Karnazes

27:20 Daily mileage 

Social Media:

Instagram: Dean Karnazes (@ultramarathon) • Instagram photos and videos Facebook: Dean Karnazes | Facebook Twitter: DeanKarnazes (@DeanKarnazes) / Twitter Website: About — Dean Karnazes ( 

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