How These Elite Athletes Prepared for the Western States 100

By Stevie Lyn Smith, RD Jun 21, 2018

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Known to be one of the most grueling tests of endurance and the oldest 100-mile trail race in the world, the historical Western States 100 is set on technical trails and terrain from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California. As the countdown to race day continues, we had the opportunity to chat with a few athletes about how they’ve used InsideTracker to help get them to the start line prepared to tackle 18,000 feet of ascent and 23,000 feet of descent over 100.2 miles... all in (mostly) one day.

First up, the ladies:

 

The 2014 Western States Champion, Stephanie Violett, has three Western States finishes under her belt. She also rounded out her 2017 season with an eighth place finish at The North Face 50-Mile Championships and kicked off 2018 with a course record at The FOURmidable 50k this spring.

 

 

A post shared by Traci Falbo (@tracifalbo) on

 

With a first place finish at this year's Jackpot 100 mile, Traci Falbo is going into Western States ready to race. How has she used InsideTracker to help her crush her races? Here’s what she had to say...

I started using InsideTracker to increase my iron and ferritin levels. I made several tweaks to eat more red meat on easy workout days, I now take my iron on an empty stomach to increase uptake. I also found out more about how to get the quality out of my supplements I take. A nutritionist from InsideTracker helped me greatly with this. As side note: I did have to see a hematologist to get my levels completely back to normal. Now, I continue to monitor my levels through InsideTracker and adjust if needed. Currently, my ferritin and iron are slightly high, so I recently decreased my iron supplement from 2 pills/day to 1 pill/day.”

 

 

Amanda Basham will toe the start line at Western States coming in hot off a big win at the UROC 100k and a second place finish at the Tarawera Ultramarathon.

"I’ve struggled with low iron pretty much my entire athletic career. Since working with InsideTracker I’ve been able to finally get that number up, which has helped improve other deficiencies at the same time. I’ve had an extremely noticeable difference in my ability to train and recover."

 

 

A post shared by Nicole Kalogeropoulos (@ntkalo) on

 

Stepping up to the start line with two sixth place Western States finishes and a 10th place finish at this years 2018 Vibram Hong Kong 100k, Nicole Kalogeropoulos used InsideTracker to optimize her training and recovery.

“As with many female athletes, my blood work demonstrated that I was low in iron. Based on InsideTracker’s recommendations, I added a supplement and incorporated more foods with a high iron content into my diet.”

 

 

Corrine Malcolm has had strong performances over the last season with a fourth place finish at the Leadville 100 mile and bringing home the win at this years Canyon 100k. How has she used InsideTracker to help her keep bringing home strong races? This is what she had to share:

"What I've learned from InsideTracker over the past year is really how to monitor my cortisol levels. When cortisol is high it can inhibit how you absorb other nutrients like iron. So what I've been doing is monitoring my sleep and getting more of it and finding ways to relax everyday. And I've seen that number go down and things like my iron and ferritin go up which has been really helpful when it comes to training and racing this spring."

 

And now for the men:

 

 

A post shared by Ian Sharman (@sharmanian) on

 

Ian Sharman has an impressive eight straight top-10 finishes at Western States and a recent fourth place finish at the 2017 Leadville 100 mile. He came out of the 2017 season not feeling his best and turned to InsideTracker to help him get ready for this years race. Here’s more on how:

“After feeling more fatigue than I’d expect at the end of my 2017 race season, I wanted to cover all angles to improve my performance and InsideTracker helped to highlight a couple of things that I was able to improve through dietary changes. The main ones were high iron levels and low vitamin D levels, so I started eating more fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, rice, and grains, plus a couple of things I didn’t take before - Oolong tea and chocolate almond milk. Some of this was really easy to do and obviously more healthy anyway, particularly because I love salmon, so I focused on small changes to my diet and on food I like anyway. My numbers have headed in the right direction and I feel normal again, so the proof will be in how well Western States goes.”

 

 

A post shared by Kris Brown (@krisbobbrown) on

 

Next up, Kris Brown will be coming in off a strong 2017 with a first place finish at the San Diego 100 mile and fourth place at The North Face 50 Mile.

“After getting into Western States I wanted to increase my training volume significantly, but before doing so, I wanted to have some blood work done so that I could plan my training and nutrition in reference to certain performance related biomarkers. About a year earlier I found out that I had a severe iron deficiency, so I wanted to check in to make sure I was healthy and safe before amping up my workload. InsideTracker showed me that my iron levels, while not as bad as they were the year before, could still stand to improve. I also found out that I had some early signs of overtraining syndrome, like elevated cortisol. In response to my test results, I doubled down on my commitment to supplemental iron, and to try to reduce my cortisol levels I started taking Ashwagandha root daily and whey protein at night. My test results from InsideTracker had the direct effect of improving my performance by helping me identify and address the specific needs of my body, but they also gave me the confidence boost of knowing that, aside from those minor, fixable issues, I was ready to train hard for the biggest race of my life.”

 

 

Vit. D plus trails! 👍🏃☀️

A post shared by Zach (@zachbitter) on

 

With second place finishes at the 2017 American River 50 Mile and Javelina Jundred, Zach Bitter heads to the start line of Western States for the first time since 2012. In preparation for the race he used InsideTracker as a tool in performance and recovery...

“One tweak I've made in my build up towards Western States, which InsideTracker helped with, was increasing the amount of red meat I consume. The information provided what nutrients are most available in red meat and motivated me to investigate more on their bio-availability.”

 

The Western States 100 always proves to be an exciting foot race and we look forward to watching these athletes crush the course and their goals all season long. Be sure to stay tuned on our Instagram stories throughout the weekend for some live action from the course and on our blog in the coming weeks as we catch up with these athletes post-race to discuss how testing with InsideTracker can fast-track recovery!

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References:

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    [7] Shepherd, Sam O., et al. "Low-volume high-intensity interval training in a gym setting improves cardio-metabolic and psychological health." PLoS One 10.9 (2015): e0139056.

    [8] Musa, Danladi I., et al. "The effect of a high-intensity interval training program on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in young men." The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 23.2 (2009): 587-592.

    [9] Hallsworth, Kate, et al. "Modified high-intensity interval training reduces liver fat and improves cardiac function in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomized controlled trial." Clinical Science 129.12 (2015): 1097-1105.

    [10] Tabata, Izumi, et al. "Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2 max." Medicine and science in sports and exercise 28 (1996): 1327-1330.

 

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