Ultra-Marathon Champ Mike Wardian Thought He Was Golden... Until He Looked Inside! [VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT]
Mike Wardian likes to run. So much so, in fact, that he holds numerous podium finishes, world titles in marathons, half-marathons and ultra-marathons. An accomplished athlete sponsored by Hoka One One, Vitargo, Nathan and Injinji, he has set world records for the fastest marathon and holds the world record for the fastest 50k on a treadmill! We could go on and on, but sufficed to say, Mike's body is a fine-tuned machine that takes a lot of wear and tear over the miles...
Naturally, being a world record holder means that you're probably in the upper echelons of the fittest people on our planet. Mike Wardian thought his body was golden, until he tested with InsideTracker and learned that while both bananas and blueberries are healthy foods, one might benefit your body more than the other. His body was not as optimized as it could have been: "This is really important stuff that I want to know and I think is useful. It's really changed how I've been able to address some of my eating habits and... making sure I'm doing the right things."
00:35 - Mike set the world record for running a 50k on a treadmill (under 3 hours)
01:15 - How Mike came to InsideTracker
02:38 - Exactly what he was hoping for...
03:15 - Bananas vs Blueberries
04:00 - The most surprising thing Mike uncovered... sex drive?!
05:15 - Timing of testing matters!
06:10 - Building a program towards your goal
07:15 - Biomarkers as a reflection of a moment in time
08:00 - Mike's advice on how to prep your body for a marathon
You can follow Mike Wardian on Twitter or check out his website for more news.
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Erin: Alright everybody I am very excited to be with Mike Wardian today. He’s an Inside Tracker power user and more importantly he’s a champion, literally a champion marathon and ultra-marathon runner. I’m going to let him tell you guys all about the cool things that he’s done and how he came to Inside Tracker, but Mike, one thing that I will say that I was very impressed by when I first heard of you. You are the world record holder for the fifty k on a treadmill. Which I just thought was so impressive. I’m like I could run around, I don’t know, fifty seconds on a treadmill. [Laughing] That’s about it, as long as I last so…
Mike: Yes, yes it’s pretty funny I was able to do that on a Spartan Cruise of all places in the middle of the ocean and then I did it once and I thought I set the record and I didn’t and so I did it again like thirty hours and got the record and then I actually wore the shirt. This is the shirt, I did it again for one of my sponsors Hoka at their sales meeting and they made up like these cool shirts and everything. So I was able to break three hours. I ran like 259 in the marathon, I’m sorry the fifty k.
Erin: So you did this crazy thing, tell us the story of how you actually came to find Inside Tracker because obviously a lot of runners, especially distance runner’s use our service, but I’d love to hear your story.
Mike: Yes, I was actually lucky, I didn’t know much about it. I had always run with guys who were like ah I’m getting my blood tested and like my B-12 is low, I have low iron, because that’s a thing that a lot of runners get is low iron. And I was just like, I don’t even know how you do that or where you go for that, or like do I just go see my doctor for that and ask him. So that’s what I was doing as like once a year I’d say, “Hey can you just do a full run up on, like make sure that I’m ok”. And of course like it’s super generic like their just testing to make sure you’re not like diabetic or like have any kind of normal people problems so Jonathan one of the guys at Inside Tracker like follows me on social media, which I just love social media. I think it’s like the coolest thing because you can connect with everybody. And he was like “Hey you should check out Inside Tracker”. And I was like I don’t know what that is but yes sure I’ll…
Erin: [Laughing] He’s very convincing, clearly.
Mike: Yes, he’s very convincing but it was also like I looked at it and I was like wow that is exactly what I was hoping for. Like someone actually showed me where you can do this and then I tried it and I was like this is like really important stuff that I want to know and I think is useful and it’s really kind of changed how I’ve been able to address some of my eating habits and also just making sure that I’m doing the right things. Like the way that I think about it is like, you know, I can eat like five bananas, but maybe it’s better to eat like a bowl of blueberries of something.
Erin: There you go.
Mike: It’s like they’re both good choices but maybe for me the better choice is the blueberries and like that stuff like, I usually make good choices, so I was like I don’t really need that. But then I was surprised at how much like you can impact the results and you feel a little bit better because you’re making a healthier choice for yourself rather than a just a healthy choice for the general population.
Erin: Yes, so I know we talked about this, actually before we got on this video skype but, you said something very funny, so I’ll let you say it again. I said I always ask people, what was like the most surprising thing that they found out, because there is no one that is not surprised by something. No matter how healthy or how solid your bio markers actually might be at any given point in time, everybody is always surprised so…
Mike: Well yes, there was a couple of things like I was surprised like first off like I just thought I was going to be perfect, like I was going to have nothing wrong or nothing that, it’s not really wrong, right. The way that it’s phrased it’s like that you can work on which it’s cool because like you can address it through modifying your diet.
Mike: If you’re willing to and like I always consider myself as like an experiment of one so I’m like willing to try things if I think that it’s going to help me achieve what I want to achieve. So I was open to it, I think some people are just like no I’m not going to change no matter what you say, so I think being open to it, but like the thing I was so surprised about was like, I was like yeah my sex marker thing, you know, was like you know, I don’t know, like you don’t have a sex drive. And I was like that’s not true, like I don’t know why you think that.
And I think it’s also interesting that like because depending on when you get tested, like the first time I got tested like right after I had done like a hundred mile race and so like all my bio markers were like, you know, you have severe damage to your cells and I was like well yes, ok, yes I do, I know this. But like it’s cool when you go back and your like in a recovery phase like, you know, maybe I just did a fifty miler this last weekend the JFK fifty mile and I’m sure my bio markers were probably like a third of the last test I had just because it wasn’t as far and I had had more time to recover before I take another test. And I think it’s cool that you can track your progress over time so you can see like I’m going to try to address these four things and then see if it impacts your bio markers. That’s what I like it’s cool it’s kind of like how you build a training program and you say like ok I want to be a 217 marathon runner, right now I’m a 230 marathon runner. I’m going to do these things and then you can see the progress toward your goal or whatever that goal might be.
Erin: Right, and I love that you made joking reference, but it’s true to testing your blood after a hundred miler… did you say hundred miler?
Mike: Yes [Laughing]
Erin: I was like, as I’m repeating it I’m like that actually sounds insane, but I do know people who’ve done that.
Mike: It’s actually quite fun man, you should try one some time, they’re…
Erin: He says to the sprinter. I’ll leave that to you, I’ll leave that to you. I’ll beat anyone in the sprint but as Jonathan knows very well no long distances for Erin. But that’s ok, we’ll get into genetic mutations another time. [Laughing]
But in all seriousness
Mike: I could just have you pace like the last like thirty miles of the race or something or just on the track at like one of the big races.
Erin: I’ll just crawl or I’ll swim beside you, but kidding aside, I do like that you brought that up because it’s totally true. We see that with athletes, right after a big event whether it’s a hundred miler or a Spartan race or I don’t know, a Super Bowl. Some point where you’re pushing your body past the limit of course your bio markers are going to change, but that’s because it’s a reflection of a moment in time and it’s the same for regular people who are not running a hundred miles or in the Olympics; you know, you could’ve, I don’t know, gone to dinner and drank two bottles of wine, not that I suggest that, but it happens to people. And then of course you’re…
Mike: And then I have to drive home, that’s usually what happens.
Erin: Right. So I guess, this has been great. In closing I would just ask since you are the expert ultra-marathon runner and that’s a pretty unique thing to do. What would you recommend to people watching who are considering doing that, or even considering doing a marathon? In terms of taking care of their body.
Mike: Taking care of their body for a marathon. Is that what you’re asking?
Mike: Sorry, I think that like most things I would recommend start training for it first, I mean when I did my first marathon I trained for like a year and I was pretty confident I was going to be able to finish it. But I don’t think like getting overwhelmed. I think what’s like cool about it is you can basically do these things, like hundred milers, fifty milers, ultra-marathons and you can almost walk the entire thing and still make it and be fine as long as you keep eating and you keep drinking, so don’t be intimidated by the distance but do the work necessary to get to the finish line. I think it’s amazing and don’t be put off by people saying that it’s impossible, or like, ah I can’t even drive that far or anything like that.
Erin: [Laughing] Who says that?
Mike: It’s such an amazing accomplishment and you’ll get such a sense of fulfillment that I highly recommend just picking one or if it at all interests you picking something that looks really inspiring and it’s going to get you out the door each and every day and then all this anticipation leading up to it and then when you get it done you get like a crazy cool belt buckle if you do a hundred miler that you can wear around. It’s pretty low key compared to a lot of the races, you know, but it’s pretty unique and so I find it completely fascinating and I think other people will to and don’t be scared, it’s fun and it doesn’t hurt to scare yourself sometimes if you are scared. So sign up for it and go for it.
Erin: Wise words, that’s very true about scaring yourself sometimes and then you can wear your nifty Rocky style belt buckle on your next hundred miler. [Laughing]
Erin: Well, next time we talk I’m going to make you wear that buckle in the interview.
Mike: Ok, cool, yes. I’ve got a couple so far so I’m working on getting some more.
Erin: Ok, you can wear all of them draped around your neck, like a real champ. Thank you so much Mike, I appreciate it.
Mike: No problem, my pleasure, bye guys.
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