The High Fat Diet of an Ultra Runner


Connecting with nature. Going out for
long runs has really opened up my
mind to be free. And I think, that’s
led to me feeling this passion that’s led
me to running and running for
long distances. My name is
Timothy Olson and I’m an ultra
mountain runner. The ultra distance is
anything farther than 26.2, the marathon
distance. I run anywhere from 50
miles to 100 mile races. I prefer to do them
in the mountains, lots of vertical gain,
altitude. That’s what I love. I think to get into ultra
running you have to be crazy. When I first heard
of ultra running, I thought like
this is wild, who would wanna run for
100 miles like straight, like no sleeping and on
minimum food and water. A few months after
I ran my first 50K, I paced someone on
a 100 mile run. So I was running
with him and just watching him have
just a miserable time. You know body
shutting down, throwing up all
over the place. It looked like an awful
experience, and instead of being like,
gosh this looks terrible, I’ll never do
something like this. I’m like,
this is awesome. When can I sign up for
something like this? That was kind of the
choice right there where I could have said,
this is crazy, I don’t need to do this. But for me I just really
fell in love with it. I like the challenge,
that really energetic connection to nature and
getting to explore a beautiful place
on my own two feet. One of the reasons I
moved here was to prepare for the mountainous
running that I’m doing and the races. And the races that I
really love are stuff that goes straight up,
something like this. I think I had, at one
point, a pretty messed up version of a passion,
of being addicted. I was just looking for
the next high. I didn’t care
about myself. I didn’t care
about anybody. Ended up being
arrested for drugs and on probation
for years even like using Kendemene sometime,
a horse tranquilizer. I was passionately
addicted to drugs and I just needed to
turn that passion to something more healthy. So like switching over
to like running and eventually ultra running
I think was a way to like heal my body, heal my mind and then it
turned into so much more. This is the type of shit
that I’m running through at mile 80 in a race. If you can make your
way through this when you’re
feeling crappy, then you’re going to be
good during the race. Training in it,
it’s great. In a hundred miles you
can’t just rely on sugar the whole time. That’s some people do it,
but a lot of people crash and
burn. You know in a 100 mile
race, some people will have up to 40 or
50 gels, which I couldn’t even fathom putting that
much stuff in my stomach. My stomach feels
a little off after 5 or 10 gels, and that’s why
too, in 100 mile races, especially mountainous
races, I use other
things as well. A good recovery meal
after a hard run in the mountains, and I’ll bring this with
me all the time, is just an avocado. And a bison bar here, a bunch of good fat, good
protein for recovery. It’s super tasty too. I’ve really adapted my
body to use fat as its fuel, hence why I use a
lot of really good fats, why I use avocado a lot. So this is 100%
grass fed bison. A little bit of bacon and
cranberry, 11 grams of protein, basically
just a meal in a bar. Over the years, I’ve
adapted to, basically, just a whole food
type of diet, which is like this primal
paleo esque type of diet, where I just eat real,
good, clean food. And I feel it has helped
my running, mentally and just way of life. For me it’s just,
I really prioritize what goes in my body and
how I feel. And I wanna enjoy life
and I wanna live a long, healthy, blissful life. Can I get eight
chicken thighs? Bone in or boneless? Bone in and
with the skin. Do you like chicken? Are we gonna cook some? You excited? Which one do you want? Something else for you? That is everything. Thanks, boss.
Have a good night. Yep. Definitely spend
a lot on food, but it’s
a priority to us. So we like to do that, and everything you buy
is like a vote for what they’re gonna
stock for you. We need coconut milk. One last one, okay? And I think that’s it. Coconut milk and
we’re good? Yeah? Yeah, think so. Not the light one,
is that light? Is that light? We want all of its
creamy goodness. We want all the fat
we can get. Yeah, there you go. All right,
I think we’re good. We’re good. Right? Yeah. So now we’re en route to
go home and make dinner. Can you sing us a song,
bud? That’s a good song. More, more. Yeah. Can you do an ow ow? Ow ow! Nice. Home sweet home. Welcome to the Olson
household. We are gonna cook some
dinner here tonight. Getting ready for an ultra race, I like
to eat really clean. And a very low carb, high fat, good clean
protein prior to a race. I really try to get my body really fat adapted
and what I mean by that is I’m able to really
burn fat as my fuel. And then when I run, I’m
able to tap into that fat storage and I can burn
that at a good level and then I don’t need
as many calories. A good example of what my
stomach was doing before I switched over to a move
paleo primal type way was Western State’s, a hundred mile race that
I ran the first time. Towards the end
of the race, after lots of heat and
lots of gels and what not, I ended up taking a
crap in the woods like 20 some times, in the last
30 miles of the race. All I could do
was I’d run for a little while and then I’d try to eat
a gel or eat something. And like instantly I
was in the bushes. That’s something I
wanted to change. That’s when I
switched to more primal like grain
free like diet. I had huge
success with it. I think it works really
well for mountain running too because you’re
hiking a lot out there. You’re spending a lot of
time and you need to have good fuel burning
type thing going on. Coconut oil, starting
my day with that, starting with fat. Like that’s just
what I use and start running with. And I mean basically
that’s what I’ve done with my diet, is teaching my body
to thrive off of fat. And that allows me
to have my stomach not bother me as much. And I feel like I
recover faster as well. Did I see coconut
oil in your shower? Yeah. Do you rub it on
your body too? Yep. It’s good for your hair? It’s good for your hair. Coconut oil we use for
very many things. Even in the morning we
do this thing called oil pulling. And coconut oil
is a really good antibacterial aid. So we swish it
in our mouth, just like you would
Listerine or something. Except a little bit
longer, like ten minutes, and it helps to
clean your teeth. It helps to get rid
of any bacteria and get a fresh mouth. And you spit that out and then if you want you can
grab some and moisturize. We really like
coconut oil. We drank the Kool Aid
on the coconut oil. Yeah. All right, we got here,
we got some asparagus, zucchini pasta with cream
garlic cashew cream sauce and then the carrots
with the same sauce. This actually has
a little kick in it, so a little cayenne pepper
and some ginger, garlic. And then our chicken
again with garlic, some broth, and
some mushrooms. Lemon water? Uh-huh. Yummy. I really like
lemon these days. We have a cup of it,
full in our fridge. All hand squeezed. Cheers. Cheers. The meditation I’ve
been doing recently, it has a little form
of like visualization. In that process, it’s just kind of like
envisioning a ball of light moving to different
points of my body. And so I kind of
visualize that going up and down and it really helps me to
tune into my body, but also when I’m running I
visualize the same thing. So another thing that
meditation has helped me with over the years is
really just learning to quiet my mind. You know years ago I
definitely had just an excess of mental
jibber jabber going on. I think meditation really
helps me to just be in the present moment. And I think that’s the only way to function
in life is just being very aware of what’s
going on right now. And that’s where I
wanna be when I run. We are in Chautauqua. Right now we are going
to go play around on these trails a little
bit in front of the Flat Irons and
up to Gregory Canyon. Over the ranger which
will take us up to green. It’s only probably
five miles or something total to get up
to the top and then back down like ten miles or
something round trip. But more so it’s a lot of
good vertical gain and steep technical
terrain too. So, you climb like
3000 feet in that which is pretty awesome. When it gets all snowy,
icy out here, nice to have on a little
bit more traction, so these kinda help me
do a little grip. They got a good little
spike on the end. It’s windy today,
really windy. I mean,
beautiful sunny day. We got some good,
bright sunlight. It is really windy. So that’ll flow us
around a little while. Now I got some traction,
can run. When I come out to the
trails it’s this place to be wild and free, and just be very peaceful and
so I come out here and I’m able to really
tap into my body. You really feel
what’s going on. Once I tap into that very
Zen type of flow, I’m able to get into a really
nice rhythm with running and just understanding
what my body needs. Understanding when
I can push it, when I need to back
down a little bit. And when you have that
awareness in your body, you’re able to, I think push yourself
in different areas. Connecting with
like the land, connected with nature,
going out for long runs has really
opened up my mind, opened up my
heart to be free. And I think that’s
lead to me feeling this inspiration and feeling
this passion that’s let me to running and running
for long distances and being surrounded by
things that I love. And this is what I love. And I think when you
turn exercise into play, it’s not exercise
anymore. And you just
get to be free. And it just turns life
into this game and this just really blissful,
happy spot to be. Just got back
from the run, it’s green smoothie time. So I got the monster
ready right here. Bunch of kale,
some fruit. We got some berries and
some banana. I like to add a little
bit more super food. This is just
a good recovery after a hard
day of running. You spend a day out there
and it’s nice to just get some really good
nutrients like right away to you, so blending it
all up is just making it more bio available. I can have a meal in
a couple minutes, which I like to cook
a lot of my food, so speeding up the process
is a nice bonus. Nice. Pretty tasty. So good.