Dean, on the run.

DK-Diet & Nutrition


Name: Dean Karnazes
Homebase: San Francisco

Q: Tell us how you got to where you are now.
A: Hard work, no excuses.

Q: Define and discuss failure.
A: Failure is giving anything less than your best.

Q: What is your most influential story, fiction or nonfiction, from a film, book, magazine, newspaper or parable? Explain its impact on your life?
A: My sister once said to me: "Follow your heart and you will never lose your way." She was killed in a car accident a month later, at age 18, and I have lived those words ever since.

Q: What's the biggest lesson you've learned about yourself? What's the biggest lesson you haven't learned?
A: There are no shortcuts to excellence, at least any that I've discovered. Dedication, commitment, passion, and sacrifice are essential components for high achievement. The biggest lesson I haven't learned is fear and trepidation. I still view myself as invincible, which is clearly not the case.

Q: What keeps you going (your motivation)?
A: The desire to live every moment of life to its fullest.

Q: On those days when you're not motivated to work out, but you know you have to, what's the one thought that gets you going?
A: Projecting on how much better I'll feel if I do.

Q: If you could eat one forbidden food whenever you wanted without gaining weight, what would it be?
A: I stay away from forbidden fruit, it never leaves me feeling good.

Q: If there were one healthy food item (something you love) that you had to eat every day, what would it be?
A: Wild Pacific Salmon.

Q: What is the one food or meal you always eat before an event? What about before training?
A: Water.

Q: If you could only do one strength training exercise what would it be?
A: Pushs ups.

Q: How do you take total control of your mind and body to achieve the focus you need during pivotal sports moments?
A: By taking "baby steps." When I hit a low, say at mile 75 in a 100 mile footrace, I don't think about the 25 miles still left to cover, but just focus on putting one foot in front of the other, and take it step by step.

Q: What do you think is the best training location in the world?
A: San Francisco. The air is purified by 6,000 miles of ocean, and the natural beauty inspires outdoor activity.

Q: What do you do to reduce stress/relax/center your mind? Do you participate in an organized relaxation activity such as yoga, meditation or tai chi?
A: I go running.

Q: Do you have a favorite prerace meal?
A: Plain Greek Gods yogurt, organic granola, fresh cut fruit. Coconut water for hydration.

Q: Is there anything about yourself that you've changed your mind about in the last 20 years?
A: I've changed plenty over the years. Once my goal was to accumulate things—material possession—and now my goal is to give away everything I own.

Q: Define individual responsibility and how you react to adverse situations.
A: You are ultimately accountable for your actions, and every human on earth knows this. When you do something irresponsible, you can't hide it from yourself. "To thy own self be true."

For additional and more detailed information about Dean's diet and training tips, check out the epilogue in the paperback edition of

Ultramarathon Man:
Confessions of an All-Night Runner.