Mike Wardian: 50k World Record, Longevity in Ultrarunning, High-Carb Fueling, and More

June 22, 2015
Our guest on this show, pro ultrarunner Mike Wardian, uses Inside Tracker for his blood/health testing, and we’re happy to offer our Endurance Planet fans 10% off their Inside Tracker test! To receive your discount email us for the discount code then use that code at checkout when purchasing at insidetracker.com. Plus, check out more deals at enduranceplanet.com/shop – when you shop through the podcast you support the show while also saving on the products and services we recommend!

Mike Wardian, 41, started running and competing in triathlons in 1996. Fast forward to 2015 and his accomplishments are nearly too many to list (but scroll down and we’ve added the highlights of his running career). Most recently he broke the 50k record going 2:59:49.

On this show we find out how Mike ticks and go inside his success discussing everything from his choice to be high carb, using blood testing for better health and ideal weekly mileage, to working full-time and being a good dad and father. Find out more at www.mikewardian.com.

Topics discussed:

50K World Record

-His approach to breaking the WR on a treadmill

-Breaking his own previous records this May

-On raising the bar

-Recovering for this race, and recovering after for the next one(s)…


-On eating higher carbs

-On being in the FASTER Study and his performances compared with LCHF guys

-Trying LCHF and not responding well

-A typical day of eating and fueling for mike including timing with his training

-Race fuel protocol

-Recovery fueling



-Using Inside tracker for blood testing and to refine diet

-What did Mike learn about his health from the test that you didn’t know before? Any deficiencies?

-What tweaks did he make nutritionally?

-The excitement of re-tesing

“I think the coolest thing about the blood testing is it can show you where you need to focus your eating and help you say choose carrots over spinach or sweet potatoes over brown rice. I like that. I feel like I eat pretty well but the testing can determine exactly how well and then I can tweak stuff.”


-Why 70-90 miles a week is better than 100+ mpw

-Recovering from 5 stress fractures and 5 hernias as a result of overtraining

-Why was 100+ was too much?

-How did Mike find his sweet spot mpw? Also in terms of not doing too little.


-50k WR. i’m a big believer that once the bar is set, it becomes easier to break. did that help you finally get that sub3hr 50k after several attempts?

-why do you like being a serial racer?

-how do you manage your recovery to bounce back as quickly as you’re able to especially busting out top level performances

-On racing and running exclusively in Hokas!


-Family man with 2 kids, wife and dog.

-Works full time at an international ship brokerage, coach and consult for races and events

-Sponsored professional athlete and compete over 40 times a year.

-ON raising a child who suffers from epilepsy

-How mike managed a busy schedule and keeping stress to a minimum

“Life is pretty incredible.”

What’s Next?


-Racing regularly

-World travels to races

-and more!

More accomplishments in Mike’s running career:

Michael is a three (3) time United States of America Olympic Trails Qualifier in 2004, 2008, 2012 and has a personal best marathon time of 2:17:49 set in 2011 at the Grandma’s Marathon.

Michael is a six (6) time member of Team USA for the 100K World Championships in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and has lead the team most years that he was a member with his best finish ever in 2011 for a Silver Medal for the USA and lead the team to the first ever Team Gold Medal for the USA Men (in the 26 years that the USA has been competing).

Michael is a three (3) time member of Team USA for the 50K World Championships in 2009, 2010, 2014 and Michael was the Bronze medalist for the USA in 2009 and 2010.

Michael was the 3rd place finisher at the Badwater Ultra Marathon (135 Miles in Death Valley, CA in July with average temps at 121 degrees)  in 2011.

Michael has won multiple USATF National Championships: 50 Miles (Road-2011), 50K (Road- 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), 100K (2008), 50 Mile (Trails-2008).

Comments (6)

  • Thank you so much for having me on…Great to chat with you. Cheers, Mike

    • Tawnee_Prazak says:

      You bet Mike! It was an incredible conversation. Thank you… You're welcome back on ANY time!

  • Jim McGuckin says:

    You guys forgot to mention how awesome of a human being he is. I had the honor of meeting him at a 50k in Virginia where he broke the course record. He took the time to talk and take pictures and when he passed me on the on the out and back (he was headed back as I was still heading out) he took a few seconds to encourage and gave me a high five. Standup guy right there, the sport could use a lot more people like him.

  • Lance says:

    Great interview! As a high carb vegetarian athlete who gets his knowledge from the therapeutic diets of McDougall/Esselstyn and his menu planning from the East Africans, Tarahumar, and Okinawans, this was a nice break from the usual EP “fatty” fare. Hope to see a follow up on questions about the FASTER study and blood work.

  • Amy says:

    This was a great podcast — Mike is an inspiration and you asked all the right questions! Inspired.

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