Dr. Berg Interviews Zach Bitter, US Record Holder of 100 Miles (Ultra Marathon)

Dr. Berg Interviews Zach Bitter, US Record Holder of 100 Miles (Ultra Marathon)

Dr. Berg Interviews Zach Bitter, US Record Holder of 100 Miles (Ultra Marathon)

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[Music] you [Music] hey guys I have an exciting guest Zach bitter is here zach is an endurance athlete ultra endurance athlete a hundred miles he runs an incredible world and American record holder so thanks for doing this Zach and welcome to my little interview here yeah thank you for having me on absolutely does that’s gonna be one of our speakers guys at the summit so I’m really excited to pick his brain and find out how the heck that he runs a hundred miles and and not only just running on her mouths but taking the record and also you actually in the this is an America right but in the world you’ve you’ve taken some records too right yeah I have an American record for a hundred miles and that’s just the time the time it takes to run hundred miles and that’s 11 hours 40 minutes and 55 seconds I also was able to kind of double dip a bit with that sales of a world record which is distance run in 12 hours so I’ve run 100 1.7 miles than the 12 hour time frame so ultra running communities goofy enough where they have distance races and timed event races and all kinds of other things so it’s a that’s kind of where I’ve been my niche has been the last few years Wow so a couple things I want to know like that’s this is like a set on average 7-minute mile right yeah so that’s like your truck and you’re not like jogging slow really good pace and then how do you know when you have to like do you just go by thirst and hunger like how do you know you have to eat or drink before you kind of like I’m gonna pass out yeah you know it’s it’s interesting I guess you know that’s definitely been something that’s changed for me like before I had ever done a hundred mile race I done a whole bunch of 50 mile races and one thing I kind of noticed was that in order to kind of feel decent or feel like I wasn’t gonna kind of crash and burn I would have to take in tons and tons of carbohydrates like to the tune of 400 calories an hour and a lot of it is pretty simple because you know you’re moving so it’s hard to take in a complex energy source set during the exercise and that kind of catches up to your your gut is still trying to process all that and your body needs the energy presumably but your gut has to also handle it and well one thing I noticed is like by the end of those races you just kind of feel bloated and kind of disgusting and it was like you know kind of a question in the back of my mind I was always like well how do how do you do that for 50 more miles or you know further yet and you know that wasn’t the only thing I noticed which kind of led me to a different approach but um you know what I do now I mean since I’m following a high fat approach is I can get away with a lot less fuel while I’m running because I’ve essentially tapped into a much larger fuel tank which is body fat and the way I like to view that is even at the leanest state like you know an athlete’s has got a much bigger body fat reserve and they do glycogen stores so if you can teach your body to burn a high level of body fat you minimize the amount of carbohydrates you need and then you also bypass the digestive system when you’re you know taking fuel right doctor body as opposed to through eating food in the in the event itself so what I found is just a lot of trial and error and workouts and races and things like that is that if I am gonna race you know an ultra marathon it’s gonna be kind of a peak efforts I’m usually aiming for about 100 to 200 calories an hour and then depending on the weather will depend a little bit how I kind of structure that so like if it’s hot enough or even kind of room temperature which is actually considered kind of warm for running I’ll tie a lot of those calories to the hydration and I’ll just drink to thirst and try to make sure you know whoever’s prune for me is putting in the right amount of fuel into that and usually I’ll do that with like a carbohydrate source and that being similar to the reason I gave before where the gleich my glycogen stores or the small tank that’s someone I potentially need to reload in the event itself I think that I can take care of that afterwards if I get off the lean from running a hundred mile race I can just you know add a bunch of butter to the steak after the race and catch back up on that post race and worry about you know that sort of thing then but yeah you get pretty intuitive I think and one of the benefits of having what I would consider a very clean healthy biologically appropriate diet is like my body is pretty good at telling me when I’m hungry and when I’m thirsty and I don’t necessarily fight that so if I do get hungry or something during during the race or thirsty I trust that it means I need something and then I guess you also have to at some point use the bathroom yeah the efficiency is part of the variables that come into the ultrarunning stuff and you know at my back past in the event called desert Soulstice track invitational where I actually broke that hundred mile American record I think I stopped twice to use the bathroom for probably a total of sixty to ninety seconds but other than that I was moving the entire day so some of it is just kind of playing a balancing act and act and I think that’s where where it also kind of becomes really important to be in tune with your body because I want to hydrate enough to not lose performance but I don’t want to hydrate to the degree where I’m stopping every you know a couple miles to use the bathroom or something like that so I literally dialed in that day so that’s interesting now you’re competing against a lot of guys that are doing the carbo-loading thing right mm-hmm yeah doing carbs right and they’re not doing high fat they’re doing probably well I don’t know what they’re doing but they’re just doing a lot of carbohydrates um are these guys stopping very frequently urinating and like because of fluids uh I don’t know if they’re necessarily you know the people are taking in fuel and all sorts of stuff some people are taking in like gel packs or like bars and things like that so they’re not necessarily tying their nutrition to hydration and you know one of the reasons I’ve like this approach is because that is a huge logistic and ultram running like you know even even guys like myself and guys like Jeff browning he’s another kind of high fat ultra marathon runner you know we’re still consuming calories during the event but that logistic is just way more manageable and a lot smaller to kind of to kind of work through during an event than say like I was earlier when I was taking in easily twice as much more and then you know that’s pretty typical I think for a lot of the other athletes that our high-carb is that kind of three to four hundred calories an hour type of a format so um yeah I mean I think you just set yourself up for more potential problems you know in the hundred mile distance there’s no shortage of stories of people getting sidelined at Mile 7080 and puking up gels and sports drinks and all that sort of stuff so you know it’s a pretty wide range of what people can tolerate some were better at it than others and I I suspect that the folks that stick around on the carb wagon are the ones that just happen to be able to tolerate it a little more than others and some people kind of come over to the high fat world just because they’ve had those experiences where they realize I need to take in this much with my current diet but I can’t so um you know that usually kind of is a good indicator that you need to change something and there’s other variables to that kind of affect that like heat plays a big role if it gets hot out it becomes harder to digest and you know your body’s trying to use blood volume for a variety different purposes so it’s kind of use it for copious amounts of digestion as well as taking away from some of the other performance-based functions and you know it’s just a lot of kind of interesting aspects to the sport that kind of you know it’s all running but it’s just a lot more variables when you’re out there all day long versus four no half an hour or an hour or even two hours yeah I mean when you train for a 100-mile race how many miles do you run every day to train or do you run every other day how do you structure your training yeah you know it’s interesting I think in the endurance world specifically I think a lot of times you’ll see someone like Nayla race and you know people will look at what do they do to build up and look at those eight weeks kind of leading into into the race and they’ll put a lot of stock and what they did in those eight weeks when in reality you know most guys and gals who are breaking records or you know competing at a high level you know they’ve got years and years if not decades of running experience that they’ve kind of been building off of so you know I’ve certainly kind of fit into that mold where been doing kind of a very high volume training approach for quite some time now and it does Evan flow throughout the year as I’m kind of recovering from events or recovering from big training sessions and stuff like that but the way I do it is I kind of periodized things so like after an a race I’ll kind of shut it down I’ll give myself like at least two weeks if I need it to not do anything structure usually my body comes back around quite a bit quicker than that and then I’ll just kind of just do some kind of light running and build up start building up just kind of low intensity stuff and I’ll work up to usually well over a hundred miles a week then I’ll start adding in some specific stuff depending on what race I’m doing next and what race I’m preparing for you know a lot of times I’ll try to keep the workouts that are least specific to the race pace kind of earlier in the training so once I have that aerobic base kind of established I’ll be doing maybe some shorter intervals earlier in the training session some shorter speedy stuff like that and then as I get closer to the race itself I’ll be going putting a lot more efforts and energy into like making sure I get in the long runs which you know for me usually are in the neighborhood of thirty sometimes 50 miles in length and then like longer interval or tempo type sessions so you know I’ve had a variety of different kind of peak mileage weeks when I broke the American record I had a three week block where I think I had like 130 mile 150 mile and 170 mile week somewhere right around there and then that kind of led into my taper and that was what I would call wonder maybe a more aggressive high mileage training blocks I’ve done other ones where it’s a little lower where I averaged closer to around 120 miles for maybe a little longer time and just kind of put a little more stock in consistency as opposed to one really really big block but yeah you know it’s a when you when you back out and look at the year as a whole I probably average or at least I have historically averaged a little over a hundred miles a week when you add in all the rest days and the big training days and stuff like that so it’s definitely time consuming no matter how you kind of look at it yeah and then the day before do you do anything you’re not training the day before I’ll do some light running usually I’ll definitely it’s all relative at at that point I think you know like if you want a taper you know I’ll scale things back but I won’t necessarily completely shut it down because I don’t want it’s a it’s a fine line but I don’t wanna like teach my body that like I haven’t been doing anything either I just want to give it enough rest to be ready for the race itself so a lot of times that means I’m just about 2 or 3 weeks out kind of cutting down volume and intensity gradually throughout that time frame until I get to the race itself so you know I’ve done as much as an hour easy run before the before a hundred mile race but I have taken off completely too a lot of times that last week it’s a lot of listening to my body I’m feeling sharp already then you know I’d probably be a little less some less aggressive with like off days and still get some lights to let some light running in and kind of keep that that locomotion intact and then as far as what you’re eating the day before are you are you having a little more carbs or two just to build up a little glycogen Reserve or you are you just kind of going what do you feel like cuz I mean it’s like I don’t know yeah it’s interesting I think I’m you know the the carbo-loading phenomenon I guess has I think gotten really goofy over the last few years where it’s almost become I think more of a celebration than it has an actual like tactical thing where you know people will go to these big pasta feeds and stuff just as part of the event itself and you know I’ve kind of tried to put the carbo-load back into perspective to what I think it was originally intended to do so for me like carb planning for an event actually starts probably about seven days he’s out six or seven days out in the way I kind of structure it is I’ll spend the first four to five days of that week going really low carb like kind of clinical ketogenic or almost zero carb type of approach and Murli just trying to set myself up to be like really heavy fat-burning in those days and it makes a lot of sense because like I said before that’s when my training is kind of ramping down so I really don’t have a whole lot of need for carbohydrate from a training standpoint at that point and it also kind of I think that cycle will make my my glycogen stores pretty sensitive to anything I do take in the two days or so before the race so then when I get if it’s like a Saturday race maybe Thursday night I’ll start kind of sneaking some carbs back in with dinner and then some carbs during the meals the day before and things like that and you know for me a lot of that a lot of the ones that have worked well for me are like sweet potatoes fairies melons raw honey and that that sort of type of carbohydrate is usually what you’ll find kind of on my on my plate or in my tea or whatever alongside some of the fats and proteins that would be more typical Wow laughing hey guys we’re talking to Zack bitter and he’s going to be one of the speakers at the summit and there’s a couple of things that you told me we’re not going to get into them but you’re right now you’re experimenting researching on your own body about the proteins in relationship to quantities of protein and ratios of carbs and you and you’re finding some interesting things so you’re gonna be sharing that right you’re gonna talk about protein which is kind of like a new territory because it’s like there’s not a lot of people that do what you do in the area of and eat what you eat so you could just basically read a book you’re kind of creating this thing as you go and you’re experimenting on your body because if it doesn’t work you’re gonna find out that’s simply because there’s no way you’re gonna last you know that long to do this so I think it’s tough it’s like your body is kind of a great tool to get feedback to see what was working what’s not and then you’re also going to be talking about electrolytes and I think you also did you do that interview with doctor Noakes yeah we actually just released that one to public it’s episode 29 of the human performance outliers podcast folks our interest did and we dove into electrolytes hydration as well as nutrition on that one so yeah it’s an interesting discussion central governor theory – I suppose which I guess plays a role in hydration and electrolytes perhaps oh yeah I mean like he’s a guy that started the whole carbo thing with the I think it’s called the GU right and he was like promoting that until him I guess three friends got diabetes and this is the problem we this is not good and then I’m not sure oh yeah he told me he was the whole water thing like you he’s you know it was like hardly when he started out they weren’t even drinking any water and then they started drinking a lot of water people were dying and then he wrote a book on it’s called water logged correct yeah yeah so because guys if you don’t if you’ve never heard about there’s a condition called hyponatremia which is basically you’re drinking too much water and you’re depleting your sodium which you need for muscle physiology and your heart and your brain can swell and your heart can you can basically get a heart attack so people have died so there’s a there’s a technology to electrolytes and fluids and at the summit zach is gonna talk a little bit about that so I’m excited about that and I was gonna I won’t take too much of your time but I wanted to find out like here you are you’re gonna run you may be like you’re gonna run on a flat surface on a track and you’re gonna go hundred miles how do you confront doing this repetitive it seemed like it’d be so boring for hour after hour running the same thing over like how do you mentally do that like I don’t know yeah you know it’s a little different and in in the United States I think like with ultramarathon in the trail scene has kind of been the one that’s picked up the most momentum in terms of popularity and one of the appealing reasons for that I think is because your scenery is constantly changing you’re seeing some of the most beautiful areas of the country and you can kind of Bank some mental energy on that that you’re kind of experiencing this this area but you hop on a 400 meter high school track you don’t have that luxury necessarily you’re kind of completely exposed and you’re gonna say this see the same thing over and over all day long so I think that approach certainly from a mental side is is quite a bit different where on one hand logistically it’s super easy so you can have peace of mind knowing that you can get whatever you want every 400 meters you there’s always people there the environments never gonna throw you for a kerb for the most part – some weird weather system coming through so you kind of have a lot of those things that you can you can rely on being consistent but then you know you have to be able to put up with the monotony so for me it’s always been like you know doing a lot of kind of I guess the best way to maybe describe is zoning out and it’s like it’s more or less just kind of getting a rhythm like if you if I do the training right and I kind and I have an idea where my fitness is that which I have a fairly easy time doing in the train is not necessarily easy but the you know becoming in tune with where I’m at is pretty easy because I’ve just done it so many times now where I can almost just kind of get in a rhythm and I’m not necessarily fixating too heavily on on pace I can kind of just dial in an intensity or a perceived effort and then just kind of more or less daydream or try to picture myself somewhere else other than the track it does get a little more difficult near the end because you know as you can imagine 80 miles into a hundred mile run you know your body’s getting getting a little worn down and you’re getting a little tired of being out there and your mind starts to kind of convince your body that it needs to stop or slow down so it’s a little more difficult to really hit the splits intuitively and then you kind of have to pay a little more attention to kind of watching your pace which for me tends to kind of slow the clock down in my mind because then I’m just you know looking at it more often and that’s where it kind of gets a little more difficult you have to push through some of the some of the mental hurdles do you have tips like for me what seems probably would happen if I would have all of a sudden my left knee will start talking and like hurting and then my shoulder will do you have like things that kind of just turn on like on your body until you just run into all this and they’ll go away just push through it yeah to some degree you know it’s it is kind of interesting a lot of that I think the physical whole this physical toll it almost hits a plateau and then it’s just about being able to kind of keep pushing through that kind of low dull pain or that low doll-like annoyance I guess is of a way to say it you know I usually try to compare it to you know the opposite whereas like someone’s racing like a three-kilometer a 5 kilometer race you know they they’re their peace of mind is that it’s over relatively quick but the hard part is it’s kind of a sharp pain it’s like it’s just it’s really intense pain that you don’t want to last too long whereas with a hundred miles it’s like it’s not anything really drastic that you wouldn’t be able to handle for a few minutes at a time but over the close for hours and hours it kind of eats away at you and it kind of way I describe it depletes your mental energy and then you you just develop less patience to be able to tolerate it and I think that’s where you know the whole mental side of the sport becomes that much more important because a lot of it comes down to you know how much are you willing to kind of push through versus other days where you’re maybe not able to push through as much Wow interesting awesome well I’m excited to have you at the event and so I hope you guys could make it it’s going to be this October 13 14 so I’ll put some information down below so thank you so much Zach

This Post Was All About Dr. Berg Interviews Zach Bitter, US Record Holder of 100 Miles (Ultra Marathon).
Dr. Berg Interviews Zach Bitter, US Record Holder of 100 Miles (Ultra Marathon)

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In this video, Dr. Berg interviews an endurance ultra marathon athlete and a world and american record holder for running 100 miles, a very special guest, Zach Bitter.

Dr. Berg: Hey guys I have an exciting guest, Zach Bitter is here. Zach is an endurance athlete.. Ultra endurance athlete, he runs 100 mile, i mean incredible. World and american record holder. Thanks for doing this Zach and welcome to my little interview here.

Zach: Yea.. Thank you for having me on.

Dr. Berg: Absolutely. Now Zach is gonna be one of our speakers guys at the summit. So I’m really excited to take his brain and find out how the heck he runs a 100 miles and not only just running 100 miles but taking the record and also you actually, this in america right but in the world you’ve taken some records too right?

Zach: Yea I have an American record for 100 miles and that’s just the time it takes to run 100 miles, and that’s 11 hours 40 minutes and 55 seconds. I also was able to kind of double dip a bit with that. Sells up a world record which is a distance run in 12 hours. So I’ve run a 100 and 1.7 miles than a 12 hour time frame. So ultra running communities goody enough were they have distance races and timed event races and all kinds of other things. So it’s a.. that’s kind of where I’ve been my niche has the last few years.

Dr. Berg: Wow. couple of things I want to know like that’s, this is like a set on average 7 minute mile right?

Zach: yea.

Dr. Berg: So that’s like you’re trackin’ and you are not like jogging slowly. You have a really good pace and then how do you know when you have to like do you just go by thirst and hunger like how do you know if you have to eat or drink before you kind of like i’m gonna pass out.

Zach: yea – It’s interesting i guess you know that’s definitely been something that’s changed for me like before I had ever done a 100 mile race I done a whole bunch of 50 mile races and one thing I kind of noticed was in order to kind of feel decent or feel like I wasn’t gonna kind of crash and burn, I would have to tons and tons of carbohydrates like to the tune of 400 calories and hour and a lot of it is pretty simple because you know you’re moving so it’s hard to take in a complex energy source set during the exercise and that kind of catches up to your gut is still trying to process all that and your body needs the energy presumably but your gut has to also handle it. Well one thing I noticed is like by the end of those races you just kind of feel bloated and kind of disgusting and it was like you know kind of a question in the back of my mind I was always like well how do you do that for 50 more mile or you know further yet and you know that wasn’t the only thing I which kind of led me to a different approach but you know, what I do now I mean since following a high fat approach is I can get away with a lot less fuel while I’m running because I’ve essentially tapped into a much larger fuel tank which is a body fat.

Dr. Eric Berg DC Bio:
Dr. Berg, 52 years of age is a chiropractor who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. He is the author of The New Body Type Guide and other books published by KB Publishing. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University.

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Dr. Eric Berg received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1988. His use of “doctor” or “Dr.” in relation to himself solely refers to that degree. Dr. Berg is a licensed chiropractor in Virginia, California, and Louisiana, but he no longer practices chiropractic in any state and does not see patients. This video is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Berg and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The Health & Wellness, Dr. Berg Nutritionals and Dr. Eric Berg, D.C. are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this video or site.
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