642: Ultramarathon Runner Timothy Olson Thrives On A Low-Carb Diet


Ultramarathon runner and low-carb endurance athlete Timothy Allen Olson is our guest today in Episode 642 of The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore!


We’ve often heard within the context of endurance athletics that you must be consuming copious amounts of carbohydrates in your diet in order to adequately fuel your performance. But what would happen if an athlete decided to shift his training from being a sugar-burner to a fat-burner using ketones for fuel instead? That’s what marathon runner Timothy Allen Oson from the “Sole To Soul Rhythm” blog decided to put to the test after experiencing stomach pain during his races. We’ll talk with him more about this in the primary interview in today’s podcast.

But first, we wanted to share about an exciting new research endeavor that we think YOU should be a part of. It’s called The American Gut Project and it’s the world’s LARGEST open-source, community driven effort to characterize the microbial diversity of the American public. In a brief conversation with Jimmy, Human Food Project Founder Jeff Leach shares about why it’s important to learn more about the microbes in your gut, his desire for a wide diversity in stool samples from Paleo, low-carbers, vegans and even SAD diet eaters, the need to raise $400,000 to pay for the expenses of conducing this research and the differences that will be seen between gut biota with people in various places around the world. This is a critically important project that we hope all of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” podcast listeners will participate in, so CLICK HERE to join Jimmy and Christine in finding out what’s in your gut!

After coming in sixth place in the 2011 Western States 100-mile Endurance Run when he went through an excruciating stretch of running that had him stop to go to the bathroom over 20 times towards the end of the race, Timothy knew he needed to make a change. So he cut the gluten and then most of the carbohydrates out of his diet that helped him experience some remarkable improvements in the stomach pain as well as in his training. When the 2012 Western States 100 rolled around in June 2012, Timothy was ready to take on this challenge of running such a long race in a mostly-ketogenic state. What happened? Well, Tim not only came in first place to win the race, but he did it in a record time of 14:46:44–21 minutes faster than the previous course best!

Watch this video of Timothy Olson’s 2012 Western States 100 win:


Listen in as Jimmy and Timothy talk about how he has always had a passion for running, the interest he got in learning more about nutritional performance due to his own physical challenges, why “carb-loading” is still so popular amongst his fellow endurance athletes, why he chooses to eat a high-fat, low-carb diet to be in a ketogenic state, his historic win at the 2012 Western States 100 ultramarathon, how a late-race challenge from one of his fellow competitors pushed him to finish strong, what he did to avoid “bonking” during the race, his new sponsors giving him the freedom to race in places like New Zealand in 2013 and so much more. You’ve heard about this ketogenic diet marathon runner, now hear directly from the man himself in his own words in today’s interview.


NOTICE OF DISCLOSURE: http://cmp.ly/3


NOTICE OF DISCLOSURE: http://cmp.ly/3

– SUPPORT OUR SPONSOR: Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ Low-Carb Meal Plan
– LISTEN TO JIMMY’S OTHER PODCASTS: “Ask The Low-Carb Experts” airing LIVE on Thursday nights and “Low-Carb Conversations” on Fridays
– SIGN UP BY FEBRUARY 2, 2013: The American Gut Project
Timothy Olson bio
“Sole To Soul Rhythm” blog
“Western States 100 – Low Carber Wins Ultramarathon – Steve Phinney and Jeff Volek Study”
Follow Timothy on Twitter
Like Timothy on Facebook

6 Responses to 642: Ultramarathon Runner Timothy Olson Thrives On A Low-Carb Diet
  1. Maryann Ramirez
    January 10, 2013 | 6:16 am

    I can’t say how much I love the fact that the winner and course record setter says he feels like the ultrarunning community is so much more accepting of everyone, and that he is running a race against himself and the clock, rather than against the other runners. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. That’s why I participate in trail runs and ultramarathons. Exactly the same reasons.

    • Danny Albers
      January 10, 2013 | 12:04 pm

      I have found running to be one of the most “inclusive” things. You can go jogging anywhere in the world and another jogger will waive and smile at you :)

  2. Elomehyrr Smedley
    January 10, 2013 | 12:58 pm

    Bet he still has more carbs than he lets on, not sure how you can truely do this in a ketogenic state those that try too just bonk/ hit the wall. now this guy is carb loaded and vegan and to me being carb loaded from fruit works better than anything else

    • LLVLCBlog
      January 10, 2013 | 1:15 pm

      If that works for you, then fine. But I wouldn’t dismiss what Timothy shared in this podcast as being less than truthful. Why would he need to misrepresent what he’s doing?

    • Joseph M Chagan
      January 11, 2013 | 11:19 am

      Your body has finite amount of glucose it can store for later use. That’s why people do things like stuff themselves with fruit / chia seeds etc. If you live on fat you can not only store way more in your stomach as it’s far more caloricaly dense, but all the fat you have on your body. Runners hit “the wall” when the glucose runs out. If you are always burning fat the wall is when you have no body fat left…. which is VERY unlikely. My indurance is way higher since I switched to a keto diet.

    • js290
      January 12, 2013 | 11:40 pm

      You know what works even better than being carb loaded from fruit? Being keto adapted. For the same number of carbon atoms, fat supplies more ATP than glucose.

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