Biohacking Endurance, Running On LSD, Crazy Smart Drugs, Burning Massive Amounts Of Fat Vs. Carbs & Much More With Ultrarunner Anthony Kunkel

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Biohacking, Body, Diet & Nutrition, Mental Health, Mind-Spirit, Performance, Podcast, Podcast-new, Purpose, Recovery & Sleep, Spiritual Growth & Disciplines

Today, I invite you on a journey – not through the physical terrains that typically beckon a runner, but through the untrodden trails of the mind and soul of an extraordinary athlete.

Picture an elite runner – what comes to mind? Speed, competition, and perhaps, an unyielding will to win.

Now meet Anthony Kunkel. Sure, he's swiped titles like the 2017 USATF 50-Mile Road National Champion and the 2018 100-kilometer Road National Champion. But for Kunkel, it's not merely about the race; it's about the transformative journey of biohacking, self-discovery, and deepening spirituality.

From the heart of the vibrant mountain town of Durango, Colorado, Anthony founded UltraHouse Durango – a sanctuary for endurance and a testament to his vision of holistic performance. Hovering at an impressive 6,757 ft above sea level, this haven is Kunkel's vision of a holistic performance hub, combining the very essence of athletic prowess with the ethereal elements of exploration and community. Dubbed in jest as an “ethical cult that likes to run, explore, and climb things,” UltraHouse Durango offers more than its scenic trails. The “Monk Bunk” awaits its athletes with cozy bunk beds, a well-equipped kitchen, and essential amenities for recovery and training, including cold immersion techniques and top-tier equipment like a Red-mill and custom grip-rig.

Through Anthony's dedicated lens, every corner of the facility is designed with purpose, encapsulating his decade-long passion for running and holistic well-being. And this passion isn't confined to Durango; upon touching down in Spokane, Anthony chose to traverse 18 miles on foot just to reach my house.

From donning the prestigious Team USA colors in international marathons to guiding the Indian national teams in endurance techniques, Anthony's expertise stretches far and wide. His insights into fat adaptation, morning routines, and the potent blend of training volume and heat stand testament to his groundbreaking methods.

In today's conversation with Anthony, we're venturing beyond the miles and the shoes. Dive into the intricacies of Kunkel's unique food and training strategies, uncover the magic behind his pre-race routines, and gain insights into his experiments with nootropics stacks and their effects on his sleep. We'll also explore the merits of sauna and heat exposure in endurance training and the art of tracking and interpreting biometrics. With every stride we take in this episode, you'll understand the layers of dedication and innovation that have propelled Kunkel to the forefront of ultra-running. Prepare for a marathon of knowledge.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Who is Anthony Kunkel?…05:35

  • A racer, a curious seeker
  • A flow junkie
  • Ran 18.5 miles from the airport to Ben’s house

-The Faster Study at the University of Connecticut…08:27

-Anthony’s food and training strategies…13:51

-Anthony’s pre-race routine…24:28

  • Pre-race routine
    • One-week out, two-week taper
    • Something short and spicy during the week
    • The final session before race day will be something at the race pace
    • 72 hours out – crushing fiber
    • 48 hours out – stop taking fiber
  • Cleaning the bowels and avoiding bowel movement during the race
  • Ultrahouse Durango – offering it to athletes for free
  • Anthony is living a life where he doesn’t need a lot of money
  • Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker
  • Trickling with carbs
    • If it's a marathon or a half, he’ll have 125 grams of carbs
    • Usually not over 20g
  • Ben’s practice before the Ironman
    • Carb load the night before the race
    • Higher fat breakfast or bulletproof style coffee in the morning – Steve Born of Hammer Nutrition
    • After swimming – first gel or the first dose of carbohydrates
  • Keeping your body from going hypoglycemic leading up to the race
  • Shifting your body into high fat-burning mode with a high-fat breakfast
  • Breathwork session
  • CO2 tolerance
  • Oxygen tolerance – a self-alkalizing type of protocol
  • The same effect with baking soda – Anthony uses sodium citrate
    • 0.3 grams per kilogram

-Anthony’s nootropic stack…41:45

-Anthony’s morning routine…50:26

-Anthony’s sleeping protocols…58:13

-Pushback from Anthony's sponsors…1:02:03

  • Pushback because of doing weird stuff
  • Anthony doesn’t have a sponsorship from the shoe company
  • Carving his own path
  • KION
  • Ben likes head-turning athletes
  • Anthony prefers to be free and authentic than having a lot of sponsors
  • Athletes tell him off the record about their use of psychedelics
  • Athletes have something of value to offer the world

-Thinking or listening to stuff during a race…1:08:22

  • Anthony doesn’t think about or listen to anything
    • The fewer thoughts, the better
    • He looks for peaceful, effortless bliss
  • Ben listened to audiobooks during Ironman training
  • Anthony often trains with his dog with him
  • Sometimes listens to audiobooks
  • Audiobooks are chocolate cake for your brain
  • Ben had a playlist for interval training – slow and fast songs
    • Nowadays, mostly audiobooks and podcasts

-Strategies for injuries…1:12:27

  • Anthony almost never gets injured
  • Exposure to heat is crucial
  • Has been doing sauna since he was 17-18
  • Ben’s experience with sauna and heat exposure

-Tracking and testing training results…1:06:10

-Doping and the advantages of sports gear…1:23:38

  • Ben’s recipe for getting opioid-like effects
  • The idea of doped-up Olympics
    • You're allowed to dope with whatever you want, but you have to get a health screen
  • The Olympic Games are already all doped up
  • There’s an alternative to doing something that's against the rules
  • Super Shoes
  • Anthony did a marathon and was the only one among the top 10 that didn’t wear Super Shoes
  • Louis Simmons said gear can't be neutral. It has either an advantage or disadvantage

-What drives Anthony?…1:28:16

  • Curiosity
  • The crazy experiences that he had are worth whatever the price is
  • Likes to be weird and do crazy stunts and talk about it and be about it
  • People can benefit from what he’s doing
  • Coaching and consults
  • Ben’s coaching experience

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Couples Collective: October 25th – 29th, 2023

Couples Collective is an exclusive and immersive way to explore health, wellness, and mindset with your significant other. Jessa and I will be leading a health optimization and relationships workshop, alongside many other awesome couples. This is a small event, and access requires you to interview with event-holder OWN IT to ensure a right fit. However, for those who are said fit, this event is designed to bring you into deeper union within your relationship and onward into greater connection with your life, love, health, and happiness. I'm looking for 6 to 7 powerful couples to come join me at the event – are you one of them? Learn more here.

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Anthony Kunkel:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Anthony Kunkel or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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2 thoughts on “Biohacking Endurance, Running On LSD, Crazy Smart Drugs, Burning Massive Amounts Of Fat Vs. Carbs & Much More With Ultrarunner Anthony Kunkel

  1. Johnny Runner says:

    This was a great episode and being new to the ultramarathon game, at 46, it’s good to hear what nootropics are helping Anthony as he continues his career. Thank you 🙏

    There was a lot of information to digest, which is great!, but is there a resource that would further help with identifying the potential benefits of different supplements?

    Thanks again for doing this interview. It was amazing!

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      thanks for the comment Johnny, you can check out my Ultimate Supplement Guide here: BenGreenfieldLife.com/article/supplements-articles/ben-greenfields-ultimate-supplement-guide/

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