CALIFORNIAN Dean Karnazes defies the odds. Here’s a man who can run for three days and three nights without stopping or even getting a blister. His body just keeps on running.
And we’re not just talking about a casual bit of road running either. Karnazes has participated in some of the toughest marathons on the planet – including running to the South Pole in -25 degrees celsius temperatures.
Yet despite these tough conditions, Karnazes said he’s never ever experienced any form of cramp or muscle fatigue.
Although he did admit to The Guardian recently that after three days running, he tends to feel a bit weary.
“To be honest, what eventually happens is that I get sleepy. I’ve run through three nights without sleep and the third night of sleepless running was a bit psychotic. I actually experienced bouts of ‘sleep running’, where I was falling asleep while running,” he said.
So what’s his secret? Scientists in Colorado who were mesmerised by Karnazes’s running ability put him through a series of tests to find out.
They discovered he possessed an extraordinary high lactate threshold – that’s the body’s ability to clear lactate from blood and convert it back into energy.
Apparently, for the average person, there is a limit to the effect even constant training will have your lactate threshold – but if you inherit these enzymes genetically, your personal limits will be far higher.
But Karnazes is not convinced his extraordinary skill can be completely explained by genetics, according to The Guardian. He reckons his low body fat, low sweat rate, highly alkaline diet and low exposure to environmental toxins also offer some explanation.
Whatever the explanation turns out to be, one thing is for sure – it’s likely Karnazes will find it hard to snare an enthusiastic running partner.