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April 4, 2021 105 min

Today’s guest is Jason Hardrath. Jason is an adventure athlete, speaker, and physical education specialist who’s made a lifestyle out of pursuing his passion for human performance. After running track & field in college, Jason eventually found himself competing in longer distance events like marathons and Ironmans. His work ethic soon paid off and he qualified for the Ironman 70.3 world championships in 2015. Training was going amazing for Jason leading up to the world championships until a car accident changed everything. He was ejected from his car which left him with, among other injuries, a collapsed lung, multiple broken ribs, a broken shoulder, and a torn ACL. Not allowing this set back to remove his passion for endurance and mountaineering, Jason (after recovering enough so that he regained an ability to run) ended up discovering FKTs, or Fastest Known Times. FKTs are essentially a speed record on any given route (Jason will go over them in more detail during the interview). There’s no formal race or event for these routes, which include everything from long-distance hiking trails to circumnavigations of lakes or mountains, or completing a linkup of multiple peaks. Jason’s currently on a quest to become the first athlete to 100 FKTs, and as of this episode’s release he’s at 97. We cover a lot in this interview. We discuss how he got into endurance sport, his 2015 car accident, perspectives on moving forward from traumatic experiences, his journey to 100 FKTs, minimalism, and much more.

Timestamps

00:04:32 Growing up in Northeastern Oregon

00:06:01 Discovering running in middle school

00:10:07 Constantly looking for the next goal

00:13:42 Why he decided to bike across America and do triathlons

00:18:11 What's driving his athletic pursuits?

00:23:56 The 2015 car accident that changed everything

00:30:05 Recovering from the accident

00:33:57 How the accident reinforced living his life to the fullest

00:38:57 Making sure to not wrap his identity up in his athletic endeavors

00:41:57 How others can accelerate out of traumatic experiences

00:47:35 Road to somewhat normal fitness after the car accident

00:53:30 What are FKTs and how do they work?

00:55:50 What inspired him to want to do FKTs?

01:03:50 The route he's saving for the 100th FKT

01:06:55 The logistics vs. the fitness on FKTs

01:08:44 How he would typically prepare for a long FKT

01:10:36 The hardest FKT he's done so far

01:14:22 What will he do after 100 FKTs?

01:15:52 Covid's impact on his FKT quest

01:17:05 His weekly training schedule during 2020

01:19:24 Being a PE teacher and his teaching philosophy

01:27:23 Living the van lifestyle

01:30:59 Experiment of minimalism

01:32:12 How he approaches sleep, nutrition, and recovery

01:35:50 What he wants to accomplish 5 years from now

01:37:27 His daily routine

01:39:52 His driving force

01:41:52 Parting words of wisdom around staying driven

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