Last Saturday, hedge fund manager, Chris Solarz, 35, broke the Guinness World Record for the furthest distance run in 12 hours on a treadmill. He logged 77.07 miles beating an earlier record of 76.68 miles set by Eusébio Bochons.
Wondering how far 77.07 miles really is? Well, imagine running all the way from Lower Manhattan all the way up to Waterbury, Connecticut in half a day.
I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in.
Today, Stadium spoke to Chris to discover why he runs and how his food choices keep him fueled.
How it all began
When Chris was 13-years-old and in Junior High, he ran his first 5K. It was then that he discovered the “pleasure of moving and being in sync” with his body. Soon, it became clear to him that he was running simply because he enjoyed it and because it was fun. It’s been 22 years and he’s been running ever since.
His daily diet
When Chris was around 2-years-old, he decided that he just did not like the taste of meat.
“My dad is a butcher, so that wasn’t exactly a popular choice at home,” he said matter-of-factly.
It also wasn’t easy being a vegetarian in the 80s. Meat was everywhere. He recalled picking the pepperoni off pizza at parties. He said that he finds it easier to find vegetarian food now, at least in New York City.
For the past three years, Chris has followed a mostly vegan diet and thinks that the diet that has helped his running.
Here’s how a regular day goes:
Breakfast: A smoothie, a bowl of oatmeal at the office
Lunch: A salad or some fruit to prevent mid-afternoon slumps in energy
Dinner: Tofu, beans, vegetables.
What are his favorite foods?
Chris loves his morning smoothies.
Here is the recipe:
· ¾ pound green leafy vegetables (kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach etc)
· ¾ pound berries
· Some seeds such as chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower etc to pack in the omegas
· A banana (for sweetness)
“It’s a great way to get lots of vegetables and fruits in all at once,” says Chris. “And it’s delicious!”
He also loves mangoes, Indian food like dal (lentil soup), as well as Ethiopian food. About once a month, he will eat pizza (yep, with cheese!).
How did he prepare for the record-breaking run?
Chris explained that it took 16 months to prepare for the run. During this time, he ran 22-24 miles a day, totaling 150 miles per week. He also made sure he ate right.
“There is no magic formula,” says Chris. “The combination of the right food and good training is what counts.”
What did he eat on the big day?
On the day of the run, Chris ate some oatmeal and left the house at 5:30 a.m. (He would’ve had his morning smoothie, but didn’t want to wake his 1 year old up!).
“Here’s a tip for other runners,” says Chris. “On the day of the run, make sure you don’t eat anything new or ‘special’ that your body isn’t used to.”
During the run, he kept himself fueled and energized by consuming 400 calories an hour. He didn’t have any power bars or drink any Gatorade. He ate 6-7 bananas, drank 20 ounces of fluid (sports drinks) and had some granola bars. He calls bananas “nature’s own power bar” (we think Dole might want to use this guy as their brand ambassador!).
What is his source of inspiration?
Chris is inspired by explorers and other people who have faced great hardships in their lives. When he hears about the trials that people are able to overcome and what the human body is capable of, he is motivated to push himself.
One such inspiration is Sir Ernest Shackleton, a polar explorer who spent almost two years in dangerous conditions after losing his ship to ice, but managed to bring his men safely home. Chris named his son Sebastien Shackleton Solarz after the explorer.
“What I did was easy compared to the hardships people around the world experience,” says Chris modestly. “After 9 hours of running, I think of these brave people and it keeps me going."