Nikki Kimball: On Depression, A Fat-Adapted Diet, and Ultrarunning

July 30, 2015
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Photo credit Paul Nelson

Photo credit Paul Nelson

On this show we’re joined by professional ultrarunner Nikki Kimball, one of the most accomplished ultrarunners alive as well as a physical therapist out of Bozeman, Montana. Nikki gives a candid interview on her struggles with depression and adopting a low-carb/high-fat diet for better performance in sport and in life.

Nikki opens up about female-specific issues when being fat-adapted from her experiences, answering all those burning questions you’ve had and especially: Is LCHF for female athletes a good idea and safe? While the answer is most certainly: “it depends on the individual” we still get a close account on what to expect based on Nikki’s experiences.

Topics  discussed:

– An intro on Nikki’s ultra career,

– The documentary “Finding Traction” that followed her journey in getting the Vermont’s Long Trail FKT – 5 days, 7 hrs, 42min, 272 miles,

– WS100 this year, and her struggles going into the race. She still finished top 10, making her the first female to have 10 top-10 finishes including two wins!

– Her intense battle with depression and how she manages it to still live an awesome life (and how diet plays a role!)

NUTRITION:

– How Nikki ate and fueled for years before taking the high-fat route, including being vegetarian.

– How and why she went the fat-adapted route,

– Her approach to fat, carbs and protein; in terms of intake, timing them with training, racing, her season, etc?

– What kind of carbs does she eat, and cycling in carbs,

– How long did it take to feel and be fat adapted?

– Experience as a woman specifically who prescribes to LCHF,

– How did her body react high fat diet – pros and cons?

– Hormonal balance: did hormones out of whack or did hormones improve,

– Fatigue management,

– Cognitive effects,

– Performance effects?

– Addressing high-end speed when LCHF,

– Higher clarity in races,

– Ability to race with few calories and still perform even better,

– How she fuels for races and what she eats during,

– What are her carb/sugar go-tos if used in a race,

– Intermittent fasting (IF) for female athletes,

– Hunting,

– and more!