Q&A with Klean Advocate 100mi Ultra Runner, Ronnie Delzer – Sponsored Athlete

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Q&A with Klean Advocate 100mi Ultra Runner, Ronnie Delzer – Sponsored Athlete

Klean Advocate Ronnie Delzer – sponsored athlete, took on his first 100mi Ultra, having a great performance taking third overall for the 2015 USA 100Mi Trail Championships. Klean Athlete was able to sit down with Ronnie and delve a little deeper into what drives him and what it takes to prepare for such a demanding event.

If you missed Ronnie’s Rocky Racoon 100mi blog, click here.


Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your athletic background?

A: My passion for running started at an early age.  Running has always been a hobby for me, it’s what I do for fun, and an avenue for me to relieve stress.  In college I ran Cross Country for East Carolina University and walked onto the team as a freshman, and by my senior year, wound up with a scholarship.  I stepped up through hard work and dedication.  After my time in college I settled down, started a full time career, married my college sweetheart, and was blessed with two beautiful children.  I’m in outside sales for a building supply company, working 40-50 hours/week, and balancing that with family commitments and running.  Although life is busy I never lost passion for endurance sports and continued by competing in marathons and IRONMAN® triathlons.  I relocated to Texas and found myself within a big community of endurance and multisport athletes.  I met coach Dana Lyons in the Woodlands, TX and he coached me for the first couple years of IRONMAN® Texas and provided me with the accountability of training.   The past couple years I have been looking for a new challenge and started getting into Ultra Running.   As a believer of supplemental sports nutrition, Dana soon introduced me to Klean Athlete products.  I liked the product offering and started using the Endurance, Isolate, Omega and Multivitamin every day, and with training I’m using the Endurance, Electrolytes, Isolate and Recovery.


Q: What is a typical training day/week like for you? Hours, intensity?

A:  Monday is typically a rest day. I found out that its best for me to take Monday off to rest from a high mileage weekend. Tuesday I do a morning run before work, usually 12-15 miles. Tuesday evening I also occasionally do a track workout. Wednesday and Thursday I do another 12-15 miles in the morning, and get a massage Thursday evening. I always take off Friday, the day after the massage, which I don’t think I perform as well as my body is flushing out the toxins from the massage.  Saturday I typically did a long run, 30-40 miles, in preparation for the Rocky Raccoon 100 mi. Sunday is another long run, up to 20 miles, which for ultra running is important when you’re trying to run and fatigue the body, and that way you get used to running on tired legs.  For six months leading up to this event I would train for 3-4 weeks like this and then take a complete week off to give the body a chance to recover.  For ultra running it’s not necessarily about the speed. It’s about needing to build a base and aerobic engine first. In an event that is 15+ hrs, its most important to have the lungs and endurance to sustain the efforts.


Q: How do you prepare mentally for such an event?

A: I try not to think about it too much and break up the races into sections. Mentally, it then doesn’t feel as much like you’re going out to run 100 miles straight. In the first few loops, doing it as easy as you can, conserving energy and letting time go by. I’m more confident knowing that if I run at my ability I should be able to finish strong. The problem is, if you start running someone else’s race and you get tired, you then can have issues.


Q: Can you talk a bit about your pre race and race day nutrition? What are the critical elements of nutrition that prepare you and carry you through an effort of this magnitude?

A: Race nutrition starts the week before the race. I like to carb load, it’s the way I grew up. Eating a lot of pastas, potatoes and staying hydrated going into the race as well. The morning of, eating extra calories like a bagel and during the race, I typically don’t eat solid foods. I planned to take one gel every 30 minutes along with Klean Electrolytes and Klean Endurance. I felt a bit fatigued toward the end and tried some solid foods during this event in order to consume more calories. After the race, I focused on replenishing my body with the Klean Recovery and Klean Isolate. During training, I used both and even used the Klean Isolate at night, looking ahead at what’s on the training plan in order to be prepared for the next day and next block of workouts.


Q: What does your short and long term recovery strategy look like? How do you recover and eventually build back up after an effort like this?

A: On that course there are a lot of roots and its very technical so I was worried about ankles and joints. For that reason I took Advil during the race but learned that on an empty stomach, Advil can cause some problems. I ended up actually going to the ER after the race and my short term recovery was quite unusual, being placed on IV fluids for 3 days with concerns about muscle breakdown and Rhabdomyolysis. All of this was precautionary. Three weeks since the race, I still haven’t been running to allow my body to rest and recover. I felt a lot of pain with my ankles and knees just because of the terrain, so I’m not going to speed into running again. I find it more important to allow 3-4 weeks of recovery now rather than hurry back into training, risking not being able to run in the latter half of the season. Twice a week I’m in the pool, doing a lot of movement, spin classes and doing some type of activity but taking it easy overall. With time, the body will adapt to that type of stress. Everyone is different and you need to listen to your body and do what you think is best at the time.


Q: How and why are you a “Klean Athlete” and what kind of lifestyle choices do you make to support this methodology?

A: I’m a Klean Athlete knowing that we put enough stress on our bodies as it is and it’s important to take care of your body as much as you can. I don’t want to take something that’s going to add unnecessary stress of being potentially unsafe so using Klean Athlete supplements, knowing they are tested and safe, is important to me and to my family. Running is a hobby most of all. I do it for fun, while being competitive working hard, but I don’t get a reward out of it knowing I’m taking something that would give me a unfair advantage. I’m not interested in trying to use something that’s illegal and unsafe. At the end of the day we’re athletes, trying to balance our training and competing with our other family and work priorities.


Q: Perhaps it’s too soon to tell but will you do it again? If you do, what would you do differently? Would you approach your training differently or modify anything about your race day execution?

A: Immediately after I told myself I didn’t want to ever do another 100 mi race again. Eventually I would like to do another one. I don’t care to do something that’s overly technical, but more faster paced, with a flatter course and hold a sub 8min/mile pace. It’s too soon to tell but at the end of the year I plan to enter some 50 mile ultra races. We’ll see what the rest of the season has in store for me.


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