Dean Karnazes – The Road to Sparta

Dean Karnazes is an American ultramarathon athlete who quit his highly paid but unsatisfying job to make a living from running. He’s the author of Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, which details ultra endurance running for the general public.

In the past 20 years he’s run the Boston Marathon and Death Valley among others and once ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. He attributes mental toughness to his success, believing that pain is just a perception and something that any of us can choose to ignore.

00:00 Trailer.
02:01 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
06:15 Brian’s introduction.
07:01 Dean’s marathon connections between UK, Greece and America.
09:14 Why so many people now seek out the extreme challenge of a marathon.
11:04 Deciding to quit his job and make a living out of running.
15:27 Why and how Dean runs such long distances.
18:00 Running Death Valley, the world’s toughest foot race.
22:00 Pain is just perception.
25:26 Sign up and run your first marathon, you will learn so much.
27:09 Running the Boston marathon after the 2013 bombing.
32:03 How ultra-marathon running has changed over last 20 years.
34:32 Writing ‘The Road to Sparta’.
36:11 The story behind the Spartathlon and marathon running.
41:11 Dean’s Spartathlon experience.
44:22 Dean’s view of the future prospects for Greece and its people.
47:02 Dean’s world perspective from global marathon running.
48:59 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days is sane compared to Dean’s next challenge.
50:34 How Dean physically prepares for marathons.
53:50 What keeps Dean awake at night?
54:58 Success Secrets.
55:48 What is failure to Dean.
56:20 What we would be surprised to learn about Dean.
58:14 Phone call to the 20 year old Dean.
59:25 Best advice ever received.
1:01:09 Advice to the young person across the world who has a dream.
1:02:21 Why are people so eager to meet Dean at his London book signings?
1:04:15 Brian’s summing up.

Dean Karnazes website
Dean Karnazes on Facebook
Dean Karnazes of YouTube
Dean Karnazes on Instagram
Dean Karnazes on Twitter
Dean Karnazes on Wikipedia

The Road to Sparta
Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

Topics discussed:
300 (film)
Fight Club (film)
Boston Marathon
London Marathon
Western States Endurance Run
Badwater Ultramarathon
Rocky (film)
Athenian Democracy
The Spartathlon
Marathon, Greece,_Greece
Ancient Greece
Paleolithic diet
Know thyself
Forrest Gump (film)

People mentioned in this episode:
Professor Paul Cartledge
Joe de Sena
James Altucher
Ido Portal

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Dominic JonesValikStavrosMarco MoeschterKenkyle Recent comment authors
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Dominic Jones

Interesting interview. Thank you 🙂


Like your show. But some of the questions are so irrelevant and obtrusive that it makes me cringe.


10:24 Actually at fight club he was also fighting against himself, he didn’t just know it at the time

Marco Moeschter

Really like this interview and especially Dean. I got a lot of inspiration and motivation out of it.


Fantastic interview and what a humble,genuine and inspiring person.


amazing guest! At last a good guest and person worth knowing. It has been dull as of late. I hope to see one of those documentaries about his daily preparation for those ultramarathons.