NAME: Michael Wardian
RESIDENCE: Arlington, Virginia
FAMILY: Married to Jennifer Wardian. 2 boys. Pierce is 9 years old and Grant is almost 7 years old
OCCUPATION: International Ship Broker, Professional Runner
Introduction: Mike Wardian is one of the top runners in the country. He holds multiple World Records including fastest marathon and 50K on an indoor 200 meter track, and fastest 50K on a treadmill. He has completed some of the most difficult ultra marathons in the world; including The Badwater Ultra marathon, the Ultra Trail du Mount Blanc, UVU North Pole Marathon, many of the North Face Endurance Challenges, the JFK 50 Miler; and finished on the podium for many of these races. The list of Mike’s running accomplishments is long enough to fill a blog post alone. You can read them here. Below are some questions I had for Mike.
When did you start running?
I grew up playing lacrosse and started running in 1995, after I stopped playing, just to stay fit.
How many days a week do you normally run? Miles per week?
I would love to run daily and, if possible, twice a day. That doesn’t always happen, but that is the goal. I average about 70-90 miles per week.
How do you find time to train and spend time with your family? Can you share some of the challenges?
I make time to train, and for me that means getting up early as early as 4:30am, but most days around 5:30am. I run before cycling to work and then I run again at lunch, which is about 60 minutes. I then work and cycle home. I would say I put in about 2-4 hours of training per day during the week, and then race on the weekend. The challenges of keeping a schedule like this is staying up for movies with the kids. I always fall asleep.
What is your diet like? Are you one of the ultra vegan runners I read a lot about? If so, when did you start eating like that?
I am vegetarian, but not vegan. I eat eggs and honey, but not much, if any, dairy. I became a vegetarian gradually, and did so starting in high school in 1991 for red meat, in about 1993 for chicken and fish, and then went all the way to vegan, and have swung back to where I am now. I think for me eating a plant based diet works really well and I love all the choices out there and foods that I get to try and explore.
Out of all of your running accomplishments, which one is your proudest?
I have a lot of really cool moments and accomplishments. I think one that I am super proud of is setting a Guinness World Record with our son Pierce pushing the jog stroller. That was really cool and a great way to get the family involved.
What was the distance and time for the stroller world record?
2007 – Frederick Marathon: 26.2 miles in 2:42:21
Do your kids run with you? Your wife?
Pierce and Grant run with me sometimes, but not a ton yet. Pierce is in run club. He and I did that together this year and that was great. I don’t want to pressure them and want to keep it fun. Jennifer and I don’t really run together either. She is more into group exercise like Jazzercise or Boot Camp. I do run with our Vizsla, Rosie and I love getting out on the trails with her.
What is next on your list of running challenges?
I have a huge list of goals for 2016 and beyond. Heading to Hong Kong next for the Hong Kong 100K in January, then to the Tarawera 100K in February, Eco-Trail Paris in March, and I hope the Boston Marathon and London Marathon in April, and then to Japan in May for Wings for Life World Run, Cami de Cavalls in Menorca, and Vermont City Marathon, the San Diego 100 Miler in June, the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in August, and maybe a race called Tor des Geants in September … should be an epic year, and I am also looking at a bunch of other events.
Mike is sponsored by: Hoka One One, UVU, Vitargo, Nathan, Race Roster, Outside Interactive, The Stick, Succeed, Sweetgreen, Jrink, Relay Foods, Suunto, Injinji, Petzl, Mio Global, Julbo, Bearded Brothers, Big Spoon Roasters, Racedots, Compressport, elevation Tattoo, DU/ER Jeans, Sound Probotics, Fast Track Physcial Therapy