Q & A with Kristopher Kepler! | Lift Heavy Run Long

If you’ve been following the site, you know that the whole “Lift Heavy Run Long” idea started because I began wondering how many people there were out there that could deadlift over 400lbs and also (at the same time) run an Ultra Marathon of 50 Miles or more.  I quickly realized that there weren’t very many people out there that fit this description.  The first person I came across was Kristopher Kepler.  I was immediately impressed.  His lifts were all higher than mine, and he had finished Leadville (a very famous 100 mile race).  I’ve been following him on twitter and facebook for a while.  Kepler is a rock star, and I hope to imitate many of his accomplishments.   I was very excited when he said he’d do a Q & A with me for the site.  I sent him some questions and we’ve chatted a little back and forth.  Here is the result of that Q & A…

Von:  You’re from Austin, TX?  

KK:  Yes sir, I have lived here since 1997

Von:  What gym do you train at?

KK:  I train at Crossfit Central

Von:  How long have you been running and how long have you been a crossfitter?

KK:  I’ve been running as long as I can remember.  I did my first 5k when I was 11, and came in second in the 17 under age group.  My first taste of the “runners adrenaline” you get from competing! Plus I competed at the collegiate level in soccer… shit ton of running in that sport.

Von:  Are you CF-L1 or do you hold any kind of certs?

KK:  I was, I never retook the test to keep my L1.  I have completed the Crossfit Football cert., as well as The Underground Strength Seminar hosted by Zach Even Esh.  highly recommend that one.

Von:  You ran Leadville…  I could do a whole q and a about that alone, but here are just a few questions:

KK:  yes i did..

1.  Longest training run leading up to the 100 Miler?
10miles

2.  What was training like? Did you have a coach?
I trained heavy, with crossfit style workouts thrown in the mix. I would also do 5-7mile runs with weight vests, sometimes I would run in my 20#, other times my 40# vest

3.  What were your lift PR’s around race day? Deadlift, Squat, etc.
My deadlift pr was 425, Squat 335, Power Clean 255, Press was 175

4.  What was the hardest thing about leadville?
The hardest thing about Leadville was not quitting… I fought the inner dialogue for the last 45 miles!

5.  Did you run a 50 Miler before a 100?  If so, how much worse was it?
This could get a little long so I’ll keep it brief…. I did, I ran my own made up 50 miler The year before Leadville, if you can believe that (it was actually 52miles). I mapped out a run in downtown Austin to do on my birthday (November 1st). I was initially suppose to run the Cactus 50 around the same time, but I would have had to travel on my own to the event. I knew I would be wrecked afterwards so I opted out of it. So, like I said I mapped out my own 50 miler. Had my truck situated to where I could get back to it every 3-7miles depending on what loop I was on for my nutrition/ water. Started the run at 10pm, and was done by 8am the next morning! Had a few friends meet me out and run a loop with me which was a tremendous help, but most of it was done in the dark by myself with just my music!

6.  What advice would you have for someone (like myself) looking to go from 50 to 100?

Biggest advice I can give is to LISTEN to your body not your mind.  Does that make sense? In Leadville I could feel my right calf wanting to lock up around mile 37.  I could have easily call it right there, but instead, I slowed down.. cut back on my pace, and was able to relax my calf muscle without having to stop.  Because if I had stopped, not sure if I could have kept going.   Other then that, just keep moving.  My motto is, “if you can go 13-26 is possible.  If you have done 26-then 52 is possible, and if you have completed a 52miler- then 100 is possible!”

Von:  I assume you eat Paleo, Zone or something like that?  

KK:  To be honest with you, I’m not the pickiest of eaters, but if I were to label myself anything I guess it would be paleo.  Zone is out the question for me personally.

Von:  What is your nutrition like during an ultra marathon?  

KK:  I eat everything that is given to me.. not too picky.  PB/J sandwiches, fruit, potatoes in salt,..  everything!

Von:  Do you eat GU and things like that or do you keep it clean during a race?

KK:  I actually do.. they have the gummies that are great because I can eat/ chew/ suck on them for a bit which helps because I have a hard time eating whole foods while running.

Von:  Are you planning on any ultras or other races in the near future?

KK:  I am, I hoping to get into the Barkley Marathons next spring, considered one of the gnarliest Ultras you can do.  Very hard to get into, but I have already did the leg work on how to get in, now I have to wait until Christmas time to send in my entry on why I deserve to run it.  If I don’t get in, I’m heading back to Leadville to at least pace if not run it again.

Von:  What is your training program like now?  Do you have a coach or are you following another program like CFE, OPT, Outlaw, etc.?
KK:  After this past years Regional, I took some time off, literally like 2 months of “not a whole lot”.  So I’m currently taking a class at the gym just to get my cardio up again, as well as doing strength wods at my house.

Von:  Crossfit Regionals!  Did you go as an individual or team?  How did you/ya’ll do?

KK:  The year I did leadville I was on the Red Black gym (a part of Crossfit Central) team that finished 11th in the region.  This year I was on the Central team up til Regional but was swapped out with Jeremy Thiel who missed qualifying as an individual.  Our team finished 3rd, moved on to the Games where we finished 11th or 12th, can’t remember.

 

Von:  I know you have a lot of things going on business wise.  You’re a DJ, and you also have started a line of athletic clothing called MOFIT Gear, right?  I think that’s an awesome idea.  How did that start, and what’s in the future for MOFIT?

KK:  Yes, DJing is a passion of mine.  A lot of big things in the works with that.  Pretty much every weekend through till the end of the year is booked for me.  Will be heading to London next January to do the London Throwdown as well, super stoked about that!  As for the MOFIT gear, longtime buddy of mine Erny Mezas came up with the idea.  I remember this past summer getting a text from him and all it showed was the MOFIT OG logo, and it instantly hit me… “this could be huge”.  The future is bright for MOFIT.   It goes hand in hand with what I’m doing as a Dj, and with all the competitions I’m getting asked to DJ at.  I wont DJ an event if I can’t have my apparel there to purchase.  So as much as it is a athletic gear, it just as much if not more a lifestyle.  We have a few hardcore athletes we are looking to sponsor so keep an eyes out for that.  And we are currently building a relation ship with the local Redbull rep here in Austin,.. exciting times!

 

Ok, rapid fire questions!!

Favorite post WOD/post race drink?

haha.. used to be beer, but I gave it up, so I will have to find something to replace it…

Favorite Shoes?
Saucony Type A4, hands down the best shoe I have ever run in.. only problem is that they are not very durable.  they made it through the first 60 of Leadville and had to be trashed.. finished the last 40 in my NB minumus (Red/Black)  still have those today, sentimental I suppose.

Favorite distance to run?
The 7mile loop at Town Lake in Austin, at night…

Any tattoos?
a few, finishing up a sleeve on my right arm, then I have some ideas for across my chest.

Favorite website/blog?
nothing sports related… I frequent music sites daily.  Can’t really post them, not sure how legal they are!

Crossfit Totals?
Squat: 335
Deadlift: 435
Press: 180
a few others 275# clean, 300# front squat.  Pretty proud of those two.   These are PRs from this years training.  So probably off on them a little since I took the summer off.

Musice while running/training?
Yes, I love music when I run! Funny thing, I took music for Leadville… and for some reason, could not listen to it.  Everything was so new, it was distracting me.

Favorite band?
All time favorite band is the Beastie Boys.

 

There you have it!  My first (hopefully of more to come) Q&A with Kristopher Kepler, fellow music lover, ultra runner, strong dude and all around great guy!! Go follow him on twitter at @kriskepler, and also follow Mofit at @Mofitgear or go grab some gear at MOFITGear.com!  You can also check out his music and music interests at http://undergroundshack.tumblr.com/