Dr. Allen Lim

Dr. Allen Lim Is The Voice Of Reason Your Training Needs

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About this episode:
In this week’s episode, we interview the founder of Skratch Labs, Dr. Allen Lim, and talk with him about “embracing the suck,” self-care, training consistency, and his approach to nutrition.

Guest Bio – Dr. Allen Lim:
Dr. Allen Lim received his doctorate from the Applied Exercise Science Laboratory in the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado. Allen worked on the Pro Cycling Tour as a sport scientist and coach for the Phonak, TIAA-CREF, Slipstream, Garmin, and Radio Shack professional cycling teams. More recently, Allen founded Skratch Labs, a boot-strapped sports nutrition company, that was ranked in 2014 as the 3rd fastest growing food and beverage company in the USA by Inc., 5000.

Allen has co-written three cookbooks with Chef Biju Thomas – the Feed Zone Cookbook, the Feed Zone Portables, and the Feed Zone Table – all of which help to give people the basic skills and knowledge to prepare real food from scratch as part of a physically active lifestyle.

Allen has served as a consultant for the Chinese Olympic Team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, for the US Olympic Cycling Team at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games in London and Rio, and for organizations and individuals ranging from the Joe Gibbs Racing Team, Kansas City Royals, and President George W. Bush.

A sought-after speaker, Allen has given two TEDx talks, guest lectures regularly at the University of Colorado at Boulder and has been a key note speaker for organizations like the American College of Sports Medicine, Training Peaks, Map My Fitness, Strava, The North Face, The Colorado Outdoor Industry Leadership Summit, Under Armour, and the Gold Lab Symposium.

Read More About Dr. Allen Lim:

https://www.skratchlabs.com/pages/about-us

https://www.instagram.com/allenskratch/

https://twitter.com/allenskratch

Episode Highlights:

  • Embracing the suck
  • Self-care and how to sustain performance in the long-term
  • How Dr. Allen Lim helps elite athletes perform at their best

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.


Episode Transcription:

Hillary Allen:

Hey there and welcome to the Train Right Podcast. Today’s guest is a special one. Dr. Allen Lim. Dr. Allen Lim received his doctorate from the Applied Exercise Science Laboratory in the department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado. Allen worked on the pro cycling tour as a sports scientist and coach for the Fennec TIAA-CREF, Slipstream, Garmin and RadioShack professional cycling teams. More recently, Allen founded Scratch Labs, a bootstrap sports nutrition company that was ranked in 2014 as the third fastest growing food and beverage company in the USA by Inc. 5000.

Hillary Allen:

Allen’s co-written free cookbooks with Chef Biju Thomas the feed zone cookbook, the feed zone portables, and the feed zone table, all of which can help give people the basic skills and knowledge to prepare real food from scratch as part of a physically active lifestyle. Allen has also served as a consultant for the Chinese Olympic team at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, for the U S Olympic cycling team with the 2012 and the 2016 Olympic games in London and Rio and for organizations and individuals ranging from the Joe Gibbs racing team, Kansas City Royals and President George W. Bush. I’m really excited to talk to him today. I hope you guys are too.

Allen Lim:

Hillary Allen.

Hillary Allen:

Allen Lim.

Allen Lim:

Who do you want to talk about this is amazing. Why don’t you talk to me, You’re the bad ass. You’re the invincible.

Hillary Allen:

No, but Alan literally, I think I learned all my Juju magic from you.

Allen Lim:

Oh, thank you. It is about the magic. 99% (beep) 1% pure magic. You live for the magic. You try to at least, or at least you reconcile with the fact that if you’re an endurance athlete like yourself, that you actually do love the challenge. You love the process. It’s not about the reward, it’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey. And if you’re going to enjoy the journey, you’re going to have to embrace the suck.

Hillary Allen:

Oh my God. These are like my mantras. I remember exchanging when I was going through a whole slew of injuries and we sat at this coffee shop across the street from your house because I was staying at your house because I couldn’t stay at mine. I couldn’t… You would help me up and down the stairs and we had this journal and we’d write down mantras and positive outlooks on life and I think exactly what you just said. Like the 99% what is it? You live for the 1% magic. You just-

Allen Lim:

Yeah 99-1. 99%-

Hillary Allen:

99-1. You have that tattooed on your… Since apparently it’s at the Seattle Airport too on the sticker.

Allen Lim:

Did you see it?

Hillary Allen:

Yeah I did.

Allen Lim:

That was me. Here’s the thing is I think that our brain doesn’t know the difference. Sometimes a positive lie can be better than a negative truth.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

That’s maybe politics today actually. You do, you have to have a positive mindset. It’s not always easy. You got to find ways to take care of yourself in the moment. We are all interested. I think in big [inaudible 00:03:27] things, we’re all dreamers. But it’s not always easy to sustain, especially if you’re just beating on yourself all the time.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

You got to have at least some semblance of self-care. Right? And a lot of that self-care is just whether or not you’re treating yourself kindly both physically and emotionally.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

Yeah.

Hillary Allen:

But for an endurance athlete though, it can be kind of hard or an athlete in general. But I mean, because you’re, you’re constantly beating on yourself physically. So that’s kind of the name of the game. And so, I mean, where do you see your role? Because-

Allen Lim:

Well, I see my role as being the voice of reason. The guy who tells you to stop the microwave because you have plenty of popcorn, right? There’s this kind of greed that we have. We put this bag of microwave popcorn in the microwave and the instructions are fairly vague. It’s like, on high until a frequency of popping slows. And then you smell all this great popcorn, then the frequency starts to drop a little bit and you just want two or three more kernels to be popped because you’re greedy and right before you stop the microwave, you smell the evitable stench of failure as that popcorn starts to burn. And the thing is, is that everyone around you knows it because they walk into your apartment and they’re just like, Oh, you burnt the popcorn. And you’re kind of in this mode where you’re just like, Oh, didn’t burn the popcorn it’s burn. And that’s the thing, once you get to that point where you’re burning the popcorn, not only can you not resurrect that popcorn. Right?

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

You’re almost happy with like the 30% that is actually useful when you could have had 70% and just called it quits before you got to that point where you’re beginning to burn. So I think that the nature of it is what I’ve always seen, it’s about consistency and it’s about the long haul. If adaptation requires you to cross this line that is say, a seven and burning your popcorn is this line that is a 10, well then stay between seven and 10 all the time. But what we tend to do is we cross over to 10 and we have to recover and take more time and we assess our life choices and then we ended up kind of, it’s just basically slapping ourselves in the face a few times too many where just that consistent adaptation, that consistent chipping away for the long haul I think is what’s really, really valuable. And, Hills, you love being active, you’re really good at that because I think that a lot of how you approach your training from what I’ve seen outside looking in, is that you’re out there playing.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

You know?

Hillary Allen:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). I love it. Had so much fun. I remember some of these cruiser bike rides we’d go on in Boulder and just meet your random friends and just skid bikes and go around the bike park.

Allen Lim:

Yeah. Always in motion. Right? Always in motion

Hillary Allen:

Yeah. But I think there’s a couple parts of self-care, like obviously the nutrition aspect for an athlete. I think that that can be… I know you’ve talked about this to me many times, people ask nutrition questions because you’ve written several cookbooks and you own a nutrition company obviously. I mean you’re also PhD in physiology. Like you know how your body functions, you know what it needs.

Allen Lim:

Yeah.

Hillary Allen:

But people ask you, okay well, what should I eat? What’s the best thing? And you’re like, well, if it makes you feel bad then you probably shouldn’t eat it. But they can’t.

Allen Lim:

Yeah. When people ask me that question, I understand that it revolves around performance. It revolves around optimization and there’s a lot of knowledge to be learned and you need to be a student [inaudible 00:07:37]. That being said, when grown adults ask me what they need to eat, I kind of look at them sometimes and I’m like, and you made it this far? Like really what’d you eat yesterday? Are you hungry? Do you need something now? Do you need me to make you something? You want chicken fried rice? What’s the [inaudible 00:07:56]. And I think that what’s interesting is that, it’s important when we think about nutrition distinguished between two halves of nutrition. Two halves that can be pretty contradictory to one another. One is the technocentric half and this is where science comes into play and obviously this is something that I’ve invested a lot of time in. The technocentric side is a side of science that is fairly reductionist. Right?

Allen Lim:

Where we reduce a food into chemicals, into carbohydrate, fat, proteins. Into micro and these macro nutrients, water content, caloric [inaudible 00:08:34] purpose or value to these different foods effectively grading the quality of all these different nutrients. But there’s also an ethnocentric side to eating. And the ethnocentric side is a cultural basis. It’s based on ethnicity, it’s based on region, it’s based on what’s been handed down to you. It’s effectively what Michael Poland describes as, culture being what your mom [inaudible 00:09:06] you. Right?

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

And so if I go home and I visit my mom and she makes an oxtail stew, I’m not going to sit there and begin to reduce what that oxtail soup is or stew is. I’m going to put it in my mouth and be like, Oh my goodness, this is so freaking delicious, kind of hold myself back so that when I am satiated and not necessarily full. I stopped eating. Right? And I think that human beings for most of our existence have eaten in an ethnocentric way. At that or the reason why maybe today we see so many different diet types and so much confusion around diet, is that we are part of a culture that likes to innovate, that likes technology, that likes to reduce things that is invested in science and that has a lot of different influences.

Allen Lim:

And so we don’t have a well-defined food culture. Right? And we have access to foods from all over the world and we have a physiology that is extraordinarily adaptable to so many different things. Our bodies are built for survival and so if someone tells me that they have committed to X, Y, or Z type diet, it’s hard for me to say if it’s optimal because I know that there is some adaptation that will occur that even that those adaptations are one far side or the other, they might be advantageous for some situation or some purpose.

Allen Lim:

So what do you eat? I don’t know. It’s like you said, you eat what makes you feel good. You have to be self-aware. You don’t eat what makes you feel like (beep). You have to be self-aware. And most people when they’re pressed, they know what makes them feel good. So if you were to come to me with $1,000 in your pocket, I would take out two pieces of paper. One piece of paper would say, write down all the foods that make you feel like (beep).

Allen Lim:

The other piece of paper would say, write down all the foods that make you feel great. You’d make this long list, you’d pass over the money, I would take a look at this list and I will be making sounds that showed my interest or intrigue. I called them, ‘The sounds of my PhD’. Uh-huh (affirmative) interesting I see. Uh-huh (affirmative) whoa. Then there’s little scratchy of a pencil on that paper. And then I would write in big letters on the piece of paper that lists all the foods that make you feel like (beep), don’t eat these foods. And then on the other sheet I would write, eat these foods. And it’s up to you to feel if you’re swindled or not swindled.

Allen Lim:

But I do think this, when I do that with people and I do that with a lot of people, I do see that there are a lot of individual preferences and that for whatever reason, maybe because of hygiene, maybe because we don’t live on farms, maybe because we’re freaky deaky and who knows, people do have a lot of the intolerances and they do have a lot of allergies and that there are a lot of issues and that there are a lot of beliefs about what makes you feel good and makes you feel bad and if anything, maybe the absurdity of it is that, I have found that it’s harder to change how somebody eats than it is to change their religion. Well, why the hell is everyone asking me? [inaudible 00:00:13:07].

Hillary Allen:

No, you’re actually right it can be. I’ve gotten into some walls, I’ve witnessed some heated debates over that kind of stuff, but when we had talks about nutrition before and I’ve always had a very balanced view of it-

Allen Lim:

Yeah, I’ve seen you put almost everything in your mouth. [inaudible 00:13:23].

Hillary Allen:

Yeah. Thank you. Especially at Dirty Kanza. I mean-

Allen Lim:

Yeah, especially at Dirty Kanza and especially because you do travel a lot and with all the travel that you do you can’t necessarily afford to be picky, especially if you need to keep going. Right?

Hillary Allen:

Exactly. You need be constantly in motion. Yeah. And I always like that because I think it makes for, whether this is true or not, but a strong microbio, so I can-

Allen Lim:

Yeah.

Hillary Allen:

I don’t know, I think it’s very-

Allen Lim:

Yeah. You have to be in the world that you live in, open to different cultural mindsets about food as well. Okay?

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

Otherwise you become that ugly American.

Hillary Allen:

No one wants that especially here in France. I mean, yeah.

Allen Lim:

Exactly.

Hillary Allen:

It’s actually really cool here though because they, I mean talk about like farm to table. Like literally I went on a bike ride today and I went by this farm that’s my favorite farmer’s market that is happening tomorrow for any morning when I so [inaudible 00:00:14:24]. That’s really cool. I can meet chickens and-

Allen Lim:

Here’s a thing about France. Let me ask you this question.

Hillary Allen:

What.

Allen Lim:

When you’re in France, how often do you eat alone versus when you’re in America?

Hillary Allen:

Yeah. Okay. So when I’m in America, I’d probably eat alone 75% of the time.

Allen Lim:

Okay. And in France?

Hillary Allen:

In France it’s like, Oh, I don’t even know 20% maybe less, you’re always eating with people.

Allen Lim:

Yes It [inaudible 00:14:56] always. So the French have one of the most commensal cultures in the world and commensality is this word that describes the act of eating with one another. Calm when with Mensa table IDI, the act of the act of being with or at the table with somebody. Commensality is probably the tip of the iceberg when I look at whether or not somebody is eating well and if I were to ask kind of one question, how often do you eat by yourself? That’s probably the tip of the iceberg, right? That’s probably the kind of flag. And what I can tell you is that I bet you eat a lot better in France than you do in America.

Hillary Allen:

100%. That’s one of the reasons why I have been back and forth and lived here on and off for so long is because, it feels like, I don’t know, it feels like a family. You’re just constantly meeting with people and the way that you chew, it’s not just all the food at once, it’s like a little appetizer like an aperitif and then you have your wine if you want to. And then you have this one dish and then you have another one and then every single meal you have like something sweet. It doesn’t have big, but it’s just like they always have dessert.

Allen Lim:

You have the company, you have the conversation and you have the slow roll with respect to the pace of the meal, which changes your satiation cues-

Hillary Allen:

Yep. That’s it. The slow roll for sure.

Allen Lim:

You might start sitting at the table hungry, but with the first few bites you’re not hungry anymore and you’re not gorging yourself. And so, yeah, weight control is much easier. The whole entire thing. So let me ask you this, you’re a chemist, you understand chemistry.

Hillary Allen:

Yep.

Allen Lim:

Which is more important, the chemical fuel or the social fuel?

Hillary Allen:

You know actually I was just about to segue into that because in my opinion I think some of the obsession around nutrition or, I mean, obviously you need to be scientific. Like when I go into a race, I know I need X amount of calories per hour, what works for me, how long I’m going to be running, I need to dial in my hydration. I know that that’s like an aspect of it. But if I want to be healthy and have nutrition, if I think of nutrition on the global scale, what like fuels me day to day as an athlete, which is basically the majority of what it means to live and train is because a race is one day. Your training is like 99% of the time. It’s the social and it’s what nutrition means, not from the chemicals you’re putting in your body. I say chemicals like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, but the soul food I think is way more important. If I’m a happy athlete and eating well and a balanced diet, that’s more important to me than writing down the nitty gritty or the actual it breaking down.

Allen Lim:

That’s right. Chemical fuel, social fuel, nutrition versus nourishment.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah. Ooh, there we go. The nourishment and I think [crosstalk 00:18:20]. I think that’s what sustains people more long-term. And I think, I mean specifically like through I think injury and also through just kind of when athletes hit a wall or people hit a wall, I think it’s because they’re neglecting the nourishment side, which is far more than following a particular diet. It’s greater than that. And you helped me discover that and I think that that’s your role. Like for instance, when you helped these various cycling proteins, you’re there cooking for them. But I think you also provide something way more than just the nutrition aspect.

Allen Lim:

Well you get people a reason to get together, commune, be with one another. You know?

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

It’s a time where you can actually hold one [inaudible 00:19:13] accountable through conversation and remind one another what we’re all in it for. Right?

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

It’s funny, I think that the act of eating together can translate to working for each other. Right? Which is really, really important. Let’s stay in a sport like cycling, but it’s important in society as a whole, and this is obviously all super complex stuff, but I think that there are true physiological ramifications which brings me to the Framingham Heart Study. Right? Looking at the correlates to heart disease and obviously smoking is one of those correlates and the Framingham Heart Study was one of the longest longitudinal studies looking at heart disease and wellbeing in American culture. Yeah. Smoke [inaudible 00:00:20:06]. One of the highest correlates to heart disease with self-reported loneliness. And whether or not there’s a cause and effect or a chicken and egg maybe is a moot point. It is a really important correlate. There is I think an epidemic of that loneliness and you see that loneliness and reports of how frequently people eat alone and while cigarettes come with a warning label, loneliness does not. And maybe we need to start putting that sticker on.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah, I mean and I think it’s also just a difference in culture too. I mean I’ve noticed just from traveling in Europe and racing in Europe, it’s just, I mean everything’s smaller. I mean you kind of just can’t live your life without living communally. And that’s very stark contrast to a place like the United States where everything’s so spread out. You need a car and everyone’s house is kind of… Their home was kind of separate and in their place, their little yard. Yeah.

Allen Lim:

[inaudible 00:21:13].

Hillary Allen:

Wait what?

Allen Lim:

I said why don’t you start a little cult?

Hillary Allen:

A little cult. We’re in France or the US? No, but-

Allen Lim:

[inaudible 00:21:18]

Hillary Allen:

And I think it’s funny, it’s like my… Even when I was at home in Boulder, one of my morning routines was to go have breakfast because I live alone. It was to go have breakfast at Spruce Confections. It was my favorite coffee shop because I could go have coffee-

Allen Lim:

Did you see the same faces there every morning?

Hillary Allen:

I’d see the same faces. And it was like, we’d exchange a little pleasantries and sometimes they run into you, but it felt like a little community, you know?

Allen Lim:

Yeah.

Hillary Allen:

And-

Allen Lim:

[inaudible 00:21:49]. Those natural interactions, even if you don’t know them but you feel recognized, I think that they are really important. For a while, before I really got into the pour-over thing, I was going to [inaudible 00:22:04] every morning. I think I was paying my three to seven buck tax just so that I can be acknowledged as being alive. You know?

Hillary Allen:

Oh, I know. Yeah.

Allen Lim:

Because [inaudible 00:22:16] maybe like Cafe au lait, the Ethiopian roast. And I’d be like, yes, yes. And even they got my drink order wrong. The fact that they attempted to know what I wanted was great. And so I’d never argue the point. I just be like, yeah, yes.

Hillary Allen:

Yep.

Allen Lim:

What do you want to give me? [inaudible 00:22:34].

Hillary Allen:

[inaudible 00:22:35]. I remember that. Sometimes it just be like, I was just in Boulder and there, yeah, this guy was like, Oh, and he recognized me and he’s like, you take the lighter roast. And I just agreed even though I didn’t, but I don’t care because it was nice to feel recognized.

Allen Lim:

Nice to feel recognized.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah. No, I think it’s just interesting because I think we forget how important that is like as human beings, but how that translates into overall health and I think athletes are, they can become overly concerned with the minutia, but really we’d have to look at it kind of this overall big kind of, not goal, but just self-care, I think. Like nourishment as a whole-

Allen Lim:

All right. Let me ask you this question.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

Because life is ultimately what you do every single day. The quality of your life is what happened yesterday. Right? And the little things that you need to do every single day to keep yourself healthy or well. So what are the top five or 10 things that you need to do every single day to maintain your quality of life?

Hillary Allen:

Am I supposed to answer?

Allen Lim:

You’re supposed to answer. And then I will give you my answer but I want to hear your answer first.

Hillary Allen:

Okay.To maintain my quality of life. To get outside in whatever capacity that is, whether it’s running, biking, skiing, I absolutely love that.

Allen Lim:

Just motion.

Hillary Allen:

Food. That’s also another thing that I enjoy.

Allen Lim:

Okay. And are you a breakfast, lunch, dinner person or do you eat according to your activity or do you sometimes fast? What’s your kind of perfect day in terms of food? Perfect food day.

Hillary Allen:

Usually I just eat according to activity and how hungry I feel. So I think that the ebbs and flows certain days, like today where I ran more, I feel hungrier, so I try to listen to that. Or on other days if I feel a little bit like I’m not doing as much, I naturally just don’t have as much of an appetite. So yeah, I tried to stay in tune with that. The only exception to that is probably a taper week or I’m trying to prepare for a big race where it’s just like, okay, I know I have to fuel for this race. So, but I mean, again, I’m not overeating. It’s just something like that. And then, let’s see, number three.

Allen Lim:

Yeah.

Hillary Allen:

For me it’s really important to laugh and to smile because that’s something that it just makes [inaudible 00:25:05], yeah, it just makes me feel alive and it just makes me feel, yeah. And-

Allen Lim:

[inaudible 00:25:11] Pillow fights, tickle parties what do you do?

Hillary Allen:

Pillow fights, tickle parties. No. But also little bits of community, whether it’s just having a good conversation with a random stranger, like saying hi. Spending time with the people that I love.That’s pretty important. Yeah, being able to do that I think maybe that spans too, but quality time is really important thing. So quality time and time with people that I love.

Allen Lim:

Yeah. Nice. Quality time. That’s a love language.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah. It is, it’s totally mine. But like, yeah because if I think back to yesterday I was like, Oh yeah, yesterday was a great day because I got to get outside, I got to see Bastian and I got to eat good food here in France.

Allen Lim:

Yep. And for people that don’t Bastian is your lover.

Hillary Allen:

Oh, my God. Maybe we shouldn’t include that on. That’s not okay.

Allen Lim:

[inaudible 00:26:22]. The Cat is out of the bag Hills [inaudible 00:26:30].

Hillary Allen:

Yeah, there we go. So it’s like a little piece of home. Right? It’s something that makes you feel connected.

Allen Lim:

Yeah.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah. And I got to… I was just in a goofy mood last night and I just remember just laughing over nothing and literally falling on the floor because I was laughing so hard. It was a great day.

Allen Lim:

Yeah.

Hillary Allen:

So what are yours?

Allen Lim:

Well, let me tell you something Hills. At 17, I started to start myself. I thought that love was a kind of emptiness and at least I understood the hunger that I felt and I didn’t have to call it loneliness. We all have a hunger. We all have a hunger. Yes, that’s my story. That’s Florence and the Machine. Come on.

Hillary Allen:

You were [inaudible 00:27:20] I just did not want to give it away. Florence and the Machine is insane.

Allen Lim:

Yeah. But those lines are actually really pretty profound. Right? The emotionality around it. And so for me it’s interesting because first and foremost, I need to sleep and if I don’t get enough sleep and if I have to wake up early with an alarm, I can rally for a little bit but eventually I’m going to pay the price for it. And I wouldn’t even say that I’m going to pay the price for it, someone else is going to pay the price for it because I’m probably going to be a moody bastard.

Hillary Allen:

Yep.

Allen Lim:

And that’s not good for anybody. And what I tend to notice is that if I don’t get enough sleep, if I’m not really alert or awake, then I tend to function below the line, not just with myself but with others. Right? And so I can be really, really nasty. There’s this part of my intellect that turns into like, I’m going to tell you every day that is wrong. [inaudible 00:28:30]. Tt’s really weird. Right? It’s like that line between optimism and pessimism. For me is wholy about that sleep and that fatigue. I like to think that we can go from our beliefs to our behaviors and feel good about them. But once you’re tired, you start to go from your feelings to your behaviors and question all of your beliefs. So- [crosstalk 00:00:28:56].

Hillary Allen:

What is that thing that you told me? Oh, Halt.

Allen Lim:

Yeah. Halt, Laurie Ventura she’s got five kids and I’m like, how do you do this? And she’s like, it’s all about halt if something is going wrong if there’s an emotional upset or a breakdown or things just aren’t working. I tell my kids to halt and then I ask them, are you hungry? Are you angry? Are you lonely? Are you tired? And then you just start solving for them. If you’re hungry, you can eat. If you’re angry, you hopefully just talk it out or try to [inaudible 00:29:37] what the issues are or the real issue are. Discuss maybe even solve. If you’re lonely you get in a big cuddle puddle [inaudible 00:29:47]. I don’t know, go find some puppies.

Allen Lim:

Actually, I think that we do have a hard time reaching out to people. Asking for help or asking for company can be very vulnerable, but that’s important. And then finally, if you’re tired, you just got to call it. And you are distracted. It’s easy for me, for example, to go down the rabbit hole of YouTube, I learn a lot of crazy, unnecessary, useless (beep). It keeps me up because you just go from one video to another video to another video.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

Yeah. So you got to go to bed, you got to go to bed. Halt. Hungry, angry, lonely, tired. It’s a mantra. And yeah, that’s eating when I’m hungry, not eating when I’m not hungry and so I’ve given up… Except for the social context, I’ve given up this idea that there’s supposed to be a breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Right? And I will tend to always accept meals with others if they want to have breakfast or they I want to have lunch or they want to have dinner. It’s at that point that I decide, okay, I’m going to have this meal. This will probably be a bigger meal for me. And the times that I’m alone I tend to not eat that much? So I tend to graze when I’m by myself and the only large meals that I have tend to be with other people. [inaudible 00:31:30].

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

Yeah. What else, what else do I do? I do need to exercise and here’s the thing is that I’m fairly inconsistent. When I [inaudible 00:31:39] consistent, I gained positive momentum. When I’m inconsistent, man, is it freaking hard. And so I think that one thing that I’ve learned from my brother is that you can always walk and he is like, thin when it comes to steps. He is just obsessed with steps and we were in Germany and we were staying at this hotel and he was having a conversation with me and I was laying in bed and he was just literally marching in place and I was like, what the hell are you doing? Why are you doing [inaudible 00:32:12]. It’s so annoying. And he’s like, I’m getting in my steps man. [inaudible 00:32:21] I was like, yeah, I probably need to be marching in place too right now while I’m having this conversation. We’d be marching in place looking at each other and talking. That would actually have been the more rational thing, as ridiculous as that would have looked.

Hillary Allen:

Oh my God. That’s hilarious.

Allen Lim:

[inaudible 00:32:40]. Yeah. Those are the little things. Those are the little things. I’ve given up on showers or hygiene. I just [inaudible 00:32:47].

Hillary Allen:

This is usually depending on my motivation level, sometimes I’m just like, it can’t be a really good form of self-care if we were talking about that.

Allen Lim:

Yeah, not a priority [inaudible 00:32:57].

Hillary Allen:

But sometimes I just don’t. My priority is sleep or eating, I brought up just not shower.

Allen Lim:

That’s right. You know the last thing I do, even though I don’t really worry about my own personal hygiene except maybe brushing my teeth is, I do try to vacuum every day.

Hillary Allen:

Oh.

Allen Lim:

Yeah. It’s incredibly satisfying. And sometimes it is the only productive thing I do.

Hillary Allen:

No, I don’t believe that.

Allen Lim:

Yeah. Seriously. Because a lot of the things I do are [inaudible 00:33:39] or bigger projects and they don’t feel tangible because you’re living in a weird space. Especially if I’m trying to research something or studying something, but man, I have one of these back injury where you can see all the (beep) you collect and I don’t know why, but every day there was more (beep) in there. After [inaudible 00:33:58]. I’m like, I just vacuumed yesterday out. Oh, where did this stuff come from?

Hillary Allen:

Oh my gosh.

Allen Lim:

Fascinating.

Hillary Allen:

That is fascinating. And yeah, I think it’s a good reminder, like little things off your to do list that make you feel accomplished, I think. Yeah. That’s awesome.

Allen Lim:

Everyone vacuum after you listen to this podcast, you’ll feel so much better about your life I guarantee you.

Hillary Allen:

I’m going to do that now too because sometimes again this thing of power cleaning its amazing. But-

Allen Lim:

[inaudible 00:34:24] drifting. We’re drifting.

Hillary Allen:

No, that’s okay. I think I’ve been just want to end this here because, yeah, I think we have a lot of golden nuggets. We don’t need it to be terribly long. So.

Allen Lim:

I want to know how many grams of carbohydrate you ingest per hour during a hundred mile run and I want to know if you primarily rely on that carbohydrate or if you use the Mixed Macronutrient Profile.

Hillary Allen:

That’s a good question. So I generally, ironically I use Skratch Labs. So during a longer race I’ve usually used rice cakes, so a mix between gummies, the Skratch gummies, the energy chews and rice cakes. I like the rice cakes because it’s savory and the energy chews can be sometimes too sweet later in the race. But usually I try to average about 200 calories. Those are primarily from carbohydrates. I usually, calories per hour I try to aim that in.

Allen Lim:

Perfect.

Hillary Allen:

Between that and obviously a mix between chewing calories and with hydration mix and stuff like that. So you should have a pretty [inaudible 00:35:33]-

Allen Lim:

[inaudible 00:35:35] calories per every 500 mils and you’re probably sweating out depending upon the temperature [inaudible 00:35:40] from half liter to a liter and a half per hour.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. And when it’s more humid, I have to be maybe more cognizant of dripping something that’s a little bit saltier, especially halfway through the race, like eight hours in, 10 hours in-

Allen Lim:

So the nature of it is, if you’re hungry, you eat. If you’re thirsty you drink.

Hillary Allen:

Yep. And that’s the thing is drinking to thirst in an ultra is really important. Not overdrinking or overcompensating and then making sure that you’re not going hungry and that if you feel yourself bonking, I mean I know that feeling pretty well. I need to make sure that I’m staying on top of nutrition. Usually I don’t really eat, I eat like fat or something. If I have a Parmesan rice cake-

Allen Lim:

If it’s naturally occurring in the food and adds to the flavor of the taste.

Hillary Allen:

Exactly. That’s for satiation because I actually can’t digest exogenous like fat and protein sources during a race.

Allen Lim:

[inaudible 00:36:36].

Hillary Allen:

Wait. Yeah, it does actually and you don’t want that.

Allen Lim:

You don’t want that. [inaudible 00:36:40] Hills.

Hillary Allen:

Yeah.

Allen Lim:

That’s great. Look, in a nutshell. There you go [inaudible 00:36:49].

Hillary Allen:

Yeah, you taught me that.

Allen Lim:

Well, I didn’t teach you anything. I just made recommendations and what you’re really good about is you’re good about practicing and relenting and being consistent. Nice job Hills.

Hillary Allen:

Well thanks Allen.

Allen Lim:

Nice job. All right. You go eat with French people now.

Hillary Allen:

Okay. [crosstalk 00:37:08] I will have, I’ll have a baguette for you and thanks so much for being on here.

Allen Lim:

Have a croissant for me as well. Rate it, smell it. Maybe even if, let’s say you break a windshield in your car, just take a paper, duct tape it, and then take a croissant and rub it on the paper and then [inaudible 00:37:30] make it clear and then you’ll be able to see.

Hillary Allen:

Oh, that’s a really good call. And actually, Allen, there’s bakery downstairs from my apartment.

Allen Lim:

(beep) [inaudible 00:37:38].

Hillary Allen:

Yeah. [inaudible 00:37:39]. It smells so good when I walked down the stairwell. It’s amazing.

Allen Lim:

All right.

Hillary Allen:

So if you ever need an escape to Annecy, come visit.

Allen Lim:

[foreign language 00:37:54].

Hillary Allen:

[foreign language 00:37:57]. Okay.

Allen Lim:

Thank you. [inaudible 00:37:57].

Hillary Allen:

[inaudible 00:37:57].

 


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Comments 3

  1. Pingback: Embrace the suck and be inspired - Mari Ruddy

  2. I was looking forward to listening to Dr. Lim as the only cookbook I own is his..
    However, and I feel awful for making this comment, the podcast was a very unpleasant due to the host, Hillary. I am sure she is a very accomplished athlete but the giggling, “for sure”, etc presentation was distracting. I would ask for a more professional interview. Thanks

    The Podcast on recovery was very interesting and well presented.

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