#131: Stefano Passarello – Keto Ironman Triathlete

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Host Brad Kearns talks to Italian amateur triathlete Stefano Passarello, a longtime listener to the podcast who has an absolutely amazing success story with low carb, slow-paced endurance training. Stefano, an accounting firm CEO based in Hong Kong, has attained the highest level of triathlon success in his very first year in the sport. A 2:26 marathon runner who turned to triathlon due to repeated injury, Stefano qualified for Hawaii Ironman World Championships and ran a 2:53 marathon off the bike in Kona! This is the third fastest amateur marathon split in the 40-year history of the Ironman! Stefano’s approach is a beautiful blend of keto style eating, comfortably paced over distance workouts, and a relaxed, process-oriented approach where he carefully balances the stress of life and training to avoid chronic patterns and stay happy and inspired. 

The conversation goes deep into both the optimal approach to become bonk-proof and stay healthy (hint: slow down and cut carbs!) and the evolved mindset that will prevent the all-too-common obsessive, overly-competitive, Type-A approach that leads to burnout. Stefano entertains with some great quotes and anecdotes: how a short, hairy Italian guy was totally intimidated by the “scene” on Alii Drive but was later validated by passing the posers in droves in the latter stages of the marathon. How the endorphin rush of challenging workouts represents a “taste of your favorite drug,” and is something to carefully moderate. Enjoy this wild ride with a very entertaining and talented athlete who has “reverse engineered” the MAF and Primal Endurance training methods into big-time success!

Who is Stefano Passarello? [00:00:58] 

How did he get into the sport and how did his training method work? [00:02:25] 

How did he discover Primal Blueprint? [00:07:09] 

What was he thinking when he was at his first Ironman looking at the other athletes? [00:08:34] 

How does the relaxed nature of his training and his diet payoff? [00:11:48] 

What? He doesn’t even have a Power Meter on his bike!! [00:14:47] 

Training decisions need to come from your mood. [00:16:44] 

How does adrenaline become the drug of choice?  [00:18:41] 

What happens when you bonk? [00:26:55] 

Stefano talks about balance. [00:26:14] 

People in this sport need to do something to compensate. [00:34:19] 

After a certain point, your body becomes exhausted. [00:38:38] 

What does it mean…”trust the system”? What is your purpose? [00:42:05] 

How does he work his fasting workouts?  What does he eat afterwards? [00:45:49] 

Why are they still selling sugar to athletes at the Ironman Expo? [00:54:50] 

In the old days, the super athletes were sugar-burners. What happened to them?  [00:57:10] 

What are the final suggestions? [01:00:08] 

Check out this episode!

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