Tim Olson Interview

In a few weeks Tim Olson will be running among us on Transvulcania. Before that I had  a  nice chat that I´ll like to share with you all!

Age: 29
Living right now:
Ashland Oregon
The North Face
The North Face, Natura health products and Injinji toe socks
Trail running heros:
Hal Koerner and Ian Torrence because they got me into trail running.
Non running heros:
My Father, Thich Nhat Hanh and Eckhart Tolle are a few.


↑↑New Team TNF↑↑ ©TheNorthFace

Why and when did you start on ultras?
I started running ultra’s in 2009. Friends of mine in Ashland kept inviting me out on longer and longer runs. I thought they were trying to kill me but I learned how to run hard for a really long time and enjoy every moment of it.
I was attracted to the sport because its simple, peaceful and freeing; you can run all day with friends or all by yourself. I’m attracted to like-minded, healthy and vibrant people who enjoy life. Discovering all the trails in Ashland and the amazing friendships that formed on the trails led me to trying my first 50k. I’ve never bonked so bad in my life. It was horrible and some of the most fun I’ve ever had. We then proceeded to share our day’s stories, drink and eat until our stories didn’t make any sense, belly laughing the whole time. I love the community of runners I’ve gotten to know over the years and how compassionate they are for each other and the land we play in.
Running brings balance to my life. While running with people is fun, I’m also very attracted to solo journeys where I connect deeper with my body, the earth and my true spirit. In massage school I started running longer and longer to discover how my body and mind were connected and how far I could push them, testing their limits. I found that the further I ran the more I was at peace and relaxed within myself, it turned into a form of meditation. The more I explore the earth and myself the more my passion grows, enjoying this incredible sport which brings joy, freedom and peace to me daily.

Which part on running in the mountains did you enjoy mostly?
I love running straight up to the top of the peak! The technical part of it and the burning you feel that let’s you know you’re digging deep and alive. I also, just enjoy the quiet sounds of nature, taking moments to let it all soak in and feel completely free. I feel running is my version of flying, I just sit back, connect with nature and let my legs fly.
What kind of food do you eat on pre-season? any extra diet supplements?
For the most part I am grain free. I use cabbage leaves instead of bread for a sandwich and for tacos. My favorite food is kale, which I enjoy raw, sautéed, in green smoothies and I also make Kale chips. My diet has basically consist of lots of vegetables, meat, nuts and some fruit. I cook lots of dishes, but one of my favorites is yellow curries.
For supplements, I’m sponsored by a company called Natura Health Products which are herbal supplements that help me recover and run strong. I believe the earth has many valuable things to offer us, the herbs i take are from the earth, natural and a great way to keep me healthy along with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Trainings; Do have much control over your trainings ?or you just follow your instinct?
I run by feel, I try to hit 3 or 4 hard workouts a week, but it depends on how much time I have and if we have child care for our son. I average over 160+k and around 20+hrs a week. I try to incorporate lots of climbing and try to climb around 1000 meters a day. On big work outs i double or triple the vertical gain, which helps me feel strong in races and that’s just what i enjoy!

When you’ll run in Spain?
Yes, I really want to visit and run in Spain! I’ll be running Transvulcania this year in the Canary Islands and hope to make a trip to Spain in the next few years to check out your mountains.

Your opinion about the great moment of the trail running in Eu, USA?
I love that more and more people are getting into trail running, falling in love with the earth and discovering it by foot. I hope to inspire others to get out in nature and feel the joys of trail running. Its all the same emotion and passion, there are many beautiful places in the world, each one unique which inspires different emotions on each run. The terrain cab be more technical and more climbing in Europeing races which draws me to check out more international races

50kms, 80km, 100kms or 168 kms? Which one do you feel more confident?
I prefer the 168 km races, but can only do a few a year so I also do shorter 80 and 100k’s. My favorite distance is the 168k, there is just something special and epic about traveling that far and or that long by foot, it’s a spiritual journey. It’s also about the build up to be ready for that physical and mental test. I like to come to that distance prepared, so it is the cumulative of time, energy and passion put in that makes it special as i work hard in the forest and mountains around my home.

What are your future race or adventure plans?
I have many races lined up for this year. I’ll be running Lake Sonoma 83k in California in April, Transvulcania 83k in May and Western States 168k in June. Then i’m also planning on partaking in UTMB at the end of August.

Which has been your most memorable race and why?
Western States in 2012 was by far my most rememberable race. It wasn’t just the race it’s self, but the combination of many things coming together that day and how much I put into that moment. I’ve had struggles in life that have made me strong. Overcoming those struggles, finding a loving wife, finding the town of Ashland with wonderful trails and anticipating the birth of my first son. I had all these emotions inside that made me want to do the very best I could, I’ve felt this in other races, but Western States is when I really unleashed all I am.


↑↑Tim Olson on his Great Day!↑↑ Western States 2012 NCR ©iRunFar

Best piece of advice or wisdom he has been given or read in a book?
I always come back to the most simple advice, just breath. We can get so caught up in life and the stress that might bring with jobs, families and unforeseen troubles. Breathing is the most essential way to come back to yourself, know everything will be ok and just relax. When your mindful you don’t have to frantically try to fix things, you can take a moment to understand what is going on and make the best choice at that time.

When did you realise that you was good at running!?
I’ve always enjoyed running. I knew I was ok at running in high school, but it was never such a huge passion until I moved to Oregon and fell in love with the surrounding mountains. Around 2009 is when I started running in them and while running up and down life became so simple and peaceful. I then realized I could move through the forest fast and I really enjoyed it. I believe the joy I have with running has sparked me to push myself which is allowing me to run fast and test my personal limits.

What has been your lowest-low and highest- high during a race or run?
I go through many ups and downs, I picture them as all the same. You can’t have highs without lows and when I feel really tired in a run I remember to keep moving forward and things will change soon. When you can except a really tuff low you can really enjoy when you feel strong.
For example, I had plantar fasciitis really bad last year and almost dropped out of a few races, but i pushed trough, made sure to get extra bodywork and had my foot feel much better for Western States.



2 thoughts on “Tim Olson Interview”

  • Bernd Reply

    It’s always impressive how people push themselves to be able to run ultras. There’s so much motivating yourself and going an and pushing harder every time.
    Maybe it only looks hard because one is not used to it, but on the other hand: it IS quite something and I doubt this much hardwork is still necessary today. But if you are making a living running it is quite understandable.

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