September 24, 2018

Exercise & Physical Health

#17 – Mike Trevino: life-lessons from ultra-endurance, mindset, hard work, and removing limitations

“Change your mindset . . . on what you think you can do . . . you have the innate ability to do amazing things, just most people haven’t figured out how to tap into that.” —Mike Trevino

Read Time 14 minutes

In this episode, ultra-endurance athlete and entrepreneur, Mike Trevino, discusses the lessons he’s learned from his remarkable athletic feats, and the training required to reach them. Not only is Mike’s advice practical for those looking to take their endurance training to the next level, but his lessons and insight are extraordinarily applicable to living everyday life.


We discuss:

  • Mike’s background, his crazy birthday tradition, and his transition from power to endurance [6:30];
  • Mike’s breakthrough year: setting a course record, and completing the Badwater 135 [16:00];
  • Race Across America (RAAM), perseverance, and extreme sleep deprivation [25:30];
  • Mindset, nutrition, fasting, and other advice from Mike for those looking to take the next step in their training [49:00];
  • What getting a parasite taught Mike about fasting [59:45];
  • The risks involved with cycling [1:03:00];
  • Mike setting the Trans-Iowa (RAGBRAI) record [1:10:15];
  • PEDs, stimulants, and their effect on performance [1:15:00];
  • What motivates Mike (and others) to do this extreme stuff? What led him to eventually pull back? [1:22:00];
  • Life-lessons learned from training, and how to impart them to his kids, and others [1:35:30];
  • The greatest beer in the world remains a mystery [1:46:15]; and
  • More.


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Mike Trevino

Vision, commitment, and integrity drive all of Mike’s endeavors – entrepreneurial, philanthropic, and physical.

Growing up in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Mike first excelled as an All-State/All-Academic football player and wrestler. His desire to pursue rigorous academics and athletics brought him to Cornell University, where he played football, was selected to be a Cornell Tradition Fellow for his interest in work and service, and was actively involved in advanced research on scientific reasoning and problem solving. Mike began his professional career at a startup in Heidelberg, Germany where he also earned a coveted starting spot on the Heidelberg RGH Rugby Team, the German Men’s National Champions at the time. Later, he returned to the US to work for Price Waterhouse Cooper before leaving to become an independent consultant.

In search of warm weather and endless outdoor activities, Mike relocated to San Diego and started his own company, Agilitas, Inc. Meanwhile, he was bitten by the running bug when he ran his first marathon in 1998.

One of his favorite experiences was winning the Badwater Ultramarathon, a brutal 135-mile race from the scorching heat of Death Valley to the thin air of Mount Whitney 8,600 feet above. Three months after winning Badwater, Mike shattered the record at the San Diego One Day, a 24-hour track race, running 144.3 miles in 24 hours.

Running is just one of Mike’s passions, however. An avid rock climber and mountaineer, he’s climbed peaks all over the world. In the fall of 2002, the Chinese government invited Mike and his friend Forrest to participate in a clean-up expedition on the North Face of Mt. Everest.

Mike then moved on to ultracycling, and in his first cycling competition, the Ultramarathon Cycling Association 24-Hour Race in Iowa, he finished in first place with an impressive 463 miles. This race designated him as one of a few elite cyclists qualified to race in the Race Across America (RAAM). In his first RAAM in 2004 he finished second, earning Rookie of the Year honors.

Mike has continued to challenge himself while serving others. In late 2013, he ran 275 miles non-stop down the coast of California to raise money for the Navy Seal Foundation and the Monarch School in San Diego.

Rather than retiring from endurance sports since beginning a family, Mike has found a way to incorporate them into his professional and personal endeavors. He uses the focus and discipline he’s developed as an ultra-athlete to build dynamic teams and companies. Several years ago, he founded Enduragive, a non-profit dedicated to supporting philanthropic endurance events and mentoring veterans.

Most recently, Mike and two friends finished third in the mixed division of the 81-mile Badwater Salton Sea Race. According to his teammate and former Army Ranger, “There’s no quit in him, he’s the most mentally tough person that I know. That guy amazes me.”

Mike lives in Rancho Santa Fe, California with his wife and three children. []

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