Episode 17: High-Performance Ultra Sports with Mountain Athlete Adam Campbell

Episode 17

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Are you a thrill-seeker, trail runner enthusiast, or lover of mountain hiking? Our guest today is a mountain athlete/ trail runner who specializes in ultra sports, or ultramarathons, which is any race longer than the standard 42km/ 26-mile race. We welcome Adam Campbell, whose passion lies in exploring the Alpine, whether it’s running, skiing, or climbing. He is a former professional triathlete, narrowly missing the Olympics, who now spends his time in the mountains with multiple podiums and many prestigious ultra races, and breaking Guinness World Records. In our interview today, Adam shares where his interest in different sports originated and how he switched from a triathlete to a mountain athlete. He talks about his first 100-miler race, how he prepares, and the different effects elevation has on his training and races. We then hear about his grisly climbing accident that left him with broken bones and other injuries. He shares with us his journey, both physical and mental, as he trained and ran his first race post-injury, and what it was like to accept his new physical capacity. To hear more about his amazing journey, don’t miss out on this episode of the Down and Dirty, Integrating Health & Fitness with Nate Ernst podcast. Tune in now!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • An introduction to guest Adam Campbell and what sparked his interest in mountain sports.
  • What it was like being thrown into a high-performance environment and training with some of the best.
  • Why and how he switched from being a triathlete to being a mountain athlete/ ultra runner. 
  • He tells us about his first 100-miler race.
  • How he prepares for his ultra races.
  • He talks about the effects of elevation on his body and on his preparations.
  • How many 100-milers he’s done altogether.
  • He shares details about his trail running/ climbing accident. 
  • We talk about his recovery journey and how he became physically competent again.
  • He shares the vulnerable aspect of recovering from a traumatic accident.
  • What he did after losing his go-to stress-related coping strategy.
  • The two paths presented after a major life-altering event. 
  • How he ended up in Calgary after his injury.
  • His first race post-injury and how he got himself there.
  • What it was like for Adam to accept his new physical capacity.
  • We talk about all of Adam’s various achievements.
  • He talks about his three Guinness World Records.
  • Are you willing to accept the risk? We talk preparation, gear, and [weather] conditions.


“Even though my goal was to qualify for the Olympics, and that didn’t happen, I still got this incredible knowledge from the coaches and other athletes there, asking a lot of questions the entire time and just sort of being a sponge to it all. And also, just being open to opportunities as they presented themselves.” — @campbelladam79 [0:07:30]

“I was always really drawn to the really long runs. It seemed like the longer the runs went, the better I did as an athlete.” — @campbelladam79 [0:08:30]

“As my speed decreased, the distance increased.” — @campbelladam79 [0:10:18]

“The consequences of making a mistake in that type of [extreme] environment is like – it could potentially be fatal.” — @campbelladam79 [0:14:57]

“[After my accident], I quite instantly realized that I needed to just try to show like gratitude for what I was able to do, instead of really putting too much energy into thinking about what I’d lost.” — @campbelladam79 [0:21:21]

“I think having that why clear for yourself and having those moments of inspiration can be incredible drivers.” — @campbelladam79 [0:32:30]

“I think just having like big movement literacy and capacity, basically, just gives you options and options are always a good thing.” — @campbelladam79 [0:41:20]

Links Mentioned:

Adam Campbell on Instagram

Adam Campbell on Twitter

Muddy Socks



Nathaniel Ernst

Nathaniel Ernst on LinkedIn


NATEFIT on Facebook

NATEFIT on Instagram

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Episode 17