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Kevin Burkum (left) smiles at the ‘20 Miler’ event in Busse Woods. Kevin Burkum


AMERICAN EGG BOARD AGE: 44 HOME: PARK RIDGE, ILL.


How and why did you get involved in running and endurance activities? In college I spent a semester interning at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. As you can imagine, everyone out there is healthy and ac- tive and that motivated me to get more serious about my own fitness. I started running out there, and haven’t stopped since. and am planning two more in 2012.


I’ve done 10 marathons so far,


As an endurance runner, do you feel that your nutrition and diet has a significant impact on your athletic performance? Tere’s no question about that, especially as you get older. I used to think that I could eat whatever I wanted because I was a runner and could burn those extra calories. Ten, I reached my 40s and realized that I’d tacked on 10-12 extra pounds over time. Fortunately, I was able to take that extra weight off the last 12 months, and am feeling better than I have in years. And my run- ning has improved as well.


How has working in the food industry impacted your view on nutrition and how has it changed your own diet and daily life? I’ve worked in the food industry for most of my career, starting with Oscar Mayer (my first job out of college was driving the iconic Wienermobile!), then at Dairy Management Inc. (National Dairy Council/American Dairy Association) and now at the American Egg Board. I try to avoid labeling foods as “good” or “bad.” Tere’s room for both in a healthy diet. Additionally, and I know I’m bi-


54 JANUARY 2012 MYCHICAGOATHLETE.COM


ased, but I’m pleased to see that science is beginning to show the importance and benefits of protein, especially at breakfast. More than 60% of our daily protein is consumed at dinner. Ideally, you’d like to spread that out more evenly amongst your meals so that the protein (like that found in eggs) can help you feel full longer and stay energized, which helps you maintain a healthy weight as well. By the way, eggs are one of the highest-quality proteins of any food!


What is the biggest mistake you see your fellow runners making as far as training and diet are concerned? Race day mistakes? I think the biggest mistake I see is that people don’t enjoy the training process enough. Frankly, I get a bigger charge out of the training, from the speed workouts to the long runs on the weekends, than I do the races themselves. I encourage new runners to try and enjoy the journey leading up to race day. As for diet, I think runners focus too much on carbs, and not enough on protein. You need them both.


What is your favorite egg-based recipe? I love cooking eggs in the microwave. Here’s a quick recipe: Coat a 12-oz. microwave-safe coffee mug with cooking spray, add two eggs and two table- spoons of milk, and beat until blended. Microwave on high for 45 seconds, stir, then microwave until eggs are almost set, 30 to 45 seconds longer. Top with cheese and season with salt and pepper. An incredible breakfast in less than three minutes!


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