31: Mike McKnight Returns - Running 100 miles on Zero Calories and the Colorado Trail FKT

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By Claire Shorenstein, MS RD CDN, Claire Shorenstein, and MS RD CDN. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Welcome to Episode 31 of the Eat for Endurance Podcast! Today we welcome elite ultrarunner and low-carb high-fat athlete, Mike McKnight, back to the show to chat about two epic things that he recently achieved. In May, he ran 100 miles on ZERO CALORIES in 18 hours and 40 minutes. Then, in late September, he set the men’s supported FKT on the Colorado Trail, which is 485 miles, in 7 days and 13 hours.

In this episode, we cover his prep for each event, how he fueled (or did not fuel) himself, how he felt during his runs, and his recovery. We also went off on a few tangents, dug into some of the media attention he received, and chatted about what’s next for him.

Before you listen to this episode, check out Mike’s Athlete Nutrition Profile that I recorded back in September 2019 (Season 1, Episode 8) to get his full story and see how these accomplishments were years in the making.

DISCLAIMER: Based on the current evidence available, as a Sports Dietitian I do NOT recommend that my clients follow a low-carb high-fat diet or restrict their intake of gluten or grains unless they have a medical reason to do so. I also firmly believe that foods containing sugar CAN be included in a healthy diet, and do not need to be strictly avoided. For MOST people, restrictive diets (or “lifestyles”) are not sustainable and do not lead to longterm change (they can, however, lead to mental and/or physical harm, especially if someone has a history of disordered eating or an eating disorder, or is at risk of developing one). Furthermore, I do NOT recommend consuming zero calories when exercising for hours on end. Running 100 miles is dangerous and should not be tried by any of you at home!

So you may be wondering, why am I featuring Mike AGAIN if I do not agree with his fueling strategies? Why am I bringing more attention to low-carb eating in the endurance world, which so many sports dietitians work hard to fight against?

It comes down to this - what Mike accomplished was unique, and shows just how incredible the human body truly is. His goal was to test his own limits, and his success is worth exploring and celebrating!

Also, this show is about demonstrating the many different ways to fuel exercise. Mike has figured out a way of eating that works for him, at least for the past three years, that has brought him success in 200+ mile distances (he’s still trying to figure out how to fuel “shorter” runs of 100 miles without any GI issues). So, despite my own practices as a dietitian, I still admire his accomplishments, and was curious to hear more about what he did and how he did it.

Mike - a HUGE congrats to you on the 100 miler and the FKT, and thanks for chatting with me again. Excited to see what you get up to next!

Learn more about Mike McKnight:

Other Announcements:

  • Unfortunately, my voice quality wasn't great in this episode. I'm exploring some recording alternatives to prevent this next time!
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  • Music Credit: Joseph McDade
  • Have nutrition questions, a guest or topic request, or any other feedback? Email me - eatforendurance@gmail.com.

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36 episodes