Welcome to Episode 8 of the Eat for Endurance Podcast, featuring elite ultrarunner and low-carb high-fat (LCHF) athlete Mike McKnight.
Mike has lived his entire life in Utah - until just recently, when he moved to Denver, CO to continue his job as the Event Manager at Altra. Mike races a wide variety of distances, but his “thing” is 200 milers! More specifically, there is a series called the Triple Crown of 200s that consists of the Bigfoot 200 (Mt. St Helens, WA) in Aug, the Tahoe 200 in Sept, and the Moab 200 (which is actually 240 miles) in Oct, totaling 645 miles in 2.5 months. That’s endurance on a whole new level! Not only did he win the Triple Crown in 2017, he is two races into this year’s Triple Crown with two wins and two course records! So, I had to get Mike on the Podcast to chat all about how one goes about fueling for these types of epic multi-day events, especially with a full-time job, a wife, a toddler, and another baby on the way.
His most recent triumph at the Tahoe 200 did not come easily. As he later posted:
“From the moment the race started and I felt how heavy my legs were from Bigfoot, I knew this was gonna be a battle. Heavy legs ended up being the least of my worries. Going into the second night, so much bad happened which almost completely derailed my race. A faulty headlamp which caused me to use my cell phone light. Multiple of the worst bloody noses I've ever had, which caused me to lay on the trail for minutes multiple times to get them to stop. Losing my mind and talking to voices in my head while getting lost in a time loop. Thankfully I had a smart, helpful wife, and the drive to work through it all. So stoked to get the win and counter clockwise Course Record.”
Mike also won Moab too, winning the Triple Crown this year and becoming the first person to win all three races in one season. Read about it here. CONGRATS Mike!!
A big part of what drew me to Mike was a strong curiosity about how he manages to put in all these crazy miles, and WIN these types of races, on a LCHF diet. We often hear about this diet in the endurance world - and many clients ask me about it, usually from a weight-loss standpoint. I still feel that this diet isn’t suitable for most and caution the everyday recreational athlete against “going keto” without having really assessed whether or not it’s appropriate. But I went into our discussion with an open mind, learned a lot, and can absolutely see how a strategic use of a LCHF diet can be very successful among certain athletes, especially in the endurance setting.
Speaking of Mike’s story, he truly has an incredible one. In 2012, he broke his back in a skiing accident and was told he’d never run competitively again. Obviously, that didn’t stop him, and he was back to running within WEEKS.
Links, Resources & Announcements:
Follow Mike on Instagram and FacebookBigfoot 200, Tahoe 200, Moab 200, Triple Crown of 200sPlease show your support by leaving a rating and/or review on iTunes Credits: Music Joseph McDade, photo Scott RokisSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/eatforendurance)