While reading Tim Noakes’ Lore of Running, Joe Uhan, a physical therapist, coach, and competitive ultramarathoner, was drawn in by his description of the storied 1989 Ironman Triathlon. Noakes noted that enhanced fat metabolism is the only possible way either Mark Allen or Dave Scott were physically able to maintain such stout performances.
Soon after, Uhan followed suite, weaning himself off the standard runner’s diet — heavy in starches and simple sugars — and adding a great deal of fats. Breakfast changed from a quick (but carb-laden) PB&J into eggs cooked in butter. Lunch consisted of vegetables, nuts, and avocados, and dinners were modified as well.
Within a couple months, a few things happened: “I could go hours without hunger, run hours without popping gels, and, off the trail, work long hours without snacking,” says Uhan. “Moreover, I lost body fat and gained lean muscle mass.”
The current research backing the low-carb, high-fat diet is compelling, and Uhan has anecdotally benefitted as well. After a strong run at the 2012 Western States 100, where Uhan placed ninth (“requiring a whopping forty-plus gels and a lot of stomach malaise”), his high-fat diet has only improved his performance, helping him to place second at the Waldo 100K, posting the sixth-fastest time in the race’s thirteen-year history.
Here are ten bread-and-butter recipes (sans bread) that Uhan has in regular rotation for his new high-fat, high-performance diet.