Chicago Marathoner, 'McRunner,' Tests if Fast Food Leads to Fast Times

Chicago marathoner trains for L.A. race by eating only McDonald's.

ByABC News
March 10, 2011, 1:31 PM

March 11, 2011— -- As part of his training routine for the Los Angeles Marathon, Joe D'Amico logged 16 miles in the morning. Craving a snackwrap, he stopped at a local McDonald's to refuel after his workout.

His fast food is not a special treat: D'Amico is eating McDonald's, and only McDonald's, to prepare for his next 26.2-mile race.

"I'm not out to prove anything or disprove anything," said the veteran marathoner from Palatine, Ill. "It's really an experiment of one."

It's not "Super Size Me" or "Fast Food Nation." It's the McRunner challenge. D'Amico, who is deep into a 30-day diet of hamburgers, french fries and anything else the Golden Arches has to offer, is documenting his every bite on his blog, "Confessions of a Drive-Thru Runner."

Sporting his "McLovin'" T-shirt, D'Amico said he was curious to see what would happen if he went on an all-McDonald's diet for 30 days. How would he feel? How would it affect his running?

So far, "it's turned out to be a terrific learning experience," D'Amico said. "I think it's really pushed my thinking on how fuel affects my body and what's needed for running. So it's been really positive."

With more than a week of McDonald's to go, D'Amico said, he is not getting sick of his fast food. According to his "McTracker," he's stopped at 20 unique restaurants, and experiments with different menu items. To stay healthy, he drinks non-McDonald's water, takes a daily multivitamin, and uses energy gels on his long runs.

The diet has definitely gotten the attention of some of D'Amico's fellow runners, who are more likely to get their energy from pasta and other complex carbohydrates. But McRunner says he's found all the fuel he needs on McDonald's menu.