Running Long Distance, Efficiently And With A Smile!

Published on 5 April 2018
by Lait au chocolat

With the good weather comes the heat, which often leads to digestive troubles, dehydration, and inconveniences for athletes training for events that require longer running workouts.

Below are three factors to consider when practising a high-intensity endurance activity.

1. Consistent carbohydrate intake (sugars)

Make sure you feed your muscles! To maintain cadence, your muscles require between 30 g and 60 g of sugar per hour, sometimes more (depending on your personal tolerance, your body type, and your training intensity) and sometimes less (if your speed is low and the route is rather flat).

You should still calculate your carb intake. The hotter it is, the less efficiently your stomach will digest. Moreover, your digestive system must be able to digest while running, so get in the habit of eating while you train.


Carbohydrate content of certain foods:





Energy gel



Dried fruit bar


30 g

Granola bar



Fig cookies


21 g



30 g

Dried dates (small)

4 (24 g)

20 g

2. Proper hydration

Plan when and where you can hydrate ahead of time, listen to your body, and dress accordingly. We suggest taking a few sips regularly, every 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the weather. Anticipate drinking between 500 ml and 1 L of liquid (between 2 and 4 bottles on a hydration belt) for every hour or so of activity.

Monitor your sodium levels. We suggest you consume 500 mg of sodium per litre of liquid to avoid overloading your stomach.

3. Proper preparation

It is essential to prepare for long races with foods that increase glycogen levels (or carbohydrate reserves). Here are a few tips to keep in mind in the three days leading up to a race longer than 10K:

  • Snack on dried fruits or opt for fresh fruit rich in carbohydrates, such as bananas, mangoes, pineapple, or grapes.
  • Eat more yogurt with fruit and granola.
  • Divide your carbohydrate intake into several snacks throughout the day.
  • Eat a carbohydrate-rich meal the night before the race, such as chicken and rice or shrimp pasta with tomato sauce.
  • Have a carbohydrate-rich breakfast the morning of the race (e.g., 1 bagel + 1 banana + 15 ml of peanut butter + 15 ml of honey + 1 cup of chocolate milk).

For slow long-distance races (more than three or four hours), use the same strategies as those above. However, make sure to add solid foods, including dried fruit, granola bars, potatoes, rice balls, and sources of protein. Some will schedule stops to replenish water and snacks; it’s all about planning, speed, route, and body type!

Have a great race!

Link to the article (french only)

Lait au chocolat