How to Fuel for Long-Distance Running

Athlete using Maurten energy gel

Fall races are just around the corner, and many athletes are gearing up for their biggest run of the year. The marathon distance is a beast to tackle (but totally worth it!) and typically can't be completed without adequate preparation. You'll need to train, rest, and learn how to fuel your body through the full 42.2 kilometres.

The human body requires carbohydrates to fuel the brain and muscles during activity, but the level of carbohydrates our bodies can store is limited. Once we've exhausted that supply, it can become nearly impossible to perform our best, both during training runs and on the big day. Fuelling during training also helps you recover faster, preparing your body for your next workout.

Marathoners use a variety of sports nutrition products to complete their training runs and races, but today on the BlackToe blog we're focusing on how you can use the Maurten lineup of products to fuel you from the starting corral right through to the finish line!

What is Maurten?

Maurten began out of a mission to create sports nutrition products that are easier to tolerate from a digestive standpoint. They've accomplished this by encapsulating high concentrations of carbohydrates in hydrogels, and using minimal, strictly natural ingredients. The result is a powerful fuelling product that provides sustained energy without causing any, ahem, tummy troubles. Their nutrition lineup includes drink mixes (that you mix with water and drink normally) and gels, each containing different amounts of carbohydrates and caffeine.

 Maurten Product Nutritional Value
Drink Mix 160 40g of carbohydrates
Drink Mix 320 80g of carbohydrates
Drink Mix 320 Caf 80g of carbs / 100 mg of caffeine
Gel 100 25g of carbohydrates
Gel 100 Caf 25g of carbs / 100 mg of caffeine 

How to Use Maurten Products During Your Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge running a marathon

The foundation of any distance runner’s diet is (or should be) carbohydrates. Even most non-runners know of the "pasta carb load" that's common to many athletes before a long-distance event! What many don’t know is that carb-loading goes beyond just your pre-race dinner. In the days leading up to a marathon, it’s important for the bulk of your caloric intake to be from carbohydrates.

This doesn’t mean eating more food necessarily, just changing the ratio of carbohydrates:proteins:fats towards greater carbohydrate intake. Maurten’s Drink Mix 320 is the ideal product to use for carb loading. When you’re already focusing on eating more carbohydrates than usual, a carbohydrate drink is a great way to ingest even more carbs without feeling sluggish or upsetting your stomach.

Here's a look into how one of BlackToe's most experienced marathoners uses Maurten's products to fuel her from pre-race day right through to her finisher's medal!

Afternoon/Evening Before Race Day:

  • Eat well, with a focus on carbohydrates
  • Consume 1 bottle of Drink Mix 320 in the afternoon/evening, just don’t have it too late, or you might wake up in the night to use the washroom!

Race Morning:

  • Eat a breakfast that is familiar and you've eaten during training runs
  • Consume 1 bottle of Drink Mix 320 2-3 hours before your race

The Race:

  • Take your first Gel 100 at the start line, just a few minutes before show time
  • You can take another Gel 100 every 20-30 minutes thereafter, but make sure you practice your timing during training. Many people like using a mix of Gel 100 and Gel 100 Caf (if caffeine works well for you). Our athlete uses 7 to 8 gels during her marathon, and always finishes with a Gel 100 Caf (we like to call it 'rocket fuel!') to help her smash through the finish line
  • Be sure to practice your race day fuelling plan at least 2 to 3 times before the big day, so your gut is used to the intake level

Check Out the Maurten Lineup to Fuel Your Marathon!

Many people ask us, "does Maurten work?" The last few years have yielded many technological advances in the world of distance running, from carbon-fibre shoes to high-carb sports nutrition solutions. We think about the developments in sports nutrition the same way we think about running shoes: they are founded in science and they work (especially if you put in the work)!

You can purchase the full lineup of Maurten's products at BlackToe Running, one of the few Maurten retailers in Canada. If you have more questions about Maurten, want to talk about your race-day fuelling strategy, or try out Maurten's products for yourself, please don't hesitate to come visit us at the store or shop the Maurten lineup online!