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The wall in the marathon can stop you dead in your tracks. You’ve reached that point where everything hurts, your legs are like concrete blocks and it’s a run/walk strategy just to get to the finish line. 

The wall is different for all runners, some runners hit the wall from halfway and a rare few might not be impacted by it at all! It’s not nice as Mo El Aaraby describes his experience from the World Championships in Doha 2019 “Before the race I was in good shape and felt strong and confident. But on race day I felt I didn’t have my body or my legs. I felt very bad. I didn’t finish and ended up in the hospital.”  He’d hit the wall big time!  

It doesn’t have to be like though, with the right approach and like Mo going away and working on a strategy with the right products you can overcome the wall and learn how best to fuel your body over 26.2 miles. 



  • Take on carbohydrates in the days leading up to a race. Science in Sport GO Electrolyte Powderworks perfectly, as it’s the perfect mix for carbohydrates and hydration, but also focus on getting lots of carbohydrates in during your meals.
  • Trial and error are also key. Practice this in training! Does a gel every 30 minutes work? Is it a little bit longer? Do you have favourite flavours you prefer? Plan your long runs as you would your race. 
  • Take your nutrition and hydration on board over time, try to avoid overloading the stomach with too much fluid and nutrition all in one. Spread it out and take a gel or drink over the course of a couple of hundred metres.  
  • Stay positive and run with a smile, everything is easier when you are enjoying it. Think of something that makes you happy, there will be tough patches but you’ll get through it! 
  • Finally, trust your training. You’ve put the work in for 16-20 weeks, this one last run is your victory lap. 




Carbohydrate loading is an important method to enhance marathon performance. This allows the marathon runner to run at their optimal pace for an extended period before resulting in fatigue. Runners should consume sufficient carbohydrates to restore glycogen stores between each training session. It is recommended to intake 8–10 g/kg/day of carbohydrates 36-48 hours prior to the race. On the morning of the race, opt for something you have regularly, foods such as cereals, bagels, and toast with jam are simple and easy on the stomach. Breakfast should ideally be consumed 1-3 hours before the race, this will allow time for digestion and limit the chance of GI (gastrointestinal) issues occurring. If you have practised with it, consider taking caffeine before, either as a coffee or in a caffeine gel. This is great before the race to reduce the perception of fatigue. 

In-race fuelling 

Fuelling during the race should begin immediately. The recommended amount of carbohydrate intake per hour is 80-100g. This could amount to about 3-4 GO Energy gels or a couple of Beta Fuel gels and chews. Hydration is also a vital factor, especially if it’s a warmer day. Sweat rate can vary between exercise from 0.3-2.4L/hr depending on the intensity, duration and environmental conditions. It is important to replace sweat losses while racing. The combination of fluid and carbohydrates should be taken alongside each other, to work out your sweat rate click here 


Training and running a marathon will deplete your glycogen stores, cause muscle damage and can result in fluid loss. Your recovery should be fixated on repairing and replenishing what you need. Taking on board carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores and get a good level of protein into your system to repair muscle damage and promote protein synthesis. Head on over to our Recovery Powders Explained | Rego Rapid Recovery VS. Rego Rapid Recovery + article to gain some more insight into the benefits that recovering and refuelling within 30 minutes can have on your training and how you feel in the days after a race. 



About Beta Fuel 

The Science in Sport Beta Fuel range delivered a dual source of energy with up to 80g of carbohydrate in a single in some formats like the Beta Fuel Drink. It is also created with minimal risk of GI discomfort that enables you to maintain optimal performance. We also have Beta Fuel gels and chews which offer a difference and can give you between 40-46g depending on which variations of products you use.  

Key Benefits 

  • 1:0.8 Maltodextrin:Fructose Ratio which means maximal fuel delivery for maximum performance.  
  • Minimal discomfort in your stomach means you can focus and maximise your performance.  
  • Variety of formats to switch up your preference. Over the course of a marathon, you can refine your fuelling strategy and mix between gels, chews and drinks for an optimal approach.  

So now you have everything you need to avoid hitting that wall in the marathon. Take your time, and with the right products, you can get even more out of yourself and of the experience of running a marathon than you ever thought possible.  


Burke L. M. (2007). Nutrition strategies for the marathon: fuel for training and racing. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 37(4-5), 344–347. 

Jeukendrup A.E. Carbohydrate feeding during exercise. Eur. J. Sport Sci. 2008; 8:77–86. doi: 10.1080/17461390801918971. 

Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009. Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. 109(3), pp.509-527. 

O’Brien, W. J., Stannard, S. R., Clarke, J. A., & Rowlands, D. S. (2013). Fructose-maltodextrin ratio governs exogenous and other CHO oxidation and performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 45(9), 1814–1824. 

Written By

The Performance Solutions Team