How To Avoid Hitting The Wall
Over training in the last 3 weeks will cause depletion, which often is not replaced in time before the marathon.
Both your liver and muscles need to be fully loaded. The easiest way to do this is by taking sports carbohydrate drink and mixing to the manufacturer’s requirements during all training sessions. And then from four days prior to your marathon.
Dehydration can also be confused for the feeling of running out of energy because your performance slows dramatically. Glycogen converted from carbohydrate in the diet and is stored in the muscles and the liver. It is easily converted into blood sugar. A trained athlete can store up to 2,000 calories enough to run 20 miles.
Hitting the wall is a marathon term for a point when you run out of energy, the runner experiences cramps, the body then switches over to fat reserves as a fuel source. This type of energy is inefficient so the athlete has to slow down. Negative thoughts suddenly happen due to low blood sugar.
Feeling light-headed happens because of a combination of dehydration and general fatigue.
Consuming carbohydrates drinks or gels will delay low glycogen energy levels. This needs to be practiced in training as sometimes digestive problems are experienced, much to better have a bad training run and learn than experience a problem in your marathon or endurance event.
On race day caffeine provides a small improvement in aerobic exercise.
Training increases the body’s ability to sore energy muscle glycogen.
The liver only has about enough stores for 2 hours of continuous exercise.
The only way to improve fat burning is to train slowly NEVER GOING above 65% of maximum heart rate. By training at an easy pace the body adapts easier to switching from different energy levels.
Carbo-loading three-four days before encourages the body to store glycogen in the muscles and liver.
The most important on race day is to stay hydrated, this single factor will allow you to perform to the best you can on the day. Getting dehydrated will slow you down or cause you not to get to the finish line.
Glycogen is a fast release fuel and Fatty acids are slow release form of fuel.
When glycogen runs out the athlete have only fat reserves to use.
Foods rich in carbohydrates include cereals fruit juices breads pasta potatoes rice.
Eating more carbohydrates can make you constipated so include more fibre from fruit and extra water.
Consume 150-300 calories after the first hour in the marathon.If you have been injured and cross train Ironmate suggests that keeping up your blood volume by training that will not hinder your recovery from injury but improves your fitness levels.
Some athletes believe that swimming cycling running weight training improves the ability to improve your glycogen stores. To run well you have to run and doing other sports may not be specific but builds up mental toughness and peak fitness levels.
Having run 71 marathons all less than 3 hours I have learnt the hard way and made my fair share of mistakes. Your longest run or longest race should be at least 4 weeks before the marathon.
Try and find a 10 km two weeks before. Your last long run should be no later than 10 days before.
During hard training especially when feeling tired it can take up to 14 days to recover.
Three weeks before run 70 percent of mileage two weeks before run 50 percent of normal mileage and last week run just 10 minutes a day with a rest day 2 days before. Snack regularly and try not to put on more than a couple of pounds.
Do not just drink water in the days leading up to the race especially on the plane as this will mean you go to the bathroom more and get rid of some stored minerals. If in doubt leave it out.
Do not change your diet too much and do not over drink.
Get plenty of sleep in the week before, as you may not have a good night sleep the night before race day. One poor nights sleep will NOT make much different but several days within a week will make you mentally tired and not allow you to tough it out on race day if things get difficult.
Carbohydrate-rich foods include cereals, fruits, juices, breads, rice, plain baked potatoes and pasta with tomato sauce.
Even pace marathon running.
It’s the Pace that Kills
2-4 minutes too fast in the first half can be 20 minutes too slow in the second half!!
i.e. Athlete A 1:25 first half can end up with 1:50 second half = Total finish time of 3:15
i.e. Athlete B 1:40 first half can end up with 1:55 second half = Total finish time of 345
i.e. Athlete C 1:50 first half can end up with 2:10 second half = Total finish time of 4:10
Had a more even paced run be done athlete A could have achieved sub 3 HOUR or Athlete B a sub 3:30 or Athlete C could have run sub 4:00 marathon.
Even pace running can stop you hitting the dreaded wall in the marathon.
If aiming for sub 4-hour marathon.
Aim for 1:55-1:57 for the first half and then hold on until 22 miles then go for it.
Keep your arms away from chest as you run to the finish, try not to stop Heart Rate Monitor or stop watch as you cross the finish line otherwise the photographers will not see your race number.The race organizers will record your time and often in many professional events a computer chip timing system will accurately record all your splits and your individual finish time.
Last minute marathon training tips
Use training shoes rather than lightweight racers.
In theory light-racing flats save precious grams saves energy and should allow you to run faster. In practice the less support and shock absorption can fatigue your legs more causing slow down in the later stages.
The night before eat your last main meal before 4pm then just snack with fruit or another light meal 2-3 hours before you go to bed.
The mistake people make is eating a big meal late and not being able to get to sleep, then trying to have a big breakfast at 5-6 am on Race morning. With the nerves etc it makes it hard to digests all this food from your stomach.
Have a drink by your bed if you get thirsty it saves getting out of bed. Often when away from home and you wake up it can be more difficult to get back to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings.
Warming up by gently jogging. This gets you ready and allows you to decide what to wear. You should feel cool in your warm up if you get hot then you are wearing too much.
Wearing sunglasses either clear tinted or a sun visor keeps the wind dust bright lights from your eyes. Relaxes your eyes, which can help your face relax.
Expect to feel heavy legged in the warm up and first part of the marathon this is partly due to nerves but more importantly tapering easing back your muscles should be full of saved energy which also stores fluid at the same time.
Breakfast morning only eat up to 50% more than normal you should have practiced this routine before some of your long runs beforehand.
Chafing can happen even in the most unexpected places to stop or delay this happening use a greaseless petroleum jelly in armpits area (above and below seam where from singlet or T-shirt seam. Also smear in areas of nipples inner thighs between toes but not too much as your clothing can stick and clothing may rub in a different area also apply to eye brows to divert sweat to trickle down side of face and away from eyes.
Use either elastic shoelaces or quick release toggles.This stops shoe laces coming loose and are easy quick to adjust if feet expand.
Stay hydrated helps with cooling by evaporation from the skin any dehydration will cause u to slow down and can cause cramps DO NOT do anything-new race week and especially marathon day. No new shoes new kit or socks.
30 minutes before the start
Consume. 330cl of a 4-6% carbohydrate drink in last 30 minutes before the start once you begin exercising your kidneys almost stop working.
Mark has a personal best marathon of 2 hours 24 minutes & 40 seconds in the London marathon and has run 71 marathons faster than 3 hours.
Three-week marathon taper
- having run 71 marathons all less than 3 hours I have learnt the hard way and made my fair share of mistakes. Your longest ever run or longest race should be at least 4 weeks before the marathon. Try and find a 10 km two weeks before as this can improve your anaerobic threshold, aim to run 2-4 miles at marathon pace within 5 minutes of completing your 10km competition.
This will help you stimulate running tired with low glycogen levels. This is far more beneficial for the marathon than just another long run. Your last long run should be no later than 10 days before. During hard training especially when feeling tired it can take up to 7 days to recover and then another 5 days to improve from the session. This all depends on your age recovery rate and volume of training.
Three weeks before your marathon run 80 percent of average mileage. No junk mileage 3 weeks before race specific and easy recovery running. If you normally run 43 miles a week then run 35 miles Two weeks before run 70 percent of normal mileage. No junk mileage 2 weeks before race specific and easy running. If you normally run 43 miles a week then only run 30 miles including a medium long run and 35 minutes at predicted marathon pace.
Race week just 10 minutes a day with a rest day 2 days before. 5 days before jog 5 minutes then run marathon pace to 15 seconds a mile faster than marathon pace efforts 4 x 60 seconds with 2 minutes jog recovery between, total run time 22 minutes. For a three-hour marathon runner this equates to 1 hour 2 minutes of running in the 6 days before your target marathon.
The biggest mistake marathon runners make is running too long and too hard on each session race week. For example even if you cut your mileage down by half race week= 21 miles plus the marathon and warm up you end up running 48 miles no wonder you struggle from 22 miles in the marathon! because at 22 miles plus the 21 miles race week you have already covered 43 miles and you are now running more than you usually do.
Try and run at your marathon start time, usually in the mornings if not possible run earlier to get use to morning training.
Race week also continue to snack regularly and try not to put on more than a couple of pounds in weight.
Do not just drink water in the days leading up to the race especially on the plane as this will mean you go to the bathroom more and get rid of some stored minerals.
Two-week marathon crash taper.
Two Weeks before. Aim for 65% or normal average weekly miles for last 14 weeks. I.e. if you have covered a total distance of 602 miles this would be an average of 43 miles per week. So you need to cut back total distance to only 28 miles. Try and run at marathon pace- If aiming for 2:59 marathon at 6:55 -minute miles for 15-25% of total weeks mileage for week minus 2.
If you run 43 miles a week aim to run 6.5-11 miles at predicted average speed this is more important than just another long run. No junk mileage 2 weeks before race specific and easy running. Race week. Nothing anaerobic in last 7 days before marathon.
Predicted 3-hour marathon pace. As you plan to run 26 miles in the marathon Pace 1. Try and run at marathon pace 7-minute miles for 20% of total weeks mileage for race week, this may seem a lot but you are actually only running in the 6 days before only 9-13 miles. Run every day and have a complete rest day two days before.
If you run 43 miles a week then 4-6 miles must be at marathon pace plus to 15-30 seconds easier.
Final marathon tips
No junk mileage 2 weeks before race specific and easy running. A marathon needs 10 day taper hence the big decrease in time/mileage in the 14-7 days before. Last long run 14-16 days before (2 weeks)
Last big meal 36-48 hours before then just keep snacking.