HELP! Hitting the "Wall"

13 messages
16/09/2013 at 10:35

I am running my first marathon on 3rd November. Training has gone well until my long runs (12 miles +).

I have tried all sorts of tactics but I hit the wall at 12 miles each time. I know that I carb load really well in the days before and I eat a decent high carb breakfast 2 hours before I run.

40 minutes in I start to refuel with a combination of Cliff Blocks and an energy bar as well as sipping powerade. In total I consume around 120g 's of carbs during the run.

Around 11 miles in I start to tighten in the legs and around 12 miles it is unbearable and I cannot continue running. I stretch really well before I run, and after, and I am only running twice a week now in order to give me as much rest as possible (as I initially thought it was because I was running too often).

I run a comfortable 10'30" per mile - in fact I find it really difficult to run any slower, so I don't think it is a speed issue. I trained for and ran a half marathon in April and felt great, I have never had this problem before.

 

Any ideas? One thing I haven't tried is starting to refuel earlier, rather than waiting until I am 40 minutes in, but I don't want to be constantly eating while I am running. I am feeling pretty desperate now and getting really worried about not enjoy this marathon.

 

 

cougie    pirate
16/09/2013 at 10:39
Thats not the wall. The wall is running out of energy - not getting tight muscles.

What length are the other runs you're doing ? Too much of a jump to 12 maybe ?
16/09/2013 at 11:08

ah right. My upper body behaves as if it has just got out of bed, I am hardly out of breath but the legs!!! urgh!!!

Weekly, I mix a 5 mile fast run with a steady 7 miler then a 16 miler, but like I said I can't get beyond 12 miles. My half marathon training never got me past 10 miles until the actual race so it could well be that my body is just not used to running 12 miles. I hope so as I know I can just keep plugging away and build up the strength.

Thanks for the help cougie

 

16/09/2013 at 11:15

Given what you say, I'd say it's nothing to do with refueling.  It just simply sounds like you've lost some of your endurance, and you're going the wrong way about building it up.

Your long run should not be making up 75% of your weekly mileage, which it presumably is (more like 30%). 

As an analogy, it's lke there was a weightlifter who was struggling to lift 100kg.  So in order to get as much rest as possible, he reduced the number of training sessions to just twice a week... hoping that this means he enough energy to go straight for the 100kg weight and try to lift it.  He'd never make progress.  Every week would be the same with him struggling - potentially injuring himself.   You would advise him to train 4-5 times a week, lifting lots of lighter weights.  You need to do the equivalent.

You're clearly not following a recognised marathon training programme.  You've got 7 weeks left... and IMO need to find a programme and focus on the suggested training programme in weeks 3-5 (roughly) for the next 3 weeks.... I suspect your speed is not too bad... and hence you need to focus heavily on building the endurance with several runs per week. Probably slowish ones. Then re-evaluate.

Good luck.

 

[Edit...  that was written before I saw posts 2 and 3]

Edited: 16/09/2013 at 11:18
16/09/2013 at 11:16

I suggest you drop the Cliff bars and powerade and just take water.Not necessary if you eat well the night before and have a good breakfast. Keep at the 12 milers until you feel ready to add a few more miles. Maybe a rigid plan isn't right for you and you can just up the mileage when you feel ready.

16/09/2013 at 12:46

You must run more than twice a week or its never going to happen ,at least 4 times id say but stick with the 12 as the long run but try and get a couple of 8s in during the week and at least another run of 5 miles.

If you cant with so little time left you are just never going to be ready as its gets a lot lot harder after 18 miles .and its probally better to postpone your first marathon for another 6 months or so.

Edited: 16/09/2013 at 12:47
16/09/2013 at 15:19
Sussex Runner NLR wrote (see)

I suggest you drop the Cliff bars and powerade and just take water.Not necessary if you eat well the night before and have a good breakfast.

+1

I did my first 16miler yesterday on nothing but water. And I'm overweight and the antithesis of "Athletic".

The milage in the week needs to be gradually increased too so your weekly milage as a whole increases.

I'd also say to slow down on your LSR. OK it may be uncomfortable to begin with but its called a long slow run for a reason - if your comfortable pace is 10.30m/m I'd be doing 11.30m/m on my LSR. My current comfortable pace is about 9.45m/m and my sunday 16 mile pace was 11m/m (And the last 2 miles were tough)

I think though, 7 weeks may not be long enough if you are struggling to get past 12 now. Sure you'll probably finish it, but it won't be fast or pleasant and you risk injuring yourself.

16/09/2013 at 19:02

Thanks guys. I am encouraged by your comments. I actually reduced my mileage a couple of weeks ago thinking that my problems were caused by running too much, but it seems that the opposite is true.

I will get back onto my usual training tomorrow, which is 1x 4 miles, 1x 7 miles (mix of slow & fast running), 1x 6 miles & a 16 miler (& run sloooooow!). I still have 190 miles of running before the big day so get things sorted.

17/09/2013 at 00:35

Forget fast running on the 7 miler and just get all your miles done at an easy pace.

cougie    pirate
17/09/2013 at 09:09
I don't like that the long run is over double the distance of your other long run.
Too much of a jump ?
18/09/2013 at 11:36

ah right. My upper body behaves as if it has just got out of bed, I am hardly out of breath but the legs!!! urgh!!!

Weekly, I mix a 5 mile fast run with a steady 7 miler then a 16 miler, but like I said I can't get beyond 12 miles. My half marathon training never got me past 10 miles until the actual race so it could well be that my body is just not used to running 12 miles. I hope so as I know I can just keep plugging away and build up the strength.

Thanks for the help cougie

 

18/09/2013 at 11:38

You can say that again

18/09/2013 at 12:07

could it be that your muscles are already tight before the run and a couple of sports massages may help you remove some tension?


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