Advice needed please!
I am really struggling to make the step up to full marathon distance. I've just done my second marathon, 7 years after my first. Both times were almost identical, around 4hrs 45. This is really disappointing as my half marathon time is around 1hr 45. In both marathons I got bad cramp (at 15 and 18 miles) and had to walk / run as best I could from then on. Anyone experienced the same and can give any advice? I am sure there's a sub 4 marathon in me somewhere! I know there's no magic answer, and training, nutrition and hydration are all key but any nuggets of info would be appreciated.
I'm no expert and don't run your times, but take a closer look at your hydration. You may need more salt? I'm sure someone else will come along who knows more about this stuff....
Ian, chin up. I 've a 1h43 Half and it took me SEVEN attempts to break 4h. I kid you not...
The answer is embarrassingly simple. You cramped because of lactate build up. The lactate built up because your Heart Rate drifted up too high. Your heart rate drifted up too high because you must have spent too much time training at too high a pace = too high a heart rate.
To fix it, strap on a heart rate monitor and go join the happy crew on the Hadd thread here http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/training/hadd-training-plan/181933-74.html
After 3 years of rubbish training I sorted out my base aerobic fitness with a HRM and just ran 3h49 in Frankfurt, negative split, next stop 3h30...epiphany or what?
"You cramped because of lactate build up" - that shows a remarkable insight into the cramping problem off little information. The scientific proof between lactate build up and cramping is poor. Similar with electrolyte/salt although this is a more popular line.
"Didn't cramp in training but only went into late teens although probably slower pace than the marathons" It would be good to get an understanding of training pace (or Heart Rate) and typical mileage. When you say "probably slower" does this mean you are not monitoring your pacing?
If I had cramped up in a couple of marathons I would probably focus on muscle endurance. Certainly building up the long slow runs to include a few 20's. Possibly with some general strengthing
AR you're a far better athlete than me so I won't argue. There's a link between poor endurance and poor training, and the HR/lactate/acidosis chain has been discussed at length since Lydiard.
This is worth reading, Ian http://www.angio.net/personal/run/hadd.pdf . If you get your HR under control you'll be able to put the miles in to get the muscle endurance - note AR's reference to "slow" runs...
Teknik, although I haven't followed HADD I had built up a fairly decent running base off easy miles and I think the principle is similar in that respect before hitting the training. I'm back into this base building now after completing autumns races. Will also have a look into HADD as I am currently 'shopping around' for a new training program to fit in with lifestyle and previous 'overuse' injuries. As for being a better athlete - no - you have shown the committment is takes to achieve the target you set, and you radically changed what you had done in previous attempts. Thats what its all about. Too often we just carry on doing what we are used to.
Thanks AR...loads of good stuff on here...pity the OP hasn't come back...
Teknik and lots of others are busy busy on a new thread http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/training/p--d-training-for-vlm-2013/230251.html
Doesn't matter what marathon you do, but P&D plans are good and there is a certain bias towards endurance. The Up to 55 miles pw plan is worth a read up in their "Advanced Marathoning" book. I based last marathon on the upto 70ishmiles with some changes. Probably slightly too high mileage for me at present. A decent midweek medium long run combined with the weekend long run may help you. Would need to be doing approx 40miles pw before starting the plan. More food for thought.
Also-ran wrote (see)
"You cramped because of lactate build up" - that shows a remarkable insight into the cramping problem off little information. The scientific proof between lactate build up and cramping is poor. Similar with electrolyte/salt although this is a more popular line. "Didn't cramp in training but only went into late teens although probably slower pace than the marathons" It would be good to get an understanding of training pace (or Heart Rate) and typical mileage. When you say "probably slower" does this mean you are not monitoring your pacing? If I had cramped up in a couple of marathons I would probably focus on muscle endurance. Certainly building up the long slow runs to include a few 20's. Possibly with some general strengthing
I find this cramping thing very interesting.
I`m afraid I don`t buy into the argument that shortage of salt (and other minerals) causes cramp - although the two may be correlative.
What`s striking is that most people do not cramp during training (whether its long slow distance or speed work). They cramp in races - often long races.
That suggests to me that it`s a fitness issue. More specifically a speed/endurance issue. The body is simply not used to running at that pace over an extended distance.
The problem can undoubtedly be compounded by dehydration etc but the principal activating cause is the body not being used to it.
I used to cramp in my earlier marathons. What`s helped me are marathon paced runs - or running chunks of my long run at or near (marathon) race pace.i.e. running at speed over a prolonged distance.
Endurance runs are absolutely necessary. But - I`m personally not convinced they are sufficient.
None of the above is very scientific I`m afraid !
Would be very interested to hear what others think.
I am no where near as experienced as some of the guys on here and i'm also nowhere near as fast but this is what works for me
getting some decent long slow runs in between 13 and 18miles before a marathon
going swimming and cycling as part of my training
walking before a long run to gently stretch my legs and my tight calfs out
taking small sips of water every mile for my long slow runs
sometimes taking time out on a long slow run to do a couple of stretches and then carrying on
These all work for me and help me to run a marathon ( and i'm not an experienced runner again i emphasise ) comfortably and pain free
wishing you all the best to break ur sub 4
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