With Columbus Marathon less than 6 days away I’m going to talk about how you can avoid hitting the wall.
My two fastest marathons, 3:21:05 and 3:23:43 are the only two marathons I felt that I properly executed pacing, eating and hydrating during the race. It is no surprise that these are the two marathons out of 16 where I did not hit the wall.
If you start out too fast in a marathon, even just the first mile, it is a mistake you can not recover from. You can not get your pace under control and expect the last miles of the race to feel good. Most likely you will feel like death, as if there are 50 lbs weights on each foot. You will wonder how it is possible to move so slowly when you felt so great the first 20 miles. The first 20 miles of a race are easy compared to the last 6.2.
The marathon is a 6.2 mile race that you run after you do a 20 mile warm up. If you go slow the first miles – you will be able to run fast the last miles. I’m going to use one of my long runs this cycle as an example of how this works.
My first mile was a comfortable 9:29 which allowed my body to finish mile 24 at a 7:21 pace.
The second and third worst mistakes you can make in a marathon, is not eating or drinking enough and not doing it soon enough. Starting to hydrate after mile 5 or eating after mile 8 just won’t cut it. When you start to feel like you need a gel/gu/blok it’s probably already too late. Drink before you are thirsty, eat before you need energy. Often people complain about a sloshing tummy from drinking too much – it’s not really that you drank too much it is that you didn’t do it soon enough. so your stomach starts to essentially shut down. Our body tries to protect us from ourselves. When it wants us to stop and slow down it will stop at nothing to try to make us do so.
When you eat during a marathon, always make sure you follow it with water. Your body can only digest the energy if taken with water. Don’t drink with it and your body literally pulls the water away from other areas of your body, and so begins the dehydration process. Even slight dehydration can have an effect on your race performance.
The trick in the marathon is to keep your body hydrated, fueled and happy so it keeps moving at the pace you want it to.
Coach George of Capital Area Runners is my go to guru for all things racing. When I was a 3:59 marathoner he believed I could be faster – MUCH faster. It came as no surprise to him when I ran a 3:36 only 6 months after having my 2nd baby. I listen to everything he says. Well almost. He thinks I run too many marathons, I agree with him, but don’t want to stop. I’m STUBBORN.
I’m reprinting some of his advice here with permission. If you want to learn more about his coaching services or group visit www.capitalarearunners.com
|Like mommy like daughter – I’ll be nuun’ing it up all week!|
Questions? Who’s excited for race day?