Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Prev Next
Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........
Quote | Reply
How do you do it?
Is it all just mental?
Or is it my prep?
Longest run was 22 miles during training.
This was my second marathon and everyone says it's those last 6 or so miles that will get you.
Thus far ........................... I agree.

Granted- so many things to account / adjust for: weather, health, hydration, nutrition, etc......
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
It is likely a combination of mental ("Oh no, I've only gone 22 in training, this is going to suck" and "Here comes the wall") and simply going out too hard in the first half. I've never negative split a marathon, but when I've come closest and finished best, I felt absolutely floaty at mile 13. I was on pace, but it so far felt like an easy long run. The same pace felt tough at 20 and then finally slipped in the last 1.5 miles...so close.

Good luck!
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Y-Tri wrote:
How do you do it?
Is it all just mental?
Or is it my prep?
Longest run was 22 miles during training.
This was my second marathon and everyone says it's those last 6 or so miles that will get you.
Thus far ........................... I agree.

Granted- so many things to account / adjust for: weather, health, hydration, nutrition, etc......

Never ran over 2.5 hours in training, maybe around 15 miles.

But I find in all races, the mental aspect is what is key to top athletes. You have to deal with the pain if you want to do well.

Now, better prep means less pain, but still, if you are digging deep, it HURTS

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

Boom Nutrition code 19F4Y3 $5 off 24 pack box | Bionic Runner | PowerCranks | Velotron | Spruzzamist
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Make sure you get in at least a few hundred calories in so you don't bonk like I did
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
If you hit a wall at mile 20 you probably took a wrong turn, get back on course.

That, or the race director is a real dick for designing a course with a wall at mile 20.
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
This resounds so much with me right now. I just finished Rock n Roll DC two weekends ago, and hit the wall almost exactly at mile 20. Part of that was course design, in that the majority of elevation gain was in the last 5 miles, but I believe a lot of it was mental. Around mile 24, a pacer for 3:30 showed up on my side, and I was devastated because I thought I had a good buffer. But just seeing him was enough for me to kick it up, and went from a 9:00 min/mile back down to a 7:30 min/mile. Finished in 3:29:38 and had trouble walking for a couple days after, but worth it.
Last edited by: brett2467: Mar 20, 17 12:30
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I rarely run more than 18-19 miles in training but the wall was there even when I tried 27-29 mile long runs. I think that it is mostly a mental thing but also usually a byproduct of going out too fast. Making a plan and sticking with it usually helps me because I can set expectations for the last 4-5 miles and project inside my head what I need to accomplish to hit the goal. That works more often than not for me.

Next races on the schedule: Boston 2017, IM Santa Rosa 70.3, San Diego Rock'n'Roll 2017.
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Not being a dick here, but are you racing too hard for your ability? I have done exactly 1 marathon, built my own training program, crunched the numbers and saw a 3:02 to 3:05 finishing time based on my fitness and my training, did a 38 km training run and had no issues in the race. 3:02 finish. As the weather was perfect I attribute my being on the faster end of my predicted time to that. Are you training in conditions that mimic the races you choose? Are you training to take food and drink at pace? Are you tapered properly?


Ian
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [brett2467] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
brett2467 wrote:
This resounds so much with me right now. I just finished Rock n Roll DC two weekends ago, and hit the wall almost exactly at mile 20. Part of that was course design, in that the majority of elevation gain was in the last 5 miles, but I believe a lot of it was mental. Around mile 24, a pacer for 3:30 showed up on my side, and I was devastated because I thought I had a good buffer. But just seeing him was enough for me to kick me up, and went from a 9:00 min/mile back down to a 7:30 min/mile. Finished in 3:29:38 and had trouble walking for a couple days after, but worth it.

It is amazing what those pacer signs can get our body to do.

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

Boom Nutrition code 19F4Y3 $5 off 24 pack box | Bionic Runner | PowerCranks | Velotron | Spruzzamist
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
70+ mile weeks during training are the only thing that made the wall go away for me.
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I have little to offer in regard to new insight.

I do think you should ask your question to the ultra-marathoners out there. I would assume they have solid tips since they have to far exceed that 20 mile wall.
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [craigj532] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"70+ mile weeks during training are the only thing that made the wall go away for me."

Yep. Find a way to get to the wall in training and then climb over it there.

Andrew Moss

__________
"At the end he was staggering into parked cars and accusing his support-van driver of trying to poison him." A description of John Dunbar in the 1st Hawaii Iron Man
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [craigj532] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
craigj532: "70+ mile weeks during training are the only thing that made the wall go away for me."

Likewise for me on the 70 mile week. There were a lot of things that I learned from the first 4 marathons. The last 6 miles are always hard, even the race I did as a pacer at a min per mile slower than marathon race pace. But when I ran my last marathon and really pushed the miles (last 13 weeks included 1 week of 70, 2 weeks in the 60s, other 10 weeks were all 50+ miles), I ran my best marathon by 25 minutes.

Y-tri, just keep at it, analyze your two marathons to date, how you ran them, how you trained, and next time adjust for where you think you can improve or change things up a bit.

2017 races: Boston Marathon, IM Chattanooga
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Do. Or do not. There is no try. -Yoda
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
It's all about:
- Having a solid base of 70 (or more) mpw per week in training, sustained for a long period of time.
- Pacing the marathon correctly, meaning not going out too fast

Believe or not, for most marathon racers (not mere finishers), the length of your long run is not so important. What IS important is your sustained weekly mileage base. 16 mile LRs are well established as being long enough to race fast marathons (Hanson method) so long as your weekly mileage is also adequate. I'll actually bet you can get by on even shorter LRs than that if you amp up total mileage to 80mpw but you'll be doing a lot of doubles that in essence are equivalent to running 12-15 miles in a single run.
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Y-Tri wrote:
How do you do it?
Is it all just mental?
Or is it my prep?
Longest run was 22 miles during training.
This was my second marathon and everyone says it's those last 6 or so miles that will get you.
Thus far ........................... I agree.

Granted- so many things to account / adjust for: weather, health, hydration, nutrition, etc......

There is only one way. Miles miles miles miles miles miles miles miles.

https://reluctantmultisport.wordpress.com
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I think part of my problem is I was also trying to maintain swim & bike at the same time.

For me and my place in life right now, it's simply not feasible to get all of that done. Hence why I'm strictly a 70.3 guy right now & no FULL on the horizon.

Once work & kids are more on "cruise control" we'll get there.

All about priorities right now .............
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Y-Tri wrote:
I think part of my problem is I was also trying to maintain swim & bike at the same time.

For me and my place in life right now, it's simply not feasible to get all of that done. Hence why I'm strictly a 70.3 guy right now & no FULL on the horizon.

Once work & kids are more on "cruise control" we'll get there.

All about priorities right now .............

Yup. That's perhaps the biggest reason why even serious triathletes don't race marathons at all, even during IM build. You'd just underperform relative to your ability as a pure runner dedicating 70+mpw to running with 0 swim/bike.
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [apmoss] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
apmoss wrote:
"70+ mile weeks during training are the only thing that made the wall go away for me."

Yep. Find a way to get to the wall in training and then climb over it there.

Andrew Moss

Im sure this is the most sound advice, but I find that not going out to hard is equally important. First half should - as someone said above - feel like an absolute breeze. First 10k should have you Wondering if you are really racing or out on a recovery jog. That removed the wall for me, on my 3rd attempt.
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
For me it is consistently. I'm a triathlete, I run 6 days a week, 3 shorter easy runs off the bike, an easy Monday jog, and a Wednesday mile repeat day on the treadmill at a hard pace. Also 3 days week swim and 3 key bike sessions a week, sometimes a fourth easy spin.

Haven't run more than 17 mile long run since CdA in august and been on a winter quest to build a bit more ftp on the bike. Run mileage per week is about 35-40 miles. I have done the LA marathon last 3 years as it's local and gives me motivation to keep running all year. Well I went into the race yesterday thinking I'd take it easy and run maybe a 3:40. Half way through I thought I could push a touch harder and break 3:30. Ended with 3:27 and a pr.

I have never really hit a 'wall' in a stand alone marathon. Maybe because I run in my 4 zones often enough so I know my easy, half pace, marathon pace and threshold pace. Now in an IM that is where I'm very observant of the possibility of hitting the wall...for me it's a knowledge things could get dark at mile 18 and doing everything to push that pending darkness farther down the mileage line. If I can get to 18, then it's to get to 20 without hurting myself, then it's just managing the pain the last 10k.

Also, know what pain is in training gets you comfortable with being uncomfortable. Hard mile repeats, hill runs, running off the bike, all get you to be uncomfortable and help immunize from race pain.
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [len] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Make sure you get in at least a few hundred calories in so you don't bonk like I did
---

I was thinking along the same lines. Mile 20 is right around 2000-2500 calories of work, or right around the body's storage supply. Not taking in appropriate calories can have detrimental effects on performance, especially late in the race.






Take a short break from ST and read my blog:
http://tri-banter.blogspot.com/
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Someone in the crowd was handing out snickers at mile 22 of my last marathon. God, it was a lifesaver.
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Oh painful memories. I remember one marathon I was on 2:40 pace at mile 20. Was making mental hotel reservations for Boston, starting to formulate my victory speech. Then the course took me over a freeway overpass which involved come nearly to a stop to do a 180-degree turn. Cramped a bit doing the 180. That started some kind of downward cascade. Finished in 3:40, and had to fend off many concerned spectators thinking I was having a stroke or something.
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [Y-Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I used a Hanson's plan for my most recent marathon, with longest runs only 16 miles.
Best marathon yet, negative split and I held steady pace even in the last 10K.

So in my mind the keys are:

1) Proper pacing. If you go out too fast you are going to get crushed by the wall. You need to understand what is a realistic/conservative pace and stick to it early. How this relates to Hanson's is they don't go real long, but they work you at pace a lot, so I think they force you to be realistic about pace because you do enough in workouts to find out what pace you can actually handle. Many people hit the wall as a consequence of going out too fast in the first half of the race, but it doesn't catch up with you until 20 miles, so they mistakenly think it is about 20 miles, when it is really the consequence of what you did in the first 10 miles.

2) Nutrition. Again, pace the nutrition, have a plan and stick to it, especially early. I was able to take about 200-300 calories per hour in the first two hours and that really helped. I think the nutrition gets harder when you start getting much over 3:00 - 3:15 because you are just going to need more calories. Assuming you are shooting in the 3 hour range you really only need to hit nutrition for about 2 hours and that will get you to the finish with only a limited bit of food late. I also used a few salt tabs, I feel like I have had some cramp problems late before and have found that just a few salt tabs (four in my last marathon) seemed to work well.

I don't think there is much mental about it, you can't will the body out of a caloric debt caused by burning down your fuel too fast (pace) and not refilling the tank (nutrition). If you pace and eat, the level of pain is really very minor discomfort, no wall, if anything just boredom (I'm mentality fatigued by running this long, I'm bored, get me a beer).
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [tri_yoda] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Sorry, but I have to disagree with some of the seemingly valid above points.

1) Nutrition

Sorry, but if you are outright bonking in your marathons, especially <mile 23, it is NOT a nutrition issue. It's a training issue. Unless you literally starved yourself the night before and morning of, you're not going to save the day by eating 200 more calories per hour. Go on any established marathon forum with experienced folks (like runnersworld sub 3hrs or sub 2:45 forums) and see how many of them are bemoaning or fine tuning their detailed calories/hr nutritional strategy pre or post-race. It's nearly zero, or actually zero. Everyone there who is running that fast (or even sub 3:30) knows that the bonk is stopped by mileage per week in training, and that if you're going to bonk, there is no amount of fueling you can do to stop it in the marathon.

If you doubt me, go try it yourself this weekend. Go and attempt to run 26 miles without having run over 35mpw. Take your 200-300 calories per hour, and see if that saves you. It won't.

Nutrition is critical is something like an ironman where you're moving for hours and hours on end and caloric depletion is a real issue late in the game. In the marathon, you have more than enough fat reserves and carb reserves to run the entire marathon and then some without bonking on ZERO calories if you are properly trained. And if you're not trained, no amount of fuel will save your legs from the beatdown.

2) Managing pain

It's a lot smarter and more realistic to NOT approach the marathon as a "I will train myself mentally to withstand the awful suffering of the final few miles and power-through it with my sheer force of will!" That's a failing approach. What you SHOULD be thinking is "how can I wuss out as much a possible to run as EASY a marathon as possible!" If you do that, you will pace the race correctly, and have PLENTY of runway to blast off to a PR in the final 6 miles (or 10-13 miles if you're feeling that good.)

If you run so hard your legs fail (cramping, etc.) sorry, no amount of mental toughness will allow you to run fast anymore. You've exceeded your training.

Your best bet is to NOT exceed your training on race day until you're late in the race and you KNOW you can make it for sure.
Quote Reply
Re: Marathon: Conquering the 20 mile wall ........ [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
lightheir wrote:
Sorry, but I have to disagree with some of the seemingly valid above points.

1) Nutrition

Sorry, but if you are outright bonking in your marathons, especially <mile 23, it is NOT a nutrition issue. It's a training issue. Unless you literally starved yourself the night before and morning of, you're not going to save the day by eating 200 more calories per hour. Go on any established marathon forum with experienced folks (like runnersworld sub 3hrs or sub 2:45 forums) and see how many of them are bemoaning or fine tuning their detailed calories/hr nutritional strategy pre or post-race. It's nearly zero, or actually zero. Everyone there who is running that fast (or even sub 3:30) knows that the bonk is stopped by mileage per week in training, and that if you're going to bonk, there is no amount of fueling you can do to stop it in the marathon.

I don't think anybody said that nutrition alone can overcome a lack of training. What I was saying at least, is that even if your training is perfect, if you do not also do your nutrition you will hit the wall.

I will also counter your point about bonk being dictated by miles per week. I think anyone who is say running 15 miles per week, could easily go out tomorrow and do a 26 mile walk as long as they took in adequate nutrition. Anyone has the capacity to do 26 miles, the pace you can do it at is a function of training, but the capacity to just do 26 miles at say 3 miles per hour does not really require any training (but it will take nutrition). Maybe we are just saying the same thing in different ways, you are saying you need more miles per week (yes, to hold onto a faster pace), I am saying the miles per week you are already doing are enough, provided you are honest about what pace that the miles you actually did can support. So we agree that pace and miles per week are closely correlated and you need to know what the correlation is to have a successful race. As we all learned in Once a Runner, a runner:

“A runner is a miser, spending the pennies of his energy with great stinginess, constantly wanting to know how much he has spent and how much longer he will be expected to pay. He wants to be broke at precisely the moment he no longer needs his coin.”

Back to my original point and basically the fundamental reason people bonk in marathons - they were unrealistic about the pace their training could support, went out too fast and crashed and burned. This is actually my fundamental theorem of success in life, managing your own and others expectations to a reasonable level and then you will almost never be disappointed. Most perceived failures are nothing more than the inability to set reasonable expectations at the outset.

There are probably a lot people who could have run a 3:45 marathon, went out at 3:20 pace because it felt easy and then ended up running a 4:15 and then incorrectly determined there was some "wall" at 20 miles because this is just the point in time when your miscalculation starts to catch up with you. Had nothing to do with training other than in reality they trained for a 3:45 marathon, but on race day had a delusion during the first ten miles that they had trained for a 3:20. This situation can be compounded by bad nutrition.
Quote Reply

Prev Next