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I am training for a mini-marathon and I've done three long runs of 10+ miles (two 10's and an 11) and everytime, I hit a wall at mile nine. My only thought as to help push through it is to have a gel or something around mile seven because my body is maybe just running out of fuel but I've tried the chews and while they seem to work ok, it's hard to chew something while I'm breathing that heavy. My thought is the gel is the best route but those taste horrid. Is there some other suggestion out there that may be better or do I need to start acquiring a taste for the gels?
I assume you mean a half-marathon. ("Mini-marathon" is an inexact term that has been used to describe a number of race distances over the years.) What you're encountering is most likely a mental block. Unless your general nutrition is poor, you would not run out of fuel at 9 miles. I wonder that you say "...it's hard to chew something while I'm breathing that heavy...". You shouldn't be working that hard on a long training run. In the race maybe, but not on a training run. So you may just need to slow down some. Dropping your pace by 15 to 30 seconds per mile may do the trick. As for fueling, you can get the equivalent calorie intake by drinking Gatorade/Powerade or the like instead of taking gels or chews. Other things work as well (candy, pretzels, bits of bagel) but most of what I can think of requires some chewing.
As usual len is right. You should not be breathing hard on a training run.
As for the gels if you want to use them try Gu gel packs. I love them.
They have many great flavors but I love Peanut butter and espresso best.
If you do plan on using them experiment with them BEFORE your race not during.
I now know that I cannot eat "Strawberry banana" Gu gels. Just thinking it makes me queasy
"I can't means I won't"
I use jelly beans...I usually eat 6 or 7 after 5 miles and again around mile 8 or 9. I always wash it down with a swig of water because it helps distribute the sugar a bit. Otherwise I have tendancies to need a bathroom break because the all the sugar is pretty concentrated. You can buy regular jelly beans or the sporting goods stores/sports shoe stores sell power beans that are even better for you.
Good luck....and just keep running!!
2010 - Hot Chocolate 5k/15k ---47:24 (walked...first race in 10 years!)
2011 - Hot Chocolate 5k/15k ---- 33:53
2012 - St. Paddy's Day 8k/5k Run....58:59....FIRST 8K!
2012 - Tiger 5k Speedway Racetrack....35:38
2012 - Short Run on a Long Day 5k in Frankfort....34:43
2012 - Fort2Base - 3 Nautical Mile (3.45 miles).....36:44
2012 - Hot Chocolate 5k/15k.....31:46...PR!!
2013 - Mar - St. Paddy's Day 5k/8k Run...34.26
2013 - Apr - Tiger 5k Speedway Racetrack...34:36...2nd place in my "old age" group
2013 - May - Solider Field 10 Miler...2:01:26
2013 - June - Chicago Color Run (not timed)
2013 - June - Women's Chicago 1/2 Marathon....2:43:04