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I'm toying w/running the Flying Pig marathon on May 1st as my first marathon (I haven't signed up yet). I've run as high as 21 miles in preparation. However, I don't know what to do (refueling, extra training, etc.) in order to make it across the finish line w/o hitting the wall. Any advise is appreciated.
Live, love, run
I'm running my first marathon in June, so I'll be watching this thread. I am obviously not experienced, but what I am going to try to do is avoid a pace that isn't sustainable. Also, I expect that I probably will hit some kind of wall, perhaps horrible, perhaps not so bad. I just plan to remember that this is just the "hitting the wall" that we all hear about, and I'm going to try to run through it, and hope that the wall isn't too thick, and that I'll probably feel better later. Also, I'm making sure that I have sufficient and solid training. I ran a 20 mile run last week, 18 miles today, 20 miles again next Saturday and then it backs down to 13 miles for the following week. My training program has 5 different 20 mile long runs scheduled before my actual marathon. I know that after doing that much training, and getting comfortable with long freakin' runs, I will feel more confident when I FINALLY tackle the 26.2 in June. So that is my plan. Solid? I hope so. I can't wait to see the advice on here.
One more thing. I do use energy gels. I'm a 120ish pound woman. I've found that if I only consume a half gel at a time, my tummy doesn't get all oogy, if you know what I mean. I also use the smaller size gels. I have a 6'4" friend that I run with, and he uses those double size gels, and consumes the entire thing all at once. That would make me ill. So if I just use half at once, I can still get the evergy boost from the gel, but I don't get the questionable tummy for a mile or so after. Today for my 18 mile run, I consumed one and a half gels, but only a half gel at a time. I have found it works very well for me. I also only drink water, and not too much at once so my tummy doesn't get sloshy.
I just have to deal with putting a sticky folded over gel pack into my hydration belt pouch again. Not too bad. Today I ran the entire time, except when I dig out my gel and consume it, I change to a fast walk. I quickly take the gel, then start running again. I can't do that very well while on the run.
Last year I did run 2 half-marathons and a 25K.
Durning your long training run practice running the last few miles stronger then the first few miles
During the marathon start out slow and finish strong as you practiced in training.
START SLOW AND PACE YOURSELF
Have confidence and dont tell yourself you are gonna hit the wall. My first marathon was during my first ironman in 1997 and I never hit the wall
Don't they make the gels in blocks now? It wouldn't be messy that way...
Carjeep, They do make them in blocks, and that's a good thought. I have tried them, and I have a hard time running and chewing them. I hope that doesn't make me sound lame. I find it's just quicker for me to suck down a half gel then get on with it. I don't mind the sticky gel pouch. It just works for me, but the blocks may be a good idea for someone who can both run AND chew at the same time. I'm afraid I'm going to choke myself, and last time I used them I bit my toungue, so I gave them up.
I'm cheap, but standard gummi bears (worms, what have you) are remarkably similar to fancy energy blocks, albeit a lot cheaper. Haven't gotten into runs long enough that I need to re-fuel, but they worked for me for 7+hr bike rides.
Smile. I usually 'wall' at about mile 18 but remind myself that I am trained to run 21 miles and then I (literally) just smile confidently. Once I get to 21, I can finish on adrenaline. Oh those tricks the mind plays on the body.
Have a gel or bar or other every 40 minutes. If you bring gels/bars, then drink ONLY water to wash the goo down.
If you've had long runs then you know what your pace should be. Remember that in a race you will go faster than in training.
Start at a pace 10-15 sec/mile slower than your target race pace even if you feel your body can go faster. See how you feel after 10 miles. If you are OK then bring your pace up a bit. See where you are at after 17 miles and, if you still feel well, then increase your pace again. I've had THE WALL come at me anywhere from mile 20 thru 23. Good lunk.
Sondra: Congrats on choosing to run your 1st marathon too. Which one are you running? I almost chose Grandma's marathon in Scranton, PA in June as my first. However, I was afraid it might be too hot by then to run it. I still haven't quite decided on Flying Pig marathon, but I hear it's a good one for 1st time marathoners.
I use the gel packs on my long runs. I also only use a 1/2 pack at a time for about every 25-30 min. or so. I'm wondering if I should probably just use a whole pack at once and see if I can run longer w/o needing the other 1/2 pack (I'll try it this weekend). Like you I tried the gel blocks and found it hard to hold pace while chewing. I was so nervous that I would chock or stumble and fall while chewing that it wasn't worth it for me. So, I went back to the gels.
Best wishes to you w/your marathon. Happy running.
Live, love, run
64spokes: Wow! 7 hours of bike riding. My hero. If I could run and chew at the same time I would try the gummy bears . I'm not coordinated enough for those (I know that sounds silly). But, I'll try it the next time I'm on the treadmill and don't have to concentrate as much.
Live, love, run
MB: The mind is a very powerful thing isn't it?! It's nice to know that it's possible to push through the "wall". I was worried it was just my body saying "enough already", and then I was toast. I'm glad you let me know some of it is mental. Thanks a bunch for the input. I'll keep it mind.
Live, love, run
ELF: Ut oh. I use gels with Powerade Zero. I thought I was supposed to use something other than water if I was running longer than one hour. It would be great to not use the Powerade Zero w/the gel packs b/c together they get too sweet. I had actually gotten used to it though. I'll try water w/gel tomorrow on my training run of about 90 minutes. Do you still advise water and gel for the marathon? Or, is okay to use Powerade and gel since it's longer in duration?
Good info. on pacing. I have found that when I'm on my 18 to 20 mile runs I tend to get faster during the last few miles b/c I just want to get done. I hope I can pull this off during my marathon so that I can finish strong. I've learned that not pacing myself accordingly is a baaad thing! I don't want to make that mistake during the race.
Thanks so much for your help.
Live, love, run
Hitting the wall is a fueling issue where you run too low on glycogen, so you need to fuel appropriately before and during the race. Experiment during your long runs.
Also know that you can push back the point at which you start to hit the wall by training more. A generally high volume program with marathon-specific long runs can help you a lot in this regard.