Posts Tagged ‘hydration’
As Julie and I embarked on this running journey, I did a lot of research – reading books and magazines, listening to podcasts, etc. Most of them talked about hitting the proverbial wall at some distance. However, for us, the training runs were going really well and I personally was getting a bit cocky. You would think that someone who has only been running for a short period of time and is a relatively slow runner would not get so cocky but honestly things had gone so smoothly that I was in for a rude awakening.
The wall appeared very subtely at first during our 17 mile long run. We had done 13 and 15 miles with little issue and I started out the morning feeling really strong. It was a nice, warm day for a change – we had been dealing with so much rain, I was ready for a nice day. For the first few miles, I was knocking minutes of my pace and also pushing my run/walk intervals out to 4:1 and 5:1 (I normally run a 2:1). I felt invincible!!
I should clarify that I wasn’t doing this run faster out of completely egostistical reasoning..The biggest fear that I still have about our upcoming marathon is not finishing within the allotted time. They have a 6.5 hr limit which comes out to a pace of 14:53/min for the distance. Even though we have been doing our long/slow runs at a pace of 12 – 12:30/min, I’m still paranoid that we will run slower on the actual race day – weather, not being prepared for hills, jitters, etc..So I wanted to improve on our normal long run pace.
I started to get some early warning signs that things were not going so well but decided to push through – that is when I think the wall reached out and smacked me At mile 12, I was calling Julie begging her to bring me more fluids and I was having a hard time running for more than a minute at a time. My legs were cramping and locking up on me. The “record” 11:30 pace I was setting slowly dwindled to a 13:00/mile pace. I think I was barely at a jog for the last two miles and finally collapsed in the grass when I reached 17 miles.
It was definitely a huge reality check for me (and an ego blow) – but in the end, I am grateful that it happened so that I could learn from it and hopefully not have it occur on race day. What did I learn from my adventure with the “wall” -
+ PACE…The long run is to be done SLOWLY…It’s not the time for speed work and trying to improve your overall time. The long run is meant to be done to increase your endurance and slowly to push your limit (or the wall) out further. That is why somepeople refer to them as LSR – Long Slow Runs…Duh!! Speed work is now relagated to my midweek workouts or when I am stuck running on a treadmill.
+ PROPER HYDRATION…I know that each of us has a different need for fluids – I personnally drink a lot more fluids than Julie does. Not being prepared with the proper amount of fluids is critical. I also think it is key to have an intake of electrolytes and I wasn’t doing this – drinking mostly plain water. We have been using electrolyte tablets made by Nuun which dissolve in your water bottle. We are still experimenting with our water packs and are even considering going to Camelbak backpacks for hydration.
+ ADJUSTING FOR TEMPERATURE…Coaches like Jeff Galloway discuss in detail slowing one’s pace down based on the outdoor temperature. Since it wasn’t blazing hot, it didn’t occur to me that it was about 15 deg warmer than I had been used to.
So even though it was painful, I learned from the experience and my 20 mile long run went smoother. And guess what? I improved on my time because I was able to stay strong throughout the run.