12345

anyone NOT hit the wall during marathon? (Read 7482 times)


Man in Tights

    Hit the wall after the marathon
      Mmm yeah didn't hit the wall during my first marathon and I hadn't really run much at all for the 6 weeks before it due to an injury. Thought I would be screwed with the whole glycogen storage level thing but apparently my body knew what it was doing. Only drank a few cups of powerade during the race and had a gel at the beginning and mile 18.


      Prince of Fatness

        A true glycogen depletion bonk is not stiff legs.  It is not getting woozy.  It is not losing your ability to lift your feet.

         

        A true glycogen bonk, when your body totally runs out of the energy sources required to operate its most basic functions.  Everything goes dark.  Like a long heavy tunnel collapsing around you.  All you want to do is lay down and die, except you can barely even process that want.  You may see flashing lights, or bright rings, or just that deafening darkness.  It is unlike just about any other experience.  It would be scary, except you don't even have the strength to experience fear.

         

        And your pace will drop at least 30% as your body tries desperately to burn fat to keep you alive and moving.

         

        But with just a bit of sugar, it goes away.  You remain weak, but can kinda carry on.  Problem is, you generally can't even logic through that.

         

        Thank you for this explanation.  I always wondered if I hit the wall last year in my race, and now I don't think that I did.  I was cramping big time, but did not experience any of these other symptoms.  I really think that my main issue was dehydration.

        Semi-retired.


        Closed for repairs

          Based on Trent's explanation and the amount of gus, beans, etc. that everyone seems to use in marathons, I'd guess the instances of truly hitting the wall are few and far between.  I could see it more in the past when people didn't take anything during their races.  I'd suspect 90%+ of people who think they hit the wall were either dehydrated or undertrained or both.

           

            A true glycogen depletion bonk is not stiff legs.  It is not getting woozy.  It is not losing your ability to lift your feet.

             

            A true glycogen bonk, when your body totally runs out of the energy sources required to operate its most basic functions.  Everything goes dark.  Like a long heavy tunnel collapsing around you.  All you want to do is lay down and die, except you can barely even process that want.  You may see flashing lights, or bright rings, or just that deafening darkness.  It is unlike just about any other experience.  It would be scary, except you don't even have the strength to experience fear.

             

            And your pace will drop at least 30% as your body tries desperately to burn fat to keep you alive and moving.

             

            But with just a bit of sugar, it goes away.  You remain weak, but can kinda carry on.  Problem is, you generally can't even logic through that.

             

            True but in my experience it's not like flipping a switch.  You're not fine one minute and staggering in the dark the next.  It's a downward spiral that you can see coming if you know what you're looking for. And even if you stave off a full fledged bonk by taking in some sugar, your pace slows to the point your marathon dreams are gone bye bye so it's still frustrating as hell.  The ability to "carry on" is of little consolation if you were truly racing.

            Runners run.

              Based on Trent's explanation and the amount of gus, beans, etc. that everyone seems to use in marathons, I'd guess the instances of truly hitting the wall are few and far between.  I could see it more in the past when people didn't take anything during their races.  I'd suspect 90%+ of people who think they hit the wall were either dehydrated or undertrained or both.

               

              Also true.  I'd say a lot of what people call "bonking" is really muscle fatigue from trying to outrun their fitness.

              You also hear a lot of post race breakdowns that include things like, "I was fine until mile 22 and then my calf muscles cramped up."  Same thing.

              Runners run.


              Prince of Fatness

                Also true.  I'd say a lot of what people call "bonking" is really muscle fatigue from trying to outrun their fitness.

                You also hear a lot of post race breakdowns that include things like, "I was fine until mile 22 and then my calf muscles cramped up."  Same thing.

                 

                Cramps killed me last year.  So from what you say how would I know whether I was dehydrated or simply outrunning my fitness level?

                Semi-retired.


                Closed for repairs

                   

                  It's a downward spiral that you can see coming if you know what you're looking for.

                   

                  Not to make you go on here, but what are early signs and how do you stave it off?  Is it as simple as recognizing it early enough and taking some sustainance, but if you wait too long you are sort of screwed like you say no matter what?  And do faster runners experience this more often because they deplete the glycogen more quickly, or is it something everyone is equally predisposed to? 

                   

                  MTA: I'm two for two on poorly run marathons and have not hit the wall (I've been undertrained).  I suspect at my speed the wall is less of an issue than many.  I do believe I am very susceptible to dehydratioon/salt issues, though, which is different. 

                   

                     

                    Cramps killed me last year.  So from what you say how would I know whether I was dehydrated or simply outrunning my fitness level?

                     

                    Assume the latter.

                    Runners run.


                    Closed for repairs

                       

                      Assume the latter.

                       

                      PH - try running some 50 mile weeks now and again.  You're welcome.

                       


                      Prince of Fatness

                        Assume the latter.

                         

                        I'll admit that even if it is not true it is the safe assumption.  Bumping up my training, which is what I am planning on doing, most certainly will not hurt my cause.

                        Semi-retired.

                           

                          Not to make you go on here, but what are early signs and how do you stave it off?  Is it as simple as recognizing it early enough and taking some sustainance, but if you wait too long you are sort of screwed like you say no matter what?  And do faster runners experience this more often because they deplete the glycogen more quickly, or is it something everyone is equally predisposed to? 

                           

                          I'm not sure there's much you can do about it while running marathon pace.  Therein lies the rub.  It's best to avoid the early signs of a bonk altogether, or at least delay them to as close to the finish line as possible by being really fit, proper pacing and intelligent fueling.

                           

                          As for faster runners experiencing this more, I doubt it.  By nature they're fitter and more experienced racers so I'd say it's probably more common amongst newbie marathoners.  I had way more experiences shaking hands with Mr. Bonk in my first half dozen marathons than in my last half dozen.

                           

                          mta: early signs are the lightheadedness, loss of cognitive function, slowing down...actual hunger even.

                          Runners run.


                          Closed for repairs

                             mta: early signs are the lightheadedness, loss of cognitive function, slowing down...actual hunger even.

                             

                            I had this on a hot summer run in York last year.  You referred to it as a slogfest, which is exactly what it was.  For me that was dehydration, I'm almost sure, so I could see it being hard to tell the 2 apart. 

                             

                            And I guess the only reason I'd question what you are saying about newer marathoners being more predisposed to bonking is because very few of us (relatively) are actually racing the marathon, or running up against that red line of our potential for 26.2 miles.  However, you and other experienced people are. 

                             


                            Prince of Fatness

                               

                              PH - try running some 50 mile weeks now and again.  You're welcome.

                               

                              Since this seems to be entertaining you, I updated my sig line.  Just for you.

                              Semi-retired.


                              Closed for repairs

                                PH is not taking the bait today.  I will have to rethink my strategy.

                                 

                                MTA: Bingo.

                                 

                                MTAA: It's a strange coincidence that so many people quote T2 in their signatures.  I should probably go hunt down something myself. 

                                 

                                12345