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Can't get over the wall (marathons) (Read 1060 times)

    With 6 marathons under my belt, I'm seeing a trend that is starting to bother me.  I've never been in better shape or been faster - at least in my training runs - I just can't get past that 20 mile/2:45 barrier.  Especially my last 2 (May and Sept this year) I ran a steady pace comfortably for about the first 20 miles.  Once I hit 20, everything starts unraveling.  I have used First Endurance Liquid shots this year in an effort to keep a solid level of electrolytes as well as keep some protein in there, but its not looking like its working.   What am I missing?  I was actually physically sick after my last race (dizzy, nausea, vomiting) for about 4 hours.  


    Fat butt on couch

      Since we can't see your log, what does your training look like?  What is your AVERAGE weekly miles per week?  What are the training runs that make you feel you're in better shape?

       

      Getting past 20 miles "comfortably" is a relative term.  I can't say I've ever made it much past 20 miles without feeling like hell, even when I'm done in the 2:30s.

       

      It is more likely the training that needs analysis, not the supplementation.  People used to run past 20 miles just fine on water.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       

        Just a quick glance at my summary I'd estimate 30+ miles/wk average for about 3 months leading up to the race.  Closer to 45/wk prior to tapering.

        DoppleBock


          Either you were sick before the race or you are doing something wrong either in the week leading up to the race or during the race or you have some medical condition you need to have checked out?

           

          I am able to push really close to max heart rate for the last 6.2 miles - I get lightheaded as I am pushing so hard, but within a few minutes post race I am not dizzy any longer. 

           

          Honestly those symptoms could be pointing toward hyponatremia - If you are over hydrating the whole week leading up to the race, you could be slowly stripping your electrolytes and although you are taking electrolytes race day - You may already be upside down enough to cause issues.

           

          I am just wild ass guessing - But like I said a marathon run close to max ability will get very hard after 20 and many times its a constant fight to keep your pace by a continualy increase in effort level.  But unless it was a really hot (dehydration or heat stroke) or really cold day (Hypothermia)  - Most the issues you describe should stop very quickly post race.

           

           

           What am I missing?  I was actually physically sick after my last race (dizzy, nausea, vomiting) for about 4 hours.  

          http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

          2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

           

          DoppleBock


            Plus I am not sure what the 20 mile / 2:45 barrier means?  Is that to run 20 miles in 2:45 or any run that last more than 2:45 or are you running a 2:45 marathon?

            http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

            2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

             

              Plus I am not sure what the 20 mile / 2:45 barrier means?  Is that to run 20 miles in 2:45 or any run that last more than 2:45 or are you running a 2:45 marathon?

               

              Sorry, I don't know for sure if its the distance or the amount of time running... for me going 20 miles or running for about 2:45 is when I notice the issues.

              obsessor


                Just a quick glance at my summary I'd estimate 30+ miles/wk average for about 3 months leading up to the race.  Closer to 45/wk prior to tapering.

                 work up to: Triple that for triple the time. Run a marathon and post back here.


                Fat butt on couch

                  Just a quick glance at my summary I'd estimate 30+ miles/wk average for about 3 months leading up to the race.  Closer to 45/wk prior to tapering.

                   

                  1) You are running a marathon on well under the minimum mileage I would recommend.  Yes, lots of people -- probably the majority who run them these days -- do that, but fundamentally you are under-trained for the distance you are racing.  There is no magic to making the last 10K more enjoyable; train more.  Smile    (FWIW I ran my first marathon on 50-ish mpw average, after many years of racing shorter distances, and the last 8-9 miles were misery I would rather not try to recall)

                   

                  2)  I second the notion that dizziness and nausea post-race should be very transient.  If you have dizziness, nausea, and vomiting for hours after the race, something is not right.  Too much water, cramming too much stuff into your stomach during the race....something.

                  "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                   

                    Previous to my last marathon, I used to hit the wall at around 18 to 20 miles, just like you.  My quads, hamstrings, calves and shins would cramp up at the same time and I can only stand there until the cramps stopped.  For the last marathon, I tried to run every day.  My legs were tired on many days, especially the day after the long run, but I figure that's how I will feel during the last 10k of the marathon so I should get used to it.  Since I was running every day, it was easy to get my weekly distance to 50+ miles a week.  I was traveling quite a bit so my training wasn't completely consistent.

                     

                    The experts on RA recommended running more to see improvements, especially if your base is less than 30 miles a week so that's what I did.  There's also a bit of luck as everything came together on race day.  Flat course, perfect weather, perfect temperature, perfect pre-race meal.
                    I managed to shave off 8+ minutes from my marathon PR.


                    Blue Moon Hater

                      How much are you drinking before the marathon?  How much during?

                       

                      I agree with everyone's assessment that you need to run more mileage.  But I have a hard time believing that you are getting too many fluids and suffering from hyponatremia.  Of course, without knowing how much you're drinking and when, it's hard to say.  I can tell you that I've had similar symptoms--nausea and vomiting.  Though I haven't had dizziness, I have suffered through some bad headaches along with my nausea and vomiting after my marathon, and I can chalk that up to dehydration.

                      There was a point in my life when I ran. Now, I just run.

                       

                      Well, fuckers

                      He still stands

                       

                      The Diary of a Once-ran.

                      DoppleBock


                        I was just guessing - Because something other is going on other than race issues - I can solve nausea by adding salt 

                         

                        How much are you drinking before the marathon?  How much during?

                         

                        I agree with everyone's assessment that you need to run more mileage.  But I have a hard time believing that you are getting too many fluids and suffering from hyponatremia.  Of course, without knowing how much you're drinking and when, it's hard to say.  I can tell you that I've had similar symptoms--nausea and vomiting.  Though I haven't had dizziness, I have suffered through some bad headaches along with my nausea and vomiting after my marathon, and I can chalk that up to dehydration.

                        http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                        2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                         


                        Spring- wishful thinking

                          +1 the mileage.  Also you need to have a good idea of how your fitness level translates to the marathon distance.  What is a recent half marathon or 10K PR?  

                            Mileage will go a long way toward fixing your problem. 50mi weeks would approximate a 50% increase in volume which is significant. Plan for a minimum of 16weeks so you can schedule in a couple down weeks to rest up and avoid the injury bug. 20 weeks would be better. Doesn't sound like a huge difference but that's an additional 25% more days of miles and adaptation. You'll feel strong as an ox on race day but that last 10km will always demand some level of suffering and grit.

                             

                            Realistically, 35mi weeks off a twelve week cycle is maybe the bare minimum necessary to get through the marathon distance on race day. It would have been a miracle had you not felt like crap.

                              Thanks for all the advice.  It appears that my 30-ish miles per week is sufficient (for me) to run about a 4 hour marathon.  It makes sense now, since my mileage and finishing times have been fairly consistent.  That's been the rough average for my 6 races.  With a bit of an increase in mileage training for this year's races, I felt very good for 20 miles, so I would expect additional training miles would carry me through the last 6 in better shape than I've been running them.

                               

                              I may have overemphasized my symptoms afterwards; nausea and vomiting definitely, slight dizziness didn't last too long. But I recovered enough to make it to a wedding that evening, so no long-term ill effects I suppose.

                               

                              Some PRs... I ran about a 1:40 half this spring, my PR is 1:34.  I ran a 20:20 5k in July.  Haven't done any other distances in a while.

                               

                              This winter I plan to keep my base up so I can hit a 16 week cycle before my spring race and get up to higher mileage sooner and more consistently.  Maybe next year will be my year lol