2000Km-1243 mile club


Could use some post-run analysis from the veterans (Read 215 times)

    Yesterday was a 20 miler.  Great morning for it.  Cool and clear with a little breeze. Felt great, ran great, until mile 17 and then things fell apart.  Specifically, my last 3 miles were 12:46, 13:47, 12:51 after staying pretty much around 11:30 the whole way. Not exactly the boost heading into Chicago that I was hoping for.


    Here's the workout


    I'm hoping if I describe what I was feeling, one of you may be able to diagnose what was going on:

    • Could not get my heart rate to stay under 170. I was having to take walk breaks, and as soon as I started back up I was back up near 170.
    • My legs hurt.  Not in the joints, more like all over.  Even if I ignored the HR, the legs just wouldn't cooperate.
    • Even on some pretty steep downhills, I couldn't generate any pace nor could I recover HR.

    I'm figuring either a)I was dehydrated; b)I was out of fuel and either "bonked" or "hit the wall" (not sure what that would feel like); c)I ran too fast for a relatively hilly course and just exceeded my conditioning; d)I'm overtraining and 43 miles for the week (starting with a 10K race) was more I could handle; e)it was just a bad day.


    Some details:

    • I felt good at 16 so I picked the pace up to 11:00.  This is when my HR went over 170 and stayed.  Looking at my chart I was actually exerting more effort at 15 &16 then I realized so maybe I wasn't feeling as good as I thought.
    • Course was predominantly downhill 11-16, slight uphill for 17 and then significantly uphill for 18 and 19.
    • While the course was cool at the start, once the sun got high, things did get pretty warm.
    • Due to a brain lock and some course confusion, I'd had .5 liter of water between 8.5 and 16. Several cups of gatorade at 16 and then a .5L for the next four miles (it was gone by 19). Also, again because of course confusion, I'd had only 2 GUs in the first 16 miles.

    I'd appreciate any insight y'all might have into what might have been going on.  I've got another 20 on the schedule in 2 weeks, but the marathon is 2 weeks after that, so I've got to make some decisions on whether that's a good idea or not.


    Thanks in advance.

    New Orleans Marathon - 2/24/2013  4:16:32

    Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon - 4/27/2013 4:09:56 PR!

    Honolulu Marathon - 12/8/2013

    Imminent Catastrophe

      I've certainly had runs like that. It sucks.

      It's hard to say. Did you pee at all during/after the run? And was it relatively clear? If not, I suspect you got dehydrated. Also, b and c go hand-in-hand, if you run too fast you will bonk, usually around mile 18 or so. The "tired legs" would usually indicate a bonk. Elevated heart rate could be either dehydration or bonk. Most likely a combination. 

      Everyone has a bad long run now and then, even if you do everything right. Just get plenty of fluids and electrolytes next time, stick to your long run pace, and you'll probably feel much better. 

      "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

       "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

      "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.


      √ Javelina Jundred Jalloween 2015

      Cruel Jewel 50 mile May 2016

      Western States 100 June 2016


        I no veteran but I've been there, several times. 

        The times when I've had experiences like that, I could almost always attribute it to poor hydration the day before, not keeping up with fluids/sugar during the run, and doing a segment to fast or too hard. Also, if you weren't eating well and getting enough sleep in the couple days leading up to the run, that could have played a part (it has for me). The heat certainly contributed, maybe even significantly, to the elevated HR late in your run.

        But keep and eye on your HR this week during your runs. If it's out of whack, slow down, let someone know, and maybe call it a day - a skipped mid week run will not hurt your endurance at this point. IMO.  

        The good news is you got the 20 miler under your belt and your body will respond accordingly. Your cut back week and next 20 miler will most likely be easier. Just take it easy heading into mile 16 - 20. 

        As Russ once said, and it couldn't be more true, having these kinds of runs is kind of a right of passage. Welcome our newest member, Brian, to the long run death march club. (Unless you're already a member, in which case, welcome back). 

        San Francisco - 7/29/12

        Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

        Chicago - 10/7/12

          That run is so completely normal.  Look back at your 18 miler on 8/16.  It looks like you had almost the exact same experience.  Then on 8/29 your next 18 miler was 4 sec a mile faster with 3 bpm lower heart rate.   Your body is just getting used to each new longer distance.  Just like Trey said "your 20 miler is under your belt and your body will respond accordingly".  I think you will find that to be true and you will do fine the next time you venture past 20 miles.  Of course a little better hydration and fueling can't hurt either but I think you will be just fine.

            Thanks for the feedback, all.  I'm going to look at this as a fortunate wake-up call: can't slack on pre-run prep (carb loading, pre-hydration, planning), can't slack on hydration and fueling during the run, and can't lose discipline on pace management.  Better to learn these lessons this week rather than on race day. 


            Thanks again for the advice and for taking the time to look at what I'd been doing.


            New Orleans Marathon - 2/24/2013  4:16:32

            Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon - 4/27/2013 4:09:56 PR!

            Honolulu Marathon - 12/8/2013