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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Marathon Runner who has run out of gas just 3km into a training run

Question:  Name the runner, the event and the date
and post your answer below

I have been under way with my training since this advice and it has been going well. I am doing a 1 hour run on Tuesdays and Thursdays with my longer run on Saturdays which I’m up to 2hrs and building up to 3hrs over the next few weeks. I headed off for my 1hr long run yesterday which should have been a piece of cake. It was a flat course and I was taking it easy, but could not get moving to well. After about 3km my legs went to jelly and I basically hit the wall. I then carried on for another km or so and then realised this was not going
to get any better so I stopped and carried on with a 20 min walk. Why would this have happened? And what can I do to stop it happening again?

Here is the article the writer refers to.
Gary responds:
Some days, we should just stay in bed!  And this may have been one of those days.  Who knows: You may have just had a bad day, or you may have contracted a low level virus.  Even if this may have been the case, there are two other possibilities: stepping up your training too much and not replenishing the nutrients and energy required by the body to ensure recovery between training sessions.

Build a base of fitness
Lesson from the winners:
Lorraine Moller ran thousands of miles,
mostly off road, over many years before
running her first marathon.
Readers of my articles about marathon training will be aware that I am not keen on novice runners attempting to run a marathon.  I feel the populism that encourages novices to run marathons as a first event is misguided and causes much harm and lasting injury.  It was once a tradition that runners only ran a marathon in the later years of their careers.  The general rule of thumb was to get at least ten years of training under one's belt before running a marathon.  This was most sensible advice.

Running even one hour is a huge stress on the less than well conditioned body.  Two hours is punishing and while it is necessary, in preparing to run a marathon, that running 2-3 hours with relative ease, the build up to these distances must be very, very gradual.  The transition from 2-3 hours training must be particularly gradual, like 5 minutes per week with a relative rest week about every 4th week and in 10-12 week blocks.  It is essential that the utmost patience be exercised when building up distance and pace in running.

Preparation for running a marathon should be in years not weeks.

Nutrition for training
When running training it is essential that the body receives a rich intake of calories and nutrients between training sessions.  If not, the muscles and tendons will not heal and grow stronger and the heart will weaken.  Energy stores must be replenished.  If not, the legs will feel heavy from the beginning, the lungs will burn and it will be almost impossible to dig in deep to brest even a tiny slope.  

Please read the articles and E-pubs referred to in the earlier posting about marathon training here.  Take special note about the Super Smoothie and have at least one daily as well as being generous with Balance Ultimate Recovery Stack which I heartily recommend.


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