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How Boston Marathon runners can avoid hitting the wall

boston-marathon
April 18, 2011

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Comments

Sean Gunner
October 09, 2011

Thanks for the interesting article – plus the link to Mr Rapoport’s online calculator. As much as diet plays a part in hitting the wall, so I suspect does the mental stress of months of training and anticipation, together with the physical fatigue of overtraining.

Something I have found is particularly useful in my pre-marathon and post-marathon training (and is particularly good should running injuries occur), is training hard on an exercise bike.

I do a 10-minute warm-up on the stationary exercise bike, pedal at close to maximum intensity for one minute, recover by spinning for 30 seconds at 90 rpm against very little resistance and then continue with 60 seconds of easy pedalling (adding up to 90 seconds of recovery in all). The pedal at very close to max for another minute.

I continue this workout routine of 60 seconds of maximal effort followed by 30 seconds of spinning and 60 seconds of light pedalling – until I have completed eight nearly all-out one-minute intervals. I then follow this with a 10-minute cool-down.

Over time, this workout can be made even more challenging by increasing the number of maximal 60-second repetitions to 15, increasing the resistance on the bike, and cutting down the recovery intervals to 60 seconds (30 seconds of spinning, 30 seconds of light strokes).

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Stephanie Perez
September 16, 2011

This year I actually made it to the 14 mile mark. I felt beaten down, flustered, and I had the worst shin splints (the following day) that I have ever had in my life.

The interesting part on your post is the usage of carbs in for cardio – in your example the 5 servings of pasta. The thing is I try to avoid carbs because I lost a lot of weight (prior to training for CC running) on the Scarsdale Diet. I’m worried if I took the suggestion that I would regain some of my weight. Of course, I can’t imagine it if I keep training like I am, but at what point can I re-implement the carbs as suggested?

I’m actually blaming the high protein within my diet plan for my failure (well if we can call it a failure at 14 miles seeing that I could not have imagined running 1/2 a mile 2 years ago).

I’m going to continue training, and I’m going to bookmark your page and ponder on it for a while. Perhaps its just raw fear on so many carbs. (rice & pasta).

Thanks for the endurance calculator btw. I think it will help with my training. I’ll try to report back next year how far I was able to make it. I’m hoping for total completion!

September 13, 2011

I just amazes me that people continue to exert themselves beyond expectations. For your body to be pounding the pavement not only for the race, but just to practice and continue to excel is rather daunting.
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Chad Waterbury Fan
September 03, 2011

Well for me it’s the same thing. The desire to run is what really matters, most of us may think there’s some kind hitting the wall experience, but for me there’s no such thing. http://www.bodyoffire.org

Mike
May 01, 2011

The reason the marathon is such a challenging event is that the runner has dig into energy reserves beyond the available glycogen stores (from carbohydrates). There are many factors that determine how well a person will perform – not just the amount of carbs consumed! Here are a few:

– amount & quality of marathon training done
– physical condition on race day
– weather
– course terrain
– running pace

To suggest that eating the right amount of carbohydrates can help avoid hitting the wall maybe be partially true but is somewhat misleading.

i have personally run several marathons successfully without an overload of carbohydrates.

See my ‘26.2’ website for more detail on this interesting topic.

Ruth
October 08, 2011

I agree with Mike – there are lots of things that determine if you will ‘hit the wall’ or not. I checked his 26.2 website and really liked the article on Marathon Diet.

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Steve Chapal
April 28, 2011

I read your article with interest, and was just as interested to see how Mr. Rapoport fared in the 2011 Boston Marathon, sionce I was a participant as well. I notice that he completed his first half (13.1) in 1:29:33, a rate per mile of 6:50, but deteriorated considerably in the second half, with a time of 2:01:20 and rate per mile of 9:16 per mile. Have you had any feedback from Mr. Rapoport regarding his experience? His overall finish time of 3 hours, 30 minutes and 53 seconds was far behind his target finish time of 2 hours and 50 minutes. Thank you.

health
April 19, 2011

The story is interesting, thank you, but makes no mention of how hydration and race day temperature affects the runner as far as hitting the wall. I would be interested in the influence on running by these factor on different individuals. In my case the warmer the tempeture the quicker I hit the wall granted I did not count calories intake before the marathons. Also the effect on the amount of training miles i.e. how much is enough.
p.s. how can individuals access the formula ?

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Jose Viveiros
April 18, 2011

The story is interesting, thank you, but makes no mention of how hydration and race day temperature affects the runner as far as hitting the wall. I would be interested in the influence on running by these factor on different individuals. In my case the warmer the tempeture the quicker I hit the wall granted I did not count calories intake before the marathons. Also the effect on the amount of training miles i.e. how much is enough.
p.s. how can individuals access the formula ?

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