Your marathon has been going fairly well, you seem to have everything under control but suddenly, fatigue is starting to kick in. Your muscles seem to be ceasing, you are breathing a lot harder and you are experience immense discomfort – caused by stored carbohydrates/ energy reserves being depleted, forcing the body to burn fat. It appears you have hit the runner’s wall. The wall is a point where your mind and body come under fire as a result of the run. Don’t let it get the better of you. Follow these tips to avoid hitting the wall.
Don’t Start Fast
Starting a lengthy race too fast is an almost guaranteed recipe for disaster. Many runners who compete in marathons will reiterate this sentiment. When you start too fast, you quickly use up your energy reserves. This in turn will translate into your muscles succumbing to fatigue at a much faster rate.
Weekly Longer Runs are a Must
If you throw a long run into your weekly training routine, it will definitely decrease your chances of hitting the runner’s wall as you are conditioning your body to running longer distances. Your long runs should gradually get longer. This helps to expand your body’s capacity to hold glycogen within the muscles.
Up Your Blood Sugar Levels
If you feel that your energy levels are starting to dwindle and fatigue is starting to set in, a good idea is to reach for a snack to get your blood sugar back up. Refuelling is a good idea if you are in search of some fast rejuvenation. There is no reason for you to wait until you have completed your race to refuel. That power snack should be readily available when it is needed.
Concentrate on Good Form
If you are exhibiting bad running techniques, it is more than likely you will hit your wall faster than others. Bad running technique is definitely going to force you to work harder, which in turn will make you use up more oxygen. Focus on good running form – it will definitely increase your running efficiency and mileage.
Utilise a Marathon Pace During Training
Training at the pace that you aspire to compete at is an effective way of keeping the wall at bay. You should make an attempt to utilise a marathon pace, especially when you are in the latter part of the race, as it will force you to up the tempo when you are fatigued.
Fill Your Head with Positivity
This may seem a little silly but making regular positive affirmations before and during your race will help to give you a bit of extra gumption to push yourself harder. Do not underestimate the power of the mind. Think of a good mantra that you can chant to yourself. It can actually change negative thought into a positive one.