Marathon Runner Reveals Ways Not To Hit The Wall

By Aaron Love 7 months ago

Reduce Training Before The Race

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One effective strategy to avoid hitting the wall during a race is to reduce your training loas in the days before the race. This allows your body to recover and store some energy reserves. Focus on some light runs and rest days to ensure your muscles are feeling fresh, you'll feel better during the race.

Increase Mileage During Training

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Building up your endurance is obviously important and one of the best ways to do this is by gradually increasing your mileage. This allows your body to train itself into utilizing your energy stores and therefore reducing the risk that your body will quickly deplete and you'll hit the wall.

Balanced Diet

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A balanced diet is important generally within your life, so it probably becomes even more important for someone who's training for a marathon. You'd want to aim to have a diet rich in carbs, proteins and healthy fats which will provide the body with a sustained source of energy.

Carb-Loading Before The Race

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Carb-loading before the race is a common tactic used by marathon runners; increasing your carbohydrate intake can maximise your glycogen stores. Having stored energy within your body will act as a crucial reserve during the race and reduce the risk you'll run out of gas and hit the wall.

Stay Hydrated

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This one is probably quite obvious, but you should always remain hydrated during and before the race. Becoming dehydrated can be a sure-fire way to fatigue and hit the wall! You'll want to avoid excessive fluid intake though, because if you do then you might begin to feel some discomfort.

Use Sports Drinks

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During the race you might want to introduce some sports drinks in to your system, especially those that contain electrolytes and carbs. They can replenish lost fluids and provide some easily digestible sugars. They also usually taste a little better than just sipping water too!

Use Sports Gels

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Sports gels are another convenient way for a marathon runner to get some energy. These gels are packed with carbs and can be just as easy to consume as the drinks whilst on the go. The quick energy boost that they'll give someone can keep fatigue away, find the flavour that suits you best!

Use Nutrition Products

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Experiment with various products for nutrition like energy bars or chews during your marathon training and you might be able to find some that suit your preferences and needs. They are designed to provide nutrients that can help you sustain your body throughout the race.

Practice Pacing

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A true marathon runner will know how important it is to conserve their energy and avoid early fatiguing. By starting at a manageable pace you can gradually pick up the pace and slow down again as the race goes on. Effective pacing is as important as it gets within your race tactics.

Use Heart Rate Monitors

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Heart rate monitors are extremely valuable tools for monitoring your effort levels during training and during a marathon. They can help you stay within your target heart rate zones and stop you pushing too hard too soon. You can really lower the chances you can have of burning out too early by keeping an eye on your heart rate.

Run-Walk Strategy

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Implementing a run-walk strategy in to your marathon can be an absolute game changer when it comes to avoiding hitting the wall. By alternating between the both you can conserve your energy and allow your muscles to recover during the periods where you're choosing to walk.

Get Enough Sleep

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Getting plenty quality sleep is pretty much a non-negotiable element of marathon preparation; you MUST prioritize sleep in the days leading up to your race. Ensuring your body is well-rested will allow you to be completely ready, both physically and mentally to meet the demands of the marathon.

Manage Stress Using Relaxation Techniques

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Stress and anxiety can actually be very detrimental to your body even when it comes to occurring during a marathon. Try to incorporate some relaxation techniques in to your pre-race routine; this could be something like deep breathing, meditation or yoga and set yourself up for a positive marathon race.

Positive Visualization

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It's almost as important for a marathon runner to be mentally trained as it is for them to be in prime physical fitness. By visualizing a successful and positive race within your own mind you might be able to boost your own confidence, reduce some anxiety and maintain a positive attitude throughout.

Maintain A Steady Rhythm

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It's extremely important for a marathon runner to be consistent across their running patterns. By being able to maintain a steady rhythm and avoiding some sudden bursts or erratic changes of speed you'll be able to stay within your comfort zone for longer periods of the race.

Dress Appropriately

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It is vital that you choose the right attire for your race day, which means wearing comfortable clothing as well as ensuring that you're also dressed for the right weather conditions. You'll be ensuring your comfort during the race as well as reducing the risk that you'll overheat or get to wet which could impact your race performance.

Apply Sunscreen If Necessary

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If you're going to run a marathon in sunny conditions then you'll need to make sure that you apply some sunscreen. Sunburn, as I'm sure you'll probably know, can be extremely uncomfortable and can increase the chance of fatigue during a race. You'll want to be safe just to make sure!

Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing

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You might not be aware, but marathon runners often select clothing that is moisture-wicking. These fabrics are perfect for managing sweat and keeping their body dry throughout the race. Preventing any form of chafing and irritation can be great for keeping your mind focused on the race.

Choose Well-Fitting Shoes

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You should always be looking out for the perfect pair of running shoes! You don't want to run the risk of getting any blisters so make sure that the trainers you plan to use will be comfortable and already broken in. New shoes will increase the chance that you'll get blisters and you might end up hitting the wall.

Take Walking Breaks At Aid Stations

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You'll find a number of aid stations along the course of a marathon route and they are a great place for you to take some short walking breaks. This can be a great chance for you to sip some water and refuel for a brief moment. This can also help you maintain a consistent pace too.

Train On A Similar Course

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When it comes to your marathon training you will want to try and train on a course that is similar to the conditions of the route that you'll be running. By being familiar with the terrain you will be prepared both mentally and physically which will reduce the likelihood of unexpected challenges.

Strength Training

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By incorporating strength training in to your entire routine you might be able to improve the endurance of your muscles and the overall performance of the body. A strong core and lower body can help you maintain form and prevent some unnecessary fatigue and therefore helping you within the race.


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Cross-training activities like swimming or cycling can be a great way for you to complement your running routine. They can offer a break from the repetitive motion of running whilst still maintaining your cardio fitness. The whole process might be able to stop you becoming so injured.

Practice Downhill Running Techniques

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If your marathon is going to include some areas of downhill running or changes in elevation then you might want to try and include some different techniques in your training. Proper form when running at a changing elevation can be the difference between muscle fatigue and joint strain.

Use A GPS Watch

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A GPS watch can be one of the most valuable tools for marathon runners as it can help you track your pace and distance, all whilst you're still running your race. Monitoring your progress mid-race can be a great way for you to stay on target and also conserve all of you energy.

Chat To Other Runners

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If possible, you might want to try and engage in some conversation with your fellow runners. This can be a great way for you to keep yourself distracted from the fatigue. You might be able to share some experiences, advice, or encourage one another to help boost the morale.

Avoid Trying New Foods Or Supplements

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Race day (or the days leading up to race day) is not the time to try and experiment with new foods. Stick to the nutrition products and routines that have been successful during your training. Unfamiliar items might end up upsetting your stomach and maybe even causing some crashes in energy.

Set Small Goals Within Marathon

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If you ca, try and break up your marathon in to smaller segments and create some manageable goals to keep yourself motivated. Maybe try and reach a specific checkpoint in a race by a certain time? By achieving these mini goals you might be able to provide yourself with a strong sense of accomplishment.

Make Necessary Adjustments Mid-Race

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Flexibility within your marathon technique is so important, you might need to make some adjustments like slowing down your pace or taking some additional water breaks. Every marathon might be able to throw up some obstacles you weren't expecting so always be prepared for everything.

Bring Supportive Friends

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Although they might not be running the marathon with you, having supportive friends or family can be a great sense of motivation for a runner. Just their presence alone might be able to provide some encouragement. They might even be able to hand you your water or nutrition at certain points on the course.