A Conversation for The Wall - a Marathon Runner's Nightmare

The Wall

Post 1

Ausnahmsweise, wie üblich (Consistently inconsistent)

Good entry!
Just a couple of points.

The 20 mile point agrees closely to the 100 minutes I had read about. (For an elite athlete running under 2:20.)

I don't think a depletion run (to run the carbo hydrate tank dry) in the week before a marathon is included in modern training plans. I followed Benji Durden's plan ten years ago, and he did advocate a longish run, I think about six days before the competition


The Wall

Post 2


Hallo Ausnahmesweise! I’ve never heard of the 100 minute Wall-rule-of-thumb; where does it come from?

I know 3-30 runners who have hit ‘The Wall’ at about only 14-15 miles but they would have been at 115-120 mins by then. In their cases, the Wall has been a psychological barrier as much as, if not more than, a physical one, something unfortunately not addressed in this Entry. Runners at that speed who hit the Wall at the 20-mile mark have been underway for about 160 mins.

I agree with the idea of a longish run about 6 days beforehand. My best run was when, contrary to standard advice, I did three (casual) 1-30 training runs the weekend before. My performance after a competitive half-marathon race the weekend before was also good. smiley - run

The Wall

Post 3

Ausnahmsweise, wie üblich (Consistently inconsistent)


I don't remember where I got that 100 minute rule from.
The LSD (long, slow duration) runs are supposed to help your body get past that and run off of fat instead of glycogen. So, I suppose a hobby runner (3hrs or more) could still make the transition from glycogen to fat burning OK and hit another kind of wall later.

I've broken the magic 3 hr just once (2:59 in Munich).


The Wall

Post 4

Chris Morris

Just an amusing aside here - does anyone remember the national newspaper that reported, seriously, Bernie Ford having run into a wall during the Moscow Olympic marathon? One imagines the scene as Bernie struggles over the finishing line, harrassed by reporters asking what went wrong. "I hit the ******* wall at 18miles" he tells them. Reporters promptly dash off to the 18 mile mark to look for a wall with blood stains.

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