Sunday, April 25, 2010

Planned run 2hr 20 min

Date: 25 Apr 2010
Time: 2:10:42 min
Distance: 25.11 km

I decided in this run to become acquainted with what is commonly described as 'The Wall'. My recipe:

- DO 3 10km runs in the days leading up to the long run, a fast one Tuesday at around 4:30min/km pace, then a slower one at 5min/km pace. Then another on Friday at 4:23km/min pace. That one set up some good muscle pain and fatigue for the run today.

- Eat no particularly high carb foods in the days leading up to the long run

- On the Saturday night before I ate a very small meal for dinner

- ON the morning of the run, ate no breakfast and had no food before taking off (Usually half a banana works well for me)

- In the run I took off faster and held better than 5km/min pace for as far as I could, in this run that ended up being around the 13th km

- Took no 'sports supplement' - I usually take a Gu at around the 10km mark on longer runs

- Wore my water belt with about 860grms weight - consumed most of it.

- It was also slightly warmer than last weeks run where I managed to do 2hr20, 5km/min average and managed 28kms

So all that set up a dramatic wall for me, at around 13km was where I felt a little bit bad, but it hit me harder at 19th km. From there on I dropped pace steadily to around 6min/km!!

The symptoms I experienced: Heart rate did not increase, I was well hydrated, legs were horribly fatigued. Every niggling pain I have ever experienced appeared, and I simply could not achieve my usual 5min/km easy pace - I got slower and slower. No cramps, but my hands began to tingle slightly. I hit the 2hr10 point and just stopped dead. My upper front teeth began to buzz and I was foggy.. I stood there for a little while and found myself staring off into the distance, so I did drift off for a while, no idea how long. A toilet was nearby so I went. Grabbed more water, and decided I should trot the 10min home. I took off at a shuffle and I seriously could not continue!! So I walked home. Walking was even a struggle.

So that was possibly a worthwhile experiment. The question is 'Is this sort of run and hitting a wall beneficial to training?' It depends on how rapidly I recover from it I guess.

When I was trying to become a musician, a mantra I often heard was 'Perfect practice makes perfect performance'. Essentially you get everything right in practice and your performance benefits. That is probably true in training for running. I am aiming to get the best out of myself on the day of my Marathon race. So am I better off deriving the best performance in training, doing everything right to run the best I can in training, or is setting up a serious struggle like I did today going to actually help?

Something to think about.

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