“Even pros are forced to accept physical limitations.”
Race Day Quickly Approaching
The BMO Vancouver Marathon is only 26 days away! Wow, the training months have flown by! With so few days to go, I am feeling the pressure to get quality workouts in. Avoiding the “Bonk” is front and center as I anticipate completing the 42.2k in a descent time.
On Sunday, I ran my last long(er) distance run, putting in 32k. I have run two 30k runs in the past couple months, and have put in several 20k flat course runs on a regular basis. 32k did not seem like it would be much of an additional challenge. Wow, was I wrong!
The truth is, adding 2k to my previous 30k workouts initially did not seem exceptional. However, I was setting myself up for a perfect storm of problems, all relating to fatigue. Normally, I take on average two days rest prior to putting in the 30k distance. Strategically, this allows enough recovery of glycogen stores from previous efforts during the week.
Yesterday was the first long run where I felt fatigued from the start. On Thursday and Friday, I put in challenging hill workouts of about 8k each. On Saturday I ran a flat 10k tempo run, and even accomplished a PB. Although ambitious, going into a scheduled 32k run on Sunday was sure to be difficult as i had no significant period of recovery.
Challenging Myself Through Cumulative Fatigue
Why would I set myself up for difficulty? I wanted to approximate how I would feel during the last 10k of the marathon distance. IT WORKED!
You will see from the above that it took me 3:46 @7:04 pace to complete the challenge. This still puts me in the range of completing the marathon within five hours.
However, the difficulty I experienced yesterday makes me somewhat nervous. There is no doubt that I brushed up against the wall. It was a very uncomfortable feeling, and I lost a minute per kilometer starting around 26k. I was able to manage with a couple of walk breaks and plenty of hydration.
Going into the marathon, I now know what to expect. Through proper planning, the wall can be avoided (e.g.; A thought out taper, etc.). The question is whether or not I will listen!
On a final note, one of the challenges I experienced on my 32k challenge was nausea. In yet another experiment, I decided to eat Kettle Chips for some midway nutrition. That is not a mistake I will repeat.
Within two klicks, an overwhelming discomfort and thirst was threatening to end me for the day. I persisted and took in lots of water at the periodic fountains on the course. I was able to end slow, bloated, but with a decreased urge to blow beads!
What I learned
- There is power in the taper.
- Do not eat high fat salty foods on a long run.
- Fatigue is cumulative. When putting in a long run, consider what you have done during the week and adjust your expectations accordingly.