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How not to hit the wall

The marathon wall can stop you dead in your tracks. You’ve reached mile 20 and everything hurts, your legs are like concrete blocks, it’s a run/walk strategy to the finish line.

During my first two marathons I hit the wall. The first time around mile 18, it was soul destroying having to struggle for the rest of the race. My body and mind had literally given up, I had used all of my reserves, and I was running on empty.

As my knowledge around marathon training started to grow, so did my confidence. I started to train smarter, and understand how best to fuel my body over 26.2 miles.

The long runs became key for practicing different combinations and finding the right balance of fueling the marathon.

 

Fueling the marathon

Race day breakfast was two crumpets, a banana and a coffee, followed by 600ml of raspberry SiS GO Electrolyte Powder.

My fueling plan for Chester was straight forward. I was going to have a Science in Sport GO Isotonic Gel every 45 minutes, this was a mantra I’d started in my training runs so I knew I’d continue this on race day. I also had half of a Science in Sport GO Energy Bar every 7- 8 miles and picked up sport drinks where possible.

This worked perfectly for me. My first three 10km splits where all averaged 7.05 pace, followed by the last 10km split in 7.07. I didn’t stop, and I didn’t hit the wall, instead I finished the marathon strong with a ten minute personal best in 3:07:23. I’d finally conquered the dreaded wall.

 

My tips on fueling and beating the wall

  1. Take on extra carbohydrates and hydration during race week. The Science in Sport GO Electrolyte Powder works perfectly for me, as it’s the perfect mix for carb loading and hydration.
  2. Trial and error, is also key. Does a gel every 30 minutes work? Is it 45 minutes like myself? Plan your long runs as you would your race.
  3. Stay positive and run with a smile, everything is easier when you are actually enjoying it. Think of something that makes you happy.
  4. Last but not least, trust your training. You’ve put the work in for 16-20 weeks, this one last run is your victory lap.

With hard work and the right fueling anything is possible #fueledbyscience

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Written By

Lee Dodds