Running Tips – Avoid Hitting The Wall

Runners have heard about hitting the dreaded wall in a marathon. It usually happens anywhere between 20 and 23 miles. It usually has to do with stored glycogen and training. Read on for why this may happen and some tips on preventing it from happening to you.

Glycogen is what is stored in your muscles from carbohydrates. When you run, your muscles tap into your glycogen stores for energy to help you to get through your workout. You want to eat a diet high in carbs to keep these levels high. Eating carbs after your run is also important to replenish your muscles and can help speed up recovery.

When you are training for a long distance event like a marathon or half marathon, you need to make sure that you are also consuming carbohydrates during the run. Running for over 2 hours can deplete the glycogen that you have stored and can cause you to hit the wall. So, eating during your longer workout or race is critical to keep you fueled. You want to be proactive in doing this.

In addition to getting enough carbs – you can avoid hitting the wall by making sure that you have trained properly for your event. You need to make sure that you are doing your weekly long runs. Your long runs gets your body and mind trained for being out there for the time needed to complete your race. Also, your body will learn how to tap into those glycogen reserves and fat storage to get your through your runs.

When you are training for a marathon, you need to make sure that you are doing at least a couple of 20 mile runs. It is crucial for your body to get used to running for that amount of time. Many runners (myself included) like to get in a 22 miler, also. There are those that say is it not necessary – but it gives me more confidence heading into the event.

Another tip for not hitting the wall is to make sure that you are not going out too fast when the race starts. If you are running a marathon, you may be out there for anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. So, pace yourself accordingly.

There are many runners who have hit the wall during their marathons. However, if you follow the above tips, I’m sure that you will cruise right on through and finish your race strong.

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