5K update, and how I found the wall.

7 months, 23 days, 18 hours, 19 mins, 15 seconds until the London Marathon.

At the start of the month it was, quite obviously, The First Sunday Of The Month 5K with the North Herts Roadrunners. Another great run – I broke my 5K PB finishing in 21:11. I ran comfortably quickly using another runner ahead of me to keep pace, and then on the second lap upped the pace and took it away from him, but I was too far behind the lead pack to make anything up to them, finishing in 6th.

Leading up to the next few weeks with the Great North Run and then the Loch Ness Marathon I’ve started doing longer runs, above the 11.5 mile and 13 mile training runs I normally do, upping to a 19 mile route. Looking at the time I’d consider myself quite happy. Simply put, If I added another seven miles onto that route at the pace I ran on average on that run, I would be finishing a marathon in 3h30m, my target time for London. However there is something to dissuade my optimism. The Wall.

I think it is right to capitalise The Wall. The Wall was something I, like others, scoffed at. The Wall was something that I thought was just tiredness at the end of a long run. I then found out that scientifically speaking it is something quite different. When you run you convert carbohydrates into energy to power your legs. At around 18 miles into a run you will run out of carbohydrates, and you start converting glycogen into energy which is far less efficient. What this doesn’t tell you is that it is incredibly painful. When running you slip into an unconscious  groove, you don’t think about the next step, it just happens. During this run it was very hot and sunny, so I was grabbing water from a bottle whenever I came back after each loop back to my house. Getting to the 18 mile mark, almost home I suddenly realised that my pace had dropped significantly. Subconsciously I had slowed significantly- this was The Wall. When I realised I tried to up the pace back to what I had been running previously, I hit a barrier of pain. I really wanted to stop and have a wee, I’d even unlaced my shorts! The final mile was massively slow- just from a glance at my watch at various waypoints I think my final mile was 10 minutes long rather than my average 8 minutes. The Wall is not something to be messed with- and at Loch Ness it will go on for ages!

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Cheers for reading,

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