Marathon training disaster

I'm training for the Yorkshire marathion and had my last long run yesterday - 20 miles.

The run was going well, had my watch keeping me very close to 9min/miles and feeling good. Then 14 miles I started to feel v tired and at 17 miles my legs and head went and I started to walk and run and finished that way.

Prior to that I was doing ok and had done 18 and 20 mile runs relatively comfortably.

In the week before the run I'd missed 3 training runs and had 3 really late nights due to work pressures. It was also a pretty hot day on the run.

My confidence has taken a bit of a knock and I'm not sure whether to lower my expectations for the marathon and aim for a lower pace or put it down to a blip due to external issues and just make sure it doesnt happen again.

Does anyone have any advice or experience of a similar situation?




  • Matt Young 9 wrote (see)

    In the week before the run I'd missed 3 training runs and had 3 really late nights due to work pressures. It was also a pretty hot day on the run.

    image  THink you've answered your own question there Matt.  DOn't worry, stick to your plan.  You've said you've already done 18 and 20 mile runs comfortably.  You'll be fine.  Better to arrive at the start line slightly under trained than over trained.

  • Tiny is spot on.  I am presuming that your food/water intake was sufficient - and it was just the tiredess. Certainly worth you being sure of that, because that would be the other obvious possibility.

    Even without those external factors, it is common in any walk of life for the last rehearsal, the last practice exam paper, the last training run to be a disaster.  That's why there's the saying "It'll be alright on the night".

    I did my first marathon last October and exactly that sort of thing happened to me in my last long run. Perhaps not so marked, but I just felt really lethargic, unable to maintain an easy pace, and I don't know why.  I started to lower my expectations by 30 minutes, but it was indeed 'alright on the night'.

    Double check that you haven't overlooked any other possible causes... but don't worry. Lots of people go through this.

  • Matt - just remember to back yourself as no one else can do that for you. When you are enjoying the race you will forget about your last long run.Just focus on being psychologically prepared and certainly do not think you need to do any additional training at this late stage. Taper is keeping up and not increasing the intensity. Do not think you need to make up for lost sessions at this stage. Enjoy the race.

  • I've been going over the run and I think I definitely messed up my fluid intake. Took on some liquid at 8 and 15 miles.

    I've used a camelback previously to take on water but on this one I did 3 loops near my home and picked up some bottles of Lucozade sport from my doorstep at 8 and 15 to run with but dumped each after taking on about 100-150ml.

    I think that on top of being tired I:

    • Didnt start drinking early enough
    • Didnt drink often enough
    • Didnt drink enough when I did

    I had some isotonic SiS gels too.

    Any thoughts?

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