I've just completed my first marathon last sunday. It was pretty much a global disaster. I started cramping up at the 18km (11mile) mark before completely comming to a halt at km 31 (19.5 miles). I finished in around 5hours. Way beyond the 4h mark which was (based on my training) calculated as expected finishing time (=my long run training tempo). In the end I wasn't tired(=which frustrated me), I just had cramps all over the place.
As I trained thoroughly for 6 months completing no less then 7 times a 20milers without feeling any exhaustion/cramps.
One of the reasons of my failure was the warm day I believe (next to me being nervous). It was 26°C (78,8 F) at its warmest. And I tend to fail/cramp up during warmer weather. I've tried pretty much every trick in the book:
- Drinking extra during the run
- Drinking sports-drinks or any electrolyte rich drink which I used in training
- Taking electrolyte/salt-rich tablets during the run
- Antacid tablets
The marathon itself was at a near-coastal town (Bruges) and 100% on paved roads. I live some 40km from the town and experience the same climate/temperatures.
So I was wondering if there are any training techniques/tips which might help my body perform better during warmer days? Does any had the same problem & how did they overcome it?
Sidenotes: before any mentions under-training
- Pre marathon Training load: around 65k/week (=40miles)
- Number of 20milers: 7 in the 2,5 months leading up to the marathon. all without cramps or fatigue.
- Preparation Distance(6 months): 1800k (1125 miles)
My trainingscheme up to the marathon
- Monday: An Easy 10 to 12k at 5'45"/km (hr below Aerobic threshold)
- Tuesday: 15k with 6 times a mile at 5'/km (hr on the border between extensive/intensive workout) (rest 400m at 6'/km)
- Wednesday: Off or Crosstraining (40km on the bike Max)
- Thursday: 12k with either 4 mile repeats (pace like tuesday) or 6 times 4minutes at 4'20"/km (hr on the lactate treshhold) & rest 2minutes at 6'15"km
- Friday: Off
- Saterday: Long Run: 22 to 30 km at 5'45" (hr below Aerobic threshold)
- Sunday: off or some light cycling
- Pace from km0 to km18 (first cramps): 5'55"/km (HR above aerobic threshold somehow). Was following the 4h15' flag.
- Pace from km18 to km31 (reduced speed to compensate for the cramps): 6'10"/km (HR around aerobic threshold)