/ Brighton Marathon - Dehydration
I ran the Brighton Marathon at the weekend and had a bit of a mare from mile 15!!!
I was going for a sub 4 Hr and trained really hard for it, my previous Marathon time was Loch Ness with 4:14... Started behind the 4:00 pacer and felt really good. Had a small bottle of water with me (as Brighton give out cups and didn't want to stop!!)... Did the first half in 1:56 so a tad fast, decided to drop the pace as it was hot (I had been training in winter in Scotland lol). At mile 15 I started to really suffer (came on very fast) and even slowing down was not enough, I had to stop and walk (never did this before)... As I saw my time move away from the 4 Hr, I tried to pick up again but couldn't... This happened the whole way to the end, mixing running with walking. I slowly saw my 4:14 time go and then I was determined not to go beyond 4:30, and completed in 4:25.
The route has a lot of switchbacks which really affected me mentally, seeing these runners pass by me that I was running with not too long before!!!
When I got to the finish I got really dizzy and cramped up... I drank my electrolyte drink but got sick on the bus to the car-park (fluid)...
I reckon I didn't drink enough in the first half and during the second half I stopped at every water station but by then it was too late!!!!
I will learn from this and either carry a camelbak for the next or take the water as it comes.
Thanks for listening and be careful out there
My thoughts - what are you wearing - the fashion nowadays seems to be too much.
I wouldn't wear a camelback - I would however say to myself ok I need to drink properly, and if that means walking for 10seconds every 5km that's ok (to use a cup)
Trained ok, tapered properly, no overtraining or fatigue?
Did you eat anything whilst running or take on any energy drink or energy gels? Sounds like your blood sugars crashed. How far did you run in training and did you do many runs longer than 15 miles? I always take on food and water wherever possible. Paper cups aren't ideal but I understand they are better for the environment than plastic bottles but taking in plenty of water is important for me and even if half of it ends up down my front then at least than the other half will be going down my neck.
I think my clothing was ok...
I wore a camelbak during my long runs in training and it was the business...
Training was great as was my tapering... I felt great and strong.
My only concern, and still is, is that if the long runs are not at my target pace... how can you switch it on for 26miles??
Took gels every 5 miles as in training...
In training ran up to 22 miles including 18miles and 2 x 15 miles... In fact 10 Half marathons
Thanks for feedback
Did you take any gels during the marathon?
You were certainly prepared for the distance then and you weren't short of energy foods. It's a hard one to answer. I ran a marathon last autumn and felt fine apart from the last 5 km and didn't do anywhere near the training you did.
Did you run much faster on race day compared to your training runs? Maybe you overdid the pace. I stick to 5 minute kms when long distance training but closer to 4.30 for 10kms and 4.00 for 5kms.
How fast we your fastest 1/2? Do anyshorter races?
Quite tricky to pin these things down in my experience.
Sounds like your training was spot on. Might have been simple dehydration if you didn't drink much in first half?
Alternatively, could be lack of electrolytes if it was hotter than you expected, and you sweated a lot?
I ran London last year with a 4 hr target time. It was freakishly hot for the time of year. Mid to high 20s on the tarmac, following weeks of cold weather, hottest LM on record, and I suffered as a result.
First half I was bang on 2 hrs, then really fell apart in the second half, cramps from about 16 miles, and lots of walking. I drank loads of water due to the heat (lots more than I usually do) and I think it depleted my electrolyte levels, as I had never experienced cramp before. Probably should have drunk some lucazade or similar, but I didn't want to try anything new on the day so didn't touch the bottles they were giving out (my wife did and she was fine!)
Ended up with a time of 4:27 and felt really awful afterwards, which continued for about 24hrs!
My training runs were up to 21 miles at target pace which went fine, and my eating strategy was the same as in training. So I can only put it down to heat and dehydration on the day.
Incidentally my wife also ran Brighton on Sunday, she said it was fairly cold & windy (but then we live in Devon not Scotland!). She came in at 4:30, so you may well have crossed paths.
Better luck next time, I think its really hard to bring it all together on the day!
Thanks for that...
My friends that live in Brighton thought it was cool as well,, but they were spectating on the seafront which was windy... also I have been training in winter in Scotland lol...
However, I saw a few people collapsed on the route and a lot of reports of sunstroke!!!
Question, did you train your long runs at race pace?
My PB's are
A weather station in Brighton reports that the temperature on Sunday was less than 10C pretty much all day, I don't think this is anywhere near hot enough for dehydration to be a problem
The most likely explanation is simply that you ran the first half too fast, which - if your HM PB of 1:54 is recent - is almost certainly the case if you went through halfway in 1:56
> Question, did you train your long runs at race pace?
Most of them yes. Certainly the longest one (21 miles) I did at pace (9 min/miles).
That made it even more annoying when my pace went tits up from mile 16 onwards!
It really doesn't help. You are carry weight, that slows you down. You don't drink and breath efficiently when you are sucking up liquid.
Your long runs shouldn't be at target pace but the end should be.
1 x 22 miles, 1 x 18 and 2 x 15 miles is not enough.
For Boston I did 1 x 26, 1 x 24, 1 x 21, 2 x 20, 1 x 18 and god knows how many 15-16's and mid week 10-13 milers. 2 long runs over 16 miles will give you very little adaptation.
So aiming for 4 hours you went through half in 1:56.
Ideal is neg split so let's say ideal first half would be 2:01.
That's 5 mins too fast which works out at 23 secs/mile too fast. That's quite a bit.
So although you may have been dehydrated, etc, sounds like you've basically blown up, or at least all the factors together have caused you to blow up.
Trying to get it back again. From there - no chance.
Bit surprised that the 4 hour pacer did first half in 1:56, but then pacing is a difficult thing to do.
I thought he was going too fast, that's why I backed off.
Also demoralising seeing your pacer get further and further ahead lol !!!
Poor by the pacer, a few seconds per mile as the course changes is one thing but not that uneven. He shouldn't be trying to bank time.
I have seen people brag "Brought the sub 4 group home in 3:50".. as though it was a good thing.
I paced the women's Olympic trial qualifiers at Philly and we ran 6:15 pace or whatever it was almost regardless, even into the wind, down the hills, bloody hard work.
I spoke to the pacer beforehand regarding his strategy, as I was not interested in banking time.
He did say it would be a consistent 9min/mile!!!
Still, not blaming him... it is my race after-all
That's 4 minutes under 4:00 isn't it?
That's a very odd attitude but I can't say I'm surprised having heard others.
I was thinking about this last night as I am trying to analyze boston.
Sadly its all academic and futile. There's so much that can go wrong.
I slowed and ran 1:23:30 1:26:25 halfs. Did I go off too fast? Humidity? It is a slower second half but my legs didn't come back for the final descent.
Not enough conditioning from specific down hill running, just not enough miles in general.
Diet the day off, food in the race, different gels.
Did my low grade cold I have play a part..
It could be anything, its the beauty of marathons.
I saw one old elite runner call everyone 'onfa'z'
The old "I was on for x before y" excuse we all trot out. I don't know anyone who reckons they actually ran the best marathon possible at the peak of fitness. Me being a classic example, I was 2:36 but was "on for" 2:30 once at Berlin before a back issue meant I had to DNS.
I also ran brighton. my pace died off from about 21 miles.
It started out much warmer than expected, and the head wind when running east (about half the time) was brutal.
The race winner had said that the wind was the worst he'd known. so you might just have been unlucky.
If you drank at every station after halfway you could have been over hydrated or suffering from hyponatremia. That will leave you feeling confused, and sick.
Brighton is my PB. Favourite bit was out to the Marina, also enjoyed the bit out towards Hove, unlike some, but messed up my calculations and was behind target pace so reduced pace at 40k in order to have less pain!
I've run Brighton multiple times. I've blown up around mile 15 a couple of those times from going too fast in the first half. There's more ascent and descent in the first half so it's harder. So, I agree with the poster who said 1:56 seems quite fast, given your PBs and target time.
I personally always feel sick after long runs when working hard. I'm still working it out, but suspect dehydration is main cause. Salt tablets and Tailwind have both improved things, whereas gels always seem to make me feel queasy.
Better luck next time chasing the PB!
> If you drank at every station after halfway you could have been over hydrated or suffering from hyponatremia. That will leave you feeling confused, and sick.
Interesting... I hadn't considered that.
> I've run Brighton multiple times. I've blown up around mile 15 a couple of those times from going too fast in the first half. There's more ascent and descent in the first half so it's harder. So, I agree with the poster who said 1:56 seems quite fast, given your PBs and target time.
The large switchback at Hove really demotivated me... was so hard to see that Pacer balloon disappear from view... thankfully I didn't see him pass me by until the power station switchback
Using your various PBs in an estimated marathon time calculator, your final marathon time is quicker than predicted, so you should be very happy with it. I think you were quite ambitious with your target time of 4hrs, particularly based on your half marathon best.
> Using your various PBs in an estimated marathon time calculator, your final marathon time is quicker than predicted, so you should be very happy with it. I think you were quite ambitious with your target time of 4hrs, particularly based on your half marathon best.
Which calculator is that?
I used one online and got the following:
Half Marathon 1:54:43
Haven't really got anything else to add, but I remember doing a marathon in Christchurch (NZ) where the first half was running through this beautifully scenic area, alongside the river. but the second half was this horrible long road out to the airport, only to find a solitary road-cone telling you to turn around (the only amusing thing was running past the university - who'd set up an unofficial drinks stand with half pints of lager). Anyway, it was really demoralising, even though I did get a PB. My race feedback was basically to do 2 half marathon circuits instead of that never-ending road, which I'm sure was echoed by many others as when I ran it 2 years later, it was two lovely loops, and I was only 8 minutes off my PB with doing hardly any training at all. Really enjoyed it in fact.
I guess what I'm saying is that a lot of it is a mental game. Hitting the wall sucks, and regardless of what you put into your body sometimes you just can't get back in the game.
But I now notice the calculator can also take in to consideration your weekly total.
> I used:
> But I now notice the calculator can also take in to consideration your weekly total.
I put my best 10K and best Half times in there (both of which were coincidentally done in Brighton), plus average mileage I'd do per week training for a marathon and it gave me a time exactly the same as my best marathon time (also coincidentally at Brighton).
So, it seems accurate for people who train like me for races in Brighton!
I use the VDot Calc App on the iphone for training paces and equivalent race distances.
That sounds more like "hitting the wall" (running out of glycogen and switching to burning fat) rather than dehydration. Dehydration isn't much fun but generally won't cause that kind of sudden loss of power, but "hitting the wall" does.
It happens to me pretty much without fail at mile 11 or so. You're lucky if you get to 15!
As for throwing up...it's not entirely unusual, that kind of exertion and "bouncing around" messes with your stomach. Light-headedness at the end is similarly not unusual, I have to sit down for a good half an hour at the end of a marathon before making any sense.
4:25 is very respectable by the way, well done.
In the past I think Marathon runners took no water at all for the race-Frowned upon? In the recent past it was drink water to formula - water intoxication? Today while this formula is still true in some countries recommendations its now drink to thirst as the mantra- I believe.
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