Can You Hit The Wall In A Half Marathon? Yes, I Had To Push Through It In My First Half.
In March 2011 I ran the Larne Half Marathon which was my first ever race.
I expected to run it in 2:15:00 and having ran 13 miles twice in the previous month I was confident that I could finish without encountering anything like a wall.
How wrong was I?
By 11 miles it was evident that I was gonna have to stop at some point as it all seemed too much.
When you’ve come that far and you’re that close to finishing, you feel destroyed, embarrassed and humiliated.
Since I’d only started running 2 months earlier, I was not comfortable at all about stopping to walk during runs. You were meant to run half marathons, not walk them.
My high expectations made me want to quit.
Those last 2 miles were extraordinarily hard. Not only did I feel that I’d let myself down, but my friends and my family.
Plus my nipples were bleeding from wearing a nylon top.
If you find yourself in hitting the wall in a half and you’re uninjured, then the best plan of action is to try to silence your mind altogether and just focus on taking one step forward at a time.
Running might seem impossible one moment, but out of nowhere the compunction to jog will hit you and you’ve got to let it carry you as far as it will take you.
The hardest bit for me in that first half marathon was taking over others who had hit the wall. It seemed like I was continually having to move from the footpath, onto the road and back again just to make my way through the crowd.
It must have added a quarter mile onto my race.
Since that half I’ve yet to hit the wall by running the first half a lot slower and picking up the pace from halfway, listening to my body all the while to guard how much is left in the tank.
Also, don’t be afraid to draw on the crowd and other struggling runners for support. You’ll need everything you can muster to pull you through the event.
Over time you will learn to pace yourself much better and you’ll let others overtake you at the start of the race only for you to overtake them again in the last half of the course.
It’s a great feeling!