Hitting a wall

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by parabol, May 25, 2009.

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  1. I believe the correct term is hitting a 'plateau', or something like that. It's where you are training enough, but failing to see any real progression. I feel that perhaps I've hit something like this.

    For the past few months I feel as if I haven't really progressed in fitness at all, despite me being more dedicated towards my training more than ever. I ran a personal best on my 3.5 mile run about 6 weeks ago and haven't really got near it since. Before that, I use to do a regular 4 mile run with a best time of 28 minutes which I haven't got anywhere near either. And just my fitness in general seems to have maintained over the months.

    Perhaps a complete revamp of my training routine is in order. Anybody else experience this?
  2. Well when I was training for the London Marathon I seemed to get stuck at the 18 mile point and had to stop on many an occasion. Just gritting my teeth got ma through it and I did do the marathon. Wasn't any good but at least I got the medal and raised a few quid into the bargain. Not for me I hasten to add.
  3. You ideally should have a weeks rest every 5 to 6 weeks to allow your body to recover and muscles grow.Or you will simply burn out eventually due to constant demands on the body.
  4. yes you do hit a plateua, but that tends to be a slow down of gains rather then a complete neutral.

    doing the same thing routinely will cause you to plateau (ie same distances, sessions, on the same week day). you have to increase the difficulty with your fitness improvements, keep percieved intensity the same, not the actual sessions.

    also, if you are really smashing the phys, you might be overtraining.
    you can overtrain on fairly low levels of pt. just because i can run 10 miles 6 days a week and swim a mile every night, doesnt mean that is the level of overtraining. its your normal routine compared to the increase. if you dont do much, and suddenly start 4 med-hard sessions a week you could easily find yourself overtrained.

    if you experience some of these, you are probably over trained:
    -consistant fatigue
    -aching muscles routinely, even after rest periods of 48hrs
    -more reluctance to do phys then usual
    -high percieved exertion doing sessions thats you have done previously with ease.
    -abnormal lack of appetite
    -depression/dissillussion with exercise
    -mood swings
    -consistent illness

    if it is just a case of training issues, here are some good sessions i use to improve speed:

    hill reps - strengthens the leg muscles, helps improve all out speed.
    repeats - doing sprints of 800m, 1200m or 1600m helps improve speed over distance.
    fartlek - a steady run, with sprints of variable, unspecific distances ie lamp posts, landmarks etc thrown in along the way.

    try doing some light speed work after a nice steady run. being a good runner has a lot to do with being able to switch between slow and fast twitch muscle fibres efficiently, as well as having strong fit muscle fibres in both ranges.

    lots of runners cant switch between the two effectively and so get a great sensation of 'jelly legs' when trying to sprint after a significant period of running at a steady state.

    i can reel of lots of sessions you should do, but the simple idea is to keep changing the difficulty, dont just do one type of session, and dont do too much too soon. if you want any more advice let me know!

    editted to add:

    that is hitting the wall of a very different kind. that is due to glyogen depleation in the muscles, and the ways to combat it are:

    training. most people experience the wall between about 18 and 22 miles. train these distances to teach your body to use the fuel efficiently so you dont 'run out' as it were.

    carbo loading. not going to go into this, google it, but is basicly, eating carbs so your body stores more then usual. more fuel means you can go for longer before you reach depletion.
  5. Thanks laza and all of you.

    Well, come to think of it my runs have been the same which is usually a 3.5 mile distance. I'm going to mix it up a bit. I use to do some fartlek training down at my local woods, using a row of trees as posts. I would sprint to one, jog to the other, sprint to the next etc.

    Hopefully it will break up the monotony and shock my body a bit from this same routine. Not sure why I couldn't see this until now really.