Runners Wall. What does hitting the wall feel like?
The wall. Every athlete knows what it is. Aside from the thing you bang your head against when completely frustrated at your children, the wall is something every athlete has either heard of or experienced...and if not, look out. It's coming.
For some, the wall shot up quickly. As soon as you had a thought about exercise, the builders came in and blocked the thought from travelling out of the recess of your brain. For others, you experience the wall 1km into a run on a rainy morning. If you're experienced with the wall, you might have held the builders off until 30, 40 or 90km into your event. If you're really good, you've trained yourself to limit the effects of it, you notice it, but you don't let it block you from moving forward...
Yesterday I felt like my wall was up. I wondered how much longer I can wake up at 4:30am to get my training in. I haven't lost any joy in running, but brick by brick the wall grew as I thought about all the things that were making me feel a little (or a lot) exhausted.
Before you go and freak out Mum, I'm ok. I cut the wall back down to size and climbed over it. I'm eating enough and sleeping enough, I'm the right balance of grumpy and happy...but some days, I see the 160km wall and I think what the heck.
As we grow and learn, things hurt us that causes us to build a wall. Brick by brick we add to the wall until it's too high to scale and we have either pushed everyone away, or we can't keep moving forward. It's not until we realise how alone we are that we start to look for a chisel and a hammer to start chipping away at the protective shield we have built. Sometimes you need a jackhammer, or a sledgehammer. Some days you might have to put all your force into it...but you need to find the tools within you to start bringing the walls down in order to move forward.
If you hit the wall in running and you're unprepared, you can feel pretty stuck and alone, and start to question everything in life (or is that just me?).The wall in fitness is always a fight mentally to tell your body physically to keep going. You need to find a way over, around or through the wall to keep going, to keep fighting.
What tools have you got that will help you to scale the walls? What have you learnt from the past that can help you propel into your future?
** Runners Wall occurs when a runner's glycogen (stored energy) within the muscles is depleted. This forces the runner to slow down considerably, sometimes to a walk. Taking the right energy gels can help get past this wall, and fuel a runner the right way.