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Your views once again needed (from ed!)

Afternoon all

Hope you're enjoying this slightly murky Monday afternoon. Similar to last month, we're after your views to project into print in September's Tri Talk pages.

This month we're hooking onto Alistair Brownlee's Hyde Park exploits, namely...

When was the last time you hit the wall?

If the episode hasn't scarred you for life, we're keen to know the gory details (where, when...?). Simply reply to this thread and we'll publish the most evocative in print.

All help much appreciated.
James W, ed


  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    I have necer hit the wall in a race, but have had the ignominy of running out of all food, drink & having no cash on me whilst out on a training ride.
    Only 40k I thought, 1 bottle will do it nothing else required. Off I set & I still don't know where all that energy went, but sure enough, 10k from home I seemed to be cycling through a tunnel, whilst looking down the wrong end a telescope, inner voice cuts in..'better cycle faster to get home sooner.' yeah, great idea..in theory...maybe. Fail miserably, oh yes I worked harder, went nowhere, that slight uphill got less slight. Wiry older chap cycles past on an ancient steel bike, downtube shifters & all, I respond by quickening my pace, in a non perceptible manner, he pulls away easily & disappears.
    At around this time after negotiating a right left dogleg road crossing in a few more moves than were strictly necessary, it began to rain...oh joy.
    So about 8k home, cold wet, hungry, still in telescope/tunnel the worst I have ever felt on my bike, but I made it home.
    Proceeding to eat anything within arms reach once in the door & vowing never to leave home without extra food, money & a waterproof.
  • jrhunt78jrhunt78 Posts: 43
    Last time I hit the wall.....
    Front brake cable snapped on decent of Winnats Pass - straight into the wall at the bottom by the cattle grid! Front forks snapped...oops!!


    Wilmslow half marathon - 12.6 miles in and heading for a PB by 8 minutes and under 1h 50m. Cue the 200m final hill. That was it then, in the grass verge on my knees for 2 minutes before limping home in 1h 53m. I think I'll take in more than just water on my next one!
  • James

    The last time I hit the wall was on a training run. The course was around 11 miles of mainly off road. It was a very hot day and in hindsight I started dehydrated. I got to mile 7 and hit the wall. I couldn't even stand up let alone walk. I had to lie down on the grass and shut my eyes. After ten minutes on the ground I was able to walk to a local shop - 2 bars of chocolate and a Coke was enough to allow me to walk back to the car. I've never had this before and I've done a couple of marathons and a half ironman.
  • J WittsJ Witts Posts: 13
    Thanks for your replies so far - excellent stuff.

    If there are any more of you 'bonkers' out there, we're keen to hear your stories. The sound of print deadline is becoming louder (we go to print with issue 251 on Monday) so speed is of the essence.

    As ever, help very much appreciated.

    James ed
  • TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    I hit the wall on a Middle Distance race. Not a branded event, but a low key local event, and cheap to enter. however, it was cheap because the bike leg was unsupported, which meant 60 hard miles with only the two bottles on the bike I left T1 with. And to make things worse, it was on the hottest weekend of the year in July. Bike course was a 4 lap affair, and half way through my second lap all fluids had gone. I battled on for another lap, but by the time the fourth lap came I was only just turning the pedals, and realising I was a danger to myself, as I was weaving over the roads, which weren't closed.

    However, I got to the top of the final climb and stopped at a cafe, and luckily I always ride and race with a couple of pound coins in my jersey pocket. A can of coke later, and two bottles of water, and a sit down whilst the sugar kicked in, and I was off again.

    However, got into T2 for the start of the run, and my running shoes were the only ones there, all others were out on the run course, and some had finished and were packing up there gear.

    Perseverence paid off, and I struggled through to the end of the run. However, the finish line was being disamantled, and there were only 3 bikes left on what racking remained. Lesson learnt though. Read the race info, there is a reason why some races are much cheaper than others.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    Not sure it was quite hitting the wall, but during IMCH this year (my first) about 12 miles into the run my injured knee started to really hurt, everytime my foot hit the floor it sent a sharp pain through my knee and lower leg, enough to take my breath away. So being the sensible chap that I am, i decided to speed up, the resulting pain taking my breath away caused me to start hyperventilating then the pain stopped me running. I ended up coming to a grinding halt, in pain, hyperventilating and by that point blubbing like a little girl... which really wasn't much fun I still finished though
  • jacjac Posts: 452
    I hit the wall on a sportive last year.
    Due to commitments later in the day I'd gone for the 'brisk' 60k option of the Tour of the Pennines.
    Banking on it being a 2hr ride I'd taken five gels and two water bottles.
    What I hadn't banked on was the 50mph plus winds blowing that day.
    It was a hilly route anyway but the headwinds made the hills ten times harder. At times it was like peddling in treacle.
    On a couple of sections I managed to work with a couple of other guys so we could each shield each other from time to time.
    But my 2hr run turned into 3hr plus...and of course my nutrition had gone out of the window!
    The last 5k was atrocious. My legs were turning but had absolutely nothing left in them.
    My body was beginning to shake and all I could do was pray the end was near.
    Thankfully the last couple of k were downhill and I freewheeled in - to a waiting Thai curry, washed down by a bottle of Luco!
    I feared I'd done my worst ride ever..but looking at the results it seemed every one had suffered and I ended up 3rd.
    Hitting the wall wasn't pleasant, but I now carry double the amount of gels I think I'll need just in case those winds pick up again!
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Weymouth Middle Distance last year... everything was going to plan, or so it seemed, until the run. The first lap was fine, 11km in 1:04 was perfect for me. Just 10km to go!

    Then my world suddenly fell apart. Random cramps jittering around my quads, dizzy, wanting to cry but finding things hysterically funny, too. It took me 1:25 to do the final 10k and I can hardly remember finishing.

    When I checked my bike afterwards I realised that all the food and drink that I was sure I'd got through was still mysteriously uneaten. I did the whole race on 500ml of lucozade and a bite of malt-loaf. Lesson learned!
  • LeezarLeezar Posts: 36
    For me its been a long time since I blew up, when there was hair on my head and not my chest
    It was in a mountain bike race at Margam Park on the world champ course. Only two mountain climbs per lap....First lap went great comfortable with the leaders, start of the second lap felt like my wheels had come off.
    Got cramp in both clafs, one thigh, both hamstrings one tricep and both forearms by the top of the first climb. I was in such a state that I had to lean back on my bike with my hands hooked on the break leavers to put the brakes on the decent. At one point I had to stop and point the bike in the right direction and let go of the breaks... Can’t even remember the final climb or even how I finished but still made it 10th overall.
    Guess i was not the only one who had problems.
    Still to the day don’t know what went wrong when it was only 1:30h race. Taper and nutrition was the same as it always was. Just put it down to one of those days.
  • Hitting the wall,

    First and only time so far (im pretty new to the sport).

    Just did my first olympic distance race and probably should have put some more thought into it. After a series of annoying set backs including losing my race belt and having to put my number on a top which immediately ripped the numbers off when i put it on, cue boring minutes re-safety pinning numbers back on, and not being able to change from the larger chain ring to the small for the hill climbs (serviced the day before as well- thanks guys), im in a bad mood. 8km from T2 and im completely knackered- everyone else has passed me, some of them I think twice just for the hell of it, and my usual sprint distance plan of fuelling only in transitions and drinking on the bike isn't cutting it, I feel like I've got no will or energy left and still 10km run to go.
    I practically threw my bike onto the racks, sat down on the floor and ate two gels one after another and spent ages trying to put my trainers on and then trying to get up to do the run.
    Slowest 10km of my life so far but I finished the race in under 3 hours. Now when's the next one?
  • PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
    Well done & great attitude: you know where you went wrong and have every chance of improving on it.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Outlaw. Lost my Nuun tabs on the early part of the bike course and even though I had everything including the kitchen sink with me hadn't split these so at 90K or so cramped up on my right calf. Stopped a couple of times to rub it and even got a rub down from Leicester Tri on a Feed Station, so disheartening to see all those riders pass me by. At 170K my vision started to blur when in aero so had to ride high.

    Bike leg took an hour longer than planned due to the stops and reduction in tempo to ease the load on my calf (I even pedalled using my left leg only at one point).

    On to the run; started off nicely at my race pace but at 8K it was clear my electrolytes were fizzed, I ate salty crisps at each station and settled into survival mode.

    Last 10K I was suffering, checked my timings, under 15hrs was certainly achievable even if I just walked and tried to encourage others with that goal. Could I do 14:45?
    The last 5k; OSB had 550 lights to light up the run section, it was getting darker and the lights started to come on. ‘Sod it – I am going to leave everything out here and resumed a constant trot. I was passing others who were now walking and was really appreciative of their encouragement.
    The last straight 1.5k to go, I could see the flood light chute ahead, 500m, still trotting, in great pain my late Dad’s encouragement in my ears ‘keep it up John’ 100m I was not going to make sub 14:45.

    Underneath my feet I felt the surface change from tarmac to carpet, I was in the chute. The noise and cheers were fantastic, they didn’t know me, it was almost 9pm, they had been there all day and were giving me a hero’s welcome. I waved at them and applauded back to them in appreciation and they went wild. Hands appeared and it was high 5s all the way down and then the tape was in front of me, I took hold of it as the words rang out ‘John Williamson you are an Outlaw’ from the commentator and the crowd. I was just so overcome with emotion, yes I had cocked up my hydration and put the race in jeopardy but I finished. ‘That is for you Dad’ I thought. 5:36 for the run, 14:47 total, not fantastic, way down on the finishers table but job done, I am an Outlaw.

    Will I do it again? Absolutely, what a fantastic experience, lessons learnt for the future (the hard way).
  • This is fun indeed
    i had a great time reading your posts...
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