“Collapse Point”

4 08 2009

Have you heard or read about this term in running? If not, then you were not born yet in the 70s and 80s or you were not yet into running during those times.

“Collapse Point” is the point along the marathon race where you hit your “Wall”. This term was made famous by Dr John Wagner of the Honolulu Marathon Association during the 70s  where he led the Honolulu Marathon Training Clinic to runners who would like to finish the Honolulu Marathon. Through this Running Clinic, it resulted to a high percentage of finishers in the said Marathon Race.

According to Dr. John Wagner, the following is the simple test to determine your “collapse point”:

1) Calculate/Determine your total mileage (in miles or in kilometers) for Sixty (60) Days prior to Marathon Day.

2) Divide the total by the figure 20.

3) Result gives your approximate “collapse point”.


If you have a weekly mileage of 70 kilometers (10K per day), your total mileage for 60 days is 600. Divide 600K with 20, the result is 30K, which is approximately your “collapse point” in a marathon race.

If you have a weekly mileage of 105 kilometers (15K per day), your total mileage for 60 days is 900. Divide 900 with 20, the result is 45K as your “collapse point” which is more than the marathon race distance.

Good luck to those who will be running their first marathon race this coming October and before the year ends!




15 responses

4 08 2009

Very interesting fact, BR! and it is really true, at least for me…

6 08 2009

BR! Great to see your team take on the Cabrera road shortcut to Antipolo this rainy morning. Me and my wife do our hill training and biking there as well, would love to join you next time:)

5 08 2009

Never heard of it but it sounds like a ploy to get runners to run more miles:)

Seems too simplistic and does the formula take into account other variables; pace, nutrition and taper for example? Since I started running ultras, racing triathlons, going to workshops and soaking the knowledge of more experienced athletes I’ve come to the conclusion that “the wall” is a moving target and what you do on race day can make it happen sooner, later or not at all. Earlier this year I’ve witnessed an under trained runner do very well in a 100-miler because he was aware of his predicament and paced accordingly. Two of my well trained friends however did poorly because they were boneheads about their pace and went out at a 50-mile pace for a hundred. Still laughing about that one.

5 08 2009

good point and analogy, however it is friggin weird how the wall comes up at almost the same time i experienced the wall in my first marathon … lol, well obviously the only answer i also could give you is i was one of your dumbasses who went out at a 21K race pace for a full marathon – you couldn’t have explained it any better, buddy 😛

6 08 2009

Haha, hurts right. The three big ones for me is pace, nutrition and hydration. I get those three right my potential for a good race goes up.

6 08 2009

In that case I’m also one of the dumbass who ran too fast in the beginning. But it was my first marathon so I hope to prevent the wall next time.

5 08 2009

Sir Jovie, wow this is spooky and amazingly true for me, I’ve just checked mine as well and I did hit the wall at the predicted distance ->16miles or 26.32kms. Thanks for the information, I will try to increase my mileage next time.

6 08 2009

Talking about the 80’s, Sir Jovie I just got this link from the ultralist, a video of Joan Samuelson’s 1984 Olympic Gold in the marathon in LA. Thought you’d appreciate it since you just ran LA and it’s just a good feel good video for runners.

6 08 2009

Hey Rick, the video is unavailable “due to copyright restrictions”.

6 08 2009

That’s a bummer. Sorry about that guys.

6 08 2009

Weird but I never experienced the “wall” in my short ultra life but I did in full marathon. Go figure.

11 08 2009

hi sir baldrunner, this writeup was really very interesting it should help me improve my weekly and long term training, nilink ko na din po article nyo sa blog ko, many thanks sir!

8 07 2010
Race Report: 34th MILO Marathon Manila Eliminations « Bald Runner

[…] discussed the term “Collapse Point” in one of my past posts. It is the point or distance along the marathon course where you hit your […]

22 08 2010
i2runner » Training for the Wall

[…] year, I read BaldRunner’s blog on the Collapse Point or popularly known as the Marathon Wall. He mentioned that the average weekly mileage to avoid the […]

16 12 2010
Full Marathon Collapse Point (A Repost) « BossMimi's Revenge: Race to Bald Runner's T-Shirt

[…] Full Marathon Collapse Point (A Repost) December 16, 2010 thebossmimi Leave a comment Go to comments This is really interesting. I got this from my idol, Bald Runner. […]

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