Dublin Marathon Countdown Just 4 Days to GO –> Pacing Guides

October 26, 2022

Many of you are running your first marathon on Sunday, many of you are once again attempting the formidable task and to you I say "Once more unto the breach, dear friends". 

The question many people have been asking and one I have struggle with myself is just how to pace yourself during a race.

What pacing strategy should you use? The standard advice is to run an even or negative split – that is, running the second half at the same speed, or slightly faster, than the first.

With just 4 days to go until the Dublin Marathon, we look at three top tips to pacing your perfect marathon:

  1. Settle down, take it handy, and remember the race starts from after Roebuck Hill! You're not Eliud Kipchoge, and you're not the guy who went out like Declan Moffat at the start of the London Marathon. Early on in the race, you should be running at a pace that feels too slow for at least the first half to ensure the wheels don’t come off later. Getting the pace right is a question of matching your expectations to your level of training. Getting it wrong is a common thread running through many of the other problems you may face.
  2. Be realistic!! If you're running your first marathon, the rule is generally you will finish at twice your half marathon time, plus 20 minutes. That is to say if you do a 1h50 half, you'll do a 4hr marathon. Also, if you don't have the training done, it really won't be ok on the day. I'm saying this from experience!! If a niggling injury meant you weren’t able to complete as many long runs as you had planned, or work got out of hand and you didn’t get in as many miles, adjust your goal so you can still run an even or negative split.
  3. Start with the right goal!! Your goal is to finish in one piece, and then based on your training, you should have an idea of what time you should be doing. If you are not feeling it on the day, drop back a pacing group. If you feel its your day, wait until the Stillorgan dual carriage way before deciding its time to kick on. The hill from Milltown to past Clonskeagh is like Cheltenham, its long and surprisingly difficult. Roebuck hill isn't that bad, but it is a milestone for conservation.

While you're holding yourself back, try take in the route as you leave Fitzwilliam Square, don't pass people if you can, hold back and know you will pass those people out in the all important latter stages of the race. With the thrill of the race. this can be easier said than done so focus on holding back and taking it all in.

Other runners will be sprinting beside you, getting in your way and you might feel they are slowing you down. Don't dip and dive to get past, the nature of a marathon is a gap will naturally present itself. From experience, such movements will begin to tell later in a race if you do it too much. Stressing over simple things like people running slow around you will burn up precious energy. The key is staying calm and run your own race, they won't impact your time.

Coming into Phoenix Park and throughout the course, make use of the water stops. When you get past the zoo, begin to nudge your pace up ever so slightly until you get to the gates at Castleknock and then try build slowly. If you see a marathon paces for your desired time, try stick to them as much as you can.

The marathon will be tough, you'll question why did you decide to do this, but stick in there!!

The best way to understand pacing and what kind of times you should be running is to view our article on pacing times for various marathons. All the times and paces were calculated for a negative timed first half marathon and a slightly faster second half. 

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