Belfast Marathon 2013

hi all, just thought id open a thread for anyone running Belfast Marathon in 2013 - hoping for a much better day than last year!  Done this marathon in 2010 and 2011, only relay last year, and so planning the full 26.2 again this time around.  Anyone planning on doing the full/relay on 7th May?



  • Hi, I'm running my first marathon with my boyfriend this year in Belfast! At the moment I'm a very delicate balance of very nervous and quite excited!  Any advice or tips? 

  • hi there, i am hoping to do marathon for 3rd time, havent registered yet, but need to start into my trianing plan, but need to follow one first! last year, was the best year i ever had, re the race, i love the cold weather when i am running.  i beat my pb by 38 mins due to losing over 1 1/2 stones in weight, i now want to get down to 4.30 or below that. so any advice on a training plan, i supppose i could do what i did last year, it seemed to agree with me, running 4-5 times a week, along with circuit training helped me.


  • elaine, my best advice is just to build up mileage gradually week on week and to run 4-5 times a week, with one run at the weekend being a long run increaseing by a mile each week up to 18-20, at an easy pace, and just to enjoy it really! i find the hal higdon marathon plans work quite well, i followed the novice one my first time out, trying to look a bit more at the intermediate 2 one this year, with modifications where needed - usually try to run 5 days a week, twice on a track for tempo/speedwork, two easy runs, one of 3-4 miles and the other between 6-10, and then a long one at the weekends - i would say to ensure some training is on a hilly course, as belfast has a steep section to it around mile 8-13, which you should be prepared for!


  • runner32 i would have to say im hoping for slightly better weather than last year, much prefer a bit of heat during the marathon but it does make for hydration issues, but gets much more support out on the streets!  great pb, i find that losing the weight helps massively with the time, usually i drop between 1-2 stone during marathon training, with all the training it just kind of happens without trying

  • to be honest i always like to have  a setplan so i stick to it. i never really understood how marathon runners lost weight when training, only reason i lost almost 2 stones was due to joining slimming world, for years i never lost weight during training and couldnt work out why i couldnt run faster and thats why because i was over weight!

  • Well, i finally bit the bullet, registered for Belfast as my spring marathon and have all my travel booked...

    Looks like i'll be doing the P&D 12 week, up to 55 mile plan, as i've yet to properly kick start my training, although my weekend long runs for the last few weeks have been 13 miles or so.

    Not sure i'll be aiming for a PB, as haven't given myself enough time to really train for it, but will see how the training goes...

    Jason - aside from the marathon, what would you recommend doing whilst in Belfast? Is the Titanic museum worthwhile?

  • Jersey- never done the marathon but Belfast is a fantastic city, been over a couple of times and it's just such a friendly place. The titanic experience is good and I would recommend the open top bus tour, very humorous commentary and worth seeing both sides of the divide, thankfully it's more of a tourist attraction now. Great shopping areas, restaurants and pubs and a pint in the crown is a must!

    Got into London this year but Belfast was my second choice, maybe next year!
  • Cheers Bigeater, the missus is coming with me, so sure she'll be happy with the shopping!

    Might save the pint in the crown till after the marathon!

    Enjoy London, still hoping i get sub 3:10 some day to qualify as "good for age", as i've yet to do London....

  • jerseydaniel..would second the shopping idea, that and maybe the titanic idea, plenty of good bars for a pint afterwards for sure!  

    as for the marathon, usually has very good support out and a good event at the finish, i have enjoyed it every year, has its critics but in general its a great day out

    Going for a pb myself, but as this is the only marathon ive done it should be fairly straightforward, as ive ramped up the training and looking at sub 4 for the first time...saying that, belfast isnt really a pb course, check out the elevation chart below to see what i mean!


  • I'm marathon first timer (47 yrsold!) and my aim is to finish! My sister lives in Belfast so if I struggle at least I'll have somewhere to recover... I'm doing the '' 16 week training plan, building up to a long run of 20miles before tapering, but if anyone could give me any advice at all on how to get faster I'd be really grateful!image

    jerseydaniel, the open bus top tour is interesting and entertaining and you can use the tickets over a couple of days. Shopping is fab in Belfast. There is a Crumlin Road Gaol tour (about £7.50) which is really popular so you'll probably have to book that one, and of course the pubs (post marathon!) and the lovely people - you'll both have a great time!


  •  i work in tourism, check out our website, i can say Titanic is fab experienc and also the Crumlin Road Gaol.

  • well finally got my legs in gear and adopted bupa intermed, training plan, have had to jump to week 6 though, but i will be grand, 2nd run this week and have two more runs this week and try to get  some core in to...very cold in belfast!


  • it has certainly got a lot colder the past day or so, hoping no more snow comes after the amount we got last month!  into week 8 of my training currently, 16 mile long run this weekend all being well...amazing how fast the time goes, only another 10 weeks to go til marathon day and 7/8 weeks of actual training before taper etc, just hope it gets a bit warmer before may!

  • my god you are way ahead of schedule! i usually dont get into those big long miles until march


  • Afternoon all, it's been a 50 mile week for me, culminating in a 17 mile run this morning and my legs don't feel too bad! Now relaxing on the sofa watching Liverpool v Spurs...

    Thanks to all those who suggested things to do in Belfast, now trying to work out how to fit it in to 2.5 days...

    For anyone interested in getting a clearer picture of the route, i have plotted it on mapometer, which may help give you an idea of where the climb starts and the steep drop begins:

    Hope everyone elses training is going well!



  • You will need to click the "show altitude" icon at the bottom of the map to see the gradient...

  • I'll be racing for the first time ever. I've been following the RunLounge beginner plan that the event organisers recommended. Has anyone else here tried those? Is it a good plan? They seem to go by run duration rather than mileage on the long runs. I just hope it's challenging enough to prepare me for the big day.

  • Tim - i've not looked at the RunLounge plans, but i've read in the past that your longest runs should be around 20 miles, or 3 hours, whichever is the shorter. Not sure how well that works if you expect your time to be over say 4.5 hours...

    For my first marathon i didn't use a plan, did 3-4 runs a week and steadily increased my long weekend run. Think i did around 2 or 3 runs that were around the 3 hour mark. Went from running about a mile to a 3h38m marathon within about 6 months.

    How's your training going and do you have an idea of your target time?

  • My training is going fine thanks, and my target time actually was around 4h30m. This Saturday I'm doing a 2h30m run and I hope to cover about 13-15 miles in that time. It will be tough but I've still got a few weeks to get stronger.

    Do you walk at all during the 3 hour runs, like a 5 minute break after each half hour or just keep going?

  • Tim - so based on that run, you're running somewhere between 10-11.5 minute miles, and a 20 mile run could take you close to 4 hours, which is probably too much in training.

    If your target time is 4h30m, then personally I would look to do at least one of my long runs over 3 hours, maybe 3.5 hours depending on how you feel, as I think this would make the actual day more enjoyable if you have this sort of time under you belt. Maybe schedule a 3 hour run so you would finish back where you started and have the option to add on a further 30 mins if you're feeling good.

    I haven't taken walking breaks during my long runs, but there's nothing wrong with doing that if it gets you through them and gets the miles in your legs.


  • jerseydaniel - Thanks for the advice. I know I definitely need to work on my pace. I'm now thinking about doing the Larne Half Marathon on the 23rd, so the results of that would give me a better idea of what I can achieve in May, not to mention some racing experience which I have nothing of yet!!

  • jerseydaniel wrote (see)

    Tim - so based on that run, you're running somewhere between 10-11.5 minute miles, and a 20 mile run could take you close to 4 hours, which is probably too much in training.


    Actually my GPS watch recorded that I normally run a mile in 8m30s on level ground so I'm probably overestimating a lot about the amount of time it will take me to run that distance :P

  • Tim - if you're running 8.5 minute miles, then that's a pretty good pace. If you could sustain that pace for the full marathon, you'd finish somewhere around 3h40m!

    I would think about building your stamina, but based on that speed, you'll be doing around 20 miles or more in 3 hours, so with your plan, I think you're well on course for the marathon.

    Doing a half on the 23rd will definitely give you a good idea where you're currently at and maybe revise your target downwards!

  • jerseydaniel, great to see the map of elevation, really helps to be prepared for the hilly part, and to know the downhill part is right after some ways i find the flat towpath to be the hardest part in the past as it just offers nothing in terms of encouragement or motivation, when you need it most!

    Tim - doing that kind of pace defintly sets you up for a sub 4 marathon, im looking at the same kind of time myself if possible, and i would definitly agree that between 3 and 31/2 hours long run would best prepare you for it...any longer i think and you risk injury or burning out, just make sure to fuel+hydrate if you are out for this long running, and personally i would walk for say 30 seconds or so every 5-6 miles while taking a drink, the small seconds you lose taking a drink on will probably equate to saving time at the end from not being dehydrated!

    I would also say that the larne half is a great half marathon to do, will be doing it myself for the third time and is a good course and a good marker for where you are in terms of the full marathon, i would race larne as a half and then double it and add maybe 15/20 minutes for a predicated marathon finish,

  • Hi Everyone. Just found this site!

    I'm running Belfast with my Husband. It's my first marathon but he ran Dublin last October. We're following Hal Higdon's 18 week Novice 2 plan. Did 19 miles on Saturday in 2hrs 47 so slightly lover the 4hr pace. Happy enough though as I only started running last March and up til November had never gone further than 6miles! Would like to do a 4hr Marathon but to be honest I'd be happy just to finish it! Training going well so far.

  • Hi runningaway, welcome to the thread!

    If you're hitting that sort of time for a 19 mile run, a sub 4 marathon looks possible. As it's your first marathon though, whatever you run will be a PB, and if you don't hit a sub 4, then there's always next time!image


  • I'd love to get a sub 4 but as it's first I've no idea what Im letting myself into so trying not to put a time on it.


    Have a flicker of hope of doing DUlbin in October but one step at a time! image

  • ooops, I'd a typo - it was 18miles in that time! image

  • When I did my first marathon, my target evolved from "Completing it and running all the way" to "finishing in under 4 hours" to my final target of "finishing around 3h45m".

    On the day, I would have been happy with hitting the first target and the other two would be a bonus...

    So I'd say just enjoy it, there can be plenty more marathons where you can go for a time, but you can't repeat the enjoyment of completing your first marathon!

  • Hi All,

    Do any of you know what Energy stations supply - is it lucozade/powerade(/jellybabies lol...) I know High 5 gels are available at 15 and 20 miles, but unsure what the energy points supply.

    Also does it come in cups or bottles this year? I tried looking on the website but to no avail...


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