Madrid Marathon

New route for the Madrid Marathon:

A bit less hilly than the old route, especially the last 3kms, although many people thought it was just fine as it was. However, the organisers seemed obsessed with flattening it out a bit for next year.The half on the same day seems a little similar to the original Madrid Half usually run about three weeks earlier, especially the last part.

Will probably sign up for it and, injuries permitting, will be at the start on the 27th April 2014, insha´allah. Bit early I know, but anyone else thinking of signing up for it? 



  • Hi Neil. Yep, I'm signed up for the Marathon next year and my wife is doing the half marathon. It'll be our first time in Madrid so hopefully a good way of seeing part of the city, and the Rock N Roll races are always fun.

  • ¡Que sean tres!


    29 years after running my only marathon and after another failed attempt to obtain a London place, I too have submitted an entry. Madrid is a fantastic city and the thought of revisiting all the sights in this unique way really excites me. Hopefully I will feel the same on April 27th!


    I have read that it is very hilly, not sure how much the new route improves this. Any ideas as to the likely temperature at the end of April?

  • Oh! I never considered hills or anything before I signed up, I just fancied a trip to Madrid. I guess I'll be adding some hills to my training now, which I'm sure I should be doing anyway.

    Thanks for the heads up image

  • Hi Guys, didn´t realise you'd posted a reply to this thread!

    Bob, was the first marathon you ran 29 years ago also in Madrid? The new route is a bit less hilly although not exactly flat either. Weather could be anything. I did the half on the same day last year and it was slighlty chilly both at the start and watching the marathon finishers after my race was over. I also remember doing a 10k in May here a couple of years ago and that was a bit sharp also with a hail storm about 30 minutes after I finished. On the other hand, it could be quite warm, so be prepared for anything is the best advice I can give!

    Nothe, IMHO it's a great city and you should have a really good time. The last three kms of your wife's half will be quite testing.

    It's a long way off but good luck with the training. I'm now signed up and committed. Hope we all make it to the start on April 27th. Best of luck to you both and if you want to post some training updates on here that'd be great. 



  • Thanks Neil, no I did Paris in 1985 - that route has changed considerably since. Yes I noticed in the photos of last years race how many had long sleeve tops and trousers etc. I am really excited about the prospect as I share your love of the city. Did the half follow the same start as the marathon? The first few miles looks like a steady climb - up towards the Bernabeau stadium, but from my recollection of a visit I dont think it was too steep.  The comments that I have seen mention the toughest part of the course being the section through Casa de Campo - not because of hills but due to it coming at around wall hitting stage and also because the crowds are quite sparse there.


  • Hi Bob. Last year the half followed the same start as the marathon and separated at kilometre 15 or 16. This year it will splinter off at about 13.5kms. I remember the half becoming very lonely last year once it had left the full marathon route.

    Yes, the first 5 or 6 kms are a steady incline but not too taxing. The same between km 15 & 16. Km 21 to 22 will be a sharper climb, as will the section just before km 34 and most of the last part will be on the up, although not quite as demanding as in previous years. By the looks of things, there's less running in Casa de Campo now.

    Going back to the weather, it could just as easily be in the early to mid 20s but let's hope it's a little on the sharp side and dry!

    Finally, a poster called Perezoso had an ongoing thread about his preparation for this race last year as well as his account of the race itself. It's called The Iberian Odyssey.

  • thanks Neil, I'll take a look at that. Had my first run on the road yesterday following a quite bad ankle sprain. Had run on the treadmill a couple of times and all was fine. However, after a mile on the road it was starting to get quite sore and i could detect a limp. So I stopped and came back to the treadmill where I did 3 miles with no problems. I think I'll give it another couple of weeks before trying the road again.



  • Hi Neil. Really enjoyed reading that. Didn't realise you live in Madrid - lucky you! Did you ever get to run with Perezoso?

  • Sorry to hear that Bob.Curious that you were able to get back on the treadmill with no problems. Have you thought about running on grass / earth before going back to running on the road, or at least mixing it up? Hope it just needs a little more time to heal and nothing worse.

  • I think its just that the treadmill has a little more give than the hard road surface. Hopefully a couple more weeks will see it ok. Never really had to contend with injuries in over 30 years of running. Even more annoying is that I incurred it by faling off a ladder in the garden!

    What sort of time will you be aiming for in April, assuming you have a good winters training? From your encouraging half marathon times I would imagine you would be looking at somewhere around 3.30?

  • I went and read the post by Perezoso. That was really useful! Thanks for pointing it out Neil. I'll definitely need to get back to hill running before next year. Starting tomorrow image

  • Hi Nothe. I also enjoyed the Perezoso post.  Did you click on the link showing last years route? Although I enjoyed seeing some of the sights we will pass, it really did look an awful long way when viewed like that!  Will you be training with your wife? That must be quite motivating, particularly when the dark nights and longer runs become a necessity. Do you have any target time in mind?

  • Hi Nothe and Bob. Glad you both enjoyed Perezoso's thread from earlier this year. Never ran with him in the end Bob. Think we both had stuff on and then I was working away all summer. If I remember correctly, he also had a couple of injuries post marathon but hope he's ok now. Not sure if he still reads this forum or if he's going to repeat in 2014 but hopefully he's still around.

    It's a bugger about your injury, sod's law that, falling off a ladder. Sounds like you're being sensible about not rushing back too quickly. One thing I would say, is that I was running on a treadmill most of the summer and when I started going outdoors again more regularly I seemed to get a few niggles and pains which then went away, touch wood. My situation is obviously different from your's but thought I'd mention it.

    As for a target time, it's my first marathon so I have to trot out the old "will be happy to get round" line, which is true to a point. However, you're right, 3:30ish is what I've got in mind providing I get a good winter's training in. I'm going to do three 10k races between now and Christmas (starting on the 29th October and culminating in the Aranjuez 10K 22nd December, which is a cracking race) but follow a half marathon schedule before starting a full marathon program straight after Christmas. One thing I want to do is get my weight down. Was running off about 85kilos last spring but would like to get that down to 78 / 80kilos for the marathon. Have lost a lot of weight over the last five years but it's plateaued off a bit this year.

    What times are you guys looking at? Have you decided on a training plan to follow?

    Nothe, don't get too hung up about the hills mate. Yes, it's a hilly, undulating course but modified for this year and not like some races you hear about in places like Switzerland or Scotland. I think the last 3kms of the half (which used to be in the full course) is quite tough going however, so get your wife out on the hills with you.

    It's a long way off still but if you've got any general questions about Madrid, feel free to ask.




  • Hi Neil, my sensible approach didnt last long, I tend to not be very good at sensible, and my curiosity got the better of me this morning. Jogged down to the local park did a few laps on grass and then jogged back on the road. Felt a lot better than it did on Sunday. I think its just a case of building up the strength again in the damaged ligaments. Similar to you I will follow a half marathon programme up to December. My Hereford New Year day 10k doesnt sound half as appealing as your Aranjuez 10. Have found quite a good intermediate scedule on 'Walk, Jog, Run', which includes quite a bit of cross training. I think that will help my 57 year old legs recover better when the mileage really steps up.

  • As for time - I did a really hilly 10 mile race in 87 mins a few weeks ago - hadnt done a great desl of training. With a really good winter training I would hope to do 3 hours for the first 20 miles and then who knows!  10 minute miling over the last 6 would get me close to 4 hours - i would be very pleased with that!

  • Bob, yep I watched the course video. It's brilliantly well done, and the course looks gorgeous. I know it'll be a bit different next year but plenty to see while we're slogging our way round so it should be good.

    I'll be doing a good amount of training with my wife so it'll help certainly image I'm currently training for the Dopey at DisneyWorld in January so lots of running in the cold and dark, and lots of back-to-back long runs!

    Neil, I'm not too worried about the hills especially having watched the video. I've done the Loch Ness marathon a couple of times and that's got similar hills in it so I know what to expect.

    I'm not sure what time I'm aiming at yet. With some good winter training behind me I hope to be able to beat my PB at least (3:58). I'll see how it goes at Disney and make plans from there on image

  • Hi Bob, glad your run on mixed terrain went better yesterday morning. Reckon you are right about building up the strength again. Also think the cross-training is a good idea. I use an exercise bike either once or twice a week in addition to three or four weekly runs. I think having that training split helps the joints and running muscles recover, although I'd really like to be regularly running five times a week, if not six but I have a few niggles to manage. 

    Your Hereford 10k sounds alright to me, nice part of the world if I remember well. I've got my first race of the season a week on Sunday, a 10k. Not expecting a great time as in training I seem to be a bit behind where I was last spring and it's a pretty hilly course as well. Still, it'll be good to do a race again and get a recent race time to base training on.

    Nothe, sounds like you've already got a few marathons under your belt so any tips over the coming months will be gratefully received. If all goes well this winter you could well be on for a good PB come Madrid in April with all that mileage. DisneyWorld in January will be a nice escape from winter (I'm assuming it's the one in Florida!). Good luck with the training.

  • I hope so image I've only been running for a couple of years so my advice won't be that good! I've done 4 marathons so far, but by Madrid time I should have done another 2, possibly 3. The bug bit me deep!

    Yeah, it's the Florida one. Really looking forward to it. 5k on Thurs, 10k on Fri, 1/2 mara on Sat and Mara on Sun. Not surprisingly I won't be going for a PB in any of those races....trying to survive is the plan so far!

    Good luck with the 10k Neil, and be careful with the road to recovery Bob!

  • Wow Nothe! That will be some achievement - particularly the Sat/sun.  You really have got the bug. 

    Yes Neil, Herefordshire is quite pleasant. One of our few claims to fame is the Hay Festival. The Spanish equivalent was held in Segovia last month - I hope to visit that one year as I believe Segovia is a beautiful place?  There seem to be quite a few events for you to enter Neil. Organized racing is obviously very popular out there?

    Ran again today on the treadmill, ankle feeling  a lot stronger now.

  • That will be some going Nothe! I had to read your post twice to make sure I'd got it right. You must be a quick recoverer to cope with that volume of running. I started running in spring 2011 and doing races a year later. Couldn't have comtemplated doing a marathon in that time but it sounds like you've done four in that time which is a really good effort IMO.

    Bob, yes the Hay Festival sounds good. I've been meaning to go to the one in Segovia for a number of years now but something always seems to get in the way. Martin Amis was one of the speakers there a couple of years ago. Segovia is indeed a very nice place with an enormous Roman aqueduct and the castle being two highlights. The food is wonderful too with suckling pig (cochinillo) being the local speciality. There's a high-speed rail link from Madrid so it only takes 27 minutes on the train now compared to two hours in the past. So if you're going to be in Madrid for a day or two after the marathon I'd recommend it.

    Glad the ankle seems to be getting stronger. Are you doing any strengthening exercises? Did 11k Tuesday evening, 8k at tempo. Right knee felt sightly sore yesterday but it was a planned rest day. Running this evening.

  • Bob, forgot to answer your question in my previous post about the number of races in the Madrid area. There seem to be more and more all the time, especially between September and June. With the exception of the bag reclaim fiasco at last year's marathon event, all the races I've run in have been well-organised and really enjoyable. However, recently there seems to have been a spate of double-bookings, i.e. races following similar courses on the same day,at the same time, and some races have had to be rescheduled by the City Council a month or two after they were first announced which isn't exactly great. I try to go for well-established races, sometimes outside the city centre, as these tend to suffer less from this kind of thing.

    Going back to the bag reclaim problems at last year's marathon, there was a real stink about it afterwards and the organisers published an apology on the website and promised to do better next time, so hopefully this won't be a problem in 2014.

  • Yes I hadnt thought about fitting in a Segovia visit. I land in Madrid at around midday on the Friday. I intend to collect my number and everything that afternoon so I could have Saturday free for such a trip. I have booked a hotel very close to the finish at Retiro and I will probably leave my stuff there rather than risk the bag fiasco, although I'm sure they will sort it after all the stick they got this year.  Yes doing lots of standing on one leg etc. - really seems to be working. Wouldnt say its completely back to normal but its getting there. I think the test will come when I attempt longer distances. What sort of pace are you running at 'tempo'? When I am fully recovered I must do some sharpening work as I tend to plod a bit and find that can sometimes be harder than picking the pace up.

  • But you won't be able to lay into the food and wine if you go Saturday!!! (Well you could, but it might not be wise the day before the race image).

    The 8k tempo I did on Tuesday night was at 4:40 per k pace. Looking at my training log I was doing that at about 4:31 / 4:32 back in the spring so a bit off the pace but getting there compared to a few weeks ago. Know what you mean about picking the pace up again. I was working in the Gulf this summer and mainly plodding on the treadmill and it's been hard running at quicker paces again.



  • Ha! Didnt think of that. However, having had much more than my fair share over the years, I havent experienced the pleasures of alcohol for several years now. I will sample a few 'cervezas sin' after the race though. I have found the quality of the Spanish attempt at this market far superior to what we get over here which is awful. Perhaps I could have some cochinillo with pasta.

  • Nothe and Neil - Being a little concerned by the number of races you two are entering and my lack of events, did a search online and came up with the Gloucester 20 mile on march 16th! There are very few events planned at the moment around here - mostly cross country and mud runner type. 

  • Hi Bob. Yeah, the "cerveza sin" isn't too bad here. They recently brought out a "cerveza negra sin" which a mate of mine was raving about the other day. Cochinillo with pasta might get a strange look of the waiter, but go for it!

    The Gloucester 20 mile on March 16th sounds like really good prep for the marathon. Maybe more races will be announced in the coming months. I always thought there were quite a few in the Bristol area, if that's not too far too travel? After Christmas, I'm planning on doing two half marathons, including the original Madrid Half three weeks before the marathon. I might also sneak in a 10k. Another option is a race held (I think) a month before the marathon last season called "Maratest". I think it was a 30km race. Could be good to run it at around  marathon pace but I really enjoyed the Madrid Half last year so will probably go with that.

    Had a few niggles these last few days and the glutes have been tight for a while now. Might go to my physio the week after next. 19k slow run planned for tomorrow which will give me 48km for the week plus 40 minutes cross-training on the exercise bike.

  • Hi Neil, how did the 19k go?  48 km for the week is a good base to work from and hopefully I will get to that soon once my ankle is completely recovered. Did 5 miles (iI really am going to have to go metric) quite quick on the treadmill this morning. Swelled up a little bit after but soon went down with a bit of ice. Will persist with tm and cycling this week, off to Rome for 4 days then give the road another try when I get back.

  • Hi Bob, the 19k went fine thanks in that I did it in the target time, well slightly quicker actually, 1:35:53 (5:03 per km) against 1:36:16 (5:04 per km). However, once again my glutes were really tight and I also had a kind of stomach ache / indigestion for much of the time. These two things have been a bit of a recurring theme recently so I'm going to make an appointment to see my physio the week after my 10k on the 27th to see if she can sort out the glutes.

    It's interesting the ankle swelled up after doing a faster run. Might it be better to just build up base mileage in the next month or two? Your mixed terrain run seemed to go well so that might be more fun that the tm? Anyway, take care, plenty of time to get yourself right for Madrid on the 27th April.

    Enjoy Rome. It's a city I've always meant to visit but still haven't managed it. My partner went with her sisters a few years ago and loved it. It looks really interesting as well as fun. Have a good trip.

  • Hi Neil, got back from Rome on Monday -total disaster! One of our two cases was sent to Brussels and didnt get to us until the evening before we left. Even worse, on our first morning my wife had her bag snatched on the metro. 

    Anyway, got back ok and went for quite a challenging 10k this afternoon and felt good. Slight soreness in the ankle now but no problem at all on the run. So fingers crossed that is one good bit of news. Can now start to pick up the mileage and speed work.

    How are your niggles? Hope they havent restricted you too much. Was your 10 k on Sunday? Was it a race and how did it go?

  • The trip sounds like a nightmare Bob. I'm really sorry it went so badly for you and the wife. You just must have been glad to get back. 

    Your 10k sounds promising, however, and it sounds like the ankle is improving. As you say, that's good news and hopefully you can begin to build on that and be in a position to follow a marathon training plan at the turn of the year.

    Yes, it was a 10k race, the first of the season, thanks for asking. It was a quite a tough route with three climbs, the last two being the same as in the Madrid half marathon. The race sold out and it was pretty crowded for the first two kms as this part of the course was quite narrow. I found myself doing a lot of weaving around to find clear running space and have never passed so many runners in the early stages of a race. Anyway, I clocked 44:44. Not a PB but I was pretty happy with that given the nature of the course and the fact that it was my first race of the season. It was pretty much an even split too, despite the second half being hillier, so I was quite pleased with the way I maintained the pace. I'm 45 years old so for me 45 minutes is quite a significant barrier to break (bit silly I know). In my last race before my 45th birthday I ran 45:09 and although it was a PB at the time, I was a bit gutted not to go below 45 minutes. Got another 10k race next Saturday followed by another on the 1/12. Then I've got the Aranjuez 10k 22/10 which is my main pre-Christmas target. It's very well-organised race and more or less flat but a very pleasant route with really good spectator turnout. I'd like to break my 10k PB (43:36) in this race and then begin my marathon plan straight after Christmas and New Year. Got a 21k long,slow run planned for tomorrow. The niggles seem to have subsided for the moment too. How about you? Been out, or planning to this weekend?

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