Paris Marathon 2019

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  • Hey Guys, just wondering if anyone knows if you can get someone to pick up your bib for you?  I got organised early, booked Eurostar and it gets in at 1647.  Don’t think I’ll get to the Expo on time especially if I have to go through passport checks....Have a mate that’s also running and wondered if it would be a big hassle for him to pick it up- any ideas?
  • Hello everyone, I am pretty new to this thread, joining from Cyprus and will be running my very first marathon in Paris this April. I am really happy to have found such a community here with lots of insights and experiences about the Paris Marathon :)

    I have been running for 5-6 years now, although it has been on and off for the past 2 years because of long working hours. The longest races I have done so far are couple of a half marathons and a 30K mountain trail race, and now looking forward to tackling the marathon.

    I started training with the 16-week marathon training plan on Paris Marathon's own website. It looks to me like a balanced programme with interval/hill training, long runs and easy runs, and I found it suitable for someone like me who is just getting back into consistent training. I would love to hear your comments on it, or your experiences if anyone else has used it to prepare before.

    Many thanks and I am looking forward to many discussions here over the next months! Exactly 3 months left today :)
  • Eggyh73Eggyh73 ✭✭✭
    @rosstopher - You can arrange for someone else to pick up your bib for you, but you need to arm them in advance with a copy of your Convocation (confirmation letter) which you'll get a few weeks in advance, medical certificate, copy of passport and a letter of authorisation.

    @mentes - Welcome to the thread!
  •  @Eggyh73- Thanks for the info
  • phronesisphronesis ✭✭✭
    Thanks both of you. Dom Norrish: A negative split is running the first half slower than the second? 
  • Carol4Carol4 ✭✭✭
    Sorry dumb question.  I was reading a blog and the writer said it took them 50 mins to get to the start line. I have only run a half marathon in a big race ie number of people.   There we all get into our allotted pens and when the gun goes we all start together. I must admit there isn’t a lot of running until you shuffle to the start line. But there is only one gun.  With Paris as we have allocated pens and times is there a separate start for each pen.  I mainly want to know re nutrition and toilet break etc. 
  • Eggyh73Eggyh73 ✭✭✭
    @Carol4 - Paris is started by pen and there are time gaps between each pen starting. They also stagger the side of the pen starting. Each pen takes up the full width of the Champs Elysée, but the pen is split in half and fenced off down the middle of the road. They start a pen on one side, then release the other side. After that they move the next pen forward and repeat until the final pen is gone.
    If you are in the last pen (pink pen) you could start a good hour and a half after the elites have set off. Prior to the race each pen is given a start time and a time you should be in the pen by, so you don't need to be there for the elites starting. In previous years the pink pen runners on the forum would often meet up at the Arc and go for a nice leisurely coffee in a nearby cafe, use the toilet facilities in the cafe and then wander down to the starting pen. Far more civilised than the speedy runners at the front who have to be in the pens early and stand in the queues for the portaloos.
  • phronesisphronesis ✭✭✭
    Thanks egghy and dom for responding to my earlier question. I have another. Do you find the food provided at the stands sufficient or do you augment it with gels etc? 
  • Carol4Carol4 ✭✭✭
    Thanks @Eggyh73 that is most helpful. I am in the purple pen.  Is the atmosphere just the same for every pen or should we there to see the elites start 
  • baldstanbaldstan ✭✭✭
    Welcome to everyone who's joined the forum since I last posted. Great to see so many of us getting ready for Paris. These are the bib numbers and starting pens where I know them, but happy to add anyone else who wants to post their bib number (available on the timeto website when you log in) and start pen.

    Red pen (Speed of light):

    tbc – OuchOuch

    Yellow pen (3:15):

    tbc – Miles87

    11542 - baldstan

    Blue pen (3:30):

    tbc – RFoster

    tbc – RFoster +1

    Violet pen (3:45):

    29096 – Carol4

    37337 - rachaeltoon

    Green pen (4:00):

    Grey pen (4:15):

    60005 - StephA

    Pink pen (4:30 plus):

    70663 – K83nd0n

    75031 - Andy

    Carol4, I've never been in the Red pen, but from what I can remember the atmosphere in the other pens is pretty much the same, and it was very hard to see the start from the Purple pen. I wouldn't recommend getting into the pens too early as there are very few loos in there. (Be prepared for people squatting in the gutter!) You'll be waiting there quite a while anyway. If you arrive when your pen opens then it could certainly be 50 minutes from entering the pen before you actually start.
    The people who control entry to the pens are also very strict about making sure runners enter the right pen, so if you want to change your start time best to do it at the Expo. In the past they've let people change then, but you will need proof of time if you want to join the Red pen.
    My family haven't had great success with tracking me on the marathon app in the past, both times it's been slow to update and by the time they've got to a place where they expect to see me I've already gone past. That's their excuse anyway. They may just have had a lie-in and a late breakfast of course!
    Finally got my warm up races all sorted: the London Winter Run 10K next month, then the Big Half and finally the Kingston 16 on 31st March. I'm following Bruce Tulloh's "Running Over Forty" marathon training programme, which I've used in the past and have managed to get through without getting too many niggles or injuries. The FIRST three day a week programme is a good one to look at, if you are happy running lots of intervals, but can only fit in three runs a week. And Pfitzinger and Douglas "Advanced Marathoning" has got lots of useful information in, but their plans require quite a big time commitment, and you have to be pretty strong beforehand or there's a good chance of getting injured.
  • Eggyh73Eggyh73 ✭✭✭
    edited January 15
    @Carol4 - All the cool kids run from the purple pen!

    If your in the purple pen you can easily be there for the race starting and you won’t be hanging around too long (30/45 minutes). My one tip would be to use toilets outside the pen before entering. There aren’t many portaloos in the pens considering the number of runners. If you even think you need to use one, join the queue as soon as you enter the pen. The other tip is that as the pens move forward the portaloo queues have gone from the pen in front.

    For a start line it can’t be beat. The view looking down from the pen down the Champs Elysee towards Concord is great. Turn round and look and the mass of runners with the Arc De Truimph in the background is even better.

    @phronesis - Paris is a bit strange in some of the foods they offer on the course. I’d practice fueling with gels, or anything else, on your long training runs and stick to that come race day. Marathon day is wrong time to start trying new foods on the run.
  • phronesisphronesis ✭✭✭
    I'm aiming for 4 hours, so I'm in the green pen. My bib number is 52090.
  • Webby4216Webby4216 ✭✭✭
    @baldstan I'm in the blue pen, bib 18237

    Thanks for the info about loos, will definitely make sure I go before entering the pen!

    Hope everyone's training is going well
  • RammpantsRammpants ✭✭✭
    @baldstan My bib is 32038 and I think I'm blue – at least the bib number is in blue on timeto... 

    Breakfast run – anyone else doing that? 
  • phronesis said:
    Thanks egghy and dom for responding to my earlier question. I have another. Do you find the food provided at the stands sufficient or do you augment it with gels etc? 
    What is provided includes raisins, sugar cubes, orange quarters (you'll get to run on top of these, even if you don't eat any!) and cut up bananas. There's a sports drink station, but it's late on (32k or something) and frequently dry by the time I get there. The advice you'll hear a lot is that you should fuel in the race with what you've trained on, to avoid any issues on the day. 

    Over the years I've moved to carrying my own hydration and gels, mostly because I reckon that negotiating the melee of a water station costs about 30 seconds and breaks my rhythm. To each their own - do what you're used to. If you're not used to running with a bottle, don't do that for the first time in Paris!
  • phronesis said:
    Thanks both of you. Dom Norrish: A negative split is running the first half slower than the second? 
    2nd half faster. The pros all aim to run even, but that takes real talent and experience. Most marathoners slow down in the 2nd half, understandably!

    A negative split feels great, but risks undercooking the first half meaning that a more aggressive approach might have resulted in a faster time... So, if you're chasing a PB, the advice seems to be aim for even splits but budget to slow down a little in the last few miles. If you're looking to finish strong and feel great, run conservatively for the first 20 and unleash the Kraken for the final 6 :)
  • I'm starting to think about my fuelling. When I ran London previously I used Lucozade Elite gels and whilst they worked ok, I hated the mess etc. Since most of my running is trail, I've tended to use Tailwind since then which I love but I'm not keen on using it in a road marathon as would involve wearing a hydration pack and refilling is a bit of a faff in a road environment! So I'm currently looking at alternatives and was going to try Shot Blocks. The website says 1-2 packets per hour of activity. I'm aiming for 4.45 so that's 5-10 packets of 6 blocks. 30 - 60 blocks seems a lot over the course of a marathon and I'd feel like I was constantly eating. I know my trail marathons do resemble moving picnics but I was thinking a road one would be a little more serious :-) Anyone got any advice they can offer? Thanks
  • StephAStephA ✭✭✭
    @K83nd0n I used shot blocks last year - but nowhere near the quantities they recommend. I think their recommendations (perhaps intentionally) neglect to take into account the nutrition you're likely to take on board before the marathon.
    I used a online calculators to work out based on my weight etc what nutrition I should have and went from there, trying out strategies in training. I also had a few soluble effervescent tablets containing carbs and electrolytes I could drop into the water on course.
  • Thank you @StephA I'll go do sone research on nutrition requirements and try out based on that :-)
  • Webby4216Webby4216 ✭✭✭
    > @K83nd0n said:
    > I'm starting to think about my fuelling. When I ran London previously I used Lucozade Elite gels and whilst they worked ok, I hated the mess etc. Since most of my running is trail, I've tended to use Tailwind since then which I love but I'm not keen on using it in a road marathon as would involve wearing a hydration pack and refilling is a bit of a faff in a road environment! So I'm currently looking at alternatives and was going to try Shot Blocks. The website says 1-2 packets per hour of activity. I'm aiming for 4.45 so that's 5-10 packets of 6 blocks. 30 - 60 blocks seems a lot over the course of a marathon and I'd feel like I was constantly eating. I know my trail marathons do resemble moving picnics but I was thinking a road one would be a little more serious :-) Anyone got any advice they can offer? Thanks

    I've only run one marathon to date (Paris will be my 2nd) so I'm sure there are much more experienced runners that can offer advice but when I ran Brighton last year I didn't end up feeling out of energy at the end (in relative terms!, I was shagged of course but my pace only dropped slightly in the last few miles), so I must have got something right in terms of fueling.

    I used SiS gels which my stomach handled fine in training and on the day. Didn't need to wash these down with water either, which was a bonus. I bought their mixed box for training and tried the various flavours to see which one I liked the best. Apple wasn't for me but the rest were fine. They didn't seem messy to me, easy enough to open and consume whilst on the run.

    I read somewhere that it takes about 30 minutes for the carbs in the gel to be absorbed and 'made available' to your system, no idea if that's accurate or not but it's what I based my eating on for the race. So I took my first gel after about an hour and then another every 45 minutes after that. I was aiming to finish in 4 hours so that worked out I took my last gel at about 3:15 which I figured would hopefully give me a little boost right at the end of the race.

    I ended up finishing in 3:52 which I was very happy with.

    Hope that helps, as I said I'm sure more experienced people can be more helpful but that's my experience.
  • Eggyh73Eggyh73 ✭✭✭
    edited January 18
    You really need to experiment on your long runs with different gels, foods, shot bloks etc to see what works for you. I think it's fair to say that shot blok and the gels always recommend far more than anyone would actually eat on a run. I normally take the last gel around mile 18-19. Eat them early to stay in control, rather than late on when it's already too late.
    I use Hi-5 gels. Four of those and a lucozade sport drink get me through a marathon easily. Last year I ran my first ultra. I fuelled that on Hi-5 gels and some cheap protein bars from Aldi!
  • Carol4Carol4 ✭✭✭
    @Rammpants I am doing the breakfast run. 
    Re nutrition. I was looking at the SIS gels but the packets are so large I would need a backpack to carry around the quantity I need. Only Joking about the backpack but I couldn’t work out how to carry that mant.  I generally run the trail and have a vest etc so much easier than a road run. I generally use infinit nutrition gels powder which you add water to it. You can make it concentrated and drink water on the course.  I am going to take a couple of SIS caffeine gels for a extra boost 
    My best piece of advice is work out how many carbs  an hour work for you and sit well in you stomach.  Practice now and never try anything new on race day. 
  • @baldstan - I’m doing the Big Half too :)

    @k83nd0n I’ve used a combination of SiS gels and shot bloks for my two marathons so far. I start about 30 mins in with a shot blok then alternate between them and gels. I get through 4 gels and maybe just over half a pack of shot bloks. You could probably fuel on bloks alone but would need to make sure you take on water with them.

    @carol4 - I take 4-5 gels with me in a marathon. I have a running belt that has gel loops in and I honestly barely notice it’s there.
  • StephA said:
    @K83nd0n I used shot blocks last year - but nowhere near the quantities they recommend. I think their recommendations (perhaps intentionally) neglect to take into account the nutrition you're likely to take on board before the marathon.
    I used a online calculators to work out based on my weight etc what nutrition I should have and went from there, trying out strategies in training. I also had a few soluble effervescent tablets containing carbs and electrolytes I could drop into the water on course.
    Big fan of ShotBloks, mostly because of their psychological boost (basically, it's like having sweets in your mouth all the way round). They don't have as many carbs as gels but because there's 6 in a pack, a couple of packs is enough & doesn't add much weight.

    I think I'm going to combine both ShotBloks and gels this year. I use Torq gels because the types of sugars they use go straight into the bloodstream and don't need to pass through the digestive system.

    Like @Eggy, I take them early and regularly (every 3 miles) and have found that after about 22m, I either can't face another gel or that it does little good.

    I'm also experimenting with UCAN (https://www.generationucan.co.uk/) after hearing good things about it - it's fuel for use in preparation rather than during the race and claims to give a much slower and steadier release of carbs over hours, as opposed to the spike of sugar you get from a gel.

    And I've entered the Breakfast Run for the first time! Will take this super-slow I think.
  • Eggyh73Eggyh73 ✭✭✭
    I did the breakfast run every year I ran Paris. It’s a nice run and a good way to loosen the legs up. Don’t worry Dom, you’ll have no choice but to take it easy on that one. 
  • FRG2FRG2 ✭✭✭
    I ran Paris (my first) two years ago, and found that too many gels were not good on the stomach, so last year alternated gels and banana halves every 4m after about 7m, which worked much better for me. These all slide quite firmly into a flipbelt.
  • Carol4Carol4 ✭✭✭
    Does anyone have any opinions on race pace bracelets.  In theory it has the spilts/time for every k or 5 k to run your goal finish time. You can wear on like a bracelet on your wrist and monitor your progress.  Would you just do it for every 5 ks or every k. Okay you guys talk miles but we are ks in Australia. 
  • Eggyh73Eggyh73 ✭✭✭
    I've never used one, but I know those bracelets are popular. In terms of pacing I'd check every 5km, but I'm not a constant watch checker.
  • StephAStephA ✭✭✭
    I've never used one before but a friend has bought me a pace band which I'm going to use for guidance - what it doesn't do though is account for a slowdown in the later part of the race - so I plan to try and stay slightly ahead of the splits for the first half. 
  • StephAStephA ✭✭✭
    Interesting post on social media today, suggesting that the route will be different this year and asking people to vote on passing either Place Vendome or the Opera Garnier...
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