conseils pour le marathon

Marathon : secrets from our Champions

Benjamin Malaty, best Frenchman over marathon distance in 2013, Julien Bartoli, record-holder for the Corsica marathon, and Philippe Propage, international marathon coach, give away the little secrets that make a big difference.



Benjamin Malaty
- For a marathon, I take a half-size bigger because the 42 kilometres and the impacts that come with them increase contact with the toes.

- You must drink at each pit stop, even if you are not thirsty. If you're thirsty, it's already too late. We lose water throughout the race which generates muscle fatigue. The goal is to calmly drink 150 to 200 ml every 5 km. Take it with you as you run, do not gulp it down. By drink, I mean water, of course.

- Set off at the pace you've set yourself, provided it is reasonable. The aim is to go easy over the first few kilometres. Be careful, if the start is downhill, do not get carried away on this part. The road ahead of you is long, and a gentle start will help you manage the final kilometres better. Be regular in your lap times (e.g.: every kilometre). Variations in the first half can be fatal for the end of the race.


Enjoy your marathon!



MalatyAdvice for the night before the race

- For less stress, always get your number at least the night before the race. This is also a chance for you to take the time to visit the departure village for your marathon and to place yourself in the atmosphere of the race.

- I never run the day before a race, to increase my nerves and "pump myself up".

- Prepare your bag well by checking the weather, but always plan another outfit so you're not caught off-guard.

- Finally, fully recharge the battery on your GPS watch!

On race day

- On race day, wake up early enough so that your body can get going gently...

- Eat a breakfast that you're used to and that you have tested. For me, it's an Aptonia super cake, a chocolate protein bar or ultra-bar, some buttered bread with jam, and some chocolate milk or a herbal tea.

- After breakfast, I recommend relaxing a bit, for example, by reading the day's newspaper, particularly the sports pages!

- Leave for the race site early enough to avoid any stress, which would get in the way of digesting your breakfast.

- Check the outside temperature to perfect your race outfit, and locate the departure area.

- Follow your warm-up ritual (45 minutes for me, including 20 minutes of light jogging, very light stretching, a bit of general physical preparation, and some sprints before putting on my final race outfit).


That's it, you're finally ready! Enjoy your run!




My advice for the race

- Use clothing that you have washed and tested (this is even more true for shoes)

- Protect your nipples in order to avoid irritations from friction

- Double-knot your laces, to avoid having to stop during the race - or worse, tripping.

- Keep a little bottle with you until the start of the race, as well as a garbage bag (with a hole for your head!), because at the big marathons, the waiting time before the start is quite long.

- From the very beginning of the race, keep the pace that you defined during training. You should not try to "get in the lead" by running faster over the first few kilometres.

- Refuel yourself at all of the stands provided (every 5 km of the marathon), even if you don't feel that you need it at the time.
It's better to lose a few seconds resupplying yourself, because these are minutes gained later
Always have gel on you, just in case! It can sometimes be the miracle solution to find that last bit of energy at the end of a race.

- Prepare yourself mentally to suffer at the end of the race; the last 10 kilometres will be very difficult, but the fact of knowing this will allow you to handle them better.


Enjoy your run!