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Tips for Finishing Marathon

For first-time runners and the runners who intend to complete the full marathon course

This information is intended for first-time marathon runners and those who are aiming to complete the full distance. Coach Uchiyama provides some tips to successfully achieve this goal.

Distance to run per month during training to be able to complete the race

Many people often ask, “How far do I need to run during my daily training to be able to complete the race?”

My answer is

“100 km per month as a rough guideline.”

Which means you need to run 3 km every day, 6 km if you run every other day, or, 20 to 25 km if you run once a week.
This suggests that daily and regular training is important.

A daily training run for amateur runners ranges from 20 km to 25 km at a maximum.
However, a full marathon is 42.195 km. This distance is twice as long as that of regular training. It is not possible to run at a pace set during training for the full length of the marathon. Then, what pace should you set? The difficulty and fun of a full marathon lie here.

Training methods required during the two months prior to the race

To successfully cross the finish line, some ingenuity is required during training in the two months prior to the race.
Although it is important to run a long distance or at a fast pace, you need to implement practical exercises to try to run at a suitable target pace (pace running).

Also, many runners suffer injuries right before the race.
This may well be because runners run too much out of a sense of anxiety when November comes around, leading to overexertion.
Let’s control the training, by carrying out stretching and taking some days off.

How to set your pace

A runner’s target time does not always match the actual finishing time. The result depends on daily training, experience, and conditions on a race day.
First, let’s calculate the practical finishing time and your pace per kilometer.

Calculating the finishing time

Calculate the finishing time using the following formula:

Record of 5-km run (min.) x 10+α (min.)

As the record of 5-km run, use the time at which you ran without becoming short of breath but with a rhythmical breathing rate.
If your monthly running distance is less than 100 km, multiply by 11 instead of 10.
“α” is for extra time such as the time spent drinking water and for toilet stops.

Calculating the pace to complete the race

You can calculate the rough pace rate by dividing this by 42 (km).

(Record of 5-km run x 10) / 42

If you are running 5 km in 30 minutes during your regular training, the estimated finishing time will be 30 minutes x 10 = 300 minutes (5 hours) +α.
Your pace is 5 hours / 42 = approximately 7 minutes 10 seconds / 1 km.


for 42 km, assume that it takes you 7 minutes 10 seconds to run each kilometer, an additional 20 minutes to drink water and take toilet stops, and 30 minutes from the time you hear the starter pistol until you actually cross the start line: 5 hours + 20 minutes + 30 minutes = 5 hours 50 minutes.
This is the assumed amount of time you will need to complete the race.

Race plan

Run at a relatively slow pace during the first half of the race
Put up a good fight in the last half.

One more important thing is whether you can run at a reasonable pace (not too fast) during the first half, and save your energy for the last half.

Feel confident about having trained sufficiently up to the actual race.
The most important thing is whether or not you can control your pace. This may seem easy but it is actually difficult.
Racing is, in a sense, an extraordinary experience. You may be overwhelmed or influenced by the atmosphere, and tend to run too fast at unexpected times. I believe that this is one of the biggest causes behind unsuccessful races.

Precautions to take while running

Prevent hidden dehydration. It is not wise not to drink water because you do not want to go to the toilet. Always drink water at water stations even if the temperature is cool.
At the same time, to maintain your performance, try to consume adequate sources of energy every 20 to 30 minutes, and take minerals, such as salt.

Minimum pace requirement to complete the marathon

The time limit for the Osaka Marathon is seven hours. If you are in the last group to start, it will likely take 20 to 30 minutes until you cross the start line.
In addition, when you consider the time necessary to drink water and take toilet stops, you must run in approximately six hours to ensure finishing 42.195 km.
Six hours (360 minutes) / 42 = Running at a pace of 8 minutes 40 seconds per kilometer.
Checkpoints are situated roughly every 5 km. These are positioned based on an estimated pace of approximately 8 minutes 40 seconds per kilometer.

Here, you must pay attention to your running pace after the 38-km checkpoint [38.2 km, closes at 3:14 PM].
From the 38-km checkpoint to the last checkpoint at the 41 km [41.6 km, closes at 3:57 PM] point, you can pass the gate even while running at a pace of approximately 11 minutes 30 seconds per kilometer (speed of fast walking).
However, if you continue to run (walk) at this pace and pass the 41-km checkpoint [41.6 km] just before the closing time [3:57 PM], then in order for you to finish the race in time, you must run the rest of the course, 595 m, in 3 minutes. This means you will need to run 1 km in approximately 6 minutes. This will be very difficult for a runner who has so far been running at a pace of 8 to 9 minutes per kilometer. Therefore, maintain your pace from the 38-km checkpoint, and cross the finish line in good time.

!! Caution !!
There will be a number of accommodation cars at the end of the line. Even if you pass one checkpoint in time, if it is apparent that you are running too slowly to make it to the next checkpoint in time, you will be picked up by the accommodation car.

The full marathon is a self-fulfillment sport for amateur runners. Actual assessment of performance should not be made by comparing time records. If any sort of assessment is carried out, it should be whether or not you feel satisfied with your performance. Amateur runners usually do not have personal coaches. They most likely do not have a fixed training schedule either. Run while looking back at all your efforts. I am sure that crossing the finish line will be a fulfilling and emotional moment.