There are different ways to run a half or full marathon. The question of what the best strategy is will trigger endless discussion among runners.(What are your thoughts?)

Let's look at a few:


When you plan to run a long-distance race like a full or half marathon, you need to have a game plan to stay focused. Breaking down the race into sections and targets will be a tremendous help during your race. It gives you something to hold onto when the going gets tough.

The two most common strategies for pacing your race are:

● Start at a slower pace and save your strength to finish faster

● Start at a faster pace and finish slower

Both have their physical and psychological benefits, as well as pitfalls.

Less experienced runners often start their race at a too optimistic pace and have to slow down considerably in the second half. Hence the danger of starting too fast is that you might end up walking the last part of the race – or not be able to finish at all.

So it might seem safer to follow the opposite strategy, of starting at a slower, more cautious pace and finishing faster. However, here you run the risk of accelerating too late in the race and not running at your consistent best.


Runkeeper personalised running plans are based on running one controlled pace throughout your race. This has several advantages. First of all, it’s a very simple strategy, requiring you to focus on one thing only: your pace.

Another major advantage of running your race at an even pace is that you can train for it. Controlling your pace is a skill that Runkeeper running plans for long distance races are set up to teach you. Especially through regular distance training, you learn to assess your own fitness and maintain your pace even when you get tired. This is an invaluable skill to have in the last part of your race, when it becomes harder to maintain your pace.


Alternatively, if (in a marathon) around the 30km mark you feel your legs are still in good shape, you may consider raising your pace slightly. At this point you will also start to overtake runners who started too fast and are now paying the price for it. Passing other runners will definitely give you a boost, just when you need it most.

Do you need to create a running plan that is customised to your goals? Learn more about how take your running to the next level with the Runkeeper app and some other digital aids, here!