The course of the Paris marathon is not easy, compared to other great marathons such as the London Marathon or Berlin Marathon which are perfect places to break own’s marathon record. But the course of the Paris Marathon is a mythical one. The 42.195 km are located on the scenic right bank of the Seine River. The route looks like a long visit running for those who do not know Paris. And for those who already know the city, discovering it as a runner in the middle of streets closed to traffic offers a unique sensation.
The profile of the Paris Marathon is not flat. Nothing insurmountable on this course, but to aim for a big time on marathon, the flatter it is, the better. The series of small climbs and especially the formidable coast at the 34th kilometer make Paris a beautiful course, but a course more difficult than the other big marathons already mentioned.
At the start of the Paris Marathon, some runners will lose any chance of a good time as they will go quickly, too fast. The start on the Champs Elysees Avenue is downhill and the atmosphere is crazy. This is in addition to the traditional sensations of flying after slowing down the training in the last weeks. This departure of the Paris Marathon must really be done with the impression of keeping the hand brake on. If you lose a few seconds with the traffic, do not worry, do not annoy you either, you will regain them thereafter. At this point, you just have to try to keep your energy to the maximum for the future. Once you are well in your pace, enjoy the moment and pass Place de la Concorde.
From kilometer 2 to kilometer 6, it’s the Rue de Rivoli, the Tuileries Gardens, the Louvre Museum, the Place de la Bastille. It’s almost flat and it’s beautiful, enjoy it. After the passage on the street of the Faubourg Saint Antoine, there is a right turn which hides the first big piece of this marathon course. The rue de Reuilly is to climb with caution. The coast is about 1.2km long and the percentage of climb is progressive. In other words, the bottom is easier than the top. You can lose feathers if you climb too fast. This coast is followed by a descent to the equivalent percentage. You can gradually revive the pace, but be careful not to overdo it either. Remember to preserve your muscles for the future. Relaunch gradually and let down by controlling can regain lost time in the climb. Ideally, practicing this way of going down to training can do it perfectly on the day. The Rue de Reuilly is hard and if the Bois de Vincennes is simpler on paper, the alternation of small ascents and descents can also have effects on the future. It is necessary to continue climbing the false plates without forcing and to go down while controlling. Unlike Paris, it’s quieter, you just hear the breath and pace of runners. Ideal to stay focused. We are still fresh in this part, we apply what we have worked in training and we try to keep as much energy as possible for the second part of the race.
The return to Paris downtown is one of the moments that marks the Paris Marathon. People are here. The numerous and noisy fanfares. We take a good boost and adrenaline is instinctively accelerating if we do not continue to control. Enjoying while avoiding excitement allows to pass these kilometers without realizing it. A short climb brings us again to the Bastille and a refueling before diving to the river banks. Diving that will give a good sign on the condition of the muscles with a half marathon in the legs. The arrival on the banks of the Seine River is very pleasant. There, it is flat and we can unroll its stride. It is here that we can take stock of the legs and decide the rest of the race.
Accelerate a few seconds to km if you feel in great shape. Maintain the pace or, if it is already complicated, go on a plane B. In any case you have to keep running lazily to approach the tunnels. Because from the first tunnel, it gets tough. The first is the tunnel des Tuileries. 1km long, it offers a very strange feeling, especially a day of great sun, Already going down hurts, the descent is not really progressive. And then on this long tunnel, our eyes are used to the sun and have trouble with this sudden darkness and a feeling of lack of air. Fortunately there are people to put a little atmosphere. There are 3 other tunnels which form a succession of descents and short but dry ascents which draw little by little the physical resources. As at the beginning of the race, the technique is to go down smoothly and go up without pushing too hard not to get tired more than reason. All this leads to the Eiffel Tower and the 30th km.
A short climb of 250m Boulevard Exelmans announces the color. To find it difficult is very bad sign for what happens next because it is nothing compared to what happens. Boulevard Suchet is a 500m coastline with an average of 3%, with passages over 5%. A coast that would have been used regardless of the place of the course of the Paris Marathon. But when it comes to the 34th km of a marathon. Those who have not yet hit the wall of the marathon will have every chance to taste it if they were close. After Bois de Boulogne, at Porte Dauphine, this big roundabout that points to the 42 mark. And the arrival on the Avenue Foch. Oddly, the adrenaline of the arrival will give back some strength and we will be able to cover these last meters full of emotion. Arrive on the green carpet and cut the line. Successful race or not, the emotion will be intense. Sport in Paris.