Preparing for the Dublin Marathon?

In this post we discuss the key elements to prepping for the Dublin City Marathon

  1. How to get the miles in.

  2. Training programmes

  3. What runners to wear and what NOT to do.

  4. Warming up for training / marathon.

  5. Intervals and Long Runs

  6. Nutrition

  7. Dreaded Chafing

  8. Surfaces to train on.

How to get the miles in

One of the key “worries for marathon runners or those training for the marathon is “I need to get the miles in!”  But thats not necessarily always the case for the newbie to the Dublin Marathon.

At the end of the day there is 26.2 miles to be covered over a beautiful course. The key as a newbie is FINISHING in a respectable time.

So here are 3 points that no athlete or newbie could argue with:

  1. Ensure your body is healthy. Try pilates once a week to manage the aches and pains.

  2. Activate your muscles BEFORE you run. Stretch them out after! (heres a link to some activation pieces to do before you run:

  3. Hydrate! Drink 1 litre of water per 25kg bodyweight day to day.


You HAVE to follow a training regime that is the right fit for you. The doctor prescribes medicine and a coach (someone experienced) prescribes the volume + intensity of your training to yield the best results out of your body for how fit your body is NOW. Not how fit you think you are or can be. So be realistic. I find these training plans actually to be very good once you have had a coach screen your running technique and movement capacity to reduce likelihood of injury.

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Shoes - Don’t change them or...

This is where it can ALL go wrong. Do not, under any circumstances, no matter who bought them for you on the day change your runners the week of. Even now I would be breaking in my runners 4-5 weeks out from the race.

If you have ever been a runner or ran competitively you know to break your runners in first. By god you will hate every minute of your race if you wear new runners.

If you are looking to source the right fit for you a good physio like Sam Rice who we have here at unit 13 can do a movement screening with you and prescribe you with the right structured runner for you. Or any good physio can do that. Some running shops like Elverys Sport now screen too. However I do believe a physio is the best option once they have a biomechanics background. If you are looking for one near you email me at

How to get the miles in!

Ritual. Dont mess around here. You are trying to run a marathon. So focus is obvously a given. Design a plan and stick to it 80% of the time. Easy slow runs are meant to be EASY. You should be able to hold a conversation easily on these longer runs unless otherwise stated.

Warming up and what to do pre race.

Stretch and activate before. If you take 10 minutes to do this you will have nothing but pleasure on your run. This is where people avoid injuries. Again try this basic movement warm up I ran through with a client a few years back before we moved to our new premises in Glasnevin:

Intervals and Long Runs

Weekly intervals & Slow LONG runs. Intervals or fartlek training allows you to increase aerobic capacity. However if your progamme says to do intervals these are the days you go HARD. However each time you do an interval a top tip is to ensure they get steadily faster or maintain the same result. Do not go out too hard. This is otherwise known as speedplay popularised by the Swedish


Get advice from Finn and the gang in the Hopsack Rathmines. I have been going to them for the last 3 years on and off when I need advice myself.

Regarding nutrition in general all I can say is make sure to keep carbs as a priority the week of your race or long run.

On the day itself eat light. All your eating is usually done the day before to maximise energy stores. The day of eat something like that has you feel fresh and satisified but not sluggish.

Dreaded Chafing.

I had this experience once and i swear you do not want to experience it. It sounds crazy, however ensure you have tried the clothes you have worn dry and sopping wet.


When I was running a 10 miler once on the roads from Santry stadium down around the clontarf area one summer evening we were met with a massive downpoor. I didnt think anything of it until my singlet became heavy. Then. Well the chafing commenced.

To stop it ensure that you have tried all gear beforehand in all conditions. Again brand new gear isnt a great idea. So lads get the plasters out and cover the noses on your chest… Also there is nothing wrong with vaseliening but for god sake… be extra careful if you are using any tiger bam!


Sand and concrete. In the weeks leading up to the races try staying injury free with avoiding concrete. It is said when you run you can produce force prodcution of 3 times your bodyweight through your joints.

Therefore reduce this force by running on grass where possible. Furthermore avoid sand especially soft sand. If you have been doing it up to now you should be fine. However the delight of having sand between your toes isnt ideal here when clocking up miles. If you havent been doing it the muscle soreness you will experience during or post run will have you possibly hobbling for days. So stick to the runners and the hard sand if you insist. HOwever the green stuff is the best when it comes to surfaces.

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Larry Brady