Are you going to run the Zurich Marató de Barcelona? Well, here are some tips that may be useful for you when it comes to tackling the circuit.
A giant Course Map that you can download, a kilometre-by-kilometre description of where you are going to run (altimetry, areas exposed to wind, sections classified by their level of difficulty, race strategy and even a cheat sheet) that can help you compete and enjoy this fabulous Barcelona Marathon.
Have a great time!
- Si quieres leer esta guía en CASTELLANO
- Si vols llegir aquesta guía en CATALÀ
- If you want to read this guide in ENGLISH
Marató Barcelona: COURSE MAP
Marató Barcelona: DESCRIPTION
START TO KM 5: First five kilometers tend to go uphill, with a combination of uphill stretches where you have to regulate your pace (even if our legs to go faster) with calm areas to go at a steady pace.
- START: The adventure begins: 200 m of straight road and a roundabout. We must be extremely careful and calm our nerves.
- SANTS / RIERA BLANCA (KM 0.5 TO 2.8): First kilometer that is slightly uphill. It’s necessary to find a comfortable pace while we get into position. From 1.5 km onwards it’s more winding but with a tendency to climb (first a short break but then a slight climb).
- TRAVESSERA CORTS (KM 2.8 TO 5): We do it the other way round from the way it was run before, which means that it goes from being a favourable rest section to a gentle climb where it is steeper at the beginning than at the end.
KM 5 TO 10: Five fairly favourable km (it starts downhill and ends up flat with some false flats) where you can put all your machinery to work.
- SARRIÀ (KM 5 TO 5.7): Downhill to let yourself go.
- PARÍS (KM 5.7 TO 6.5): Winding terrain (dotted with some false flats) to go at pace without overdoing it.
- TO THE ARENAS (KM 6.5 TO 8): Between the gentle descent and the flat.
- GRAN VIA (KM 8 TO 10): A fairly flat stretch but with a slight climb in the first part. Don’t overdo it.
KM 10 TO 18,3: More than 8 km to go trapping combining sustained climbs with calm areas. The climbs, located in the first and last part of this sector, are downhill.
- PSG. GRÀCIA /ARAGÓ /ARIBAU (KM 10 TO 11.1): This climb is divided into three phases: in Passeig de Gràcia there are 400 m of gentle ascent where you have to regulate the pace a little; in Aragó the terrain is practically flat for just over half a km; in Aribau, the shortest of the three streets (only two blocks) it goes uphill and you have to regulate your pace.
- MALLORCA (KM 11.1 TO 15): Very long straight with a slightly winding profile but no major gradients with a tendency to climb up to the Sagrada Familia and more favourable after that.
- MERIDIANA (KM 15 TO 18.3): Long stretch that also goes uphill on the first leg and this year it is longer until almost leaving Barcelona. The gradient is hardly noticeable but it is better if you slow down a gear.
KM 18,3 TO 25,7: About 8 km of favourable terrain with a couple of short steep climbs. Between the downhill at the start and the flat afterwards.
- MERIDIANA (KM 18.3 TO 22.2): After a short steep climb just after the half turn, everything that we had not climbed much before is now transformed into a light stretch where the legs are loose.
- VALÈNCIA / BAC DE RODA (KM 22.2 TO 23.4): A favourable stretch but which hides a couple of traps in the form of two short and hard slopes (especially the first one).
- GRAN VIA (KM 23.4 TO 24.5): Be careful, the wind may start to be felt. Otherwise, a two-lane, flat street for pacing.
- RAMBLA PRIM (KM 24.5 TO 25.7): A favourable stretch that is usually in the shade. To take a break before tackling Diagonal Mar.
KM 25,7 TO 31,2: Almost six kilometers, five of them out and back, marked by the wind. Diagonal Mar can take forever and its coda at Passeig del Taulat can be the final straw. It’s necessary to adapt the pace.
- DIAGONAL MAR (KM 25.7 TO 30.6): One of the heaviest and most monotonous zones where a cool mind plays a fundamental role. The wind may be blowing, the ideal would be to look for companions to take shelter from it. Even though it is not 100% flat, it is an area where you can keep up your pace. Watch out for the bike lane separators on the ground in the first and last meters of the avenue.
- TAULAT / JOSEP PLA (KM 30.6 TO 31.2): It starts with 300 meters of false flat that weighs on the legs. Then it is flat.
KM 31,2 TO 34,1: A little more than two fateful kilometers, conditioned by the wind, the heat and a tiny steep slope that breaks the pace. You have to adapt your pace and seek shelter by forming groups of runners.
- LITORAL (KM 31.2 TO 34.1): The stretch most exposed to the wind, it pays to do it accompanied to take shelter. Here there is a short but leg-breaking climb. If you get into a crisis, think that you are very close to the start of the most beautiful and lively part of the Marathon.
KM 34,1 TO 36,9: Half a kilometer rest, another kilometer of tramping, and a longer kilometer of steady climbing. The important thing is to arrive fresh at the base of Passeig St. Joan faces those 1,300 meters (it is extended until almost uphill until almost km 37) with very little gradient without the man with the sledgehammer and the man with the sledgehammer appears.
- MARINA/PUJADES (KM 34.1 TO 35.6): The start of Marina is a slight downhill (give yourself a break) but at the end it gets a bit steep (regulate). Pujades is flat, wide and you can go at your own pace.
- ARC DE TRIOMF (KM 35.6 TO 36): A beautiful pedestrian stretch with a slight uphill and with quite a lot of people cheering from here to the end.
- RONDA ST. PERE (KM 36 TO 36.9): A stretch of false flat where we have to grit our teeth we have to grit our teeth and internalize that if we reach the end (Pl. Catalunya) the (Pl. Catalunya) the Marathon is in the bag.
KM 36,9 TO 39,2: A favourable area although the final part can be conditioned by the wind at the end. Here you can make up time or let yourself be carried away.
- ROUND PL. CATALUNYA (KM 36.9 TO 37.2): The tourist area, practically flat. Let yourself go and enjoy the atmosphere. Or speed up a bit if you’re looking for a brand name.
- VIA LAIETANA / PSG. COLOM (KM 37.2 TO 39.2): Via Laietana is slightly downhill and Psg. Colom is flat but can be windy. This is a transition zone if you are a bit tight and a good place to push if you are looking for a good time.
KM 39,2 TO THE FINISH LINE: Paral-lel + Ronda Sant Pere + Sepúlveda… to make you tremble. My advice: if you’re not going for a record or if it’s your debut… Down a gear and enjoy it; if you are going for a specific time, grit your teeth and know how to manage your strength.
- PARAL-LEL (KM 39.2 TO 40): A very slight climb to prepare for what is to come.
- RONDA SANT PAU / URGELL (KM 40 TO 40.9): Long straight uphill where you should not force yourself.
- SEPÚLVEDA/PARAL-LEL (KM 40.9 TO 42): Sepúlveda starts without too many complications, more or less flat, but then it gets harder and harder until it reaches the final part where the slope is quite steep and it is very noticeable. The last stretch of Paral-lel continues to climb steeply.
- FINISH LINE: You have suffered but in the end the Marathon is yours. Enjoy the final 195 meters (which are on a false flat).
NOTE: The sections that I think are more favourable are titled in green, those that have some difficulty are titled in orange. Even so, there are always calm areas and the occasional devilish steep slope dotted throughout each stage.
Marató Barcelona: ANALISYS OF THE CIRCUIT
- It’s a fast circuit, but not one of the fastest. To give you an idea, it’s not as fast as Valencia, Berlin or Seville, although it’s closer to them than to Madrid or New York, which are much more demanding.
- It’s a circuit where it’s more economical not to go at the same pace every kilometer: it’s much better if you know where to lose a second (climbs, windy areas) and where to gain it (downhills). Even so, the difference in seconds shouldn’t very much. I always say it, and here even more so: it’s about nailing sensations more than paces.
- Quite balanced in the first and second half. By not having to go around the Camp Nou to get to Diagonal, eliminate Numancia and make the first 5 km uphill more constant and smoother (although also lengthening Meridiana, which on the way up is still steep), we have sought a circuit that is not so demanding in its first half marathon. The second part is almost identical, except for the final part which is just as hard (or maybe harder) than before. Even so, I think that by profile and by logic of the race strategy, the first part should be slower than the second. I don’t think it’s wrong to arrive with the time squared and grit your teeth afterwards.
- The conditioning factors:
- First half:
- Massive star
- 5 kilometres uphill
- Meridiana is uphill
- Second half:
- Possibility of wind
- Possibility of heat
- Last 3 km uphill to the finish
- First half:
- The conditioning factors (EASY· MEDIUM · HARD)
- START – KM 5
Climbing – Narrows
- KM 5 – 10
Favourable altimetry (downhill and flat)
- KM 10 – 18.3
Start and finish climb – Long flat straight. No shade from 15
- KM 18,3 – 25.7
Seven favourable kilometres punctuated by a couple of steep climbs. No shade until km 22
- KM 25.7 – 31.7
Six km, five of which are out-and-back sections, conditioned by the wind. No shade
- KM 31.7 – 34.1
A little more than two fateful kilometres conditioned by the wind, the heat (no shadows) and a tiny steep climb that breaks the pace.
- KM 34.1 – 37
A kilometre of rest, a kilometre of tramping and a long kilometre of constant ascent.
- KM 37 – 40
More or less favourable area, although conditioned at the end by the wind and without shade.
- KM 40 – FINISH LINE
The final climb through Sant Antoni, a gradual ascent.
- START – KM 5
- The most difficult stretches (mentally and physically):
- Sants / Travessera de Les Corts (km 0.2 to 5)
- Passeig de Gràcia & Mallorca (km 10 to 11.5)
- Firts half of Meridiana (km 14.5 to 18.3)
- Diagonal Mar (km 25.7 to 30.6)
- Taulat & Litoral (km 30.6 to 34.1)
- End of Marina (34.5 to 35)
- Arc de Triomf / Sant Pere (km 36 to 37.3)
- Ronda Sant Pau to Pl. Espanya (km 40 to 42)
- The most grateful stretches (mentally and physically):
- Sarrià to Gran Via (km 5 to 8)
- Second half of Meridiana (km 18.3 to 22.2)
- Bac de Roda (km 23.8 to 24.6)
- Rambla Prim (km 24.5 to 25.7)
- Firts part of Marina (km 34.1 to 34.5)
- Via Laietana (km 37.2 to 38.3)
- Finish line (km 42 to 42.195)
- Where the wind affects:
- Gran Via (from km 23.4 onwards)
- Meridiana (at its end, km 17 to 20)
- Diagonal Mar/Taulat (km 25.7 to 31.2)
- Litoral (km 31.2 to 34.1)
- Marina (km 34.1 to 35)
- Passeig Colom (km 38.2 to 39.2).
- Uncomfortable, cramped or furnished sections:
- Strat to Travessera de les Corts (up to km 3)
- Mallorca (km13 & km 14)
- End of Meridiana (km 22.7)
- Acces to Diagonal Mar (km 25.7 a 26)
- End of Diagonal Mar / Taulat (km 30.2 a 31)
- Litoral (km 32.5)
- Acces to Passeig Lluís Companys (km 35.6)
- Sections where you will have have little or no shade:
- Passeig de Gràcia & Aragó (km 10 a 11)
- Meridiana (at the end, km 17 to 20)
- Diagonal Mar/Taulat (km 25.7 to 31.2)
- Litoral (km 31.2 to 34.1)
- Marina (km 34.1 to 35)
- Passeig Colom & Paral·lel (km 38.2 to 40).
Marató Barcelona: THE CHEAT SHEET
ALTIMETRY & RACE STRATEGY
- Start – km 5: Sinuous ascent. Keep Calm & Enjoy the atmosphere
- Km 5 – 8: Descent & flat. Don’t freak out
- Km 8 – 12: Sinuous. Comfortable pace
- Km 12 – 15: Flat. Stable pace
- Km 15 – 19: Soft ascent (maybe wind). Comfortable pace
- Km 19 – 22: Soft descent (maybe wind). Don’t freak out
- Km 22 – 25,7: Descent & flat with two short climbs. Don’t freak out
- Km 25,7 – 31: Flat & very soft ascent. Comfortable Pace
- Km 31 – 34: Soft descent, short climb, flat (wind). Adapt your pace
- Km 34 – 37: Soft ascent with flat. Comfortable Pace
- Km 37 – 39: Descent & flat (maybe wind). Don’t freak out
- Km 39 – Finish: Ascent . Keep Calm & Resist!
Enjoy! Is a fast but sinuous Marathon. It’s better to be comfortable all the time. Watch out for the wind and the heat!
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