Houston Marathon Course Suggestions and Coaching

Anybody on the brink of run the Houston Marathon course must learn this put up! It’s every little thing I want I’d recognized upfront to have the most effective day potential. Whilst a operating coach there have been classes to be realized and every race is a bit totally different.

Hopefully these few key items to assist make life simpler! When you begin to understand how lengthy it takes to coach for a marathon, I hope you’ve began trying on the proper plan effectively upfront.

And then you definitely began pondering…ought to my coaching be any totally different for a flat marathon? Sure. Is there something totally different in regards to the Houston Marathon Course that I ought to put together for? Sure.

I’m so glad you’re pondering forward and hope the following pointers will assist you’ve an important race whether or not it’s your first otherwise you’re out for a Private Report. After I ran this course it was a PR for me on the time, which ought to make it a favourite…however man I had a troublesome day!

Is the Houston Marathon Good?

The marathon is now over 51,000 members making it an enormous race the place they’re placing time and vitality in to a great expertise for you because the runner and it attracts nice crowds to offer you a lift of vitality.

The course is total fairly flat which completely makes for good private bests makes an attempt. The truth is, they did the Olympic marathon trials there in 2012!

The common race day begin temp is about 45 levels Fahrenheit which is a perfect race temp. Nonetheless, everyone knows that the temp rises the longer you might be on the course, which implies it could possibly be over 60 levels by the end which may be very sizzling to some runners. Particularly should you’ve been doing all of your coaching by means of the winter.

That is NOT a walker pleasant marathon both. Based mostly on their reduce off occasions, you could be round a 13:45 common mile tempo to not be swept.

houston marathon course tips

Houston Marathon Suggestions

Whereas I didn’t have probably the most enjoyable ever at this race, that was extra as a consequence of poor fueling and issues I simply didn’t know 10 years in the past! So on the whole, it’s a course I’d suggest to quite a lot of runners as a result of it doesn’t have a ton of powerful hills and I discovered you had room to run with out feeling squeezed in tight subsequent to everybody.

With any race, I’ve just a few customary suggestions for our athletes:

  • Strive to not stroll round a ton earlier than the race
  • Have your pre-race dinner and morning of meal with you or deliberate out, so you realize it’s meals you tolerate
  • Don’t get sucked in to driving the course 🙂 you must have been coaching for regardless of the elevation appears to be like like and that’s all you may management

#1 Prepare for the Flats

One factor that many runners over look is how operating a race that’s so flat can truly be tougher. You’ll be utilizing the identical muscle tissue all through the race. For those who’ve been coaching on rolling hills, you could discover that issues begin to ache or fatigue.

In Colorado, I made some extent of driving to an space the place I might do a future and solely get 250 toes of elevation acquire. As a result of in Houston there’s solely 225 toes of acquire over 26.2 miles!

This doesn’t imply skip hill exercises, however observe lengthy actually flat runs.

We’ll contact extra on the course beneath, however is the Houston marathon hilly? No. It has a few climbs, however is total a flat race.

#2 Don’t Overdo the Expo

As famous, the aim is to not be in your toes an excessive amount of previous to the race.

Nonetheless, Houston is likely one of the few races that also has a reasonably sizeable expo. And man do I like a great expo! I don’t want something, however I like seeing all of the gear or the enjoyable audio system like Desi Linden.

#3 Plan for attending to the Begin Line

We need to reduce time on toes earlier than the race. So lookup precisely the way you’re going to get there.

We fortunately had good friend keen to drop us off and it was a reasonably clean course of for many who aren’t staying close to the beginning. My choice is mostly to be in a lodge close to the beginning line as a result of that 1 mile stroll is a superb probability to heat up and shake off the nerves.

There are literally various inns close to the conference middle, which is why they don’t supply any shuttles to the beginning/end space.

  • You don’t want to fret about visitors or parking with roads closed
  • You’ll get a brief straightforward stroll to heat up earlier than the getting within the coral
  • You’ll get to sleep later than these coping with visitors
  • You’ll be able to your use your lodge lavatory once more extra final minute and keep away from any potential unhealthy climate a bit longer

Don’t be afraid to ask pals to separate a room with you! You then’ve obtained somebody to share all of the nerves with.

Houston Marathon Tips

#4 Plan for Race Morning

A number of issues you could know particularly across the Houston Marathon beginning space. All the things is contained in the conference middle which is AMAZING for being inside and outside of the weather!!


You’ll undergo a safety checkpoint, like many of the different main marathons. Assume this might take some time. So that you need to be early sufficient to get by means of, test a bag and use the porta potties.

ONLY carry the clear bag you obtain at registration.

Gear Verify

This was a multitude actually. I might barely combat my method by means of after which again out of individuals. I’ve heard this in extra years as effectively, so when you’ve got somebody on the right track with you give them a bag and skip this stress.


Anticipate lengthy traces. I really feel like possibly there are much less porta-potties as a result of every little thing is inside or possibly you simply can’t discover sneaky methods to get to a brief line.


Not like a few of the different majors you CAN use a hydration vest! So seize your vest, your hydration belt or your handheld bottle to verify your diet wants are all lined up.

Sit Down

For those who do get there early, sit down. Don’t waste tons of vitality standing round. (I made the error of doing this, critical waste of vitality)

You’re about to run 26.2 miles and standing is taking vitality, and making your legs sore. Sit. Wait. Then rise up do some pre-run stretches and get in to your corral.

Throwaway Garments

Sure, I do know it’s Texas, however be ready. Even 40 levels when standing nonetheless can really feel chilly and being chilly for hours earlier than you begin the race is a giant waste of time.

Deliver a mylar blanket or previous sweatshirts, gloves and pants which you can toss. Clothes is collected and donated to charity.

#5 Put together for the Temps to Rise

On the flipside, if it’s a HOT day then checkout these sizzling climate runnig tricks to maintain your core as cool as potential earlier than beginning.

As famous, the temperature goes to rise all through the race. The results of this mixed together with your onerous effort is a rise in HR, which makes every little thing really feel more durable. So it turns into actually vital to remain on high of:

  • Sipping water and electrolytes regularly
  • Proceed taking in gasoline even when your abdomen doesn’t need it since you’re sizzling
  • Seize any ice that’s obtainable

#6 Houston Marathon Course Technique

This wasn’t a scenic oh so fairly course, however it was pretty straightforward with solely small mild hills. The roads nonetheless actually require you to observe your footing and undoubtedly left quite a lot of us feeling sore ankles put up run.

Beginning Corrals

Because the first corral is open to anybody with a Sub 4 marathon and to half marathon runners as effectively, it may be a big group. Know your aim and attempt to line up accordingly so that you don’t get caught weaving round individuals.

I did really feel this course opened up faster than others, that means you don’t really feel boxed in and caught subsequent to individuals for a very long time.

Corral A begins at 7:01

The ultimate corral D will begin about 7:40.

Miles 1-2

Very like Chicago the tall buildings initially might throw your GPS pacing off only a bit. So dial in to that effort stage and bear in mind the primary mile must be straightforward!

Restrict Your Weaving

Irrespective of the place you begin in such a crowded course there’s going to be a have to cross individuals.

  • Strive to not make any large weaves, this may add distance to your race
  • Simply transfer barely to the facet and maintain going
  • For those who run in to a big pile up, it’s in all probability a tempo group. Attempt to transfer to the facet to get away from the pacer should you don’t like all of the jostling.

Miles 3-10

Regular as she goes. Discover your aim tempo and settle in to it. Even pacing is your greatest good friend.

Throughout mile 8 the half marathon runners will make a flip and all of a sudden the course goes to really feel much more lonely. Get pleasure from that point to test in together with your respiratory, your fueling, your vitality ranges.

You’ll be out and in of residential areas. Once more it’s not tremendous scenic, however nonetheless will be fairly fairly. And in neighborhoods you typically get some actually enjoyable cheering stations.

Houston Marathon Course TIps

Mile 10-12

Begins on slight incline and goes to the most important hill of the day simply earlier than mile 13.

Don’t freak out about this. The preliminary incline may be very minimal so that you may merely discover it feels a tad tougher, however you aren’t going to be struggling.

Once you hit the hill, decelerate. YUP. Preserve your vitality on the up after which leg it fly on the downhill.

Miles 13-21

You’ll have the occasional small rolling hill in right here, however different clever a pleasant flat part to maintain on doing all of your factor.

Mile 22 – 24ish

That is going to be a largely downhill part the place you may decide up a while if wanted. Keep in mind you continue to have 2 miles to go after this, so don’t go loopy, but when you end up a bit forward of your aim tempo simply maintain enthusiastic about your effort stage and let it occur.

Mile 25 to 26.2

WOHOOO within the residence stretch. You’ll climb one hill after which discover that the final 1.2 miles are completely flat to even a tiny, tiny bit downhill.

Go away all of it on the market and see what you are able to do!

Houston Marathon Widespread Questions

Do I Need to Qualify for the Houston Marathon?

No. It’s a lottery system. So that you’ll put your title in when the lottery opens (just a few weeks after the marathon) after which wait just a few months to seek out out should you have been one of many randomly chosen who will get to race the following yr.

When is the Houston Marathon?

It’s often the primary or second week of January.

How Massive is the Houston Marathon?

Whereas it’s not a World Main Marathons it’s a large race at 51,000 runners throughout the half and full.

The Houston marathon course is a superb one! You simply have to go in to it prepared to simply accept what the day could carry!

When you’ve got extra questions, let me know! Joyful to attempt to assist.

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