What time of year is your marathon?


IMPORTANT: Read the "General

Information" Section Below Before

Purchasing  ($7.75 USD)


IMPORTANT: Read the "General

Information" Section Below Before

Purchasing  ($7.75 USD) 


IMPORTANT: Read the "General

Information" Section Below Before

Purchasing  ($7.75 USD) 


 IMPORTANT: Read the "General

Information" Section Below Before

Purchasing  ($7.75 USD)

General Information



Requires Excel running on a PC or

Mac. (Will not work with cloud-based

versions of Excel or mobile devices.) 

NOTE: Shut down Excel completely

before opening the spreadsheet as

the FIRST spreadsheet you open.



Click the button below to download a

step-by-step PDF tutorial and overview

that explains how these pacing

spreadsheets work.

(Can be viewed on mobile devices.) 



My thoughts on how to set a time goal for a marathon and the best ways to use a pace band to help you hit that goal.



Each spreadsheet costs $7.75 USD

but also has a free trial version with

partially obscured splits. Download

a trial version then do the following:

  • Close Excel if already running
  • Open the trial spreadsheet
  • Change goal time on Pacing tab
  • All visible splits should update
  • Test various pacing strategies



Because of the nature of this product,

all spreadsheet purchases are final

with no refunds. However, if you are

having issues on a system that meets

requirements, send me an e-mail at

gregmaclin@gmail.com and I will

make every effort to correct the issue

or offer a free spreadsheet for

another future marathon.



A Free "generic" marathon pacing

spreadsheet can be downloaded by

clicking the button below (it assumes a

flat sea-level course with no turns, but 

still allows configuration for slow starts,

fade, and negative split pacing).



Need a marathon pacing spreadsheet

for a marathon not listed? I charge $50

to create a new one because there is

no guarantee that I will sell additional

copies and they take quite a bit of time

to create. Also, I may already have it

but just need to update it. If you are

interested, send me an e-mail at:


Donate / Pay for Additional Services

Pacing Advice

#1 - Pick a reasonable goal time for your current fitness.

Regardless of what your want your goal time to be, you need to base it on your actual fitness level during the last 4-6 weeks of your marathon training cycle.  I recommend that you do at least a 10k but preferably a half marathon race (or time trial) four to six weeks out from your goal marathon, then use your finish time for this shorter distance to determine a reasonable marathon goal time.  Ideally, this should be run on terrain similar to the target marathon course and at race effort for the distance you are running.  

Many years ago I created a "Race Time Estimator" spreadsheet that allows you to use either a single predictor race or two predictor races to estimate potential race times at other distances.  Unlike most other calculators, it also allows you to adjust the aggressiveness of it's predictions and if you use two predictor races, it will warn you if you are setting the aggressiveness level too high for your level of endurance.  I highly recommend that you use it.

#2 - Plan a race strategy based on the elevation profile of the course.

This will be automatic when using any of the pacing spreadsheets on this web site.  Keep in mind that some marathon courses have elevation profiles that will naturally give you a positive split, so don't arbitrarily try to target a negative split because you've been told that's the best strategy to run a marathon.  It depends on the elevation profile.

#3 - On race day, be willing to make adjustments based on Weather

The weather can make or break you on race day, so it is risky to stubbornly refuse to go with a more conservative goal on a warm or hot day.  (The "Race Time Estimator" mentioned above allows you to estimate the impact of weather on your finish times.)

#4 - Stick to the plan!

There is no point in planning a race strategy if you don't follow it during the race.  Running a marathon is an exercise in energy management, so pacing is critical.

Here are some tips for using the pacing information on the spreadsheets:


  • Print whichever pace band(s) you think you will need during the race, preferably using a laser printer to minimize sensitivity to any moisture.
  • Follow the instructions on the "Wrist Band" page of the spreadsheet to cover each band in clear packing tape (make sure all edges are completely covered, not just the front and back).


  • During the race you can wear the pace band on your wrist (use a piece of Scotch Tape to connect the ends), fold it in half and keep it in a pocket, attach it to the back of your race bib and flip it up when you want to see it, or even attach it under the bill of your hat and take your hat off when needed.
  • As you pass each mile or kilometer marker, check the elapsed time on your watch against what the pace band says and make slight adjustments to your pace or level of effort as needed.  Do not try to bank time against what the pace band says or get too far behind - try to stay within 15 seconds of the splits on the pace band.
  • If the race is going well, don't get overconfident in the last 10k and blow it.  You might be feeling pretty good at mile 22 but feel lousy at mile 23.
  • Don't get hung up on trying to constantly monitor your current pace - you should be mainly concerned with your splits at each mile or kilometer marker.  Your split times are more important than the pace readout on your watch, especially on a course with hills!