SCMM-2016 – Free Gifts for You

Free Gifts for Your SCMM Target

My Dream Wish – Your Gift

If you are running either the half or the full edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) 2016, I have a special gift for you – so, if in a rush, keep reading for just another 25 seconds (or, if super impatient, jump straight to the gift)!

For the last few years, as a 2-hour pacer, I’ve had many of you achieve your personal best or first sub-2 in the half. I also told you in an earlier conversation why I do not really care about a podium finish (yours or mine) and how we all ought to focus on helping other runners. So, in 14,000 parallel universes, given my running ability, and attention to technical detail, I would have loved to pace 99% of you individually to your target finish times at the SCMM, both full and half! Getting back to ground reality, things can be almost as wonderful with the next best gift I have for you…

Specifically designed for the SCMM 2016 Course
Pacer Bands for the Half Marathon
Pacer Strips and Bands for the Full Marathon

You could click on the links above and jump straight to the gift and instruction video. If you would love to equip yourself with some more background and to know what makes these special, you could continue to the end of this short chat.

Why a GPS watch won’t solve all your pacing problems
If you have a simple stopwatch, and wondered if you are missing out relative to a GPS sports watch in a race, there’s no need to be especially envious. Although a GPS sports watch will tell you where you are and when, it will not easily tell you when you need to be at every kilometer of a specific route with its idiosyncratic elevation profile. Unless you have done all the calculations yourself and are carrying the results with you, you are more likely to either do some guesswork or remember just a few benchmark numbers. Moreover, you will not have a Km by Km guide of where you should be when, for achieving your target time, on that particular course, and for your own ability. That explains the need for human pacers and the inanimate pacer bands.

Human Pacers
I spoke to you earlier about the benefits of, and how to choose a pacer. Having said that, I also checked with you via an earlier poll regarding last year’s SCMM (2015) edition and found, not surprisingly that, in fact, less than 20% of you actually “ran with an official pacer and (were) satisfied”. Many of you were not satisfied with your pacer experience. In fact, 73% of you “did not run with a pacer at all”. One of the reasons would have been that the pacers are not synchronized in their distribution across the finish target range despite my having recommended this in the past. It is also not unlikely that the pacer you run with will fail to do the job as I highlighted in my report on SCMM-2015 pacers! So then, might we be better off using inanimate wrist pacer bands?

Pacer Bands
Unfortunately, the typical pacer bands you get as freebies have a host of drawbacks:
– they have an implicit assumption that your course is flat
– and that even for a flat course your pace per km will be constant
– worse still, many of the ones you get handed at expos are illegible even when you are stationary in daylight
For these reasons and more, there’s unnecessary plastic and rubber wasted (let’s stop that everywhere please!) for something of limited realistic practical value. Use Puru’s pacer bands instead.

Puru’s Pacer Bands

PuruTheGuru's Race Distance-Time-Pace Model
PuruTheGuru’s Race Distance-Time-Pace Model

A lot of thought and action has gone into getting you these free gifts for your race success:
– they have been designed for the specific route and elevation profile of the SCMM-2016 full and half marathons
– they will work for the new route of the SCMM-2016 Half
– they are internally consistent across the half and full marathons
– they account for the fact that as your target race time changes, your pace profile on the course also changes…
– so that the slower runners need more allowance for warming up in the initial stage of the race…
– whereas the fastest runners often bolt out from the start line to create a gap between themselves and others
– although we have might have an uphill where we slow down, we have a corresponding downhill where we go faster
– the downhill does not quite make up for the loss of time on the uphill
– the differential between uphill (slowdown) and downhill (speedup) varies across the running abilities
– in the final stages of the race, slower runners usually slow down further, especially for the full marathon, whereas the fastest runners have a strong finish, faster than their average pace
– all things remaining equal, even on a flat course, there is an underling trend to go slower as each km goes by
– this trend might be tiny for the fastest runners, but noticeable for the slowest ones

What next?
Simple! Just go to the bands and strips… print, cut, wear, pose and run!


Dr Purnendu Nath spends his waking hours focusing on helping individuals and organizations reach their goals, to make the world a better place. He speaks, writes and advises on topics such as finance, investment management, discipline, education, self-improvement, exercise, nutrition, health and fitness, leadership and parenting.


  1. Hi Puru, The pink bands are fantastic and a true new year’s gift .. Thank you so much for putting so much thought and effort into this and giving us something so simple to use!

    But, I am simply unable to print the white bands.. the paper comes out blank somehow. Don’t know if you can help?

    Look forward to chasing my dream target this year wearing 2 of yr pacer bands 🙂




    • I’m glad you like them. Is the white band for your husband? Perhaps he can try to print it on a different computer/printer than the one you have tried from? The “blank” printout seems unusual. Perhaps you’ve run out of toner?


  2. Puru, thank you for taking the time to design a customised pacing plan for each bus. Was lovely meeting you today. Would look forward to the 2:19 band with my name on it. Cheers


  3. Amazing… I m new in running fraternity..but impressed by encouragement and motivation by other runners the icing on the cake is your power band…hats off


  4. I got the pacer band laminated and then stuck a piece of double sided tape at one end. You roll the laminated band over your wrist and take the 2nd cover off the double sided tape. The laminated band worked very well against the percipation. Lamination cost Rs.6 and a double sided tape roll will cost about Rs.25-30. Better than paper band with staples.

    Nothing to beat the idea of the band itself! Thanks Puru.


  5. Thank you sir, I am planning to extrapolate the timing strips of 5:15 for Wipro Chennai Marathon.Though a GPS watch helps you know your pace, the idea of having a mini aim at each km will always keep the runner on the edge…plus you are tension free…you have to hit the mini aim and you are sure of ending the marathon in the desired time. I had a basic query…sir, what is the allowance you have kept for hydration…is it hydration on the go or a slowing down at an aid station? I was planning a semi walk/run hydration every 5km.

    Thank you very much


    • All the mini-goals lead to the maxi-goal, so that’s the right approach.
      For a detailed plan, the precise elevation details help.
      If you want to build in hydration time, but don’t know where it will be available or possible, simply make an allowance in the target time in your calculations.
      Else, let it become an adjustment during the race itself.
      If you know exactly where it will be, then you can “price that into the model”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.