Simple Advice to New Runners Preparing for their First Marathon

Do you want to begin training for a marathon, but aren’t sure where to start? Here’s my simple advice to you. While doing your research, keep in mind that there’s misinformation, bad advice, and myths about preparation and running. This article covers training basics and footwear.

All of the things on this short list, I’ve learned the hard way throughout my years of running. When I reminisce on my experiences, it feels awesome, I see where I started and where I am today. I obtained a wealth of knowledge, which all comes down to this simple advice.


  • Don’t try anything new on race day. No new gels, clothes, or shoes.
  • I suggest adding walking to your runs, don’t feel like you have to run the whole thing. Run/walk intervals. First marathon is about finishing and having fun. It is time on your feet.
  • Eat nutritious foods and get plenty of rest.
  • Strength train, do yoga, something that will build up strength.
  • Hire a running coach to guide you through your preparation.


  • Whatever shoe works for you. I’d go with Brooks or Asics for first road marathon, just my opinion, what I wore, and what I’ve noticed other marathoners wearing. The goal is to be comfortable and not get injured. Break in the shoe, train in what you’re going to wear for race day.


  • Socks should be comfortable and something that shouldn’t rub your feet. Injinji are my all time favorite! They have road, trail, everyday, base layer, etc.


  • Consider something for chafing. Not everyone chafes, but areas that could during long training runs are thighs, under arms, and chest/bra area. Check out Trail Toes and Squirrel’s Nut Butter.

Trial and error are all a part of the journey, enjoy them!

What things did you wish you knew prior to toeing the start of your first marathon?

My first trail marathon, TNFEC D.C., 2015

Follow my ultra adventures

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