Tips For First Marathon Success | Strategies to Help You PR Faster

Are you seeking tips for first marathon success strategies? If so, welcome to rundreamachieve.

You have to seek tips for first marathon success if you are a beginner runner.

So, find out what has worked for other runners and mimic what they do.

Will I be able to finish the 26.2 mile distance?

Have I run enough to complete the distance? Will I be able to negative split?

I remember my first marathon and I certainly was having the same questions.

My debut marathon was the 2002 New York City Marathon. I ran as a part of an Armed Forces team that was running for a lung cancer charity.

My first mile was 16 minutes. I spent the first 15 miles of the race saying ‘excuse me’ and bobbing and weaving through the ocean of people.

I finished as the team’s top runner going from 32,189th to 257th. My net time was 2.43.36 and official finish time was 2.51.24. Of course, it included the time it took every runner in the race to cross the start line is included.

There are many things you can do in your first marathon to help yourself make it a success.

Calm Your Mind

Remember, the truth is our worries, concerns and fears seek to self-sabotage us from racing at our best.

Staying calm is one of the best tips for first marathon success.

Seth Godin, in his book The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? talks about the ‘lizard brain’.

Lizard brain?

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

It is a part of the brain beneath the brain stem called the amygdala where fear resonates.

Have you ever got a call and realized it was your boss calling and got that sick feeling in your gut?

It is the part of the brain which tells you to stop, be realistic or don’t push.

The problem is sometimes is is hard to control this part of the brain. Remember, it is hard wired into us.

We say we want one thing, then we do another and want to be successful. Thus, we sabotage the job interview. We say we want a product to come to market. In addition, sandbag the shipping schedule and want to be thin but we eat too much. We say we want to be smart but we skip class or don’t read that book the boss lent us. – Seth Godin

So, be calm when everyone around you is tense.

Invest In A RunDreamAchieve Training Plan

Staying calm in a sea of people in a marathon who are most certainly nervous and worried is an art.

It is art to think differently.

Set Out Your Gear The Night Before

Remember, not having to look for the items the morning of the race will save you time. 

So, there is no need to add any additional stress on yourself. In addition, this is one of the best tips for first marathon success. 

Also, staying calm and in control the morning of the race is also important.

Place all items you need into your back pack or bag so that you have easy access to it in the morning.

No worries.

You can get up with a clear head, grab a shower, read a book and just grab your things and go.

No looking around for things you need because you took action the night before.

Focus on What You Can Control

You have no power over what mother nature are has planned to do the morning of the race.

Is it windy? Is the temperature right or raining?

Guess what.

Every other runner in the race will have to experience the same circumstances whether good or bad.

You can distance yourself from the others by staying calm, relaxed and worry free.

Watch the difference in the way you race and how it affects your confidence.

Be Confident

The best way to run your first marathon is stay as relaxed as you can.

Have you ever watched a professional?

They are astonishingly good at what they do because they have rehearsed over and over.

Remember, you have done the physical work to run your best.

An artist is someone who does something for the first time, something human, something that touches another.” – Seth Godin

We self sabotage ourselves when we start to question, worry and fret over things that will never occur.

So, focus your attention on powerful, positive energy 

Your first marathon will be outstanding. Thus, you have learned to refuse to give power to anything that is trying to get in the way of your success

Buy A Pair Of Racing Flats

I spent over 20 years on active duty in the Army.

The problem I saw with Soldiers is that they don’t realize the difference between racing flats and training shoes.

A racing flat is simply a lighter shoe with less cushioning than most training shoes.

Less weight is key.

Less weight on your feet means less physical exertion and fatigue you will have to deal for the long haul.

Can they help you as a beginner marathoner run a faster time?


Think of it this way.

How many steps are taken during a 26.2 mile race?

Thousands. What type of a shoe would you want on your feet when having to pick one foot up and bring one foot thousands of times while tired?

The heavier or lighter selection?

Lighter shoes.

People would do better, if they knew better – Jim Rohn

Go Light On The Pre-Race Dinner

What you have eaten the week before the race is what counts.

 So, don’t eat a large meal the night before so the next morning you aren’t feeling heavy.

I would advise eating a bigger lunch and skipping a large dinner. So, have a small bowl of pasta and try to not eat salad as it is harder to digest.

Eat plenty of carbohydrates the week before the race. Remember, you want to stock up on much needed glycogen.

So, don’t wait until the last minute. Remember, you can’t cram for an exam and expect to get an A.


The day before the big race is not the time to go traveling all across town or overexerting yourself.

Relax in your hotel room or watch a movie. Also, read a good book to take your restless mind off of what you are about to do.

In addition, stay calm.

You have done all the necessary hard work. The race is the reward for that hard work.

Be Different

Remember, the quickest way to realize your potential sooner than later is not following what everyone else is doing.

Everyone has their own pre-race routine.

The morning of the race should consist of you being totally calm, focused and confident.

You will see a sea of people all around you tight, concerned and tense.

Be the opposite. Of course, this is one of the best tips for first marathon I can share.

Running success is just as much about attitude and inner confidence as it is about training hard. Hack away at the unessentials.

Take Some Chances

Part of being a runner is taking chances at things you don’t think you are capable of.

I was a 2.40.02 marathoner prior to the start of the 2007 California International Marathon.

I chose to do the work in training to handle anything I was going to experience in the race.

So, what you experience in training should always be far harder then anything you are going to have to deal with in the race itself.

I was in un-chartered territory running with 2.08 marathoners in Sacramento that day.

I took the chance and left the race a 2.19.35 marathoner.

Set Goals

What is your goal in your first marathon?

Are you doing the things outside of training to make it a reality?

You will never know what you can do unless you break up the inner conflict within yourself.

I am too fat, too slow or don’t have enough talent.

You can overcome the talent myth by your work ethic, focus and confidence

You were not born with talent, that’s fine, you were born with commitment – Seth Godin

Have A Plan

Who are your biggest supporters?

Friends, co-workers, family, all can be at the start line. So, have an action plan to make your race morning go even smoother. It is one of the best tips for first marathon success I can share.

In addition, having your support team at the start and finish line with your belongings will take any additional mental stress off of you.

So, you know where your clothing is. In addition, where to go when you have completed your race in record time.

Let Times And Places Go

This is your first marathon.

Enjoy it.

The problem runners face is we cloud our minds with so much useless information

Our minds are cluttered with the ‘what if’s’.

Don’t think, Feel, it is like a finger pointing out to the moon, don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.-Bruce Lee

So, let go of times you want to run and places you want to finish in.

Give it your best shot in your debut but don’t be overly concerned with hitting specific times.

The times are going to come the more you race.

A debut marathon should be a celebration.

You are seeking to do something that some people will never be able (by choice) to say they ever did in life.

Hydrate Well

One of the biggest hindrances in my own racing is not drinking the proper amount of fluids in the marathon.

Why is this vital to remember?

You never want to get to any point in a marathon when you realize you have not adhered to the golden rule.

The golden rule should be to always drink before it is too late.

Too late is when you realize you are severely dehydrated and your body starts to shut down.

Too late is when you are walking when you know every second doing so is costing you an Olympic Trials standard.

The Golden Rule

Stay hydrated and do not pass aid stations. It is one of the best tips for first marathon success I can share.

You can succeed, rather than fail in your first marathon by this very important tip.

Don’t sip a few cups the entire marathon and expect to be enough.

The marathon is not a mile race on the track or your local 5K.

Find A Flat, Fast Marathon

So, choose a fast course like Chicago, Columbus or Rotterdam.

Remember, running a flatter course sometimes can take the stress or worry off of being concerned you can finish.

Also, a flatter course is an easier way to getting to the end goal successfully.

Have Fun

Enjoy the experience.

It is just running.

You have to enjoy yourself in this sport or you will lose the joy of what you are doing.

Train hard but don’t lose sight of having fun with the sport too.

Hang out with friends, teammates and family during your build up and the night before the race.

Laugh a little.

The best runners have a unique ability to be utterly relaxed and calm on race morning.

You don’t have to be a Kenyan to master this crucial fundamental.

Make sure to visit and subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new videos there each week to help runners like yourself get better results. I hope this post on tips for first marathon success has been helpful to you.

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