5 Tips for the First Time Marathoner

Happy Thursday Friends!

I hope you’ve all had a productive week thus far! And, I don’t know about you, but I am ready for another weekend!

With my marathon training nearing the end of it’s cycle, it only seems fitting to write a marathon post.  And, after all, this is lutheranrunner.com.

You guys, I only have a little over a month until the Lakefront Marathon!

{Insert GIF that displays my extreme excitement 😉 }


So, I thought I’d take time to share some tips for the first time marathoner.

Training for a marathon is no joke and you need to be a committed and have a year or so of consistent running under your belt.  Or I guess just hire a coach.

But, personally, I strongly advise having a history of some running and also running a hand full half marathons first.  So here is some of my own advice and the guidelines I have used from my personal marathoning running/training experiences.

5 Tips for the First Time Marathoner

Disclaimer: I went a little crazy on the GIFs, but it was soooo fun! 😉

1. Sign up for a local Marathon for the first one.

Travel makes me extremely anxious and totally messes with my digestive system. You may be different, but there can be a lot of anxiety come race day.  Adding travel and being in an unfamiliar place can just add unwanted anxiety.


You also need to factor in the travel back time. AND think about how sore you’ll be after running a marathon. Sitting still and traveling many miles the day after a race also isn’t necessarily the best for your legs.


Make it easy on your training and prep time by running local.  Plus, it’s also fun to support local races by running them! #supportlocal

2. Find a friend to train with before signing up for your select race.

First, I wish you luck finding a friend who is willing to commit to running a marathon. This might be easy if you’re in a running club. Or if you just happen to live where the whopping 1% of the U.S population that runs marathons resides.

If that doesn’t work, see if you can get someone to commit to at least biking next to you during long runs.


But, seriously finding someone that can be your accountability partner or train for a marathon with you will make all the difference in your training.

3. Select a training plan before you start training and before you register for the big race.

This might be a no brainer, but I’m still going to put it out there.  You should pick a realistic plan for yourself and visualize yourself being successful with that plan.

Now, I’m not saying you HAVE to follow the plan verbatim, but those long runs are super important as well as daily mileage.  So get an idea of what your plan will look like so that you have a clear vision and know that it’s possible for you to finish a marathon.

Don’t be this guy 😂

I’ve used Hal Higdon Training Programs in the past.  He has programs for every running level and also has a lot of tips and training advice. There is also a training app for your phone with his plans too.  I’ve always just printed the plans to be able to check off my runs when they’re complete. {OCD much?… I know}

4. Have a solid and inspirational reason for running a marathon. Ask yourself why do I want to do this? Why do I want to run a marathon?

It could be something you want to check off your bucket list, you might want to qualify for Boston, OR you might just LOVE running and want to challenge yourself at a new level.


Whatever your reasoning, it should be something that means A LOT to you and drives you to stay committed. Because let me tell ya, it will be a long 16-18 weeks of training if you don’t have reasoning behind the madness!

5. Have fun with your training!

Training for and running a marathon will bring your running to a whole new level.  So many things can happen and you just might surprise yourself.  You might find that you can push yourself in ways that you’ve never imagined.


Remember that you get to run! You signed up to jump on this crazy marathoning journey for a reason and don’t forget your reason! 🙂 And I promise you, that moment you cross that finish line, all of the countless hours of training will feel worth it!


Enjoy the training process!

Happy running!

Don’t forget to give this post a thumbs up and follow Lutheran Runner at lutheranrunner.com 🙂


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