Create your own experience: You will have a million people telling you their own race story, but in the end, you will be the one to experience the race in your own way. If one person was struggling in the second bridge, don’t assume you will be as well.
The mind can push the body through the toughest parts of the race: learn to push the uncomfortable to the back of your mind and focus on your race goal
Keep an open mind: Focus on the things you can control (race prep, visualization, nutrition, sleep, etc.) and don’t worry about the things you can’t (weather, crowded roads, long bathroom lines, etc.) Take it one step at a time!
Take a deep look at your sleep. Do you sleep at least 7-8 hours most nights? Sleep is tough for busy marathoners but proper sleep enhances your nutrition and training regimen. PLEASE make it a top priority, especially with the marathon right around the corner
Keep your food intake about the same (or slightly less) during your taper as it was during your training. This will help ensure your muscles will be fueled properly with glycogen (energy) for race day
Nothing new on race week, especially food-wise! Hit the new restaurant you've been dying to try AFTER the marathon, not before
Stick to YOUR marathon nutrition/hydration plan (30-60 g carb/hour) but have a back-up plan and be flexible. Know exactly what's provided along the course and plan accordingly. Steady pacing along the route along with a consistent nutrition/hydration plan will help you avoid hitting the dreaded wall.
This won't happen, but...sip, swish and spit sports drink if you're feeling really lousy on the course. It might help
Space blankets are lifesavers at the starting line. They’re cheap, lightweight and a good alternative to wearing layers you have to peel off or throwaway
Chat with a pace group leader prior to the start to make sure you understand their strategy. If your plan is to run conservative and their plan is to start aggressive, this pace group won’t do you any favors.
Regarding Pace Groups...pacers aren’t perfect and will probably not run every mile at the correct speed. So if you’re finding it hard to keep up with them over one mile, don’t give up right away because they might slow down
Look right and left before moving to the sidelines of the course or stopping to walk. Running a marathon is like driving on a highway and it’s good to be aware of the other runners around you so you don’t cause any pile-ups. And don’t be afraid to use your voice to signal to the folks around you, they’ll appreciate you giving them the heads up
Make sure you’ve run a few long runs in the outfit you plan to wear on race day. My first marathon I wore a new pair of compression pants that put a lot of pressure on my lower abdomen, causing a lot of discomfort. (After 20 miles, you really really don’t want anything squeezing your intestines....)
Run your own race, not someone else’s. That person who just passed you may have a different strategy than you, or more training, or more experience running marathons, or it might be their first race and you’ll end up passing them at mile 20 because they’re exhausted. Don’t measure your progress by anyone else’s. A marathon is about challenging yourself, you don’t need the additional stress of racing everyone else on the course