5 Things I’m Doing to Prepare For My First Marathon

Written by Amber Smith. Amber is a 2019 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon Ambassadors and running our full marathon for the first time! You can learn more from her on Instagram @beimomenti-story .


When I decided to run a marathon, I didn’t think about it… I just registered. To be honest, I knew that if I had thought about it then I would procrastinate on registering. I would figure out a million reasons why running a marathon was such a bad idea. But now that I have made the decision to do it,  I think why not run a marathon? I have nothing to lose by doing it and everything to gain. My main goal is about focusing on the finish line.


Currently I am training for my first marathon which is the 2019 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon. I am already learning so much from this training season that I would like to share the top 5 things that have helped me 12 weeks out till race day.  


  1. Mindset.  My number one priority leading up to race day is having a positive mindset. This has helped me to keep going even when I got tired or didn’t feel like running. It is easy to tell your mind all the reasons why you can’t run today. I have just trained my mind to realize when an excuse comes up to just put my shoes on anyway.  Having a positive attitude and giving yourself mental high fives along the way training or running will take you a long way. Another fun thing I do when I’m out running is to give a high five to fellow runners I pass. It’s really helped give me that extra motivation and confidence to know I’m cheering other runners on as well.
  2. Find a training plan that fits your lifestyle.  I researched, used apps, and played around with different training plans. I found that you just have to find one that fits your lifestyle. As I was figuring out my training schedule 100 days out, I actually received an email from On Running with a subject line of “First Timer’s Guide To Marathon Running.” It was perfect timing to implement this plan into my marathon training schedule and I loved how it fit into my lifestyle. I especially liked how simple the training plan was to follow.  
  3. Strength training.  Strength training helps you perform and feel better as a runner.  It helps strengthen muscles that you don’t use while running and can correct muscle imbalance that can help you run better. If you are going to run and do strength training on the same day, remember to lift first then run.
  4. Run a half marathon first. I am so happy I ran a half marathon prior to running 26.2 miles because it allowed me to learn from my mistakes from the first race. Now I can implement what I learned in my training for the full marathon.
  5. Study the course.  I have been to the Bay Area many times and that is why I chose to run the Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon. I love the city and the sights. I’m especially excited to enjoy these landmarks on race day. Being able to run long distances with beautiful sites I have never seen before gets me motivated to accomplish such a big goal. Since I’m not from the Bay Area, I have been studying the Biofreeze SF Marathon course. I am finding that obstacles I might be up against  are the notorious San Francisco Hills. I use these findings to better prepare what to work on before race day. I highly suggest if you live outside of the Bay Area to visit the course before race day. I recently was in San Francisco and ran on one of the areas of the course. I learned that there was an incline while I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge. I completed the total distance of 3.5 miles from one end to the other. It was one of the areas I was most excited and most fearful about. Now this has given me the confidence that “I can” run it before race day. Another thing I learned from running in San Francisco was how my body negatively reacted to humid climates which caused a heat rash. Now I know to dress in cooler clothing and feel much more prepared for race day.


I hope some of the lessons I learned as a first time marathon trainee will help you as you prepare for the 2019 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon. It’s such an exciting and crazy decision to make. But know if I can do it, then so can you!

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