Another runner here!
I love the half marathon, been running them about 9 years now. However, this fall I too am running a Marathon, and feeling so grateful it comes after Hood to Coast, as I think it will be a good last event before the push to run my first 26.2
My advice, train in the gear you will run in, shoes, shorts, sports bra, shirt, hat…etc.
Also note, if you always run with an iPod you probably won’t be able to at the event. So, I suggest not running with one for your training, or alternate days so you don’t grow dependent on it. Music is really mood altering and can be very helpful in training.
Keep a good eating program, from now until you complete. You will need plenty of nutrients, including carbohydrates and lots of water. Building a habit of consuming your typical 64 ounces a day, also, you’ll need to be able to learn to drink while running. There are a lot of ways of doing, you can stop and sip, or gulp and run, even folding over the top of the paper cup to keep water in it as you run. Or you can learn to run with a camelbak, 26.2 miles is a distance and you will need to be hydrated.
You will also need to be rested. Think about the days, or rather if you go three days without a run how your body is nearly aching to put foot to pavement. You want to feel this way before the big day, several days before the big day.
Pace yourself. When people first start running with groups they have a tendency to go out too fast. Get a watch and learn your pace, run a little slower than your typical pace in the first couple of miles, people will pull far away from you, but you’ll catch up to them or pass them around 10 miles or so when the lactic acid starts to tear their muscles down.
If you need something like shotbloks, learn to use them on your longer training runs so your body doesn’t have adverse reactions to them. It’t not uncommon for people to suffer all sorts of digestion upset, which is why I say stick with a regular food program.
Also, be aware that if you are running this just a week before your wedding, you might want to have your last dress fitting about 2 weeks before because you will have lost weight, it comes with the territory.
And plan for a massage a few days or the day after the event. Otherwise you could be waddling down the aisle in serious pain. Half marathons are easy on the body, Hood to Coast is harder, and so I imagine that a full marathon is going to be slightly harder than that.
Also, for your training, if you can, alternate your running training with cycling or elliptical trainer, they give the knees a break. As another posters said, weight training is important. and yes it is. i’d say I agree with squats and lunges, but you also need leg extensions, these keep the knees stable. And tons of runners make the mistake of not working your abs, try handing leg raises and decline crunches, this mixes it up and still keeps your core strong, which you’ll need for all the time you spend upright.
this isn’t everything of course, but i hope it helps somewhat.
Perhaps you could do a few 5k’s before the big event, this might give you an idea of what to expect as far as people and how the events are staffed and how you do with crowds and temperature, and running on pavement.
I am so glad to see so many other runners here.
Good Luck to all of you!