I thought I would post an email that I sent to my husband's cousin about my marathon training tips. She is a new runner and considering doing her first marathon in Chicago this October. And if you are in Chicago, now is the time to decide and sign up for the marathon. (since it will fill up) Here is my advice:
Hi Natalie! Sorry for the delay in emailing... I just got back from a run and remembered our conversation. My sister and I have followed Hal Higdon's running guides for a 10k, 1/2 marathon, 25k, and marathons. (so, in my experience, I highly recommend his books)
"Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide"
"Hal Higdon's How to Train ..."
You also might want to check out Jeff Galloway's walk-run method. (I think you run for 8 minutes and walk for 1 minute for the entire marathon)
I have "Marathon, You Can Do It" by Jeff Galloway.
Other helpful hints:
buy good socks and shoes (go to a running store)
put aquaphor on your feet and other areas (nipples, etc) before a long run
Superfeet insoles are great
Do a practice run - On one of your last long runs, wear the same outfit/socks/shoes that you plan on wearing for the race. Also, eat what you would the night before and the morning of the marathon. And trim your toe nails. I know this might sound weird, but then you at least know if something is going to bother you during the actual marathon. (I have never lost a toe nail or had a blister :) )
I hope all of this info is helpful!