How to prepare for your first marathon

Today, running has become a popular amateur sport. And the growing popularity of the sport is only validated by major sports brands pushing running gear and increasing ad spends on them.
Running has become a cult, but don't trust everything you hear about a cult from a cult member. You might be at the receiving end of some serious bad advice.
So before you set out your first marathon here are some things which should help you navigate the road to the finish line. 
1) Select a race preferably a short 5km run or 10km (if you are really up for it). However try and select something in your locality so as to avoid traveling too much before and after the run and it would also help in finding people who you know, to run with you. Also, sign up early ideally at least 2-3 weeks before so you can train for it.
2) Get some decent gear, especially a pair of good running shoes. I don't mean go out and buy the top of the line running shoes that these days would cost you an arm and a leg. Just taking into consideration that most people train on hard surfaces, which is not the most ideal thing to do, you might consider getting something which cushions your strides.
3) Train yourself, test yourself out and slowly increase the distance in increments of 10% of whatever you can do. It is important to push yourself, however there is a fine line between overexertion and pushing yourself. Now come to think about it, a training regimen is something I'll write to you about in my next entry...
However remember not to have a heavy meal just before your run, at least wait for 2 hours after a heavy meal to run.
4) Measure your performance - fitness bands are a rage today, but if you want to measure performance without spending too much money, there are apps like pedometer which can be installed on your phone. These apps tell you to a certain degree of accuracy how much you ran and project calories burnt etc. But yes you must take the phone with you on the run to do so. Whilst these apps would not set the world on fire for their precision, it is a good way of knowing how much more to push yourself. Like they say there is no improvement without measurement.