Fiona O’Keeffe Gives Her Top 5 Tips for First-Time Marathoners

Few people have done anything as well on the first time as Fiona O’Keeffe and her marathon debut.

The 25-year-old runner and FN cover star competed in the event for the first time at the U.S. Olympic trials in February and won the whole thing. Not only was O’Keeffe the first to win it in her first outing, she also shaved three minutes off the event’s previous record while securing her place in Paris this summer.

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Having been a part of the Puma Elite Racing team since its formation in 2021, O’Keeffe only pivoted to marathon training in 2023 after plying her trade primarily in the 5,000 and 10,000 distances. Her first half marathon attempt in 2022 also set a record for a debutant, and in college O’Keeffe was named All-American a total of six times running for Stanford’s cross-country and track and field teams.

Given her immediate success in running the marathon, Footwear News asked O’Keeffe to provide tips for other runners taking on the challenge for their first time.

  1. “Make sure you’re practicing your fueling and hydration strategy before race day. That way you’re not doing something new that can upset your stomach, and you’ll feel more confident going in.”

  2. “Get comfortable with the shoes you’re racing in and [don’t wear them] for the first time on race day.”

  3. “Try to stay as calm and composed as you can through the first half of the race because there’s still a lot of racing to be done.”

  4. Just enjoy it.

  5. Trust the training and preparation that you’ve put in.

About the Author:

Ian Servantes is a Senior Trending News Editor for Footwear News specializing in sneaker coverage. He’s previously reported on streetwear and sneakers at Input and Highsnobiety after beginning his career on the pop culture beat. He subscribes to the idea that “ball is life” and doesn’t fuss over his kicks getting dirty.

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