I agree that you can't break a PR without first having one. So, my advice is to NOT do what I did with my first marathon, ie have specific time goal. I did hit my time goal with about 5 seconds to spare, but I beat myself up really badly in the process. The idea for the first marathon is to listen to your body, if you need to slow down, then slow down, ect. After you successfully finish the distance, you can take stock for the next time.
Definatly start slower then normal pace, You should feel like it's really easy and you're just crawling for the first miles. Why? Race day adrenaline makes even the slowest of paces seem fast. It is much better to start too slow and finish then to start to fast and die.
As for a practice marathon before? I agree with Ollie on that one. Unless you've been running for a long time and have the endurance to sustain your body for two marathons, don't. And make sure you give your legs plenty of time to recover from each long run.
Finishing well is better then finishing fast.
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