Equipment you may need
1.) A good pair of trainers
You will be doing a lot of running over this plan, so its worth investing in a good pair of trainers. Obviously you need a pair that are durable and comfortable, but its also worth looking into a pair that suit your running gait.
Go to a running shop where they assess your running technique and find the shoe that will best accommodate it. This will mitigate any discomfort and injury over the course of your run.
2.) Good running clothes
These want to be first and foremost comfortable to run in. The last thing on your mind in the middle of a run should be on your clothing, so make a good decision before you set off. Your clothing should be specific to running and is widely available in sports shops. Typically I prefer loose, light clothing as I find it easier to move in and to keep cool.
3.) A GPS watch
This will help you track your runs and collect all of the data you need such as distance, speed and heart rate. This just makes your life easier.
In order to achieve your goal, you need to look after your body and listen to it. There is a difference between pushing through discomfort and pushing through injury. Running is often uncomfortable, but running through pain from an injury won't do you any good in the long run. It will require you to back off and recover so that you are in the best possible position to run your marathon. Be sure to consult a physiotherapist if you are unsure of an injury.
At this stage, you probably have your own style of running, that you may have carefully considered or not. I wouldn't think about making any aggressive changes to your technique, as it may put different, subtle stresses on your body that can cause injury over long distances.
Here are the things that I think about when I run :
Maintaining a short, quick stride.
Having my feet land underneath my knee and not in front of my knee.
Pushing up and off from the ground behind me.
Keeping my elbows at 90 degrees and tucked into my sides.
Having my hands loose, and below my chest.
The marathon plan is built around various running tempos (speeds). Each tempo has a desired effect and is based off your perceived maximum effort (PME) or your max heart rate.
If you imagine running flat out for as long as possible, you would achieve a perceived maximum effort of 10 (out of 10). This would be running at 100% of your maximum heart rate (for those with running watches/heart rate monitors). Scale down from this point to get familiar with how each tempo should feel.
These numbers are your goal for your relevant tempo, but don't obsess over them whilst you are running. Your PME is subjective, so run at pace that you feel best matches that number. With a heart rate monitor, don't check it too frequently and disrupt your run. Once you establish the correct pace - focus on feeling it out and maintaining it. Check every now and then to make sure you are on track and adjust accordingly.
A Good Run
All that is required for you to have a good run is to meet the target tempo for the specified duration. You should run knowing why you are running at the specified tempo and the desired effect and feel confident in the run, even if its difficult (as many of the runs will be). The conditions of a cool, clear day are ideal, but not essential. I prefer to run outside, but I have seen people use treadmills and get fantastic results. Some people are motivated by music, others prefer to run without headphones - it's up to you.