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Training for the Gold Coast Marathon: What You Need to Know

on 21 June 2019 in Health & beauty
The Gold Coast Marathon is just around the corner and we can’t wait. The world-class international marathon will attract 28,000 participants of all ages and abilities from over 50 countries across eight races. The pinnacle of road running events in Australia, it’s now in its 41st year and keeps getting better.

Planning on running the Gold Coast Marathon this year or next? Here’s our guide to training and other top tips.

The Ultimate Runner’s Gold Coast Marathon Training Plan

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner, training for the Gold Coast Marathon can be a daunting prospect. Having entered the event early, however, you can kick start your training to ensure you reach the finish line in a reasonable time.

If you haven’t yet entered your or your team’s details, do so now. There’s a certain magnetic energy that draws the best out of your preparation when you have made the solid commitment by officially registering for the Gold Coast Marathon - “The psychology is very different when a concrete commitment has not been made,” says physiotherapist and author Brad Beer.

The energy of an uncommitted debut marathoner is very different to a marathoner who has paid the entry. So don’t wait, enter the event early, if nothing else you will enjoy the early bird entry fees.”
It also helps if you establish a goal, write your goal down, display your goal, and tell your friends about your goal. This gives you a sense of accountability that will propel your training habits.

Setting goals

Follow the SMART principle when making your marathon goals, eg.
Specific: I will complete the ASICS Half Marathon in 2 hours.
Measurable: I will reduce my running time by two minutes each time I complete a run.
Achievable: I will build up to 24km by starting with an 8km run and increasing my running distance by 1km each week for 15 weeks.
Relevant: I will increase my fitness and overall feeling of wellbeing.
Time-bound: I will train for 20 weeks to achieve my goal.

Following a program

A quick Google search will produce a huge range of training programs that can help you to build up to your desired distance. Key weekly training sessions may include interval sessions, hill repeats, long slow distance (LSD runs), time trials, recovery runs and rest days. Remember that rest is critical to your training.

A training program is to be used as a guide only and ideally you want to seek advice so that you can personalise any plan you choose to go with. The Gold Coast’s first underground gym, Base Gym Coolangatta, gives you 24 hours access to equipment and can offer your great advice that’s personalised to your age, fitness level and goal. Their personalised advice can go beyond a program that’s designed for someone else to talk to the team at Base Gym Coolangatta and design a specialised schedule that’s right for you.

Other top tips

1. Recruit a friend

Whether you’re part of a marathon team or you’re running the race on your own, recruiting a friend to train with can enhance your training and keep you focused on days when you’re scratching around for excuses not to train. Everyone loves a good support crew.

2. Find your happy place

Running to your favourite park, beach, vista point or lake will help to keep you motivated and enable you to enjoy the training experience. Find your happy place in locations such as the 6km Kirra Beach Walk and Coolangatta Walking Loop, the Southport Seaway Trail Run and Coombabah Wetlands.

3. Be consistent

Train at the same time on the same days and make training part of your weekly routine. By forming your habit early in your program you’ll be more likely to reach your goal and less likely to skip a session. Give yourself a reward after training too if it helps. A habit that sees your run end with a fresh juice from Cafe 28 can work wonders for your motivation.

4. Have a wet weather option

While the Gold Coast is renowned for its sunny skies it’s important to have a wet weather option should the skies turn grey. This could be in the form of wet weather attire or it could be a treadmill in your local gym.

5. Get the right gear

A good pair of running shoes is an obvious essential when embarking on your training but you need more than that to really give your training a fair go. Pick a pair of shoes you feel and look great in and consider the tread. Training for a road run requires deeper, thicker tread.
Avoid 100% cotton socks, instead opting for a synthetic blend runner sock that will prevent blisters.
Running-specific clothes are lightweight and designed to move with the body. Seams are placed in areas to enhance movement and where they are less likely to chafe. If running in the dark, choose clothing that’s reflective. Look for pockets so you can carry a key, card or some cash.
Women should be wearing a good, supportive bra designed for high-impact activity. Try it on and test it by jumping up and down. Men should look for chafe-free performance boyshorts.
Sports watch
A smart watch or sports watch is great for timing your runs, staying on pace during races, and tracking your route using GPS. Some watches can also track your heart rate and other metrics.
Phone armband carrier
If you plan to listen to music, use a running app, make calls in an emergency or take photos on your run, you’ll want to get yourself an armband carrier. Otherwise you’ll be holding your phone in your hand. Get some quality headphones while you’re at it.
Sun protection
Stock up on your sunscreen and choose one that’s waterproof or sweat-proof and has an SPF of at least 30. Stick formulations are especially good for your face as the sunscreen won’t run into your eyes as you sweat. You should also get yourself a hat or visor and a good pair of UV-blocking running glasses for extra protection. Talk to the team at Just Sunnies.

Water bottle

When running more than 30 minutes it’s important to hydrate yourself with water. Keep water on hand with a specially designed running water bottle or carrier.
Not sure where to buy all your training gear? The Strand at Coolangatta holds a number of stores that can outfit you with the apparel and training equipment you need. Lorna Jane has your activewear covered, but our advice - avoid new race day clothes. As tempting as it may be to look shiny and new come race day, The Gold Coast Marathon is not the time to experiment with a new pair of running shoes, running shorts, or a new sports bra. Shop up a storm at the start of your training program and try out new clothes and shoes during your training runs. Come race day, stick with the tried-and-true favourites that you know are comfortable.
The Loop > June 2019 > Training for the Gold Coast Marathon: What You Need to Know