Is completing a marathon on your must-do fit-list? Perhaps a 21km, 10km or a 5.7km fun run (or walk, no judgement here) is more up your alley? Whatever your fit-dream is, the Gold Coast Marathon has you covered – from a 5.7k trundle to the whole 42.2k hurrah.

With just 16 weeks to go, entries for the 40th Gold Coast Marathon are selling out quickly – so make the commitment and enter today. Not a local? With cheap flights from every major city around Australia to the Gold Coast, make this event a fit-cation to remember.

Whether you’re a newbie trying to crack your first 5K or a seasoned campaigner looking to add a 40th edition medal to the collection, you’re bound to encounter a few bumps (and blisters) along the way. We got the how-to from seasoned Gold Coast Marathon runner and physiotherapist Brad Beer, who gave us 5 essential tips applicable for all levels of debut Gold Coast Marathoner.

Enter early

“Take a pen to paper (or finger to keyboard if you are using a digital calendar) and schedule the event in right now! But don’t just schedule it in your calendar, take the next and more significant step of officially entering the event,” says Brad. Why? Because there’s something really powerful about paying money and committing to an event – you’ll pull yourself through tough training days, humps and hurdles by making a solid commitment to it.

“I know from my own experience that it is all too easy to take the easy option when a firm commitment to an event has not been made. The psychology is very different when a concrete commitment has not been made. The energy of an uncommitted debut marathoner is very different to the marathoner who has paid their entry,” says Brad. So, don’t wait, enter the event right now – if nothing else, you will enjoy the early bird entry fees!

Gather your squad

Yup, rope in your running BFF to do the hard yards with you. “The accountability that comes with having a running partner will make a huge difference in the quality of your preparation, and ultimately the success of your goal,” says Brad. You’re not exactly going to leave your pal high and dry pounding the pavement by herself now, are you?

Leave yourself time to prepare well

“The problem with too short a preparation time is the resultant pressures that are produced (both mentally and physically) as the runner tries to ‘cram’ kilometres and training ahead of the looming event date. Just as a student tends to underperform when they cram for exams, so too does the runner who crams what should otherwise be a sensibly structured training program into a compressed time-frame,” says Brad. Luckily for you, you’re 16 weeks out from the big event – which is the perfect time to start training, according to Brad.

The Gold Coast Marathon also has numerous resources available online, including training programs and tips from the best running minds in Australia to help you on your way.

Act on injury early

“Too often I see runners preparing for debut marathons make the mistake of ignoring what starts out to be a low-level pain or a ‘niggle’,” says Brad. “The response to this low level pain is typically: to rest it (and the pain settles), to ignore it (and an injury often develops), or seek immediate medical attention (not always required).” So, if you notice a niggle? Head to see a qualified physiotherapist, who will give you all the tools you need to prevent injury.

Don’t ignore rest

“Sadly, rest is ignored in the training diaries and programs of many runners, both recreational and elite. As a physiotherapist, I routinely see the results of insufficient rest when rehabilitating injured runners, who failed to schedule enough rest as part of their training. The large percentage of overuse running injuries that I treat as a physiotherapist have inadequate rest as one of the key contributory factors in the development of the injury,” Brad tells us.

“Rest can be taken in the form of a complete rest day, a rest or recovery session or even some easy weeks or blocks of time. In order to get the training-to-rest ratio correct for your training and event preparation, I recommend engaging the services of a qualified running coach or seasoned marathon runner,” says Brad.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for the 40th edition of the Gold Coast Marathon now. We believe in you!