Whether you’re crouched on the starting line for your very first Gold Coast Airport Marathon, or a seasoned campaigner aiming to shave a few minutes from your existing time, every athlete’s mind races on “The Big Day”.  The reality is, any doubts you have prior to the gun going off are not going to be of any benefit to you. As the final weeks literally run by, here are Matt’s top 5 tips that will hopefully go a long way towards helping you achieve your goal and, perhaps most importantly, enjoy the race.

1. Trust in the work that you have done. However long you have been training, when you’re nearing race day you have already put your best foot forward to achieving your goal. When the nerves and self-doubt set in the days in the lead up to the event, there is nothing else that you ‘should have done’ to perform better on the day. It’s already been done!

2. Don’t change your short-term race preparation. The 24 hours leading into the race should be treated like any other training day. You know what works for you, not the person you met in line while collecting your race number. This goes as far as food, sleep, activity and race day nutrition.

3. Mobility work can only benefit your body. Make friends with a foam roller, trigger ball and massage therapist. Loosening up tight muscles and generating some much-needed blood flow goes a long way to recovering in your final training runs.

4. Control what you can control and forget about the rest. When things start to get tough, what can you do right then and there to make it work for you? We’ve all heard of the dreaded “wall” we find after the 32km mark. In those moments it’s important to not think about how much longer you have to go. But to focus on what you can do to in that moment too feeling better and continuing on.

5. Enjoy the weekend. It’s one of the Gold Coast’s greatest events, so don’t forget to smile!

Matt Whitehouse is the Gym Manager at the BLK Performance Centre. Matt also coaches the BLK Performance Centre’s popular Running Club, and has a history of being a top level runner and triathlete, having competed in marathons/triathlons in Australia and Overseas. It’s pretty safe to say he knows a thing or two when it comes to long-distance running.

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