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Pillars of Performance: SCU Buzz

Student Georgie Collis training for the Gold Coast Marathon

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Caitlin Lea
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30 April 2024

What are the most important things you should consider when training for a marathon? From nutrition and hydration, to gut training, injury prevention, rehabilitation, goal setting, and how to choose the best pair of shoes, our panel of experts cover every angle.

The Pillars of Performance: Combining Nutrition, Physiotherapy and Psychology is a webinar presented by Southern Cross University for those training for the upcoming Gold Coast Marathon.

The first speaker in the line-up is record-breaking runner and Gold Coast Marathon Ambassador Erchana Murray-Bartlett, who brings her wealth of experience in racing marathons to provide advice on how to fuel-up for the big day. Some of her pearls of wisdom?

“We’re all uniquely and wonderfully different, so we also need to tailor our nutrition strategy specifically for us. My biggest tip is nothing new on race day, and boring is best,” she said.

Southern Cross University Professor of Physiotherapy Dr Maria Constantinou, who has worked with Olympic athletes and sporting greats such as Serena Williams, shares her knowledge on injury prevention and rehabilitation.

She says runners who are experiencing pain, stiffness, pins and needles, numbness, joints locking up or other symptoms such as these during training should seek advice from expert health professionals. They can also help when it comes to choosing the best pair of shoes.

“Your shoes have to support you through the entire run. So, they need to provide functionality as well as comfort. And there are different types of shoes for different foot types. So once again, seeing your local podiatrist or physiotherapist to get advice as to which shoes might be best for you and your foot type is really important,” Dr Constantinou said. 

When it comes to mentally preparing for the race, Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Scott Goddard says setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound) goals can have a positive impact on performance.

The webinar is hosted by Southern Cross University Chair of Health Sciences Dr Chris Stevens and is available to watch on Youtube, or you can tune in on the SCU Buzz podcast.

  Hello and welcome to Southern Cross University's webinar on the pillars of performance, combining nutrition, physiotherapy, and psychology for peak results. My name is Dr. Chris Stevens, and I'm the head of sport and exercise science at Southern Cross University, and I'm your host for today's webinar. I begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of all the lands on which we meet today and pay my respects to their elders past and present, and I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people here today. 

This webinar is designed to help you prepare for the Gold Coast Marathon running events, whether it's the shorter five, five kilometre event, the 10 kilometre event, half marathon, marathon, or even the Gold Coast double.  We hope you can learn something today to assist you to achieve your best in your chosen event. 

We have an experienced panel to talk to you today. Um, and as the name suggests, it's made up of a nutritionist, a physiotherapist, and a sports psychology researcher to try and cover all bases.  I'm gonna start by asking them a few burning questions that I have, and then we'll take questions from the audience as well. If a question is asked that you like and you want to hear the answer to, please click on it and that will shoot it up the list and it will make sure that that one is asked.

But first, I'd like to introduce our panel.  Erchana Murray-Bartlett is a run coach, nutritionist, and holds the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive marathons by a female. Welcome, Akana.  Professor Maria Constantinou is an APA titled sports and exercise physiotherapist with extensive experience teaching and working as a physiotherapist,

nationally and internationally. And currently Maria is setting up our new Bachelor of Physiotherapy course at Southern Cross University, commencing in 2025, which we're very excited about. Welcome Maria.  And Dr. Scott Goddard is a research fellow within the Faculty of Health and Physical Activity, Sport and Exercise Research theme, also from Southern Cross University.

And Scott's research focuses on goal setting, physical activity, promotion and adherence, and optimal psychological states in sport and exercise.  His PhD work specifically investigated the development and evaluation of a flow intervention for runners. Welcome, Scott.  Okay, Erchana I'm going to start with you, if that's all right, with the talking about the nutrition side of things. 

Um, before we get into it though, I'm very interested in your, your, your marathon world record. Can you tell us a little bit about it and your, your experience?  Yeah, absolutely. So I've always been a runner. I've been doing the Gold Coast marathon events for about 10 years. Um, and in 2019, I was traveling the world, racing marathons, and as we all know, lockdown hits and I was, you know, fit, but also frustrated that you couldn't run outside.

I understood why. Um,  and yeah, it was just kind of, looking for my next big thing. And at the same time, I have a big passion for the environment. And so I had these two burning desires, one to, to push myself physically, um, and one to, to raise awareness of the environment. So,  um, I thought  I would combine the two and I set off to run the entire length of the east coast of Australia, um, whilst chasing down the record for the most consecutive marathons.

At the time the record was 106, but Australia is a really, really big place. So I thought if I leave Cape York, um, by the time I get to Melbourne, I should be able to get 150 in. And yeah, I, I got to 107 in  newcastle and it was one of the best days and yeah, continued on to Melbourne to hit that 150 and, and raise some much needed funds for the Wilderness Society.

So it was a incredible adventure and I learned a lot about, you know, physical limits and, and marathon running in the process.  Well, it sounds like you've run more marathons than most, and you've got a lot of, uh, experience to, to, to share with us today. So.  Um, I guess that leads nicely into my, my first question is, is for those that are competing in those longer events and, and, um, and, and such as you were when you were doing this, this, this multi day event, how did, how did you, um, go about creating a fueling plan?

And what's your advice to, to, to the runners out there to, to develop their fueling plan?  Yeah, I think a fueling plan is just as important as a training plan in terms of your legs and your lungs. You know, if you don't have a fueling plan, I feel like your race will fall apart pretty quickly. I know that, um,  I know that the biggest thing with nutrition as well,  Something that I was taught on my first day of my master's was n equals one.

And essentially what that means is we are all uniquely, wonderfully different. So we also need to tailor our nutrition strategy specifically for us, which it's hard because you can't say, Oh, you know, Rachel over there ran a sub three hour eating only this, I'm gonna do the exact same thing. It might not work

at all for you. So the first thing to know with nutrition is that we are all different, and therefore we have to start thinking about our nutrition a little bit earlier to create this fueling plan because it will take trial and error, error over the next, say what we have 12 weeks until we start. So it's a perfect time to start thinking about it.

I guess what it boils down to is essentially the longer that you plan to run, the more important having a fueling plan is, um, and more important is to practice that fueling plan over the weeks and preceding a marathon or a half marathon, or if you're brave enough to do the Gold Coast double as well. And I guess my first tip leaning on from that is when you hit that start line in July the 6th or 7th, my biggest tip is nothing new on race day or boring is  best. 

So. Everything you do on that day, I highly recommend having tried it before or having it part of your normal routine in and around your training. Um, it's not the day, you know, in the same way you wouldn't wear a brand new pair of shoes on race day. It's not the day to go, Oh, I'm going to try caffeine today.

I've never had caffeine before, but today's the day to try, you know, it's never, it's not the time to go, Oh, I've never had a spicy dinner beforehand, but you know, I'm going to try. So, boring is best, nothing new on race day. Um, and I guess the things you need to factor into that.  Oh, I know. And like, it's, it's, it's pretty, there's some things you need to factor in more than others.

It's usually what you're going to be eating and consuming during the marathon.  What you're going to have the night before, how you approach your carb load and the breakfast of. It's probably the biggest things to understand in that fueling plan. Can you tell us, speaking of carb loading, can you tell us a bit more about, about, um, what that is and what your recommendations there?

And obviously, as you've just said, don't try anything new. So I'm guessing if you're going to go and eat a kilo of pasta, probably don't do that for the first time the night before the race either, right?  Absolutely. Yeah. I sometimes wonder if I run to carb load or if carb loading helps my running. I'm not sure.

It's one of my personal favorites, um, of the marathon prep. Um, and essentially carbohydrates are important because  carbs. So glycogen is our major fuel source while we're running at our blistering speed pace. So essentially, carb loading tops up those stores, those energy stores, so you can push away that proverbial wall a little bit longer.

Um, what carb loading doesn't mean, and you sort of alluded to it, is that you shouldn't have your normal diet and then add a whole heap of carbs over the top. Um, essentially what you want to aim to do is 36 hours to 48 hours before race day, start removing some of those higher protein, higher fiber, higher fat and fried meals out of your diet and replacing them with simple carbohydrates.

So this is your opportunity to have white bread. Uh, it's your opportunity to have potatoes, to have, to have pasta, to have simple carbs, um, at, I guess, the same to slightly more quantity than you normally would, but I guess you're replacing those proteins and those, and those fats with carbs. So the quantity, or I guess, ratio of carbohydrates in your day,

um, increases, uh, so yeah, where most people go wrong is they'll  probably be, you know, 3 PM the night before the race go, Oh, I haven't had my carbs. And then have a whole bowl of pasta over the top. Um, it's more about just slowly introducing those carbohydrates throughout the days leading into it.  Yeah.

Nice. And what about gut training? That's something we hear a little bit about, um, as well. What is gut training and is that important?  Yeah. So gastrointestinal upset is actually the number one reason for DNFs across marathons. And you probably have either experienced it yourself in a, in a long run, or you've heard a story where, you know, it was going really well until I needed that toilet stop, or, you know, if I didn't get that stitch and there's so much. that goes wrong with our stomach. And it makes sense, right? We are running at a pace, a race pace or race fast, a pace faster than we're usually running. And we're trying to take on food, which we don't normally do in our day to day lives. You know, your body is almost in a state of fight or flight where you're not really prioritizing digestion.

So then having to add digestion on top of that, it's, it's a lot. So there's a lot of emerging science now to saying that you can start to, I guess, train your gut. And what that means is a few things. Firstly, we can improve our gastric emptying, which essentially means how quickly we can absorb that meal the night before, take the nutrients and then, you know, remove it from our system without too much upset.

And it's also about training your body to be able to take on gels.  While  you're moving your pace. And it's something that I definitely recommend people try and do, I guess, throughout their training runs. So you don't want to get to the marathon and have never taken a gel mid run before, because believe you me, it's very difficult to be able to open it.

Usually get it all over yourself. You need to practice. Um, the other thing is, I guess, coming back to the N equals one with nutrition is that gels also have different ratios of glucose and fructose, two different  sugars that we can absorb. And,  you know, some people can tolerate a higher fructose level.

Some people can tolerate a higher glucose level. So being able to understand whether or not you can tolerate those is something that takes practice. I can't, you know, no one can tell you what that  is.  So,  it's really important in the lead up to a marathon to take, you know, three or four different styles of gels with different glucose, fructose ratios, and then practice what works and what doesn't work.

It's also your opportunity to find what your upper limit is. Okay. So if you have four gels and you end up on the toilet, it could be too much. If you don't, if you have two gels, yet you run out of steam, you've probably  not had enough. So it's about learning your tolerance and, and it's all about training.

So I guess to reiterate, you can train your gut as much as you can train your legs.  So yeah, you're training your nutrition plan as well as training yourself physically. And with that upper limit, with that gut training in your experience, have you been able to increase that upper limit?  Yeah. Yeah, I have.

And they're saying now that some endurance athletes can take up to a hundred or 90 grams to a hundred grams of carbohydrates per hour while they're moving, which is unheard of. You know, I would say to people, if you can take 50 grams of carbohydrate an hour, that's phenomenal, which is two gels. So, yeah.

Yeah. Athletes are definitely starting to push this. There's a lot of science emerging about how important  carbohydrates are while, while running. And so, um, yeah, people are pushing that. I have overdone it and I've definitely underdone it. So unfortunately a lot of people will learn this lesson for themselves the hard way.

So that's why I try to reiterate training, training, training, do it on training.  And we know carbs are so important, but what about, um, protein? As well, how is, is, is protein important in a marathon buildup?  Yeah. So carbs take center stage for race day and the 48 hours preceding that, but protein is critical for that buildup from now, you know, so I have a strong belief that resilience is not our ability to endure, but it's our ability to recover efficiently so we can endure for longer.

And what I mean by that is that, we're going to be doing these long runs that may or may not be longer than any run we've done before. We're going to be doing threshold sessions, speed sessions. These things take recovery and protein's critical for, for rebuilding, rebuilding our muscles for everything in that repair and recovery process.

So  I have to recommend people trying to take 20 to 30 grams of protein after those key sessions in the first kind of hour after one of those key sessions in a week. So let's say you finish your Sunday long run. Uh, uh, you, you go home, I recommend immediately eggs or, you know, a protein smoothie or something to get in as soon as possible.

Not because you need it for that moment, because you're going to wake up on Monday, ready to train again. You're going to wake up on Tuesday, ready to train again. Your injury prevention will be higher. Your resilience will be better. You know, your hormones will be more regulated. It's just for overall health, yes, recovery is important and protein is the key factor there.

And I say to people, and again, we're all a little bit different, but during a, um,  a marathon campaign to try and get at least 1. 2 grams  of protein per kilo of body weight. So my math is terrible, but if you weigh 70 kilos, that's about 84, 85  grams  of protein there.  Yeah, right. And what, and what about hydration as well?

That, what, what, what's a hydration plan look like and, and, and are electrolytes important?  Yeah, so I guess, um, similar, we're all, we're all very different, but hydration will get you, dehydration will get you as quickly as running out of carbs. So, um, another one, it's really important to learn a little bit about yourself.

So, um, I actually recently did a 500k run through Death Valley in the U. S. And to prepare for that, I did what's called a sweat test. So essentially I, I determined the amount of sodium per liter that I would sweat. Um, and I was excreting around 118 milligrams, which is an average sweat amount, um, but that was good to know because then I could take on, you know, that 800 milligrams back in, and I knew that that would put me back up.

So, I mean, you can get super scientific here and  you can work out your sweat rate, how much you're sweating in an hour, how much your sodium you're losing in an hour, but you don't need to go that scientific. Essentially, if you're making sure you're taking an electrolyte tablet, say 500  to 700 milligrams per hour, you're probably going to be fine.

And, and a lot of the products out these days are very  They know this and they're very tailored towards making sure you're topping up your electrolytes as you run, even the drinks on the course. So, um, one of my key tips is checking where the course drink, drink markers are, and just making sure that you're taking on electrolyte in those drink markers, if you haven't packed any yourself, they'll make a really big difference.

And I guess my last point on hydration is similar to glycogen  and  You can, you can make sure you're completely hydrated going into a run as well. So just taking, you know, sipping on an electrolyte the night before you race. And then in the morning of is a really good way to make sure you're topped up for, for race day.

And another hot tip I've heard of is, is, is not only thinking about where those aid stations are, but what drinks are going to be available too, right? And then you can actually think about training with those drinks, which goes back to your comment from before about, um, about not doing anything new on race day.

Because some of those aid stations, they've got all sorts of things nowadays. You might find Red Bull, Coke, Mars bars. You know, so, um, yeah, making sure that you've practiced with, with what you are going to have access to in those aid stations. But just to, just to finish up, any tips on what not to eat before a marathon? 

Yes, lots of tips on what not to eat. And so anything you haven't had before is my first one. Um, yeah, absolutely spicy food. Uh, something, you know, if it, if it's a little bit off, don't do it.  Fried food. Um, I've had horror stories of fellow competitors flying all the way to the world to try the new cuisine only to get, you know, food poisoning or gastrointestinal upset.

So yeah, I like to keep it as simple as possible. Um, yeah, no whiskey. I'd avoid the half bottle of wine,  you know, set yourself up for success. That's, that's my tip there. And where do the beers fit in? When, when can you have those?  After the marathon. Oh, fair enough. Yeah, we were talking, we were talking prior to this on, on recovery.

And I said, I never suggest anything to, to have after the marathon, because that's when you hit the pub. You've done 16 to 12 to 16 weeks of work. You celebrate. Yep.  For now, I want to come to you, Maria, if that's okay. And I'll ask you a few questions about injury prevention and rehabilitation, which is so important for, for long distance runners. 

What should our listeners do if they have any pre existing injuries or any, any pain or, or stiffness that's, that's interfering with their, their training at the moment?  Yeah, thank you, Chris. And that's a very good question. So if you are  training and you're experiencing any symptoms during your training, or you're having any symptoms that usually lasts on to the next day as well, and some of the symptoms may be pain or stiffness, you may be experiencing pins and needles or numbness, or you may be experiencing any symptoms  of feelings of giving way of your knee, for example, or locking, it is important that you seek advice from expert health professionals.

And physiotherapists are actually very well placed to be able to assess this, um, the presentation of these symptoms, to give you advice, to give you some, um, rehabilitation and, and to help you better prepare for your, for your training and for your competition. So, um, and, and, Um, just importantly to know in Australia, physiotherapists are primary contact practitioners so you can go and see a physiotherapist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and if the physiotherapist who is very well trained to be able to, um, decide if  they need to refer you on to a health professional, um, they'll be able to, um, refer you to see a doctor for further investigations.

Of course, you know, you're welcome to go and see your local doctor as well and, and any, uh, and, uh, health professional to ensure that you get the best advice and the best treatment and to better prepare for your, um, for your competition, for your training, for your run.  And, and we often see runners wearing, um, braces or, or taping their

their knees and ankles. If someone has pain, is that a good idea?  Well, that's something that quite often you'll see people that will just go and buy a brace off the shelf, whether it's elasticize or support brace or bite tape that they put on themselves. And, and,  you know, there is a certain psychological benefit sometimes, but it's also important to make sure that that's the right tape, the right brace for your, for your symptoms that you're experiencing.

And once again, your, your local physiotherapist will be able to advise you and assist you to be able to decide what is the best  type of brace, whether you need a supportive brace or a brace that provides compression, whether you, and it's not going to, um, and it's going to better support you with your training, um, or what kind of taping might be helpful, um, and how to apply it safely and effectively apply it.

Once again, to perform your best.  And, and the age old question that, that everyone wants to know, what, what about shoes? Um, how do we decide what kind of, what kind of shoes to wear? Because, you know, every company's got, got the best shoe for us, don't they?  Yeah, they do. And that's a very, um, I guess, um, it can be a very lengthy answer or a very short answer. 

But at the end of the day, you really have to decide, um, first of all, um, you've got to look at the shoes that you're training in. Your shoes have to support you through the entire run. So they need to provide you functionality as well as comfort. And there are different types of shoes for different foot types.

So once again, seeing your local podiatrist or physiotherapist to get advice as to which shoes might be best for you and your foot type is really important.  And if you can't get to a physiotherapist or a podiatrist, you might ask the, the local, um, Athlete's Foot or ASICS um, shoe expert for some advice, but at the same time, if you are experiencing any symptoms at all, it is better that that advice comes from a health professional.

Now, the other thing to remember about shoes is that they have a certain lifespan. So if you've got shoes that you've had for a long time and you go, okay, I'm going to use these shoes for my marathon, they're still brand new. I haven't used them for the last five years. Well, just be aware that they might fall apart while you're running.

So if your shoes are older than three years or if you've run in them from five to eight hundred Ks, then it is really important to review the shoes and see if they're still right for you.  And look towards getting a new pair of shoes. But as Erchana says, don't wear your new shoes on the race day. You really do need to wear them in and you need to start preparing those shoes for the run well in advance.

So that's something that's really important to ensure that  you don't end up creating symptoms in the end.  And Erchana,  I'm guessing you, um, went through a few pairs of shoes in your world record attempt.  Yeah, I did. Yeah. So, um, I always got told that you shouldn't run more than 800 to a thousand kilometers in your shoes and that, um, I would have a few pairs on rotation and I would say wear one pair on Monday.

And then a different pair on Tuesday, and then back to the original pair on Wednesday to give them a break to allow that foam to regenerate. Um, and I went through 10 pairs in, in five and a half months. So a few, quite a few. All the same pair? All the same, same brand, same shoe? Yeah, or,  So I was sponsored by Tarkine because they're a eco friendly shoe and they use recycled product and donate back to the environment.

So it was very aligned. I used their, unfortunately, they were brand new when I paired with them. So they only had  two when I started, but then they had a second version and then a trail shoe. So yes, I went through three different styles of shoe.  And, and,  sorry, Marie. No, no, go ahead, Chris. I was just going to say, I've noticed in some of the apps, you know, apps like Strava and, and, and Garmin Connect, you can actually write in what shoe, what shoe you're wearing.

So you can track, track the kilometers that you've, you've done in, in different pairs of shoes, which can be handy.  Yeah, and that's a very good idea, actually, to be able to track those kilometres. And one good point that I kind of raised as well is if you get a new pair of shoes, don't just wear that, that pair of shoes and start training in that only.

It's good to actually break it in slowly. So you might interchangeably  use the brand new pair of shoes one day, or for a shorter run. And then use your usual shoe and slowly break the new shoe in so that you don't just suddenly, um, wear this new shoe that's changing the loading on your tissue mechanics and potentially can cause injuries. 

Yeah, so there's the loading aspect and also the blister. The blister aspect too, which I'm all too familiar with because my heels are like a set of knives. Um, I just, you know, tear through the heels of my shoes when I'm running. But, um, what about preventing, uh,  injuries, Maria, what should we be doing to prevent any injuries during training or, or, or during an event? 

Well, that's an excellent question. And it is something that we, it's good that we've got 12 weeks now, at least to, uh, to prepare for the event because adequate preparation is paramount. And it's not just preparation with your training. You need preparation for, as I kind of said, for your gut, but also psychologically you need to prepare for the events, which Scott will touch on later.

Um, so in terms of the physical side and injury, and preventing injuries from a training perspective, it is really important that you gradually increase your training, you do progressive loading, you don't just suddenly decide to do really high spikes in intensity or in frequency of training sessions. Um, and you do need to incorporate strengthening as well, progressive strengthening, as well as some flexibility work.

And your endurance work. And on top of that, you also need to bear in mind that you need to get adequate sleep. So sleep has been already shown to prevent injuries in many sports. So you should be getting between seven to nine hours of good quality sleep because sleep helps your body recover and helps your body prepare for that next,

next training session. So that's going to be really important. And, um, and then as I mentioned, you've got to tailor your program to your body's need and be able to enhance your load capacity,  progressively, um, and increasing the load capacity of your body.  Yeah, for sure. So what you're saying is don't wait until you've got an injury before you start thinking about doing some, some strength work or some, uh, re, recovery, um, work to get into that sort of stuff sooner rather than later.

Yeah, absolutely. And that's where a physiotherapist, a sports physiotherapist or an exercise physiologist would actually be very good to see because they can provide you with a training program that might be, that will be individualized to you. Um, and it'll be specific to your needs and, and any symptoms that you may be, um, experiencing, or to prevent any symptoms rather. 

And what about any pain or injuries that come up after the event?  So if you've got any pain or injuries after the event, well, we've got to decide. Um, usually you'd expect, expect between 24 to 48 hours to get some of that delayed onset muscle soreness, so that's normal and that would go away, but you can enhance the, the, um, I guess you can help, um, alleviate those symptoms by, um, doing some active recovery, maybe some cold baths on the first day.

Um, massage might be helpful, but not deep tissue massage, rather just massage that will also provide more psychological relaxation as well, would be useful. Um, some people found, uh, compression garments might be, uh, helpful as well, but this is something that, um, you know, you need to, um,  be able to decide what will suit you.

And, um, if the symptoms are persisting and they're persisting past those 48 hours, or if you're experiencing again, symptoms, like I mentioned previously of pins and needles or numbness, if you're getting any locking or catching in your joints, if you're getting any stiffness or the pain wakes you up at night,

then it is important to go and see a health professional. Again, see your doctor or your physiotherapist to be able to get an assessment of those symptoms and, and get the best management so that you can then recover and be better prepared for that next goal that you're going to set.  And I suppose that applies to after a harder training session or a longer training session as well, um, to, to get some of those recovery strategies in.

Erchana what was your experience? How, if you found that you had a day that was particularly tough on the legs, was there? Was there any particular recovery strategy that worked for you to get yourself ready for the next day? Yeah, it's a really great question because everybody was curious about what I used in terms of, um, you know, recovery boots or compression or stretching.

The truth is I was camping in the middle of the outback and if I lay my mat down to stretch, I was inundated with mosquitoes and bull ants and red ants and mozzies and those often crocodiles. So I had minimal time to do that. It's kind of one percentage. So I relied solely on sleep. I would try and get nine to nine and a half hours of sleep every single night.

I relied on fuel and just  over, almost on the borderline of over consuming. And when I could, it was just stretch and mobility. Um, so I was a really kind of limited  recovery, but for me, sleep, fuel, and like just ensuring I was wearing the right shoes every day was, and a little bit of stretching was all I could afford. 

Yeah, nice. We're going to come to Scott now, who's going to talk a little bit about the psychology side of things.  And it's probably a good time for those thinking about setting goals. So I wanted to start, Scott, with a question about what type of goals should we be setting for people competing in these Gold Coast Marathon events? 

Yeah, it's a good question and it's, it's one that's probably quite common for those with a lot of experience with running as well. Um, and what we have seen are that goals do have a positive effect on performance and, and psychology as well. Um, they're also very practical, very accessible. So it's, it's, it's worth 

considering, um, if not setting, um, different types of goals for your event.  The problem I think with this is that it's often conveyed as a, as a one size fits all approach when, when often it's not, um, Erchana mentioned around the n of one around nutrition, it's very similar for, um,  But what goal suits me for my event?

And not just the specifics of it, but even just the structure and what you need to be thinking about and considering, and the different scopes in time, or the things that we should be including. So, um, yeah, it's very difficult to give a one size fits all answer, but there's certainly some things that we can be considering. 

One of the common ways that people break down goals in, um, in sports is breaking them down through sort of the scope of which the goal sits. So the common goals around this are an outcome goal, a performance goal, and a process goal. So an outcome being, what is the overarching outcome or achievement that I'm looking to get out of going in this event?

Um, and this is typically  in relation to competitors or some sort of level of achievement, a top 10 finish or a podium, these sorts of things. And then beyond that, we see a performance goal, which is a  quantifiable aspect of the performance that's usually relative to yourself.  And then the last one being the process goal, which is more about the technique or a specific strategy that you could  focus on and utilize throughout, um, the event to in service of that performance goal, which ideally is in service of that, that overarching outcome.

Well, and what we see as well in the, in the research is that the process goals are the ones that are really seen as those that are most effective and focusing around those, um,  can increase self advocacy, it can increase confidence and their performance, as I said, because they all are in service of each other. 

Another aspect I think that's important to talk about as well around goals is that we often feel the need to set very specific goals. Um, and pay a lot of attention to to numbers. Um,  I'm, I'm wearing a GPS watch at the moment. I'm sure a lot of us are and utilize these as well. And the idea around the quantification or specificity of goals, um, is an important consideration to touch on.

Um, I'm sure people are aware of, uh, the SMART goals principle. Um, it's a, it's a common framework that people use to set goals as well. Um, for those that aren't aware, the idea is that goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. Um, and this is mostly in line with goal setting theory, um, that we use in psychology to understand and explain, um, goals and why they're effective.

But,  the slight difference is that, um, in the, in the theory, the idea is that if goals are specific and challenging, that's when they're, they're most effective. So setting a specific and challenging goal, um, is generally seen as the way to go.  The big but or the big caveat with some of these things is that there's often factors that need to be considered for a specific and challenging goal to be effective.

Um, so these things are the ability, the commitment, the feedback and the resources. So what I mean by that is, um, you know, the ability or how complex is the task? Like, do you have the capability of completing the task? Do you have the fitness, the planning, the strategy, the knowledge. These things are really important. 

The commitment is, you know, are you invested in the goal? Is it something that you're, that's important to you? You know, you might not necessarily be looking to perform Um, primarily as an outcome, maybe you're part of it is that you want to do things socially or enjoy it or run with a family member.

There could be other reasons for, um, for the type of goal that you set, um, as the feedback as well is really important as well. We need to have adequate feedback and know how to process the feedback, um, in relation to the goals that we set, um, and this can include  kinesthetic feedback or self monitoring and knowing how the body feels and what feedback that provides. 

Um, and the last one there was resources, um, you know, do we have what's required? This could be things more like adequate footwear, like we've spoken about, um, adequate clothing, adequate, um, understanding of hydration and strategies throughout. So these are all things that need to be in place for a goal that's, um, specific and challenging to be effective. 

Um, and in many cases, if, if they're overlooked and you've just jumped straight ahead to specific and challenging as a goal type, this is when things can fall apart. Such as running a marathon for the first time and trying to break three hours. Exactly. Yeah. And I think that that's really where the important consideration goes as to, well, where am I situated?

This kind of goes back to that N of one idea as to, well, like where,  What's my experience? What's the context around why I'm doing this? What are my previous experiences? What's my training like? What's my understanding of all these things? This is where things become a little bit more complex, or at least a little bit more consideration needs to go into the types of goals that you're setting. 

 In saying that, and this is where some of the research that we're doing at SCU is really interesting around, um, non specific goals and the potential benefits of setting something without that specific endpoint or, um, a specified target at the end. So, um,  they seem to have a lot of benefits, which is,

to an extent, contrary to popular belief, is that that all goals should be specific. There are a lot of benefits to setting non specific goals, especially for people that  don't have as many resources in place or these factors that are important for setting specific ones. One of the ones that we're really interested in and keep hearing reported from elite athletes is around, um, setting what is called an open goal.

Um, and this is a non specific, it's exploratory in the idea that we're finding out what's possible rather than predetermining a specific measure in which we're pursuing, um, and it's self referenced, so if you're setting something that's open-ended, it's, it's self referenced to your capacity as an individual.

Um, and what we might see like this in a, in a, a goal like this is to see how fast you can run the 10 k if that's the event you're doing on, on the, the weekend.  And this is something that can be really important to consider, especially for the longer events where there's a lot more uncertainty or trying to predict a, um, an appropriate target for you to reach at the end of the event, given how many different things that occur through the event and how many different things can go wrong.

Having that degree of flexibility, um, or at least, uh, alternate,  goals, for instance, people talk about having podium goals, which is a plan A, a plan B, and a plan C, depending on how things go. Um, they are some of the other really important considerations, but I think the key point there that you touched upon Chris was, you know, if this is something that's quite new, or you're returning from injury, or you're doing a new distance, or you're not aware of the course, or things like that, that add elements of uncertainties,  having a more open ended approach and non specific approach can be really beneficial for those people.

However, if you're very experienced, you've got to really, you know, you've honed in your training plan. You have your nutrition is on point. You've done many, many of these events before, and you know exactly what you're doing, specific and challenging can be the best for you.  And we know that the Gold Coast Marathon, it's known for being one of the faster courses.

So a lot of the, a lot of the athletes do come in with a hopes of a, of a PB on a very flat and fast course. So I'm sure a lot of specific goals, um, are out there, but, um, shifting gears, I suppose for the moment away from, from goal setting, what about, what about motivation? A marathon prep can be, can be very long, can be easy to be excited in, in the initial stages, but how can you maintain that, that motivation over time to, to keep your training up? 

Yeah, it's a good question. I think you touch upon it in the framing of the question too. I  think what's important for people in one way of maintaining that motivation is considering what it is, all the reasons were, were that you, um, entered into the event. So I've obviously had an initial desire to go in this for some reason with the intent to get something out of it.

And then part of that is a period of training prior and keeping an eye on well, what were those initial motivations? What are the reasons for it? It's also,  you know, it's a scheduled block of time prior to the event. So you could know that, okay, it's, it's this amount of training and this amount of sessions required to get me to that end point, which I've got some underlying reason for doing and holding onto that can be really important. 

Another component as well, and what we see in the research, in the literature a lot, is that  affect or pleasure during exercise can play a really important role for motivation  during training and during exercise. So  what we often see is that  people are motivated by the idea of, if I just get through this, I'm going to feel great at the end.

Once I finish this or once I complete this, I'm going to feel great. And that is motivating to an extent, but it's not as motivating as the idea that there's an element of pleasure in what you're doing in the moment. So is it pleasurable during some of the training that you're doing? That can be really important for helping maintain a level of motivation. 

And I'm sure training plans often have, you know, things like varying intensity, but even things like, you know, running in really nice locations that you find pleasure in, or listening to music.  Changing things up a little bit. These can be really important ways to, um, you know, induce that pleasure during the exercise, which then leads to it being easier to get out the door more consistently in your preparations up to the event. 

Erchana I'm sure you had a few ups and downs with your motivation across  150 marathons. Was there anything that you did or thought of when on those days where motivation was a little bit low?  Oh, I've just everything Scott has  said this whole, I've just been nodding along, like, particularly the whole open ended, let's just see what you can do has just been like, that's exactly how I run.

You know, you just, sometimes you just don't know what you're capable of. So you just have to go and, and try. And it's such, it's for me personally, I know everyone's different. It's the biggest motivator. Um, but yeah, I had a thousand of those days where particularly you're around Holbrook in Victoria, where the, just the distance of it's just nothing for so long.

And you're really fatigued. And I leant on a few things. I leant on my why, which was probably my biggest driving factor. Um, I leant on,  I guess I built up what I like to call my self confidence bricks and when it got really hard and I get  through it,  I'd go, okay, you, you did that. You just, you got through something really hard.

And so you build this break and I'd put it on my self confidence wall. And every time I found myself in a hard situation, again, I'd lean on the previous experiences to say, this is no harder than last time. You've got this. So, um, and then when the going got really tough, I'd call friends and be like, guys, give me a word of support here.

I need it. So I had definitely had tools depending on the severity of the lack of motivation.  Oh, running with friends is just,  the time just goes so much, uh, so much quicker, doesn't it, when you've, when you've got a crew with you?  Absolutely, yeah. And every morning I put my start line, my start line and time on social media and just hoped that people would come and sometimes it was just me and sometimes 

50, a hundred people would join. So it made such a difference having people around you. And it's a really big thing for Gold Coast Marathon. It's such a community event. So if you can run with crews, as you know, there's lots of run clubs around the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, wherever you're coming from.

Like if you're, if you're struggling to run and you're a social person, there's run clubs for any ability these days, it makes a big difference. Yeah, for sure.  Um, Scott, I've heard about the zone. And, and, and the runner's high, is that something that, uh, runners should be trying to target?  Yeah, it's an interesting one. 

And it's really commonplace, you know, the idea of the zone  and flow states, runners high, things like that. It's a term that's, you know, possibly well known in the running community.  What we see in psychology is that there's actually two different types of zones. Um, the idea that there's the zone, we're sort of moving away from that towards this idea that there's two different types of psychological states that underpin our exceptional performances, um, and really positive, subjective experiences, um, when we're running.

So one of these states is where everything feels really effortless, uh, very automatic. Um, everything feels as though it's happening without really trying. Um, and this occurs in those exploratory situations, often when we're pursuing those open ended goals that we were just referring to earlier. Um, and this is what we call the flow state.

And that's the one that's likely a bit more well known. It's been around for a bit, uh, longer time.  The other sort of flip side or the, the, the alternate psychological state that also can underpin these experiences are when things, um, uh, there's a lot of pressure or important outcomes on the line. Or, um, you know, you're, you're sensing sort of the end of the, an event or race and you're really sort of dialed into, if I can do these things,

I can achieve something here. Um, and this is where you finish. Yep. And that's when there's a very specific, that's where things almost, whether you're setting an open goal or not, and sort of transition towards a more fixed or a specific goal, and that's when, um, that's when, you know, your effort increases, your investment increases, and you really push things.

Still feel automatic to an extent, but it's taking a lot of effort to, to sort of produce this. Um, and that's what we call the clutch state. Um, people may have heard of that term as well. It's becoming more and more common in, um, in sports commentary and discussions around, oh, he's a clutch player, or that was a clutch performance.

And this is what we see is this clutch state that underlies those certain experiences or moments within sports.  Importantly, this can occur, as sort of referred to there, is occur within the same event. So, an example of this might be that really early on, initial stages of the race or midway through the event, this is where things can feel effortless.

It's very exploratory, you're not as concerned about  where you're placing or evaluating how things are going, it's more just finding out or enjoying what, what you're doing and everything feels as if it's, um, if, if it's effortless and then you get to those last moments in the race or you, you check in with a watch or you see a marker on the course or you see others around you.

And you understand, oh, I've only got 10K to go here. And if I maintain this pace across 10K, I'm going to get a PB or something like that. Um, this is when you sort of click into that, that other mode of this clutch state and start to really invest a lot more in what you're doing.  In terms of whether we should try and target these, it's a, it's an interesting question around this because  both of these states, are associated with, um, with exceptional performances.

Um, but, and it can be often better to focus on the performance self itself rather than worrying too much about what my psychology will be or trying to, um, manipulate it in, in a lot of respects. So what, what the problems around that could be, uh, is that  I'm not in a certain state or my certain psychological state feels like X.

Which means that I can't achieve Y. Um, and that, and that can be detrimental in a lot of instances. What can be really important though, um, is having an understanding of how the different, um, different components of the race and different situations you might find yourself in lend itself to certain approaches.

Particularly around the goal setting and evaluation of how things are going in relation to feedback. So, if, if, if things are more exploratory or the beginning of the events, it might be, you know, I'm going to have a more open ended approach here and just see how things are going, see what I'm capable of in these moments, um, and then, okay, it's the last 2Ks of the 10K or it's the last 10Ks of the marathon or whatever it may be.

This is where I understand that I know where I'm up to. I know that there's a important component or moment in this at the end of the event. I need to switch the gears a little bit and move into something more specific. It's going to be intense and, and sort of, um, get up, rise to that challenge.  Yeah, nice one.

Thanks, Scott. Um, we're, we're running out of time. So I'm going to switch over to some questions from our audience now. If you haven't already, please go into the Q and A and, and, and like any questions there that, um, you want to be answered. Here's a question from Charles.  When trying to strength train while training for the marathon, um, do you have any standout exercises that you would recommend?

I try to do a lot of unilateral work, which I think, um, is an excellent, excellent starting point to do some unilateral work. Maria, I'll come to you, but as a sports scientist myself and someone that's extremely injury prone,  I've got to say that doing some unilateral strength training for running is, uh, has really helped me, especially exercises like, uh, lunges, single leg step ups,  um, and, and, and glute bridges, single leg  glute bridges, single leg hip thrust, those sort of things have really worked for me.

Maria, as a, as a physio, are these, are these some of the exercises that, that can assist, um, build strength for runners? Yeah, definitely, Chris. Um, it's very important to, as you said, do the lunges. You can add weights with the lunges as you're, um, and you can do walking lunges as well. That would end up, um, facilitating a little bit more of that squatting action or that glute eccentric work for the glutes.

 Um, it's also important you can incorporate some pulley work as well. Don't forget about the upper limb and the need to train your arms as well. Um, and so just some pulley work as well is really important while you're standing and stabilizing your base, um, standing in a lunging position. So, um, you can incorporate, of course, squats are always very good.

Um, it doesn't have to be only just unilateral work. You need to do some  good strengthening work so that you can incorporate the trunk as well. And, um, yeah, so this is some, some examples I think that, um, would be useful to, um, doing your training sessions.  Erchana, any, any exercises that you swear by?  I swear by unilaterals.

So I do, it's called like a sing. I probably am not saying this right, but the single length step up. So you pretty much just have a chair behind you and you sit down slowly with one leg and stand up with one leg. And that's what it works your stabilisers. I find, and this might be like, I find glute strengthening is really important and core.

Cause I feel like when you fatigue as an athlete, you, your, your core can, can fall first and your posture can go. And once that goes, your technique starts to, um, falter. So I, um, when I get a new client on board, I definitely focus on their core strength to keep them upright and keep their posture efficient. 

Um, and yeah, so I, I probably spend, I guess, for context in the lead up to tip to toe, people ask me how I train and I actually backed off my running by about 50 percent and added in three gym sessions to stay strong. So for me, strength was the priority, um, when I was going to that for injury prevention.

So I swear by strength and I swear by unilateral and lifting heavy.  Yeah, nice one.  Um, this next question is from Brett, and he's asked if there's any guidance on combining the hydration and nutrition. For example, do you hydrate after taking a gel at the same time, or is it important to leave a bit of a break between taking a gel and hydrating?

Erchana? It depends on, on, on how you tolerate things. Um, so most of the time it's hard to get a gel down without hydration. It's just physically and texturally difficult. So if you do find you need to drink water with your gel, then that's great. Sometimes you can feel thirsty immediately after if it's a salty based gel.

Um, there's a lot of products now. I know there's off the top of my head, precision hydration, trail brew, uh, tailwind that combine your carbohydrate and, um, and sodium. So I recommend for people I can see in the chat, a lot of people are talking about not being able to tolerate gels. So my first point of reference there is to refer to the carb mixes. 

Sometimes they have up to 60 grams of carbs in a serve. You can mix it in a bottle. It has your sodium intake, your carbohydrate intake and your hydration in one bottle. And that's enough for an hour. So if you can't tolerate gels or if you are unsure how to partner them, you can, you can take a carb mix now that does tick those boxes.

The difference being is it's bigger. So you have to carry it. Um, but if that's not a problem and you find it works well for you, it's a really good solution. Some gels like, I don't know, Morton gels are okay to take without water. It depends on the brand of the gel and your own personal preference.  And do you have any advice on any other supplements that can be beneficial?

Awash has asked specifically about nitric oxide enhancing supplements.  Ah, yeah, beetroot, um, concentration. So we used to take it back in the day because, uh, the science, uh, used to, well, the science says that essentially it, uh, what is it, it enhances your capillary and so your blood, um, movement through the body.

The science, um, I'm,  not up  to date on this, this was a few years ago, but the science a few years ago said that there's a effect where it has a, it's effective in recreational runners or runners who are, you know, non elite runners, but the more elite you get, the diminishing return on effect. So if you're new to running, yes, it could potentially help.

If you're an elite athlete, you probably,  it probably won't matter too much. Much difference. Um, I do swear by some supplements though. Um, and again, everyone's different and you have to look at your own situation, but I find magnesium in the evening is really good for recovery and sleep, particularly if you're training hard and you have achy muscles.

Um, zinc, I find a really important supplement, not so much for metabolism, although it's very important for that, but it's one of the only supplements   with proven benefits for immunity, um, so if you find, there's this thing called the J curve of immunity. So if you've pushed your body quite hard, you have a diminished immunity, for you know, 24 hours after that.

So getting sick is really easy. You see one sick kid and you've got, got that thing. So just trying to stay on top of your health because no one wants to get sick  in a marathon  build up, they don't want to get sick in the week of them, you know, and take a week. So zinc is my other one and B, a B vitamin. So your B vitamins are your energy vitamins.

So just making sure you're staying on top of those because your demands are going to increase with your training. So, um, you know, vitamins, they don't enhance you. They just stop you becoming depleted, but yeah, it's something that you should factor in and particularly if you're training more than you've ever trained before. 

And, and we spoke quite a bit about, um, uh, running shoes.  Joseph has asked about, should we be training in racing shoes, um, such as, uh, carbon plated shoes, or should we just be saving those for, for race days? Any recommendations about,  about the shoes there? Maybe Maria, I'll start with you.  Um, yeah, well, that's a good question.

And, um, with carbon plated shoes, they usually, um, can increase the speed in some runners. And, um, it's usually, um, probably better geared towards runners that are faster. Um, if you are going to be using, um, carbon plated shoes for your race, it is important that you're training them as well to see how you go.

Don't just, as we said before, nothing new on race day, and that includes, um, carbon plated shoes. So, um, you need to, um, train in them, see how you go, do progressive training as well so that you don't just, um, do a long session first up, um, and see how they are for you. Uh, it might be that you might, they might not suit your body or your running speed, and you might need to go more towards, um, better cushioning shoes.

So once again, it is important that, you know, you do what is right for your body type and for your needs as a runner.  Thank you. Uh, we've, we've got a few questions in the chat about, about training plans and, um, Erchana I know you're a, you're a run, a run coach as well. So I might come to you with some advice on, on some of these.

Alexi, uh, only has time to train 3 times per week.  Some weeks I might be able to sneak in an extra one or two shorter sessions in.  What kind of split, what kind of plan would you recommend to help prepare for my first half marathon?  Half marathon. Well, you can absolutely do that on three runs per week. Um, And if you can, if you can fit in some additional runs, that's fantastic.

Essentially, you've going to have two to three key runs there, um, that you can try and fit in. Um, and I'm absolutely more than welcome to chat to you offline. And if you want something tailored to your work life balance, because there's a few things that factor in, but you want to be building up your mileage to make sure that for the half marathon that you feel confident to run that full 21 kilometers.

So you'd be wanting to get your training progressively up, um, particularly on, let's say traditionally a Saturday or Sunday, you want to get that long run up to maximum probably 19, 20 kilometers a few weeks out, um, that's where you also practice your nutrition plan, your shoes, it just builds up that endurance and you want to be trying to get in either a speed session or a threshold session throughout the week.

And threshold essentially means running almost at your race pace and getting that heart rate up and, and just kind of pushing that VO2 max over the next few weeks. So, I mean, without knowing your situation,  if  you could run three days a week, I'd probably do, say, a Tuesday easy run, a Thursday threshold, and a Saturday or Sunday long run, um, and then any easy running in and around that to try and boost your fitness, boost your endurance, um, and then a recovery run in there too. 

Good advice. Thank you. Uh, this, this question here doesn't have many likes, but I think it's so important. So Tom, thank you for asking this one. He asks, can you please explain negative splits and your opinion on whether it's a good idea um, to go out at a consistent pace,  uh, or is it up to the individual?

And I can say from, from, there's, there's a lot of research on this in the, in the sports science world and going out too fast.  Uh, in a, in any long distance event, even, even the 5k, um, but definitely for the marathon is a, is a big mistake, isn't it? You want to start at that, you know, ideally no faster than, than the average pace of, of, that you're going to be completing the event at.

So that's something really important to be practicing in, um,  in, in training as well, in, in, in starting at those, that, that slower pace in that faster run and building into it and, and practicing finishing, finishing off strong because you can, you can gain so much more by, uh,  finishing fast than if you're, if your pace is just dropping and dropping and dropping in that, that last part of it.

Has anyone on the panel got any experience with going out a bit too fast?  My very first Gold Coast marathon, 10 years ago, I got to 30 kilometers and I think I'd paced it two hours and 35 minutes. Never ran a marathon. Way too quick and, um, got to 30 kilometers and didn't finish. So yes, many, many times.

And one of the key sessions I actually give my clients is, um, a descending speed. So it's five kilometer threshold, for example, and you, you drop 10 seconds per kilometer, faster per kilometer, just so you practice getting quicker. Rather than going out too slow and, and doing it in the other direction. 

Nice one. And you've just answered Darren's question. Uh, how do you pick your, your race pace? Is that the advice you'd give?  I think picking race pace can sometimes be challenging. I mean, particularly if you've never ran one before, I tend to say Not necessarily needed, like Scott said. You know, you don't have to come into the event knowing what your race pace is, but I suppose from the perspective of not wanting to go out too fast, right? 

Yeah, and you can always pick a slightly conservative pace, and then if you're feeling good from 30 kilometers or 32 kilometers, try and come home strong. It's a better race than you'll have the other way around.  I wonder how many people do that actually, can pick up the pace, you know, at the, at the 30 kilometer mark of a marathon.

Well done if you, if you paced it that way.  This question from Ash is an interesting one. Um,  uh, they train later in the afternoon slash evening, oh, and I've just lost it because someone's asked another question. But essentially their question was about whether or not, um, it's important that they do some early morning training.

Because obviously the race is in the early morning and they're usually doing their training in the afternoon, evening. Has anyone got any thoughts on, on if that's something that needs to be practiced?  Erchana have you, what's your schedule? I'm guessing you're a morning trainer.  I am a morning trainer, but I've trained in the evenings for years.

My group  sessions at 6. 30 PM. So I think if you can train, that's better than not training. And if you can only train in the afternoons, make it work around your life. It has to work around, it has to work around you. And if it's, if it's too hard and you're going to not train in the morning, it won't make any difference. 

I'm an evening trainer, and I, I understand what you're asking there, Ash, that sometimes you wake up and you just, you feel it. If you go straight, straight out of bed, straight into a run, you're sort of feeling uncoordinated and like you don't have that control and feel like you might have in the evening.

I think maybe if you just try and get up a little bit earlier,  make sure you're, you're woken up and you can get through that and do a bit of a warm up. Um, I agree. I think, I think things will be fine. We've got time for one more, um, question here. So I'm just going to try and find the last one that is highly rated.

This question is from, let's go with Shan. Can you please give some info on heart rate? Should we be including some running training?  Keeping the heart rate down.  Erchana what do you recommend there?  Yeah. Yeah. I, I, it depends on what you're using. So wrist heart rate monitors are not super accurate. So I wouldn't stress too highly if your wrist heart rate is too high or too low, it's probably just not reading, uh, particularly if it's not worn properly, if it's too loose, it's just not very accurate.

So, um, I tend to not use heart rate data, um, for sessions. I tend to use what's called PRE or perceived rate of exertion. I feel like the longer you run and the more you get into your training, you start to learn your body and you sort of can gauge where you're at based on PRE. So if you're at an 8 out of 10, you're kind of working pretty hard, you're probably looking at threshold or tempo pace.

If you're  5 out of 10, that's probably a recovery race. If you're at a 10 out of 10, you need to slow down. Um, so I tend to use perceived rate of exertion cause it factors in, you know, sleep and food intake and stresses and life. Um, heart rate is really a really good way of monitoring your thresholds. If you are, if you have a heart rate monitor, if you're working with a

 coach or you have an understanding of the levels you need to be at, but I think for the general runner, it's, it's sometimes too much information. I think if you just listen to your body and, and, and, you know, your pacing and your perceived rate of exertion, you could do a similar thing. Other coaches will say different things.

A lot of people swear by heart rate. Um, and if you are a stats based person, it's definitely very beneficial. So I think it can go both ways.

 Not to fence sit but.  Great advice. Thank you. Well, that's all we have time for today. I'd like to thank our panel. Thank you, Erchana, Maria, Scott. Really appreciate your time, um, that you've given us today. And also thank you to our audience, um, for getting involved and asking those questions. Good luck everyone in your events at the Gold Coast Marathon and look out for Southern Cross University's Recovery Hub, which will be placed at the finish line and there'll be an opportunity for some assistance from our student osteopaths and exercise scientists,  which will be situated there at the end of the event.

So, uh, all the best. Thank you for joining us and goodbye.