Preparing for the Nike Melbourne Marathon

Gary Johnstone Announcement

Nike Melbourne Marathon

Expert Tips from a 7-time Marathon Runner, Triathlete and Podiatrist.

Melbourne’s iconic Nike Melbourne Marathon is just around the corner, and whether you’re a novice or a seasoned runner, preparation is key. I’ve run this marathon 3 times and helped hundreds of athletes cross that finish line. I’m a qualified running coach and a practicing podiatrist at Up and Running Podiatry (include link) , and I’ve put together this comprehensive guide, complete with videos, to help you achieve your marathon goals.

Video 1: Welcome to Nike Melbourne Marathon

Location: Port Melbourne Beach (near the 17km mark)

Greetings from Port Melbourne Beach, a landmark you’ll pass around the 17km mark of the marathon. This area often serves as a mental checkpoint for many runners. In this video, I discuss what you can expect from the race course and offer tips on how to mentally prepare for the marathon.

Structuring Your Training Week

Video 2: Structuring Your Training Week in the Lead Up to the Marathon

Key Takeaways:

  • Mondays: Easy jog or rest day to recover from the weekend long run
  • Tuesdays: Interval Training
  • Wednesdays: Cross-Training (swimming, cycling, etc.)
  • Thursdays: Tempo Run
  • Fridays: Active Recovery
  • Saturdays: Rest or Light Activity
  • Sundays: Long Slow Distance Run

It’s crucial to have a balanced training plan. Incorporate rest days, cross-training, and varied types of runs. Listen to your body and adjust as needed.

Injury Prevention

Video 3: Injury Prevention

Key Tips:

  • Proper Footwear: As a podiatrist, I can’t stress enough the importance of the right running shoes. Go for a gait analysis and choose shoes that offer adequate support and cushioning.
  • Stretch and Warm-Up: Always warm-up before a run and cool down after. Incorporate stretching and perhaps some yoga into your routine.
  • Rest and Recovery: Overtraining can lead to injuries. Make sure you’re getting adequate rest and sleep.
  • Professional Help: Regular visits to a physiotherapist or podiatrist can help prevent potential issues from becoming significant problems.
  • And lastly, don’t do anything new on raceday, ensure you’ve worn and tested your race shoes, your nutrition and the apparel you’re going to run in, before race day. 

Nutrition Advice

Video 4: How to Ensure You Have Enough Nutrition to Get You Through the Race

Key Nutrition Tips:

  • Carb-Loading: Start carb-loading a few days before the marathon. This will help maximize the glycogen stores in your muscles.
  • Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can seriously impact your performance. Drink fluids but avoid overhydration.
  • On-the-Go Fuel: Energy gels or chews can offer quick energy during the race.
  • Post-Race Nutrition: Rehydrate and eat a balanced meal rich in proteins and carbohydrates within two hours of finishing the race.

2023 Course Map –

Your 5km Breakdown of the Nike Melbourne Marathon

The Nike Melbourne Marathon course is both scenic and challenging, offering a blend of Melbourne’s iconic landmarks and diverse terrains. Here’s what you can expect and what to keep in mind at each 5km mark:

0-5km: Starting Line to Albert Park

Melbourne Marathon

Terrain: Flat

Key Considerations:

  • The adrenaline is high at this point, but try to start at a conservative pace.
  • Keep an eye out for hydration stations and grab water even if you’re not thirsty yet.

5-10km: Albert Park 

Terrain: Flat with a slight incline
Key Considerations:

  • This is where you settle into your target race pace.
  • Consider taking your first energy gel at around the 8km mark. (please ensure you’ve used the exact same gel in training so you know it sits will in your stomach)

10-15km: Albert Park Loops – Heading to Port Melbourne

Terrain: Flat
Key Considerations:

  • Maintain your pace and keep hydrated.
  • Pay attention to your form and make any adjustments to avoid fatigue later on.

15-20km: Towards Port Melbourne and U-Turn Back to Elwood

Terrain: Varied, with slight undulations
Key Considerations:

  • This is a good point to take another energy gel.
  • Keep your breathing steady and remain focused.

20-25km: Middle Park to Elwood

Terrain: Flat – Slight Downhill
Key Considerations:

  • By this time you need to be relaxed and have found a good rhythm 
  • Consider your nutrition – you need to ensure you’ve taken enough as you’ll need the calories for the last half 
  • Weather conditions pending, this part of the course is open to windy conditions, tuck in running with other runners to have some cover from the wind if possible

25-30km: U-Turn in Elwood and back to St Kilda 

Terrain: Slight incline once you turn from Elwood
Key Considerations:

  • Keep Patient – Work on staying relaxed and your breathing and running cadence 
  • Keep an eye out for hydration stations, these become really important to continue to hydrate

30-35km: St Kilda to South Melbourne 

Terrain: Slight incline
Key Considerations:

  • This is often where ‘the wall’ hits. Stick to your game plan, and consider taking another energy gel.
  • Focus on running efficiency and cadence 
  • Keep your spirits up; the finish line is getting closer.

35-40km: Turning into the Tan! 

Terrain: Rolling Incline/Declines
Key Considerations:

  • You’re now aware it’s a marathon 
  • There is usually a great crowd in and around the tan, use the energy they give off to keep you going! Remember you signed up to this event for fun! Are you having fun yet? 
  • You’ve done so well to this point, keep smiling and you can smell the finish line. 

40-42.2km: The Run Home 

  • With the finish line in sight, you may feel a surge of adrenaline. It’s okay to pick up the pace but do so cautiously.
  • Savor the moment as you cross the finish line. You’ve done it!


Whether you’re aiming for a Personal Best or just looking to complete the course, effective training, injury prevention, and nutrition are key. The Nike Melbourne Marathon is an incredible event that gives you the chance to push your limits and achieve something great. I hope these tips and video insights help you on your marathon journey.

About the author: 

Matthew is a qualified running coach and has a strong running/ sporting background. He has completed an Ironman triathlon, an ultra marathon (100km) and several marathons. His passion for running and triathlon is evident in his interactions with his patients who share similar goals. He understands what it’s like to be injured and knows first hand why runners don’t like being told to “stop running”! He also played football and cricket at junior representative level.

Matt obtained a Bachelors of Podiatry degree from La Trobe University. He graduated with honors in the field of foot orthotics and foot plantar pressures. His research in this area enabled him to gain extensive knowledge of the mechanics by which orthotics influence foot posture and weight distribution beneath our feet. He is the Co Founder and a Podiatrist at Up and Running Podiatry, with clinics in Port Melbourne, Williamstown and Elsternwick.

Matt’s professional achievements include having co-chaired the Australian Podiatry Association Sports Special Interest Group. Through this network, he has established strong relationships with other sports based therapists from a variety of disciplines.