Brooke Jackson


Marathon Runner, Leader of the Unfit Run Club, Business Owner



Introducing Brooke...

Embark on the inspiring journey of Brooke Jackson, a 32-year-old from the Gold Coast, Australia, and a lead runner of the Unfit Run Club. Brooke's transition from a casual 3km runner to a formidable long-distance athlete is a testament to her dedication and strategic training. Beginning her marathon journey with a strong athletic background, she quickly adapted to the demands of endurance running, emphasizing gradual progress and diversified training to build her stamina and speed.

In preparation for the challenging 50km GC50 race, Brooke fine-tuned her regimen, incorporating extended long runs, strength training, and specialized sessions to enhance her performance. Nutrition and proper supplementation, including protein and recovery aids, play a critical role in her training, ensuring she's fueled and ready for each run.

Brooke's choice of gear, mental preparation strategies, and recovery practices underscore her holistic approach to running, balancing physical training with mental fortitude and wellness. Her advice to aspiring long-distance runners highlights the importance of community support, pacing, and nutrition.

Brooke Jackson's journey is a compelling narrative of growth, challenge, and achievement in the realm of long-distance running, embodying the spirit of resilience and continuous improvement.

brooke jackson marathon runner

    Can you walk us through your training journey from your first 42 km race to preparing for your upcoming 50 km race? And how does your training for a 50 km race differ from preparing for a 42 km race?

    I had never run more than 3 km without stopping until February this year.
    I’ve always been a natural runner coming from a soccer and touch football background. I would always compete in track at school (I had a need for speed)
    But learning about endurance running is a whole new level. The training I had done for my first marathon doesn’t compare to where I’m at now four months later.
    It’s been a slow growth to build my base for marathon running. You can’t just go from 0-100. It’s about slowly increasing kms each week
    It’s changed a lot from my first full marathon back in July to my second in October. And now getting ready for the GC50 in December. Now I’m at the point of fine tuning everything and building speed as opposed to endurance/distance. To be honest a training plan for a 42km race versus a 50 km isn’t a drastic change, but for me it was as I was quite a novice for my first marathon.
    I’d say the only difference would be your weekly long run goes from capping at 34/35km to 42-45km.
    These are of course run at an EZ pace. Meaning slow and steady. Keeping the heart rate low.

    What changes have you made in your training routine?
    Are there specific strategies or adjustments you’ve Included?

    Between my first marathon in July 2023 and my second three months later in mid October 2023.
    I had learnt techniques I should’ve been putting in place prior to my first and now implemented it with success. I truly believe this is why I knocked 51 minutes off my PB in three months. (4:38:00 to 3:46:39)
    I went from running 2-3 times (35-40km) a week to 5-6 times (65-75km) a week.
    I did a range of slow runs, long runs, intervals, hills, track sessions and tempo runs.
    And I had gotten back into Boxing to pick up overall endurance.
    Since my last full marathon four weeks ago
    I’ve started adding power sessions for legs and adding extra heat training runs as this next race is going to be scorching.
    Sundays I train lower body + glutes doing a strength session and Tuesdays I train lower body plyometrics session.
    I’ve recently added in drills once a week.
    I also like to cross train for less impact so hitting the pool or cycling.

    What role does nutrition play in your training? Could you share some insight into your pre-race and post race meal plans?

    Nutrition plays a huge role in my training! I meal prep every week, making sure I’m getting adequate protein for muscle recovery and carbs to fuel my training. I’ve played around with different meals to fine what works best for me.
    I also make sure I test anything food/nutrition wise on/pre long runs to test out for race day. 3-2.5hrs prior to race I have a ½ black coffee with brown sugar and oatmeal pre race. I add a combination of Prana On Plant Protein & Natural Mass for
    the extra carbs. Pop in some Creatine and L-Glutamine (Prevents muscle breakdown) Then top with Banana and some brown sugar. (Note I only add sugar in race day for the extra/quick fuel)
    1.5hrs pre race have second half of coffee.
    After a big race they always hand out bananas. I’ll then have my Protein shake with L-glutamine. Then not long after I’ll have my Intra Strength while stretching out.
    About and hour or two later I’ll go out for late brekki with family/friends. Something high protein and complex carbs based.

    Do you use any supplements to support your training and recovery if so which ones have you found most beneficial?

    You won’t find anything more beneficial than a good protein powder. I love how the plant-based has a full amino profile. Has adequate iron and sodium as you lose so much during endurance running. My other is definitely the L-Glutamine. And then BCAAs/EAAs.

    Training Gear: What are there any specific brands or types of running gear that you swear by for both training and races? This could include shoes, clothing, accessories etc

    Oh this favourite topics! Of course you want to be looking your best on race day and I’ve tested and tried a few brands this year.
    I choose are definitely a personal preference. It will come down to your arch , how wide your foot is, how you run. Not every shoe will be suited for you.
    I’m currently running in Saucony Endorphin Pros 3 for my speed sessions and Hoka Bondi 8s for my long slow runs. I like having multiple shoes for different training days.
    My Garmin! I have the Vivimove and hopefully upgrading to the forerunner very soon! I love how I can set up training sessions. Monitor my stats and keep me on target.
    As for clothing I am definitely an LSKD girl. I wear the performance socks and on shorter runs the running belt. I love their running shorts! absolutely comfortable and I never have an issue with chafing. (Obviously when I get into the big kilometres I definitely use chafe cream) But the material is just so soft and breathable. PLUS POCKETS!!!
    I have shokz open runner pro head phones. I’ve gotten to opening where I’m happy to listen to no music for 20 odd kilometres. I think the ability to not be completely closed off to sound is perfect for me. Also sweat resistant and charges quickly is a bonus.
    Premax sunscreen is a must! Sweat resistant which means no stinging eyes.
    And lastly my Nathan Sports Au running vest: It holds my soft water bottle for electrolytes, gels and holds a water bladder for easy drinking for long runs/races.

    Mental preparation: How do you mentally prepare yourself for the challenges of running longer distances?

    Firstly I’m very blessed, although running may seem like a solo sport. I have the best team mates that run alongside me. If one of us is injured or not training for an event we ride alongside them on a bike, pushing each other through the dark times. Knowing that they have my back has made running further much easier.
    I was a complete novice when I started this year going into the unknown each run being my longest which can make you anxious. Without the boys I don’t think I would be where I am today.
    Secondly I keep myself accountable. I use my next goa to keep me disciplined, I’m determined to hit new PBs/distances. Knowing that the pain now is gain for later!
    I use post it notes to keep me focused.
    I have a large white board with my current month of training scheduled and set up my training sessions on my Garmin watch.

    Do you have any strategies for staying motivated during both training and races?

    During my first marathon my father wasn’t well so I wrote “For dad” on my hand this pushed me to keep going I would look at it any time I felt it was getting hard. My second marathon was for my mum and my next one is on
    my birthday so this ones for me! I guess the moral of the story is remember YOUR WHY!
    Oh okay I know this sounds weird but during both my marathons I would talk to people along the way and call my mum and dad and have a chat. My poor bestie got stuck on the phone to me for half an hour during my first marathon keeping me distracted.
    Also knowing who’s at the finish line or along the course supporting me! You wouldn’t believe the burst of energy you get when you see a familiar face!

    Recovery practices: Recovery is crucial especially when training for longer races. What are your go-to recovery practices to ensure you’re staying injury-free and maintaining your performance?

    I’m very fortunate to have my physio be one of my team mates. Getting regular checkups or sports massage.
    I really focus on mobility especially hips and ankles training them twice a week.
    Rigs Recovery is a weekly outing.
    I do some form of recovery everyday May it be: yoga, stretching, CrossFit ball, sauna, breathwork or massage gun.
    Warming up my body pre run is a must! Using a foam roller and various movements plus a warm up and cool down kilometre at a slow pace to get into the swing of a run.
    I listen to my body, if I need to sleep more and skip a session I will. If I need to pull back my pace to prevent a niggle I will.

    Race day rituals: Do you have any special ritual or routine you follow on race day? (whether it’s superstitions, warm-up routines, or mental exercises we’d love to hear about them!)

    The Night before a race, I lay out my race kit so it’s ready to go. I always wake up a minimum of 3hrs before a race. I like to ease into my day and not be rushing. I always make my bed and then eat first. Then I dressed and roll out my muscles and warm up.
    I go over my race plan and remind myself that I’ve done the work!
    Superstitions would be – making my dad a tea and getting a good luck hug. And on the way to the event I like to play “One Republic-Sunshine” to pump me up. I think it was the song that played before my first half mara back in April so sticking with it!

    Aspiring long-distance runners: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to transition from shorter distances to long distances?

    Get amongst the running community:
    Join a run club! My family at Unfit Run Club have made the bridge from shorter to longer distance a lot more comfortable. It’s a great support network and you can learn so much from fellow runners.
    Don’t always run your runs fast!!! You need to run slow! And I mean painfully slow.
    Don’t go from 0 to 100! Rome wasn’t built in a day. And honey you’ll pay for it! Focus on recovery and not over doing it!
    And for the love of god, fuel yourself right! Get a proper balanced nutrition and use the right supplements for you!

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