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Marathon runner Nedd Brockmann’s new secret training weapon

by Mary Sewell

He ran 50 marathons last year to raise money for charity, and now full-time tradie Nedd Brockmann is set to do it again — with his new secret weapon. Training for a marathon can be a big and pretty daunting for most of us. We’re talking more than 42km of pavement pounding, and that’s more than plenty of people would run over an entire year. Please remember those numbers when I tell you what Nedd Brockmann pulled off in 2020. The full-time tradie ran 50 marathons last year to raise money for charity. What’s more, he ran one a day for 50 days. That’s more than 2100km total, or like running from Sydney to Brisbane and back again, and then knocking off a few laps of the city to finish off.

And now he’s at it again, this time promising to run from Perth to Sydney in less than 40 days, covering more than 100km daily — more than double what was required for last year’s challenge. But this time, he’s got a secret weapon — sleep. “During my 50-marathon campaign in late 2020, I didn’t believe sleep was important to recovery. I thought the body would keep on keeping on,” he says. “Once I took a step back, I realized my deepest form of recovery was during those eight hours of shut-eye each night. I went from sleeping a maximum of four hours a night to a minimum of seven.


“Sleep is the most important part of my training schedule now, and I’m much happier for it.” Brockmann has learned one other key lesson during these fantastic feats of endurance: one it would pay for all of us to keep in mind. And that is, if we treat our bodies right, they will treat us right in return. “I haven’t been great to my body over the past few years. I’ve put it through a lot in terms of physical challenges, but it seems to come out the other side okay,” he says. “The human body is the most resilient machine ever made, so if you feel it right and utilize your sleep and get adequate rest, it will allow you to keep pushing on. “If you don’t, it will shut down and won’t perform as you want it to.”

Clearing your mind

“When life gets a little hectic, we can sometimes get in our head. I like to take a step back when I’m flustered and say out loud three things I’m grateful for. This allows me to put things into perspective and realize that everything will be all right.”

The effectiveness of early starts

“In training mode for a big event, my morning ritual for a month or so prior consists of jumping straight into the shower while the kettle is boiling. If I’m setting out for a long run, I’ll have to eat about half an hour before leaving, which sometimes means a 4 am fridge snack and a toilet stop, so nature doesn’t call on the run.” Not sweating the small stuff. “I would like to continue trying to be a good person and not getting caught up in the outcome and rather enjoying the process of what I’m trying to achieve.”

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