Training tips for the City 2 Surf

It’s now just over 10 weeks till the City 2 Surf, the annual footrace that stops Sydney in its tracks. It attracts thousands from the elite athlete to the family of 5; you can walk, run, push a pram, get dressed up as a fairy, or a superhero, you can even run in nothing but budgie smugglers if that’s your thing.  

It’s Sydney’s most renowned fitness event boasting 14 gruelling km through the winding hills of the eastern suburbs. It’s by no means a walk in the park and for many the preparations may have already started. If they haven’t, don’t panic, you still have plenty of time.

It’s not unusual for us to get an influx of people with running related injuries in the lead up to a race like this one. With that in mind we thought we’d share a couple of preparation tips, in the hope they may help you all stay injury free this City 2 Surf season.

  • Slowly build up your training: Over the next 6 weeks you want to slowly begin to add distance. Your initial distance and time will depend on not necessarily how fit you are but how ‘running fit’ you are. A good starting point may be aiming for 2-3 running sessions per week. Two longer runs where you start getting some miles in the legs and the other a shorter interval session where your work rate is higher . If you haven’t been doing much running at all your longer runs may initially only be 20-30 minutes & each week you can add 5 minutes making for a perfect slow build up to race day.
  • Train the terrain: Hills make up 50% of this race with some steady gradual inclines and the obvious main event being Heartbreak Hill. Condition your legs and your lungs to cope with hill running. One of the ways I’ve trained for this race in the past is; Pick a hill starting at the bottom run up for 40 seconds jog back recovery and go again. Repeat 10 x. If you want a challenge you can try to better how far up you get each time. Come back next week and do 10 x 60 second efforts, the next week 10 x 2 minutes. You can play around with times, different hills and sets remembering the key is small progressive overload to develop your hill endurance.
  • Make time for recovery: take time each day to do some extra mobility work especially on your legs – glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves will all need a little extra loving as you start to increase your running volume. The Active RX team offers massage, dry needling and active release which can all help with this side of your preparation.
  • Footwear: If you don’t have a good pair of running shoes invest in some. It’s the best $200 you will ever spend. Running long distances in unsupportive shoes can be the trigger for many running related injuries. If you are conditioned to run in minimalist shoes then by all means stick with what you know but for the rest of us please be kind to your feet.
  • Strength Training: It’s a running race, so yes you need to run but incorporating some targeted strength training can significantly improve your running efficiency. Some of our favourites include single leg squats, backwards banded walks, banded leg raises, single leg calf raises, hip flexor marching. (if you would like more information on any of the above feel free to message us)
  • Pacing: For those of you that have a ‘time goal’ in place, pacing will be an important component of your training. 14km is a little longer than the average 10km event, yet significantly shorter than a half marathon. Experienced runners may want to set a target pace slightly faster than that they would aim for with a half marathon.

The City 2 Surf is a tough race but it’s heaps of fun. There is no shortage of spectators cheering everyone on, kids holding of buckets of lollies & wanting hi 5’s, live entertainment, and an abundance of places to grab a celebratory breaky + beverage in Bondi afterwards.  (A few of Em’s fave breaky places in Bondi include  Porch & Parlour , The Depot & Harry’s ) ** For more suggestions come and chat to me!!!

The training suggestions are very general so if you do have any questions regarding anything we have mentioned don’t hesitate to contact us via email or social media.  We are more than happy to help in any way we can!!!