Preparing for the City to Surf
The City to Surf is a great event to have on your winter to do list, for a lot of reasons, but not in the least that it can provide you with that little bit of extra motivation to keep getting to the gym during the colder months. So, the time is nearly here and you might be wondering what you need to do to make sure that you get across the line in the time that you have been working for – and in the case of most of you, just finishing at all! I’ve outlined a few simple tips for you below and these are applicable to all – novice to experienced runner.
1. Start to scale back the long runs – you really should perform your last long run about a fortnight from the race. Start to transition your runs into tempo runs where you focus on maintaining a consistent speed for 3-4km and interval runs that are short in duration but very high intensity.
2. Keep doing your strength and conditioning work right up until the last few days before the race – maintaining symmetry and good movement patterns, coordinating the core and hip muscles for the run are all improved with a strength and conditioning program, so you should certainly keep up your resistance training. Focus on core and hip exercises for the last couple of weeks, but only at moderate weight. There is no need to push the weight this close to the race.
3. Get plenty of quality carbohydrates and protein in the week leading in to the race – our body can store between 500-1000g of carbohydrates in our liver and muscles. To put that into some perspective, we use roughly 400 calories per hour when jogging (this is quite variable). 500g of carbohydrates provides roughly 2000 calories of energy. This means that if you are diligent with your food in the week leading in to the race that even if the race takes your 2 hours to complete you will have enough carbohydrates stored within your body to provide you with the energy that you need to get through the race. Protein is important as it helps to facilitate optimal recovery from all of the training that you have been doing!
4. Get a good night’s sleep – try to ensure that you have a good quality 8 hours of sleep in the 2 days before the race. This probably doesn’t need any explanation as we all know how we perform when we don’t get enough sleep to satisfy our requirements. Now imagine trying to run 14km under those circumstances!
5. Have fun – the City to Surf is a fun run after all. Take enjoyment in the fact that you even gave it a go!
Yours in Health!
Blog post courtesy of Chris Dounis, Senior Personal Trainer at Fit n Fast St Peters