Only 2 weeks until City2Surf! I completed my 11 km training run while visiting Melbourne this weekend- It was a battle against the wind as I ran along the beach! It’s great to mix up your routine for a diverse training schedule. Especially if you are travelling or away from home, running is a great fitness option.
The City2Surf is known for its tiring hills during the run. As this will be my first year participating in the event, I’ve been warned about the notorious Heartbreak Hill.
It’s one thing to make sure you can cover the distance, but if you add unknown terrain into the mix it creates a whole new playing field and you might find yourself struggling more than you anticipated.
A great way to make sure you are fully prepared is by doing hill sprints. I’m almost certain reading that sentence was followed by a groan. I know, hill sprints can be tough but it’s the most efficient way to prepare your body for the run ahead. If you don’t have any hills near your house for training (lucky you) then the incline setting on a treadmill can be a useful tool as well. I often do my interval training at the gym with an incline to increase endurance.
Leading up to the race you should be incorporating hill training at least twice a week, a gentle climb as part of your longer runs coupled with another day of hill sprint sets. Before you start the sprints decide how many you’d like to do and commit to it. 6-10 is usually a good starting point depending on the distance and incline. I choose to start at 6 because I know it will be easier to motivate myself and each week I add one more sprint.
Ensure you stretch properly before running and include an active warm up such as high knees or walking lunges to wake up your body.
Your body will naturally lean forward more while running up the hills, so be on your toes but make sure your heel still strikes the ground with each stride as well. Remember with interval training to be fully effective you have to give it 100%, so make sure you really are pushing your limit to get up that hill- no slow jogging!
The walk back down the hill is active recovery for your body so be mindful of your breathing patterns and take deep breaths if you need to. This is the time I use to pep talk myself into completing the next round!
Interval training is a great method to increase cardiovascular fitness and helps support weight loss as well. It will give you the right foundations to make the most out of your running and make Heartbreak Hill seem a little bit smaller!
I’ll be sharing more tips in the coming weeks as I prepare to tackle the City2Surf as TEAM Champion for Fight Cancer Foundation. Sign up to the City2Surf and nominate Fight Cancer Foundation as your charity of choice and help me support people living with cancer.