Last minute tips to get you over the line this City2Surf - Juice Daily
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Last minute tips to get you over the line this City2Surf

Don’t miss out: sign up to this year’s City2Surf here.

The world’s largest fun run is now less than a week away.

People take part in the City2Surf for different reasons – many want to join in the music, energy and fun of the day; some are running for a charity; while others are out to beat a personal best or challenge their fitness. Whatever the motivation, these last minute tips will give you every advantage to do your best on the day.

Nutrition and hydration

It’s important to maintain a nutritious diet and ensure you’re getting enough water in the lead up to the City2Surf. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy that your body needs, but not all carbohydrates react the same way in the body. So it’s about getting the right type of carbs at the right times.

Tips:

  • Slightly increase your complex carbohydrate intake on Thursday and Friday to top up your carbohydrate stores. This could include extra servings of wholegrain foods such as breads, pasta, rice, sweet potato, legumes, quinoa, fruits and vegetables. Take a common sense approach to this and don’t overdo it. For more info on recommended servings you can check out the AIS carbohydrate fact sheet.
  • On Saturday, the day before the race, go back to your normal intake but still make sure you are consuming carbohydrate rich foods. Your meals don’t need to be too big, especially dinner the night before. You want to get to the start line feeling fresh and energised rather than heavy and sluggish.
  • The morning of the race you should eat a light meal approximately three hours before the race to allow time for digestion. This could be some toast with peanut butter or banana. You’re looking for something that will give you some last minute energy but is also easily digestible.
  • Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. Aim for a minimum of two litres per day.

Remember this is no time for experimenting, so stick with foods you know agree with you that you have tested before another race or training run.

Spaghetty pasta with meatballs and tomato sauce, selective focus

Photo: iStock

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Training

All the hard work and training should now be done. Any running you do this week is just to keep the legs turning over. The main focus is letting your body repair itself as well as mental preparation for the event.

Tips:

  • Attend the free official City2Surf training runs provided by JORG.
  • Pull back the volume and intensity of your running.
  • Add an extra rest day to your usual schedule.
  • It’s okay to keep up speed work if it’s part of your usual training schedule, but do shorter or fewer reps and don’t push yourself to your max. The goal is to keep the speed in your legs without wearing yourself out.
  • Cut out any strength training this week.
  • Aim to have Friday as a rest day and go for a very light 15 to 20 min run on Saturday morning.

Preparation

It’s an early start, but you can maximise your sleep time on Saturday night by being prepared and organised ahead of time.

Tips:

  • Get your clothes, shoes, bib and gear ready the night before.
  • Pack light – the run is hard enough without being unnecessarily weighed down with extra belongings, so only bring what you need on the day. If you do bring extra items you can place them at the gear drop area before the race starts.
  • Have your transport plan organised and ensure you allow plenty of time to arrive before your start time.
  • Make sure you factor in time to warm up. You want to line up in your start area without being rushed or stressed.
Picture of a young athletic man out exercising. He is sitting on the ground stretching underneath a blue sky and holding one hand on the tip of his shoe. In the background are a brown fence and some city buildings.

Photo: iStock

Race day

This is the largest fun run in the world for a reason. Everybody is full of energy – spectators, supporters, entertainers and fellow runners – so be sure to soak it all up and let it help you along the way.

Tips:

  • ​Make sure you warm up before you line up. This should be a light jog and some dynamic stretches.
  • Aim for a sensible position in your start group relevant for your finish time and pace ability.
  • Don’t get caught up in the rush and go too fast at the beginning. Start out at a steady, comfortable pace and stay relaxed and focused.
  • Ensure you maintain good technique throughout, keeping your head and shoulders relaxed and aiming for light, frequent strides. Doing this will help you conserve more energy.
  • Heartbreak Hill is approximately a two kilometre stretch so when you reach it remember not to push yourself too hard. When going up the hill shorten your stride, slightly leaning into it, driving forward from the glutes and using your arm swing to power up. Again stay relaxed and focused.
  • Once you are over Heartbreak Hill you want to increase your pace slightly at a manageable level.
  • The last five kilometres of the course (around the Dover Heights area) is predominately downhill, so use it and let yourself go here. You’ve run the race right so now is the time to focus on finishing strong.
  • The final stretch is when the going gets tough. Stay mentally strong, dig deep, focus and remember why you’re out there.
  • Throughout the race remind yourself of all the training and hard work you have put in leading up to the event. All that work was to prepare you physically and mentally for this moment. This was the goal and now you’re doing it.
  • Have confidence in your training and yourself.
Close up of a young man drinking water from a plastic bottle . He is listening to music from small white earphones and his eyes are closed. The sun is shining strong in the background.

Photo: iStock

Recovery

Recovery is often overlooked as you get swept up in the excitement and rush of completing the event. However, doing a few simple things can make a big difference to how quickly your body recovers and gets back to normal.

Tips:

  • Rehydrate – drink lots of water to help replace the fluids lost throughout the run. A sports drink will also help replace electrolytes lost.
  • Stretch – Take five to 10 minutes out for some static stretching. This will help reduce the stiffness and soreness and assist in the recovery process.
  • Refuel – you want to replenish your carbohydrate stores which have been used up throughout the race so aim for a carb-rich meal as well as including some protein which can aid with muscle recovery.
  • Relax, congratulate yourself and celebrate all your hard work and training!
Sheree Webber

About the person who wrote this

Sheree Webber

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Sheree is a personal trainer and co-owner of JORG Fitness, which runs group fitness sessions, personal training, running training and corporate programs. Together with running coach Jim Owens, Sheree launched the 'Up And Running' training program series, which has helped many Australians reach their running goals. Sheree is very passionate about all things health and fitness, with a strong focus on the mental health and wellbeing benefits of exercise. She provides her clients with the support and education they need to make sustainable health choices.

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