Yesterday I met with 2009 Sydney City2Surf winner Michael Shelley and held the winner’s trophy for the first time. Not something I ever imagined I’d be doing!
In 2009, as I was just reaching the halfway point at the top of ‘Heartbreak Hill’, Michael was crossing the line in a time of 41’02’?. It staggers me to think of the speed these elite runners are able to maintain as a result of serious race preparation.
So what is serious City2Surf training? How much training do you need to do to be up the front with Michael Shelley?
My City2Surf training programs are designed for the non-runner or the casual jogger. Michael basically runs twice a day, seven days a week (a rest day for him is a slow jog!)
Attempting an elite runner’s rigorous training routine will have the average jogger laid up with a multitude of stress related injuries and probably put off running altogether.
The worst part of the course
The killer part of the course for Michael isn’t the much-publicised Heartbreak Hill at Rose Bay, but rather the sharp steep hill after the turn at Vaucluse.
These undulations toward the later part of the course challenge the elite runners to maintain their rhythm. Rather like changing gears on a pushbike, little hills require you to vary your effort in order to maintain your pace.
You may think that because you are running in a big crowd you don’t need to worry too much about pace, but you will find that when you are running in the crowd it is almost impossible to get into a rhythm due to all the people stopping, swerving and blocking your passage.
This is one of the reasons I recommend fartlek training (interval training) as part of your City2Surf preparation, as it will help you to get used to terrain and pace variation.
Update April 2013
My City2Surf Training Program is now an eBook
‘How to Break Your Fitness Slump and Comfortably Finish a Fun Run’
My full City2Surf training program is now available as an eBook from all leading online bookstores and contains a link to download the training schedule as an iCal file, so you can import it into your calendar.
Also, feel free to join my free Facebook training group the City2Surf 100 day Challenge.