With not long to go before it’s time to lace up your best pair of sneakers and take on the City2Surf, we’re helping you out with a bit of last minute prep. Here’s our guide to what to do before, during and after the world’s biggest fun run.
If you’re joining in, good luck!!
A lot of people stop training altogether the day or two before the City2Surf but this can end in disaster. When your body gets used to moving every day in the lead up to event like this, stopping altogether can make your muscles tighten up. Just cruise through some easy-paced runs covering a couple of kilometres in the days leading up to the race and have a nice long stretch and release session after each one.
On the day of the race, make sure you warm up dynamically, with a little jog and some leg circles, butt kicks, leg swings, elbow to knee twists, lateral and reverse lunges. Then move on to exercises that get the heart rate up a little, like high knees, single and double leg hops and torso twists.
Consume adequate fluids in the days leading up to the race but don’t overdo it. On the day itself, sip on 150-300ml every 15-20 minutes up until about 45-60 minutes before the start gun, leaving plenty of time for a toilet stop before you get moving.
For a race of this distance, water or a little coconut water is fine, you shouldn’t need the hardcore energy drinks to keep you going.
Don’t go over the top with fibrous carbs the night before the race, as you’re likely to end up with more gas than energy once the nerves settle in! Just eat a healthy, balanced meal as you normally would, with a balance of carbs, a little protein and some healthy fats.
Most importantly, do not eat anything new on race day! Only eat foods you’re accustomed to eating before a training run.
Have some breakfast about 2 hours prior to your race and keep it pretty simple, with some quality protein and a few slow burning carbs.
One of our favourite pre-race meals is a small serve of oats with berries and a couple of almonds. Another is a boiled egg with a small handful of walnuts and a banana, or a Passion Projects vegan protein shake with some almond butter and a frozen banana blended in. Anything that’s got a few carbs and a little protein and is not too hard to digest works well.
If you usually have a cheeky shot of coffee before you train, the good news is that’s OK, it may actually help to lower your perceived effort and make you move faster, for longer! So order that espresso, if you’re used to it before training.
DURING THE RACE
Try not to go out too hard. It’s always exciting at the start line but if you blow your limits early, you’ve got more chance of burning out before you hit Heartbreak Hill! Aim to get faster as the race goes on, not slower ;)
Don’t wear your headphones. We love music during long runs but at the City2Surf, there’s just so many cool bands and great people to meet along the way, it really spoils the vibe!
Make sure your head is in the right place – remember you want to be there, you’re in it for the experience not just the finish line, and Heartbreak Hill has the best views in Sydney!
And, erm… remember there’s good food and a cheeky celebratory drink waiting at the finish line ;)
AFTER THE RACE
Try and get a piece of fruit, some coconut water or another kind of electrolyte drink into you immediately after you finish the run, to avoid being sick and dizzy due to low blood glucose. Pop on a dry shirt or a jumper and drink plenty of water now you’re all done.
Eat a healthy meal containing carbs and protein within about an hour of finishing your run. Avoid fried and greasy food, as your body won’t be able to metabolise it correctly at this time and you’ll just end up feeling a bit unwell.
If you’re a serious athlete and need to recover quickly, you might want to hit up an ice bath, followed by a brief hot shower to help your muscles recover more quickly. If you’re not too serious about it all, a regular shower should do.
Have a gentle stretch, holding each position for at least 15 seconds, or do a little foam rolling or myofascial release work.
Get ready to go out and celebrate your run! Yeehaa!