City2Surf racing crowd

An Expert’s Guide To Getting City2Surf FIt

In four weeks time on August 13th Sydney’s city to Bondi Beach will shut down to hold the iconic City2Surf race, which attracts more than 80,000 entrants each year! Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a newbie, running 14km is a challenge. So we decided to sit down with Bondi Rescue and Lifecycle Fitness’s Ryan Clark to find out his top tips in giving you a helping hand to train for the race day. Ryan is a qualified personal trainer with years of experience in the health & fitness industry and one of his primary focuses is around increasing cardio vascular fitness – perfect for anyone willing to take on the City2Surf challenge.


Ryan Clark AKA Whippet
Lifeguard – Bondi Rescue


4 Weeks Out from C2S:

How much you train depends on what your goal is for the race itself! Anyone who’s looking to break under an hour (which is pretty hard) should be completing challenging one-hour sessions a few times per week. For those that are looking to simply finish the race, and aren’t too fussed about their race time or haven’t begun any training yet, don’t be doing too much too soon, or you run the risk of getting injured before race day. Begin by assessing where your fitness is at and focus on building from there.

Therefore, this week I’m recommending you do a couple of light jogs on grass (better for your joints) and try to chuck in a few hills too (2-3 sets of a hill is a good place to start) so you get used to the fact that ‘heartbreak hill’ is coming up come race day!

So per week, we’re talking 3 x flat surface jogs! Do your first for 6-8 km, then boost up to 8-10 km on your second and the drop your third to 4 km but make sure you incorporate a hill, or at least some hills.

3 Weeks Out From C2S:

In the event you’re feeling good after your first week of training, you should now consider increasing your tempo. Jog a little bit further, a little bit harder and even transition from jogging to actually running sometimes too. This way, not only will you be getting used to running at a faster pace but you’ll also be getting a few more km into those legs. And of course, add in a couple more sets of the hill! See how you feel after boosting to 4-5 sets, depending on how long and steep your hill is.

I will say it again, if you haven’t been training too hard prior to this, do be mindful not to hit it too hard to avoid bringing on any shin splints by doing too much too quickly.

2 Weeks Out From C2S:

You should look at starting to taper off a bit now! You can still keep up a little intensity, but by this stage you need to be looking to give your legs plenty of time to rest. So, in practice, we’re looking at a couple of light jogs this week… just so you keep the legs ticking over but nothing too hard.

Week before C2S:

Go for a light jog on Monday or Tuesday and then head out for a light walk on Thursday or Friday (the coastal walk would be a great option here, or anything that’s just really cruisy). No long distance walking either, just a little something to keep the blood moving in your legs. On Saturday, totally rest and try to get a little more fluid in, to make sure you’re nice and hydrated for Sunday.

So to clarify, you’re not looking for any post training soreness this week, as you want to avoid taking that into race day with you. On the nutritional side of things, I recommend sticking to a balanced/healthy diet during your training period. Don’t feel as though you have to do something new/different with your nutrition pre race (old school “carb loading” night before is not going to make you run faster!). Whatever your body is used to having in the morning before all your recent training sessions is what you want to be having on the morning of race day!



Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements once you reach the finish line! Good luck and we hope to see you there!

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