A Physio's guide to City2Surf prep

A Physio's guide to City2Surf prep

Health & Fitness Blog

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As a new runner, I can now tell you first hand... running is hard!

In my journey training for the City2Surf, I’ve encountered a number of personal challenges and numerous aches and pains. I’ve definitely needed to use all my physiotherapy knowledge to keep me on track for race day!

So if you’re keen to tackle this event in August, or any other running event in the future, check out my list of running must do’s below!

Don’t worry if you’ve started late, these tips can still help make sure you have a good event day, whilst trying to avoid injuring yourself in the process.

Build the habit
If you’ve read my blog at the start of the year (click here to read it in full), you will know how powerful building good habits can be. For me personally, it really helped starting small. I started with walking for 15 minutes on 3 mornings per week. This little change was small enough for me to commit to and an easy way to build the routines needed to keep training in the (COLD) mornings to come. I’ve also used a table to keep track of my training, ticking off my runs each week to ensure I run 2-3x per week without fail!

Gradually increase your training loads
As I had never been a runner in the past, I needed to make sure my body had a chance to adapt to this new activity. Muscles and tendons can take some time to get used to any new activity, so suddenly starting a new activity and quickly increasing is a recipe for overuse injuries or strains. To help me increase in a safe and sustainable way I used the below interval program as a guide to get me up to full running. Completing 2-3 runs per week this program took me around 4-5 weeks in total. Find some more interval programs here.

Listen to your body
As much as it’s great to have a specific schedule for training, at times you need to listen to your body. If you are feeling like a cold or flu is coming, it is vital to get some rest and recovery to lessen its effects. A week of reduced training is better than a full blown sickness that can set you back for weeks!

I’ve also found myself adjusting my training after seeing how I feel after each session. Allowing enough recovery after longer runs has meant my muscle soreness and achilles ache has been kept under control. I’ve also upped my remedial massages and have had to be more diligent with my stretching, foam rolling and massage ball use- every little bit helps.

If you experience any ongoing discomfort I encourage you to see a physiotherapist or doctor to help you manage this and avoid long term injury!

Keep your goal in mind
For me, the goal of the actual event has been very motivating. After working at the finish line for many years as a post event physiotherapist, I know how fun the day can be! To add an extra little sweetener I’ve added the treat of a new pair of headphones if I stick to my training plan and do well on event day.

So pick a goal and stick that front and centre! For some that might be gaining some extra fitness, completing their first event, losing some weight or even raising money for a cause close to their heart.

So as you build up the excitement for race day- keep these points in mind to make sure you have a smooth and enjoyable ride. Keep in mind that you don’t have to run the whole event, or push yourself too hard if you haven’t had a good preparation.

And enjoy the food, drinks and stories post event guilt free- for me it’s a burger, beer and chilling with friends in the sun :)

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