How to run your fastest City2Surf ever!

If you haven’t already begun, it’s time to start training for the City2Surf. If you are looking to run a new PB, just gradually increasing your running distances in the race lead up is not going to make you run faster. Instead, you’ll just become extremely efficient at running further at the same pace. This means that your race time and pace (aka your running speed) will see little to no improvement. So how do we increase our race pace? Well, interval and repetition training are a good place to start. These are two of the most important training techniques that you can utilise when training to run a faster middle distance time.

What is interval and repetition training?

  • Interval training involves performing a high-intensity run, slightly faster than your race pace, followed by a recovery period. So a ratio of about 1:1 or less. This is then repeated to a set training volume. For example, 5 x 1km intervals starting a new interval every six minutes.
  • Repetition training involves performing even higher-intensity efforts, almost at a sprint, followed by a slightly longer rest period. So a ratio of 1:2 or greater. For example, 5 x 400m and 5 x 200m, starting a new repetition every three minutes.

How do they improve performance?

A combination of both interval and repetition training will help to:

– Improve your stride frequency and length, and therefore your running speed.

– Improve your ability to tolerate and buffer against the by products of high workloads (anaerobic metabolism and increase your lactate threshold and blood buffering capacity.

– Improve your technique due to neuromuscular adaptations from running fast.

– Improve your mental strength and pain tolerance.

These are two of the most important sessions in your running program. They are tough forms of training, but, as you cross the finish line having blitzed your previous PB, you’ll know it was well and truly worth it. So ditch the boring slog of mindless runs and train with real purpose and specific programming.

Want some professional help to maximise your City2Surf training?

ATLETA exercise physiologists deliver a 10 week running program targeting City2Surf performance through a combination of specific running technique drills, interval and repetition training, strengthening and injury prevention exercises. Visit the ATLETA website for more information.

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Neil Russell
Neil Russell is the founder of ATLETA and one of the most highly qualified, experienced and sought after trainers in Sydney. He has trained Hollywood celebrities, models, top athletes and high profile corporate clients. He started working in the fitness industry as a gym instructor in 2001, while studying Human Movement Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). In 2004, he spent hours performing physiological testing on athletes in the UTS human performance laboratory and wrote his thesis examining the physiology of team sports performance. For his research paper he received a First Class Honours Degree. Since completing his major work, Neil has built a reputation of being an authority on exercise and sports performance training having had a number of articles published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. He is currently the resident expert exercise consultant for Weight Watchers magazine, and has featured in other publications such as CLEO, Men’s Style and Woman’s Day. Neil also lectures at the State Sport Centre (ACPE) and has taught at UTS and UNSW. As an Exercise Physiologist Neil is able to safely help professional athletes and his personal training clients achieve their individual goals, even when they present with an injury or chronic pain. Boasting unparalleled professional experience and knowledge, combined with his passion for maximizing his clients physical and psychological wellbeing, Neil is the ideal person to help you achieve your goals.