Hill Running secrets for the City to Surf

Only 7 weeks to go until the 2016 Sun-Herald City2Surf on Sun 14th Aug. By now you should be gradually increasing your longer runs and building your strength on climbing & descending hills. Follow these training tips to make the most of the undulating terrain past Kings Cross, Rushcutters Bay, Edgecliff, and Rose Bay.

Most recreational runners will take more then 10mins to conquer heartbreak hill. The road rises approx. 80m over the 2km climb

Heartbreak hill is a 2km long rise which starts from the Rose Bay shops, approximately 6km into the race. The road rises about 80m over the 2km for an average grade of 3-4%. City to SurfIt’s not the gradient that affects most runners but the fact it’s the 3rd descent hill in the race and by the time you’ve reached the top you’re 8km in. Most recreational runners will take more then 10mins to conquer heartbreak hill so heed the warning & take it sensibly. Maintain a fast leg turnover with fast slightly shorter steps to keep the intensity moderate (not intense) and maintain good momentum.

Many an over-confident runner, or Strava hunter, has come undone on the winding hill. Coming out of Rose Bay the road twists & turns with some of the steepest running early on as you past Kambala girls school. As the hill flattens out many people are lulled into a false sense of security as the slow climb continues to wind it’s way to better & better harbour views. Hill runningEnjoy the vistas but try to maintain an efficient running technique. Keep your head up & drive the arms to help keep the legs moving. For the first timer the views are spectacular so enjoy your hard work. It’s usually fantastic weather on C2S day so the harbour will be glittering… as will the finish line down in Bondi. Of course, don’t forget to enjoy the amazing atmosphere. The biggest fun run in the world has no shortage of entertainment (both in & alongside the race).

City2Surf Hill training progressions


Week 4 – Long hills

Complete long hill efforts. Progress through 3min, 5min, 8min & even 10min hill repetitions (if possible) to build your hill running endurance. Run at a steady pace equal to or slightly faster then your goal race pace. Practice both uphill & downhill running to build specific strength & endurance for the race. If possible get out on the course!

Week 3 – Fast hills

To help develop a faster turnover & stronger hill running power short faster hill reps are great. Complete 6-10x 15-60s hill reps at a faster pace concentrating on strong arm drive & a fast powerful leg drive. Use a walk back & standing recovery for these intense reps. Click for Hill Running Technque tips.

Week 2 – Familiarise yourself

If possible get out on to New South Head rd & tackle the hills before the race. Familiarise yourself with the terrain so you can pace yourself on race day. The steep climbs to Kings Cross & Edgecliff can be deceptive & waste energy early in the race if you’re not familiar with them.City2Surf Map

Week 1 – Race week

Reduce the intense training so you’re ready for Sunday’s race feeling strong with Fresh legs. Remember to maintain a fast turnover going up the hills & use gravity going back down the hills to gain some free speed for a fast & energy efficient run.


For more running tips contact us or join one of our Sydney Running Groups #OUTFITrunners




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