Time Out Sydney

Timo Topp is a Sydney fitness trainer who has been preparing the Time Out team for the race. Here are his Topp Tips!

1. Week to go...
"The worst thing you can do now is over train," says Sydney fitness trainer Timo Topp. "Go for one long run the week before the race, perhaps even running the race course, so that you know you've got 14km under your belt. Then in the week of the race, scale your training back to a few light runs and build in some hill work so that you can master Heartbreak Hill (the long stretch from Rose Bay to Vaucluse) at a canter. Get plenty of sleep and good food and cut out any booze so that you have enough energy for race day."

2. The day before
"Make sure you drink plenty of water to ensure you are fully hydrated. And have something plain and high in carbohydrate for dinner. No curries! A tomato-based pasta with some vegetables and a little bit of protein (tuna or grilled chicken). Make sure you do not eat anything you do not normally eat or anything too spicy! You do not want to be caught out at the start of the run with an unexpected bowel movement. Stay in and take your mind off the race by watching a film before getting an early night."

3. What to eat
"On the morning, make sure you have a light breakfast at least two hours before the start, such as some toast or weetbix; nothing cooked or too heavy. Stick to your usual choice of breakfast otherwise you might upset your stomach.  Have a banana for energy about an hour or so beforehand when heading to the race. Stop drinking fluid 45 minutes before the start. You don't want to get caught up in the porta-loo queues when the gun goes off!"

4. How to keep going
"There may be a point in the race where you hit ‘the wall' and feel like giving up. Give yourself a reason to run. Perhaps, like Time Out's runners, you're raising money for a charity close to your heart. Perhaps you've set yourself a personal fitness goal to run the race in a realistic time. Keep these goals in the front of your mind. Visualise a smooth, confident and comfortable running style and keep telling yourself you can do it. Put your name on your T-shirt so that the crowd can cheer you on. You may like to load up some tunes that charge you up and keep you in rhythm to play during the run. You can't beat a bit of ‘Eye of the Tiger' but the band will probably be playing that as you run through Double Bay!"

5. Pace yourself
"The key to running the race is sticking to a steady pace and finishing strong. Avoid the biggest mistake so many people make each year of going too fast, too soon. Run a pace that you are comfortable with. Ensure you are not going too hard, is your breathing laboured and heavy? If it is slow down a little, not too much, just ease off the pace until you are comfortable again. Try to keep the pace consistent the whole way, until the last one or two kms and then start to going for gold and slip into top gear. Refer to the table (right) as a timing guide."

6. Running tips
"Try and avoid running around people as much as you can. Slaloming in and out of people is a waste of energy and will just add to your total distance run. Also try and avoid running off and on curbs, you don't want to twist an ankle. Don't stop for fluids at every water station, one or two stops will do and when you do avoid the queues and aim for the end of the tables. On the flat, find a rhythm and breathing pattern (perhaps in time with your music) that's comfortable to run to. Make the most of running downhill, by stretching your legs and lean slightly down hill to allow gravity to help you. When you hit an uphill battle, pump your arms and lean slightly into the hill to generate some forward momentum. Whatever you do, keep going. Once you start walking or stop completely, it's much harder to start running again."

7. Time yourself

Target Rose Bay
Heartbreak Hill
End of Military Road
 70 mins  25 mins  40 mins  60 mins
 85 mins  30 mins  48 mins  72 mins
 Under 100 mins  35 mins  56 mins  84 mins

Read more:
Sydney's top 10 runs

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Updated on 26 May 2015.

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