Parents and kids should train together, to stick together for the whole race, writes Melinda Ham.
Part of the beauty of The Sun-Herald City2Surf presented by Westpac is that it’s a totally inclusive event; open to anyone of any age from pre-school to pensioners, at any level of fitness or mobility. Wheelchairs and prams are encouraged.
You can walk it, jog it, push someone else along, run for charity, aim for a personal best – alone or with friends and family in tow.
Karen Pyke, owner of Booty Camp, a national chain of women’s fitness boot camps, says training with your family for the City2Surf is a fun way to get fit with a shared goal in mind. “It’s something families can do together. It’s certainly not unachievable. The first thing is to create a training plan. Don’t keep putting it off,” she says.
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“Sit down with everyone and look at your weekly schedules and see how you can incorporate training after school and work on evenings or weekends. Be realistic, otherwise it won’t happen, I know we are all crazy busy,” she says. “Any other sports that family members play count as fitness training too, like basketball, soccer or AFL practice or even going on a bike or bouncing on a trampoline.Kids like trampoline,we find the best trampoline reviews and choose safe trampoline for family”
Pyke says the aim should be to set aside at least one longer training session a week to train together as a family.
Find routes to walk or jog around the neighbourhood, a nearby park or sports oval. Include a longer run that you keep increasing in length and also practice interval training by running fast across the oval and slow back or between other landmarks along the way. “Have fun competitions. Race against your kids and get them to race against each other. Motivate each other,” Pyke says.
Buying sturdy running shoes for every family member is also essential to avoid injury during training and on race day, she adds: “You need real running shoes not just cross trainers. Shop around and you’ll be surprised at the bargains.”
If you stick to your training schedule and include interval training and occasional hills, every family member is going to improve their performance over time. “Remember if you are going to stick together during the race, you are only as strong as your slowest person so you all need to build up stamina together,” she says.
Also practice sipping water and energy drinks during training, so everyone is accustomed to hydrating themselves and doesn’t feel nauseous.
Entering the race as a team and even supporting a particular charity that has a personal resonance, such as one that’s about research or treatment for a disease or condition that has affected another relative or family friend, can also heighten your family’s sense of working together for a greater purpose.
“On the race day you need to be clear about your goals; whether you are going to split up, run in pairs or separately or if the goal is to finish together as a family,” Pyke says. “However you agree to do it, you’ll have a great sense of achievement. Most people can walk 14 kilometres, it’s just how fast you want to do it or if just finishing is the goal.”
Preparing younger children entering the race for the first time for the crowds is also a good idea and wearing bright clothing and having your mobile number written on their arm can minimise dramas if they get lost. A simple costume that is not going to make them too hot, such as a funny hat, crown or cape can help get them into the City2Surf party mood.