Surf Coast Century course, part of the trail.


Surf Coast Century 2020 is less than three weeks away. We asked Bogong supported runner Matt Crehan to share with us his training for the 100K distance leading up to race weekend. Matt placed 4th at the Surf Coast Century in 2019 – you can read more about his background here, and read his first blog post in this series (with 4 weeks to go) here.

Well done, Victoria: We did the hard yards through lockdown and this week we were able to reap the rewards with no new cases and the return of some of the things we had taken for granted. I took full advantage of these new-found freedoms. Well, within the context of a four-day work week and a bucket-load of uni work, anyway. Some unforeseen circumstances meant I did most of my running solo this week, but it was great to be able to break out of the 25km bubble.

If you missed my first Surf Coast Century Countdown blog entry, check it out here. Bogong Equipment has asked me to share my training leading into Surf Coast Century, which as you might know as officially been given the go-ahead to take place on 5–6 December. That's only three weeks away now. Here's what I did this week for training.

My Training Week: 3 Weeks to Go

9–15 November

Monday – Recce run on the second half of the SCC course, 53km, Anglesea.

Today was the first day we were allowed to leave Metro Melb without a permit, and I thought I’d take full advantage of it by heading down to Anglesea and running the second half of the Surf Coast Century course. It was a very warm day, I think around 28 degrees, so I knew water would be a bit of an issue. Unlike on race day where the aid stations have everything you need, water was hard to come by through most of this section, and having missed the tap at Distillery Creek Picnic Area, my first refill point was at Aireys Inlet, about 40km into the run. I was thankfully carrying 2L with me, but definitely needed to ration it in the heat. For nutrition I had a Clif Bar, a packet of Clif Bar Shot Bloks, and some Tailwind. A bit on the low side perhaps, but I wasn’t pushing too hard and my energy levels seemed OK throughout. I’ll be increasing my intake come race day, as I know I’ll need a fair bit extra for a 100km race.

Overall I was really happy with how the morning went. Took a couple of wrong turns (don’t worry, the course is very well marked on the day), but otherwise found my way around pretty well. Didn’t really keep an eye on pace, just ran to feel and finished knowing there was more in the tank, so a good confidence booster a little under four weeks out from the race. Ended up about an hour longer than my 50k run from about a week ago, but was still pleased with the time for that course. And the best part was when I got back and checked my phone, I had confirmation that the race was going ahead – you beauty! Shoes: Wore the La Sportiva Jackals, which is what I’ll wear for the race.

Tuesday – Easy run, 10km, Yarra Bend Park.

Was supposed to meet Toby and Euge again for a spin around the park, but neither ended up making it down. Did a pretty standard loop through Yarra Bend, probably a little faster than I should have after yesterday, but I was feeling got so wasn’t too worried.

Matt (and his mo') on the misty trails of Mt Macedon.

Wednesday – Trail loop, 17km, Yarra Bend Park.

Today was one of those runs that are just simply a joy. Maybe I was still on a high from Monday. It was raining lightly, though still warm, as I followed the single track along the river. It gets quite slippery on these trails when it’s wet, but that just adds to the fun. Shoes: Was wearing the La Sportiva Helios, which don’t have a lot of cushion but grip quite nicely and you get a really good feel for the trail. Probably wouldn’t recommend them for the longer stuff, but they are super light and good fun on a run like this.

Thursday – Arvo swim, 2km. Easy 10km run, Yarra Bend Park.

First swim of the week, having missed being able to book in earlier. Followed it with an easy spin around Yarra Bend, more on the paths than the trails. Included a section along the river under the roosting fruit bats. I run under these guys so often that sometimes I take them for granted, but they’re worth mentioning as it’s such a cool wildlife encounter so close to the city. Especially if you get there at dusk when they’re all setting off. Shoes: La Sportiva Lycans for this one.

Friday – Arvo swim, 2km. Arvo Run with Nathan, 15km.

Taking advantage of being able to socialise again, I had a late Thursday night followed by an early start for work, and that saw me pretty tired by the afternoon. Felt better after the swim, then had a good catch-up run with Nathan, chatting all things SCC as he looks towards his first ultra with the 50km race. Took in some of the more technical sections of the park, wearing La Sportiva Jackals.

Saturday – Mt Macedon loop, 21km.

A hangover got the better of my running buddy for the morning, but I decided to head up to Mt Macedon anyway and do the run solo. I have run up here a fair bit and really enjoy it. Trails+ put on a race here during winter. I’ve done the 50k and the marathon before and look forward to hopefully get back there again next year.

I kept it simple today, basically just following the Macedon Ranges Walking Trail, looping to include Mt Towrong, then adding an extra climb at the end to take it up to 1100m of ascent for the morning. The climb up from Bawden Rd up to the top of Mt Macedon is quite steep, but is a beautiful bit of trail, particularly if it’s early and there’s a bit of low-hanging cloud around. Didn’t take any nutrition, but carried a full pack for race-day prep. Shoes: Wore La Sportiva Akasha II for a bit of extra cushion across the rocky sections.

Sherbrooke Forest.

Sunday – Sherbrook Forest, 18km.

The Dandenong Ranges, or 'Dandies', out to the east of city, contain a large network of trails and are a bit of staple for Melbourne-based trail runners. A particular favourite for me is the area around Sherbrooke Forest. The Mountain Ash there are magnificent. There is something quite humbling about being in a tall forest. I find it quite comforting as well. Legs were a bit heavy from yesterday, so took it pretty easy this morning. Walked a few sections, stopped for a bunch of photos, splashed though the mud – a nice soul-feeding run to finish off the training week. Shoes: Wore a brand-new pair of Jackals and they were superb.

So that’s about it. I did 144km and 3800m elevation for the week – another good week in the bank. I’ll probably start to wind things back a bit now as we get closer to the race. Although, I still have a couple of little adventures in mind now that we can get out and about a bit more! Also: A reminder of my disclaimer in my previous blog entry last week about my training not being a recommended plan. It's just what I'm doing, for your interest. Plus, you’ve gotta have fun with it, right? Three weeks until race day!


Matthew Crehan is supported by Bogong Equipment and La Sportiva Australia.

Follow Matt on Instagram and Strava.

See our range of La Sportiva running shoes here.

Questions? Visit us, email us or call us (03 9600 0599).

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