Surf Coast Century last year: Matt on the 100K course.

With the Surf Coast Century less than four 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.

The Surf Coast Century has got the official go-ahead, now that Melbourne's ring of steel finally dissolved, and outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people allowed again. The race will look a little different, but its go-ahead is wonderful news for people like me who have been itching to get back to racing since March.

Race weekend is not very far away (5–6 December). This article is the first in a series of quick blog posts about my training leading into the race.

Surf Coast Century: 4 Weeks to Go

A couple of caveats before we get started. Firstly, I’m not a coach. Nor do I have a coach. Nor would I even recommend this as training advice for anyone else. But despite all that, I have been running ultras for a couple of years now, and whilst still learning, I have figured out a few things that work – for me, that is... Proceed with caution!

Secondly, Surf Coast Century is less than four weeks away. That is not enough time to prepare for an ultra marathon. It is however an opportunity to sharpen after building a bit of a base. Hopefully you’ve been able to stay motivated during the lockdown. Or maybe like me you were using running as way to keep some of that COVID-19 anxiety at bay. Either way, a fair chunk of the hard work has probably been done by now, and for those that are interested, this is a bit of a summary of my training in the lead up to the race. I’ll give a quick recap of what I did each day, giving an indication of effort rather than specific times or paces. If you’re a numbers kinda person, it can all be found on my Strava profile. (Remember – if it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen!)

Yarra Bend Park. Photo Matt Crehan

My Training Week – Four Weeks Out

Monday – Arvo run after work, 10.5km. Yarra Bend Park.

After finishing the previous week with a reasonably quick 50K, I wanted to just run to feel today. Fortunately enough I was feeling really good after a few Ks and decided to kick it home a bit with a bit of a progression run. Shoes: New Balance 1080 – road shoes with a bit of cushion.

Tuesday – Post-work swim – 2km.

I’m a bit advocate for getting in the pool and doing a few laps. Great for recovery and keeping the aerobic fitness up.

Arvo run with Matt (a fellow runner), 29km. Yarra Bend Park. More of catch up than anything else, kept to a comfortable pace and chatted along the way. Tried to get in as much elevation as we could, which in Yarra Bend Park means going up and down a lot of tiny hills. Some beautiful trails though. Shoes: Wanted good grip so wore La Sportiva Mutants.

Wednesday – Arvo run with Toby and Euge, 15km.

Again more of catch up than anything else, although I added a few hill repeats before meeting them in the park. Kept mostly to bike paths for this one. Shoes: Early model La Sportiva Lycans are a go-to for this sort of run.

Thursday – Another swim, 2km, and another arvo run with Matt, 17km. Yarra Bend Park.

More hills again, and working over some technical terrain. There are some surprisingly steep and rocky sections to be found in this little gem near the city. Shoes: La Sportiva Jackals today.

Friday – Afternoon solo run, 15km, Yarra Bend Park.

Took it nice and easy and just enjoyed the trails along the river, taking in a few tiny hills along the way. Shoes: La Sportiva Lycans again.

Saturday – Morning long run with Matt, 40km, Yarra Bend Park.

This was not my intention for this run. I knew Matt was keen to get around 40K with around 1000m of elevation, so I thought I’d head down and do an hour or two with him, as I had a long run planned for Monday. Legs were feeling a bit heavy but was enjoying the morning so decided to stick it out. (Refer to my comment earlier about this not being a recommended training plan!) Shoes: Went with a bit of extra cushion with high traction in the La Sportiva Akasha II

Sunday – Morning solo run, 7km, Yarra Bend Park.

Just a quick spin around the park this morning before breakfast. Keeping it short in anticipation of tomorrow's long run. Beautiful crisp morning though, and the park nice and quiet at this hour.

So, there’s a quick overview of my training week. Note that this week (2–11 November), in Melbourne we were still confined to our 'bubble', so all my running was done in the urban Yarra Bend Park, which fortunately has a network of decent trails. Ended up with a total of about 140km, with around 2800m of elevation. A little on the high side for me, but really it’s getting to peak volume before the race. Four weeks 'til race day!

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

Follow Matt on Instagram.

See our range of La Sportiva running shoes here.

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