Soft Sand Running Series

9th August 2017

Of all the races we go to each year, the Bondi Barefoot and our own running festival are two of the most enjoyable. Being on the beach always brings a smile to people’s faces, the soft sand is the most challenging surface we can find and our Surf Life Saving background makes us love these two events and we are so pleased to be able to combine them.  We also raise a great deal of money for the McGrath Foundation, which reminds us of my mother and our great friend Jane McGrath who had long battles with breast cancer and helps us feel like we are making a difference.

The Events

4km Soft Sand Race:             Bondi Barefoot, 24 September 2017

10km Soft Sand Race:           Bondi Barefoot, 24 September 2017

6km Soft Sand Race:             JA Eunning Festival, 29 October 2017

2.5km Soft Sand Run:           JA Running Festival, 29 October 2017

Both the Bondi Barefoot and the Jock Athletic Running Festival endurance races will accrue accrue points, with the highest points earners over the series being crowned the winners in the men and women’s divisions. More on the points system to come.

Training Advice

Advice for training and preparation for these events from both Jock and Mel Campbell from Jock Athletic this week are about the special surface in these races ie soft sand and a couple of technical points about running in the soft sand.

Mel Campbell, current Surf Lifesaving 2km Soft sand World Champion, 2-time Bondi Barefoot 4km champ and having previously won the Wanda Xtreme 6 and Jane McGrath Classic has suggested two key points:

The surface – soft sand is very different to any other surface and therefore needs to be prepared for. You must do some practice and training regularly on the surface.  As a coach I recommend at least 1-2 times per week training along with your other running on soft sand leading into the event. Get started now, as it takes time for your muscles to get used to the new range of motion and to become an efficient runner in the sand.

Technical Tip 1:     Stay light on your feet, try and keep on top of the sand. With soft sand when you go through your push phase, the sand moves, so it’s really important to pull your feet off the ground, like a cyclist does so you don’t sink into the sand and waste a lot of energy.

Watch the video for some hidden tips and start training now. There is a section of training called specificity and that includes the surface you run on, so get out there and practice on the soft sand, train regularly and watch your times improve. Don’t overdo the soft sand running early of, just add it in as part of your training program and stick to the 1-2 times per week.

Enjoy the training and we’ll look forward to seeing you on the day.

About the author: Jock Campbell is a Level 4 IAAF Athletics Coach, the first ever SLSA Performance Coach (Beach Events), Coach of over 10 Australian Champion Beach Runners and 5 World Champions, 2017 SLSNSW – Coach of the Year and is the current International Surf Lifesaving Masters 2km World Champion

To see more info on The Jock Athletic Running Festival, click here.