Training and Preparation


To make training for the Surf Coast Century as achievable as possible we’ve gathered the following resources to provide you with some assistance and structure for your preparation.

We also know that training on the course and training with other like-minded runners makes it all a lot easier, so we’ve listed below some recommended training runs on the Surf Coast, we’ve set dates for specific course training days and compiled the details of some running groups that anyone can hook up with.

Index to the information below:

Training loop runs on the course – mapped

The Surf Coast Century course is all on public land and can be run in training at any time. To make this easier we have prepared a collection of training loop runs on a very EASY TO USE APP so you know where to go to get a taste of different sections of the course.

Training run index:

  • Route 1: 19km on Leg 1 & Leg 2 – from Anglesea
  • Route 2: 22km on Leg 2 & Leg 1 – from Torquay
  • Route 3: 24km on Leg 3 & Leg 4 – from Anglesea
  • Route 4: 11km on leg 3 – from Distillery Creek
  • Route 5: 12km on Leg 4 – from Aireys Inlet
  • Route 6: 17km on leg 3 & Leg 4 – from Distillery Creek

Maps and instructions for each run are all available in the CAPRA mapping app. Simply scan the QR code or CLICK HERE follow the prompts to create an account and you’ll find the maps in the app’s ‘Library’.

(If you want an old-school paper map of each run course then click here for Leg 1&2 and here for Leg 3&4

Group training runs on the course

Rapid Ascent will help coordinate four informal group training runs along sections of the course in the months leading up to the race. These are open for ANYONE to attend, and are FREE! These sessions will be group runs with everyone running at their own pace (or with your friends…!) but safe in the knowledge that there are other runners gathering to do the same thing at the same time.

Facebook Event Page

A Facebook Event Page will be set up for each of the Training Runs where interested runners can mark their attendance and coordinate car pooling for the start/finish of each Leg. (Note, pages to be set up and linked below nearer the time)

Dates for 2024 Training Runs will be confirmed shortly!

  • Leg 1: Sunday 26 May – final details on the Facebook Event Page HERE!
  • Leg 2: Sunday 23 June – final details on the Facebook Event Page – coming soon!
  • Leg 3: Sunday 28 July – final details on the Facebook Event Page – coming soon!
  • Leg 4: Sunday 25 August – final details on the Facebook Event Page – coming soon!

Basic details for each run:

  • runs are FREE to attend and will be hosted by the Surf Coast Trail Runners
  • will commence at approximately 8:00am from the start of that particular leg
  • runners must be self sufficient for everything they need to do the run (food / drinks /clothes…)
  • we strongly encourage runners to have the course route uploaded to a mapping app on your phone so you can follow the course – explained here
  • further details on start / finish locations and times… will be posted to each of the Facebook Event pages, as linked above (well, soon to be linked!). All futher communications will be via those groups.

2019 Leg 3 information session resources:

Hanny Allston – our friendly Training Partner

We are excited to have Hanny Allston from Find Your Feet helping you prepare for the Surf Coast Century. Hanny is providing access to training planners for the 100km and 50km distances, as well as a planner for athletes who are beginning in the sport. 

Hanny won the Surf Coast Century 50km and holds the women’s 50km record. She is one of Australia’s most accomplished trail runners and orienteers with World, National and State Championships to her name as well as numerous course records and race victories. CLICK HERE to read a profile on Hanny.

Hanny’s FREE Training Planners

Hanny’s training planners are incredibly comprehensive and provide day-by-day descriptions on how to prepare for your chosen event. They provide a superb guide to help get you to the start line (and finish line) in the best possible shape. You can read more about Hanny’s coaching ethos HERE. The training plan is best complimented by the knowledge outlined in The Trail Running Guidebook (see below).

Her range of training programs are linked below:

Use the code: Rapidascent at checkout to download your chosen training plan at no cost.

>>CLICK HERE<< to view the Beginner Planner
>>CLICK HERE<< to view the 50km Training Planner
>>CLICK HERE<< to view the 100km Training Planner

(Alternatively look at her full list of programs online here)

Hanny’s Trail Running Guidebook

The training plan above is best followed and understood when read in conjunction with Hanny’s Trail Running Guidebook – which provides a safe pathway to help you find your feet in trail running. Hanny Allston’s personal coaching methodologies focus on long-term health, training and performance successes.

It contains key lessons Hanny learnt on her journey to becoming a world champion and elite trail running record holder. Sharing her theories on training & racing strategies, nutrition & hydration, running technique, psychology and more.

We strongly recommend all runners purchase a copy of the Guidebook not just to aid your preparation for our Surf Coast events but to build your knowledge and understanding of trail running. Purchase the Trail Running Guidebook HERE for $17.99 (Kindle e-copy $7.30).

“It’s a superb race – friendly, brilliantly organised and the right level of challenge for most.” Craig (2017 competitor)

The local’s training plans

Here are a second set of training programs specifically designed for the Surf Coast Century courses and prepared David Eadie from The Running Man – a former winner of the 100km race and long time race ambassador. These programs provide the basis of a week by week plan on what to do, how far to run and what types of sessions you need to do to achieve your objective safely and enjoyably on the day.

Surf Coast Century STRAVA club

Strava is the social network for athletes – so we have created a specific club for those training for the Surf Coast Century.

JOIN THE CLUB HERE and you’ll be able to see what training others are doing, share kudos and gain motivation by being part of community of people training for the event. We’ll run some competitions based on people’s Strava sessions and have some fun. See you there!

Surf Coast Century Facebook group

Join your fellow competitors in a closed facebook group for SCC runners where you can share your ideas, enthusiasm and training tips with one another. Join the group HERE.

We will still communicate event details via our Facebook page but this group allows for better interaction between runners.

Pro Feet Podiatry

The Surf Coast Century has partnered with Pro Feet Podiatry who are active at 19 different locations around Melbourne and Geelong. Their supreme knowledge of foot care, shoes, blisters and other foot related running issues means that can really help you prepare for and get through the Surf Coast Century with as a happy runner.

PLUS ALL 2022 COMPETITORS will receive a 50% OFF VOUCHER for a video running assessment. CLICK HERE for the voucher.

They have a range of great assets and information on their website to help you, including:

  • Footwear – trail vs road ruinning shoes
  • Top 3 lacing techniques
  • Blister prevention

Read their WEBSITE for all the details or contact: Pro Feet Podiatry, 1300 945 789 

Running groups

There are more and more (trail) running groups out there, all of whom are very welcoming of new runners and supportive of those tackling an ultra marathon. Listed below are a few of the more active Victorian groups but with a bit of searching I’m sure you’ll find some other runners near you no matter where you live.

SURF COAST: Join up with our local trail run group all of whom are very passionate active out on the trails. In fact the Surf Coast Trail Runners have nearly adopted the Century as their own and provide us with a huge amount of support during the event. Visit their facebook page here

Other active trail running groups in Melbourne:

Many road running clubs will also venture out on the trail. For a list of potential clubs to approach see:

Where else to train

Surf Coast Walk

The Surf Coast Century race course uses some sections of the Surf Coast Walk. This makes it accessible on race day but also provides some safe and clearly marked routes for training runs in the lead up to the race.

Download a free map of the Surf Coast walk from Connect on

Trail running areas around Melbourne

There are plenty of easy, non-technical trails within reach of most households in suburban Melbourne. The banks of the Yarra, from inner city stretching all the way out to Warrandyte, are fertile ground for trail running (lucky those who live in the north east). Other options of varying quality include:

  • Yarra Bend and Yarra River – lots of trails on offer here from short loops to longer stretches linking some single track section all the way along the Yarra.
  • Westgate Park – short loops only
  • Banksia Park, Bulleen – short loops
  • Westerfolds Park, Templestowe – loops
  • Plenty Gorge Park – some great loops in a surprisingly beautiful pocket of nature up north
  • Yarra Flats, Bulleen – part of the Yarra Trail, can link to Westerfolds Park.
  • Warrandyte State Park – riverside again, but pretty wild for an urban area
  • Lysterfield Park – some awesome single track, watch for mountain bikers.
  • Braeside Park, Braeside – short loops
  • Mullum Mullum – those entrenched in the eastern suburbs around Ringwood can check out the odd trail around the Mullum Mullum Eastlink Tunnel – Hillcrest Reserve through to Yarran Dheran. Not all dirt, but trees at least. Ignore the sound of traffic.
  • Dandenong Valley Parklands – longer stuff in a corridor of green from Boronia Road to Wellington Road in the south, includes Jells Park, Nortons Park & Shepherds Bush among others – easy to get in some longer stuff here flat as it is.
  • Dandenong National Park incl Sherbrooke Forest, Thousand Steps (busy) – a plethora of choices, long or short, hilly and all stunning
  • Karkarook Park, Moorabbin – you can make up about 6km of loop running (Melways map 78 E7)
  • Smiths Gully/St Andrews/Kinglake area – an abundance of choices as the suburbs peter out and real bush begins.
  • The Bay Trails – anyone heading Brighton way and south can link up a few trails on the bay, with sections of dirt found hugging waterside from South Road all the way to Mordialloc – you can also then go inland along the river and hook into the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands. Okay, this is desperate trail running, but any dirt in a storm..
  • Mornington Peninsula National Park – plenty of options including the Two Bays Walking Trail, Mornington Peninsula; so good it has its own trail running race!
  • Arthurs Seat National Park – some hilly stuff, views and good loops everywhere. Part of the Two Bays Trail linking to Mornington National Park.
  • Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve, near Frankston – longer loops
  • The Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve, near Frankston – heathland loops
  • Maribyrnong Valley Park – including Brimbank Park, Greenvale Reservoir and Horseshoe Bend Farm; lots of loops
  • You Yangs – lots of hills, plenty of longer trails (there’s a trail running festival held here!)
  • Woodlands Historic Park, via Tullamarine – flat but worth a crack
  • Cheetham Wetlands/Point Cook Coastal Park, Altona – flat but a few trails including those either side of Skeleton Creek and running north east behind Altona Meadows to Truganina and Doug Grant Reserves.
  • Williamstown – has a good trail from the main street west heading to Altona Coastal Park. You can link up and run (not all trail mind you) past Seaholme and into the Cheetham Wetlands area.