Summer holidays have just ended for most of us, myself included. However, i was fortunate enough to have spent most of January in the beautiful surrounds of Kiama & Jamberoo.
The region of Kiama - Jamberoo is one of great natural beauty. It offers spectacular coastline, numerous beaches, rolling green hills, mountains set amongst dairy country & rainforests. It is nothing short of ridiculously beautiful as you will see in the pics that follow. Jamberoo means 'track' in Aboriginal, but I think that's underselling it just a little. Perhaps bloody steep track would be more appropriate for this area is one of many, many steep hills.
As with any other holiday destination, this represents the opportunity to explore new running routes, trails & workouts in a different environment. Being from Melbourne, where hills are scarce in the inner city, I do love to run the hills around here.
Regardless of where you are, or which time of year, a running session is never far away. Here's a few of my favourites from the region, and whilst you may not get to Kiama itself, you can take these suggestions with you almost anywhere.
1. Hill circuits:
Find a hill which is not hard here, and run it. Repeat, repeat again, and so on. Kiama boasts the 5 X Bs; 5 streets starting with B, that are horrendously steep and about 400-500m long. The one I found in Jamberoo was 1.7 km long with an elevation gain of 160 m with each repetition, & taking just over 9 minutes to get up, and just as long coming down for each rep.
Rating : Bloody hard but beautiful on the way down.
2. 1000 steps.
Find a decent set of steps, 81 in this case. Run the set, recover on the way back down. Repeat til you've done 1000. 12.3 repeats for me, ouch!
The shorter the set, the harder you go!
If you're from the city, spoil yourself & your feet and get off road whenever you can. The Coastal Track between Kiama and Gerringong is an absolute gem. It's 6 kms one way ( you can catch the train back?), or 12 km return. Absolutely stunning too.
4. Run the Mountain.
6 km of uphill hell to Saddleback Mountain. Locally known as the Saddleback Smash raced in October. Sadly, cancelled last year, but hoping it will make a comeback soon.
5. The Epic Trail Run.
This run involves setting yourself a destination or goal and just heading out and seeing where it takes you. The last time I did this in Kiama a few years back, I ended up running to Geroa and back, a total of 38kms. I probably won't make that mistake again. For me this time, it was continuing up and up beyond the end of our Jamboree road, (the 1.7km hill) and into the Buderoo NP, more up and into the pine plantation, and down the steep muddy descent to the most magnificent little stream & waterfall to cool off. take in the breathtaking drop off, before continuing downhill to the main Road. And then come back again! Took, an hour and 45 mins. Totally worth it!
Like every run, running hills, stairs, trails, & tracks all involve the opportunity to work on your strength & technique as you conquer endless hills. Great training early in the year as you build your base before getting stuck into your specific race training program.
Sounds like the perfect place for a Summer Running Training Camp.
And that's exactly what we're going to do next January 2017. If you like the sound of that, please let me know & you can join us!
As always, Run Well!