Beginner’s Guide to Training for the City2Surf

City to surf

Ben, from BeFit, is back on the blog today – with some amazing prep tips for those racing in Sydney’s biggest race this weekend, the City2Surf. Whether you’re training for an endurance-based marathon, or just want some help upping your fitness ante, Ben’s suggestions could make all the difference to your end result. Plus, some of the best nutrition tips for before and after the race… Good luck!


The annual City2Surf is just around the corner and for many participants it’s an event they’ll be doing for the first time.

If distance running isn’t part of your training routine, the 14km run can be quite daunting especially with thousands of people alongside you.

Whether you’ve entered the race to raise money for charity or are trying to finish in a set time below is a guide to get you across the finish line injury free and well prepared for the event.


1. Get the right gear

Before you begin distance running make sure you’ve got the correct running shoes for your feet. Head to a running store and get fitted with the right pair of shoes for your feet.


2. Practice makes perfect

In the lead up to the City2Surf you’ll do just 2 long distance runs. One at the start of your preparation and then one the week before the City2Surf. Make sure you time both runs.


3. Interval training is key

Interval training is the most effective way to get fit and conditioned for an event like the City2Surf. Interval training involves short bursts of high intensity exercise with timed rest periods between each effort. With that in mind I recommend 3 to 4 interval sessions a week with a tempo 30 to 45 min recovery run on the weekend.

The interval sessions can consist of stairs or hill sprints, a rower or an assault bike. The most effective method is a 30 seconds max effort with 90 seconds recovery. For example you’d set a rower for 30/90 and aim for a certain distance each 30-second effort. You’ll then have 90 seconds to recover after each effort and repeat for a minimum of 10 sets.


4. Food is fuel

Food is also critical in preparation for an event. Make sure you’re getting a high portion of your carbs, which will assist in replenishing and repairing your body post training. Jess has some more tips for you below!

Best of luck to all participants in this year’s City2Surf!



Jess’ Nutrition Tips Before and After the Marathon


Make sure you have a high carb, low GI breakfast before the big race – to ensure you have the sustained energy you need to get through an endurance type workout like the City2Surf. Poached eggs on wholegrain toast with avocado, oatmeal with berries, cinnamon and a scoop of protein powder or my Power Protein Smoothie are all great options.

If you need a snack during the race; banana, raw nuts or one of my Sugar-Free Protein Balls are the perfect mid-run snack.

It’s so tempting to treat a big exercise event like this as an opportunity to eat whatever you like. But it’s actually so much more important to fuel your body well after you finish – you will recover faster! So make sure you have a full meal – complete with a healthy wholegrain and good quality protein. Try my teriyaki chicken or Japanese-inspired salmon with brown rice and some steamed green veggies. Your body will thank you!




About BeFit

BeFit Training is personalised group-training studio catering for all fitness levels in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. We’ve merged one on one training with group training to give our clients the best of both worlds. We develop creative and dynamic programs around our clients goals but train in a fun and energetic group environment.
Click here to find out more about BeFit Training




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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.