City2Surf Preparation

The City2Surf is just a little over two months away, which means that it’s time to start training regardless of whether you’re doing it for the first time or you’re aiming to beat your best result.

One of the best way to start your preparation is to work backwards from the date of the City2Surf (12 August) to see how many weeks of training you have left and set yourself targets each week. Slowly build up your distance and ideally you should at least attempt the distance (14 kilometres) a week before race day.


If you have never done the City to Surf before or are not used to doing a lot of running, it’s crucial for you to start slowly and then build up your training. The important factor is not speed, but rather clocking up the kilometres. Start with walking, building up to running for a section and then back to walking.

Note: If you are new to exercise, over 40 years old, have a health problem, or take regular medication, check with your doctor before commencing your training.


If you have done the City2Surf before, your goal should be to beat your best time or be quicker than last year. Aim to build your training to beyond the 14 km distance, up to around 20 km depending on your target finish time.

Here are a few tips to get your training started.

  • You should aim to do at least two runs each week, maybe a shorter one during the week and a longer run on the weekend.
  • The best way to see how your training is going and to motivate yourself is to record the distance and time each run you do. There are smartphone apps available that uses GPS to track your route, time and average speed, as well as roughly working out how many kilojoules/calories you burn. Or if don’t want to carry your phone with you while you’re running, is an excellent website that can perform the same functions.
  • Keep your training interesting by walking/running along scenic routes (like along the beach or across the Harbour Bridge) instead of suburban streets.
  • Choose a route with one or two hills to help prepare you for ‘Heartbreak Hill’ (the 2 km climb from Rose Bay to Vaucluse).
  • Interval training is one of the best ways to increase your fitness – it’s a great way to get your legs ticking over at a faster pace so they adapt to higher demands. For example, you can run quicker for a minute and then drop back to your normal pace. Or run at a faster pace past three telegraph poles before dropping back to normal speed.
  • Consider training with a friend to make it easier to stay motivated.
  • Set yourself targets to achieve in each training session and reward yourself (like a sports massage) if you meet them.
  • Stretch for at least 5 to 10 minutes after your training session to help your recovery and minimise muscle soreness.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after your training sessions (you can lose up to 10% performance if you’re 2% dehydrated).
  • Include a couple of rest days in the week to give your body a chance to recover and prevent burnout.

Below are 3 blogs that we published last year regarding the City2Surf.

Feel free to contact us if you need specific help with your preparation.



Andrew is the owner and principal trainer of Health Jigsaw. He is a highly sought-after trainer and has been a personal trainer since 1997. Andrew has previously worked in a five-star luxury resort, large fitness centres and an exclusive personal training studio.

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