What should I eat before the City2Surf?

Fitness, Nutrition // 12WBT Staff

In case you missed it and are looking forward to running in the City2Surf this weekend, check out Michelle’s advice on what to eat in the week before the big event, as seen in the Sun Herald

The week before

  • Many fall into the trap of thinking they should be eating more in the lead up, focus on quality not quantity.
  • Eat low GI carbs every day – think grainy bread, sweet potato rather than normal potato and basmati rice. Low GI means longer lasting energy and also helps keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  • Hydration is key so make sure you are drinking at least 2L of water every day, but don’t go nuts, you can get sick from being over hydrated!

The day before

  • Make sure each meal contains a source of carbohydrates – cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and a sensible (note – not an entire plate!) serve of pasta, basmati rice or a small grainy roll with dinner.
  • Limit your intake of fat and spicy foods. When exercising, your digestion slows down and fatty and spicy foods can cause stomach upsets. Believe me, you don’t want to be caught out!
  • Be conscious of your fluid intake (preferably water) and make sure you are well hydrated. Drinking up to 750ml of sports drinks may also help, as it will help to ensure you body is topped up with the electrolytes you lose when you sweat and can lead to cramping – ouch!

On the day

  • Race day is NOT the day to have a massive breakfast. A piece of fruit with a tub of low fat yoghurt or toast with jam should do the trick!
  • Try to eat about two hours or more before the race, so your body has a chance to digest your breakfast and get all the nutrients and energy from the food into a usable form.
  • Hydrate well, making sure that your wee is not dark in colour! Most of us will be out there for over an hour and chances are you’ll sweat a lot more than you can drink, so make sure you drink enough right from the start.
  • After you have crossed the finish line hydrate well and refuel! For around two hours after exercise your body is primed to repair so make sure you have a healthy food option that contains carbs and protein (think fruit salad with yoghurt, baked beans or eggs on toast etc) and plenty of water.

The big thing to remember is that the City2Surf is meant to be a fun run, so celebrate the fact that you are fit enough to run 14km, enjoy your race and most of all, have fun!

Free Recipe: 12WBT Spaghetti and meatballs

287 Cal per serve
 35 mins prep time
 35 mins cooking time 
4 serves


  • 1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 300g extra lean beef mince
  • 1/2 medium onion, coarsely grated
  • 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
  • olive oil spray
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 400g can diced tomato
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 100g dried wholemeal spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese


 Squeeze the excess moisture from the zucchini in a double thickness of paper towel. Combine the zucchini in a large bowl with the mince, onion, carrot, half of the garlic and the fresh herbs. Season with pepper. Use clean hands to mix until well combined. Shape mixture into 24 balls. Transfer to a plate and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil. Heat over medium heat. Add half the meatballs. Cook for 3 minutes each side, turning gently, or until golden on each side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining meatballs.

Spray the pan with oil. Add the remaining garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer. Add the meatballs and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir in the parsley and balsamic vinegar. Season with pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti following packet directions.

Divide the spaghetti between serving bowls. If you’re making it for the kids or hubbie, simply increase the amount of pasta. Top with the meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle with the parmesan.

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