advice on where to start....

complete beginner - couch to marathon

17 messages
30/09/2013 at 10:55
Hi, I'm looking advice. I have just had my 3rd (and final) daughter, and am now finally admitting that I need to think about losing weight and more importantly getting fit. I have never exercised in my life, a proper achievement at 35 , and want advice on how to move forward. I want to run a marathon next year and would love to know which ones are the 'easiest' ( **nervously giggles** ). I'd love to sign up for the Belfast marathon as it is my 'home' marathon but I now live in Lincs and I can't logistically take the family to Belfast just for a marathon over a bank holiday weekend so that one is out....other ideas? Also - what's the chances I can actually achieve couch to marathon by next year - i'm not looking to do a mega time, completing it is my goal
30/09/2013 at 11:25

Hi,

I suggest that you look at this programme to begin with http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx

It's very popular and I'm sure many people have gone on to do a marathon after completing it.

Best of luck!

30/09/2013 at 11:55
I did complete a 5k in My whilst 6 months pregnant if that counts
30/09/2013 at 12:07

Hi. 

OK, fundamentals.  You need a decent pair of trainers, and a decent running bra.

Trainers, go to a running shop seriously they can offer you the best advice, costs more then buying online probably but is usally worth it especially for your first pair, if you buy online randomly from our recommendations, you might get lucky first time or might find the shoes cripple your feet, and you basically have to start again and just buy another pair.

I'm a real fan of the shock absorber ultimate run bra, others find it fiddly to put on but it works at holding eveything in place

A marathon next yes is do-able, as long as you aren't expecting to break any records, if you just want to get around, then yes.

An example of a lincolnshire marathon

http://www.mablethorpemarathon.com/ this is a week away, so you would have a year to prepare for the next one

If you seriously want to do this then you might as well start with a couch to 10k plan. These take between 10 - 13 weeks, you can start with a couch to 5k plan but if you are going to be running a marthon in a year or less then you might as well accept you need to be able to run 10k, as that's just under 1/4 of the marathon 26.2M / 42.2km.

There are training plans out there. For example this one, http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_4/138.shtml but it looks quite complicated... There are simpler ones out there for example this one looks a lot less complicated. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1462924 

Also look on the nhs website they have couch to 5k then an additional plan to go from 5k to 10k might take an extra few weeks but starting from scratch it might be easier.

once you can run 5 or 10k you can start looking at a marathon plan, quite a few people enter 10k or half marathons as part of their training that's up to you.  I did'nt my first organised run was a marathon as I wanted it to be very special and have no diluted the experience, with hindsight it would have probably been easier and less nerves involved if i'd done something else beforehand.

So get to running 10k then on here, various net places you find your marathon plan, including a site i used which is my.asics.co.uk you can say you can run less then 20 minutes and it will build you a plan, but I think that it's going to be easier if you can get running upto 10k you will know then if you are serious and going to stick with it and then get a marathon plan, to take you from the 10k to a marathon.

I went from 0 to marathon in 22 weeks it wasn't pretty but It can be done.  With hindsight i'd have taken more time, entered test events done the free 5km parkruns that are held all over the country each saturday morning, but if you are serious, what you need is determination, decent trainers, and a bra. I won't lie the first 4 or 5 weeks of training are hard, your legs will ache, and you will think my ghod this is hard work.... But do stick with it, as it really is worth it. Oh and try to be strict tell your family it's x days of the week and i'm doing my jog today come what may.. You need to get into habits and stick with them doesn't matter if it's warm,cold,pissing it down, just go out and get it done.  The hardest thing is stepping out the door, after 30 seconds in the rain you are soaked so after that it really doesn't matter if you run through

30/09/2013 at 12:09

Congrats on making the first step - deciding to get running. The next step is harder though - getting out there and doing it!

I agree with Corius that the Couch to5k is a great place to start. I did it about 3 years ago and now I am running regular 10ks and Half marathons, with my first full marathon planned for spring next year!

Just get out there and not think too much about it. Don't run too fast - run at a pace you can still have a conversation. Then take it from there. Good luck!

30/09/2013 at 12:40
thanks - and advice on which is the flatest uk marathon?
30/09/2013 at 12:57

I would break it down into smaller more manageable chunks and maybe postpone the full marathon by a year.  The goals I would go for are 5km, 10km, half marathon and then go for the full marathon, this will ease your body into it and place less strain on it.  Start by following a programme such as the very popular couch 2 5km and if possible find a friend to train with or look into Run England (or equivalent if not in England) groups which are there to help and support runners at all stages especially the start! 

Also completing the marathon is a great goal, don't listen to people trying to pressurise you into times, it's one hell of an achievement for everyone especially those who turn their lives around to do it. 

Good luck!

30/09/2013 at 13:21

Looks like you got loads of great advice.

I was going to suggest Mablethorpe too... it has a reputation for being a nice one. Why not have a day on the coast this weekend and go and watch this year's race?

If I was to put my sensible head on, I'd also say that the ideal thing for you to do is NOT to do a marathon next year though. Build up through the distances. Do a few 10Ks before moving up as far as a 10-13 mile race next year. This will give your body... particularly your bones and ligaments, time to strengthen and adjust shape at a sustainable rate...  and put you in great shape for a crack at a marathon in 2015.

If you wind the clock forward to new year's eve on 2015,what gives you the best chance of having completed a marathon by then?  For most people, it is the patient approach.  Because if you aim for 2014, you may well succeed... but equally you might pick up too many niggly injuries, lose heart and give up running. Too many people do this.

I can only think of one sensible reason to do the marathon next year... if you think you need the fixation of a 2014 marathon in order to get you out of the door to train.   That can certainly be a valid and sensible reason - so if you think that's best for you, don't have any qualms about it.

30/09/2013 at 14:06
if i don't set the ultimate goal for next yr i won't do it if i don't make it at least i'll have tried...no biggy
30/09/2013 at 14:55

Hey babytunas...  that's no problem... you saw my last paragraph anyway!

Don't close your mind completely though... once you've really got into running, you might develop a healthy respect for the completion of a half-marathon. and you might rightly thrilled to get there by next year. But if you still drive on for the full marathon, it can be done, with discipline in the time frame you're looking at.

01/10/2013 at 19:59

I admire you aiming high. I started running 4 years ago from being pretty unfit. The buzz you get from gradually improving is enough to spur you on. 

The first goal is to get to the stage where you can regularly run modest distances/times eg run for 30 minutes, several times per week so that you've got something to build on. After that you can try to increase the distance gradually, push yourself, but not to the point you overdo it and have to break off.

Its good to run short faster runs as well as long ones, as they can be a bit of a grind. I would definitely aim for a half-marathon first, as that is great achievement itself.

Then ask yourself if you could imagine doing it twice!

Have done a few halfs now, it still not easy, but really enjoy them and running generally. Understand why some people find running boring, but I'm not one of them.

Good luck!

 

02/10/2013 at 12:37

Hey babytunas - go for it! I started my own journey into this running lark just 5 weeks ago - and I have my first marathon in April 2014, so we can compare notes as we progress. Booktrunk is right on the bra and trainers thing - that was the best money I spent so far, and I log all my runs with an iphone app so I can see how I progress (even if I feel my run was awful I usually find something is better, my pace, distance or even if it was the same it makes me feel better knowing what I achieved)

I found My Asics website really good - you make a plan by entering personal details on when the race is, how far, current ability and so on and it gives you a day by day plan. I love mine!

Good luck and have fun!

09/10/2013 at 23:38
anyone heard good/bad reviews of chesterfield marathon - been asked to join a 2/3 person relay team for it
09/10/2013 at 23:40

Hi Cascita I was wondereing how the last week has gone?

10/10/2013 at 06:53

It's gone well.....up to 3 miles now as the minimum and aiming for 3.5 - 4 if I feel up to it. I still wish I ran more of the route, but I know I am taking less walks at least. I'm working on my self esteem now, cos it's weird how I manage to talk myself into walking still, like I don't believe I can do it. So I am trying to sort that out. Last night I decided to try a different strategy - I allowed myself to walk more on the first 1.5 miles then challenged myself to run as much as I could to get home, it worked, ran faster splits on the last two miles than the first.....so I know its a mental thing. I will work it out somehow! You have a marathon this weekend right. How's the ankle holding up?? Good luck, I will be mentally screaming for you!!

10/10/2013 at 08:22

Thanks maybe try a shorter run again and gently and very slowly run it all 

Then you will know that you can run x distance which might help the mind.

Yes, Leicester marathon on Sunday. PB chasing current is 4:56 

14/10/2013 at 20:41
well - I've been out just walking as I had the new baby attached to me and the toddler in a pushchair but I've managed to cover 20 miles in 4 separate days at an average of just under 3miles/hr....by my calculations a full marathon is going to take me approx 9hrs at that rate!

but at least i've a target time to aim to beat

This weather the past few days has tied me to the house though

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