What was I thinking?

Unfit, Overweight - 5 months to a half marathon

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01/10/2012 at 12:51

So I've been convinced to enter the Bath Half Marathon in March next year.

I'm new to running (more jogging really) as I only started about a year ago on the treadmill to try to loose weight after having kids. It's only been in the last couple of weeks that I've moved from treadmill to outside and have been shocked at how much harder I have to work! 

I've only agreed to do the half marathon in order to raise some money for a blood cancers research charity. I'm really scared. 

The furthest I've ever run is 10k on the treadmill a couple of months ago and I'm not as fit now as I was then - and it's so much harder outside - hills and things. I'm also pretty overweight which doesn't help. Need to cut out the chocolate & wine and get the trainers on more regularly. 

Have I got any hope of sorting myself out enough to get around a half marathon in 5 months?

01/10/2012 at 13:04

Certainly nothing to stop you getting fit for the half marathon, if you can put in the training.  Of course, there are a lot of winter months between now and the event... so you don't have the benefit of summer training...  and, for me, outdoor running at LEAST twice a week (complemented by gym and treadmill work) is needed.   I don't know the Bath course, but you'll know that it's in a hilly area. You'll face running in some unpleasant weather, in the dark.

So...  don't be scared. Be realistic.  5 months is plenty, but can you commit, given the other things going on in your life?  If, along side your running, you work to cut out rubbish out of your diet (well nearly cut it out )  then you can look forward to feeling loads healthier, looking better, feeling confident and also raising some cash for a good cause next spring.  That's all great motivation!  And if you can do it, then do it!  And if you can't REALISTICALLY do it, no one will criticise... but I suggest you don't just give up.  Look for a 10K, or even a 10 mile race around the same time. This would be more achievable and still something that will bring most of the benefits. Maybe target a summer half marathon next year.  

Whatever you choose, make sure you enjoy it!

01/10/2012 at 14:13

You have plenty of time. Why not take a step back and have some shorter term goals.

Firstly find a 12 week half marathon plan to start in December/January time and find out where you need to be before that starts.. I am sure that there will be a few 5 or 10k santa dashes and reindeer runs which you could use as  training and a stepping stone and not half as daunting as a half marathon.

I have a marathon for April next year but if I thought about that too much now I think I would give up. Instead I have been working towards a half marathon and slowly building my fitness for some serious training in January.

Running on a treadmill is better than no running at all so keep going with that and feel proud of being able to do that - Having kiddies makes finding "me" time really hard so you are already doing loads more than many people are...and yes outside is harder because its different - once you get out a bit more it will get easier. I find treadmill harder work because its not what I am used to so dont give up too soon.

Be patient and it will all come together. even if to start with you do your shorter runs outside and then slowly build them up.

 

 

01/10/2012 at 18:16

+ vote for RW's and gemgemx's advice. Intermediate goals are great motivation.  You can have great fun with 5Ks, which are in no way inferior to a HM, by the way! They're just different.  

You're right to choose another goal aside losing weight, as I've read repeatedly that it's better to lose weight as a by-product of achieving another goal than to pursue it in its own right.   Treadmills, hmm, they are often criticised, but to be honest, it's far better to stick to a treadmill routine over winter if that's what you prefer, than to keep saying oh, it's too dark or too cold - easily done!  Ideally, you'll do mostly road or trail runs, but don't be too harsh on yourself if you need to come inside.

Totally agree about following a structured plan.  But also, don't be afraid of modifying it if you need to.  There's no shame in run/walking whenever you need to, and you decide when to take a rest day, not your schedule.   Think in terms of weeks and months to make really solid gains, but enjoy those moments when you suddenly notice you can go a bit further or a bit faster.. It's a long game, so it's worth enjoying every step of the way if you can, not just the final race.

Good luck and keep us posted!

01/10/2012 at 19:04

you can easy do it in that time

01/10/2012 at 19:25

Thank you for advice and encouragement.

I've found a nice flat 5k to do in 5 weeks time - hopefully will be able to manage that without breaking - entrance fee goes to the British Legion, so as my husband is in the forces it seems appropriate. I've also found a 10k not too far from me in December..... all the race finishers get a Christmas pudding - yummy! Might not help with the weight loss but will probably help with getting me across the end line. 

I'm fairly happy to go out in any weather as long as it's not too icy or too dark. Treadmill is going to have to play a part when my husband's not around though. That's when I adopt my excellent parenting skills of employing TV / Ipad / DS to entertain the kids while I have 30 mins on the running machine. 

When I first got on the treadmill I followed a couch to 5k plan which was excellent for me. I have no will power (hence am in the position of being overweight and unfit) so the structure of a plan that tells me what I have to do really works.

Edited: 01/10/2012 at 19:33
01/10/2012 at 23:35
If you can already do 10k on a treadmill upping it to 21.1 outside in 5 months is fine, relax dog out the numerous half marathon guides, add an extra couple if weeks to a plan that suits you to help cover the fact you might pick up a small niggle or two and go for it.

You say about overweight... Well don't worry about it or diet. I'm doing WeightWatchers which combined with getting ready for a marathon is having an amazing effect 27 weeks of diet 20 weeks of running and I've lost around 4st 8lbs.

Don't panic, remind yourself this is going to be fun. For me the hardest time is when you are just about finished changing into your running gear and you don't want to step out of your comfy house... As soon as you are outside you relax forget that and just have fun.
02/10/2012 at 14:07

Wow booktrunk - 4 stone 8 in 6 months is amazing - Congratulations!! You must be feeling fabulous. 

Good run this morning. It was the first outside run that I haven't felt like I've been wearing iron boots. Only 4k but it was a bit faster than I have been and definately felt more comfortable. Feeling confident enough to go book a 5k for 4 weeks time.

02/10/2012 at 15:22

Good luck with your 5k.

Yes, I feel amazing, I look at pictures and cannot believe that it's me in the old pictures.

02/10/2012 at 16:44

Hi Rose,

I also have entered the Bath Half in March.

You will be fine - I also have really only ever done 10k's for charity - but decided to enter the Half anbout 2months ago to push myself further and it worked - i am now up to about 9 - 10 miles when i run - still dont feel i have lost ANY weight lol - but fit is better than thin so dont worry! Sometimes 'i think' when you are trying to go that little bit further maybe don't do so many runs in a week just have 1-2 long ones then give yourself a few days to recover - i find if i have a lot of little runs 5-10k in the week and then attempt alonger one i am too tired, but giving yourself 2-3 days break i find i can have a much better longer run.

Anyway I just wanted to wish you luck and to be honest I'm glad someone else will be there who is not a professional ( have a feeling i will be at the back heheh) You will get there, but definately go outside more - you need to get used ot those hills.

xxx

02/10/2012 at 17:12

I think I'm going to go and walk the course so I can assess how much up hill I need to get used to. The race is officially flat with a few 'undulations', but I know Bath pretty well and I'm not sure that any of it is flat at all. I'm wondering whether it's a terminology issue and what they call an undulation is what I would call a hill and what they call a hill is actually what I would call a mountain? 

02/10/2012 at 22:49

Get Fit - well done on your run today. Maybe there's a friendly neighbour who can trade childcare if hubby's not around? Keep at it. I think you're brilliant for being so brave. 

02/10/2012 at 23:08

Hi Get Fit Rose.  You've got loads of time to get fit enough for a half marathon.  Even though the bulk of your training will be done in winter, I personally love a run on a cold, crisp day (not so keen on wet and windy though!).   The two best pieces of advice I could give you are 1) follow a training plan, and 2) tell as many people as possible that you've entered.  That way you'll make yourself go out and train.  In six months time you'll be thinking about your first marathon ..... Good luck!  

23/02/2013 at 21:23
So... It's now a week until the Bath half marathon. I've generally been quite pleased with my progress and ran 11.5 miles a couple of weeks ago. Since then an old skiing ligament injury on my knee has been a bit niggly so I've cooled off the training a little. My knee is now a little swollen (bit of water on the knee). Not doing the bath half isn't an option as we've raised too much sponsorship to not get around the course. My question is how much should I train this week to put me in the best position for the race? Any advice gratefully received?
23/02/2013 at 22:45

To be honest - I wouldn't train *at all* with an injury until the race itself -  far too risky if you want to try to complete it - there's nothing you can do in the last week that will translate to a fitness improvement for the race anyway really (prob takes 2-3 weeks for a training session to translate to an improvement).  Rest up, ice if needed to get in shape for next week and do a bit of carb loading from 3 days out - with luck you'll be in fine shape by then.  Maybe a bit of fast walking or gentle jogging the day before to loosen up.  I did no running at all in the 2 weeks before my last half (similar niggly injury) and still PB'd by miles after resting to give me the best chance of healing.

Edited: 23/02/2013 at 22:48
24/02/2013 at 00:51

And all the best for the day itself! Look after your injury and have fun on the day!

24/02/2013 at 07:21

You'll get very little 'extra' benefit from training now at this late stage, nor will you lose to much fitness, however you stand to really do some extra damage to yourself at this stage ....... dont do it. Take it easy and just see how it goes on race day.

24/02/2013 at 08:37
Thank you for the advice (especially as you have all given me the same advice!). Seems very strange to not be getting out for a run. Makes me feel a bit helpless and out of control and that I should be doing more to prepare myself. I think I'll go for a long swim or something this week instead, just so I feel like I'm doing something.
25/02/2013 at 10:20

  Hi Get Fit,

  I've just read through this thread and I just wanted to add my support and encouragement.

  I second all the advice you've been given and I'll add that the adrenaline you'll have on the day will take you a long way - although it's very important not to start off too quickly! I ran my first half-marathon a week ago and for the first 3km it felt like absolutely everyone was overtaking me - but things like that really don't matter. What matters is your own personal satisfaction at completing an incredible journey.

Good luck!

25/02/2013 at 10:42

good luck, and have fun.

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