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To think it MAY be possible to go from couch to half marathon in 9 months?

(21 Posts)
Blueskiesandcherrypies Mon 26-May-14 14:55:37

And I really do mean couch! I had a baby 4 weeks ago and am ready to start improving my health and fitness. I'm about 2.5 stone overweight and a size 16 (healthy eating and exercising will probably reduce my weight, but if it doesn't, it doesn't matter, I'm not going to get hung up on it and don't want to diet). Anyway..... aibu to have expressed my interest in entering a half marathon next March. Plan is.... Couch to 5km over next 2/3 months (can't remember exactly how long the plan is), then work up to 10km, then work as hard as I can to get up to 20km (almost half marathon). I really want to do this!! I am literally starting from nothing though, even the 'run 1 minute' on week 1 is daunting!

Please share your thoughts and experiences!

CMOTDibbler Mon 26-May-14 15:02:44

Yes, its very possible, but as you are only 4 weeks post partum you need to start very slowly. I'd say 6 weeks of building up power walking with the pushchair (you can use the c25k podcasts as gentle walking and then fast walking to build it up), then C25k (9 weeks), and then follow a beginner half marathon plan which is normally 16 weeks.

Stuckonthebaby Mon 26-May-14 15:03:34

You can definitely do this. While you have to be careful having just had a baby, starting with couch to 5k sounds like a sensible plan. Just take it easy and listen to your body.

While I hadn't just had a baby and I did go to the gym, I was never a runner but decided on September to do a marathon and ran it 8 months later. It was a lot of work - I could even run 10 mins non stop at the start but made it round the marathon in 4hrs in the end! Go for it!

Stuckonthebaby Mon 26-May-14 15:04:33

couldn't I mean!

hotdog74 Mon 26-May-14 15:05:39

Well it MAY be possible yes depending on your age and previous sporting history. However, I think it will be very hard work.

I'm 40 and started couch to 5k in Jan. I can now run 5k and am working up to a 10k race beginning of August having got to 8.5 km up to now. However I am taking it very slowly to avoid injury, and depending on your age that will have a big factor on whether you can do it at such a speed so soon after giving birth.

I think it is probably possible - would I want to do it? no way!

Nancy66 Mon 26-May-14 15:08:24

yes, perfectly possible.

A lot of people go from couch to full marathon in 6 months.

It's scary how unfit you are at first but it's amazing how quickly the fitness and stamina builds.

I've done quite a few marathons, half and 10ks now but on my first ever run I managed a grand total of....36 seconds before I had to stop

footballagain Mon 26-May-14 15:13:48

Yes, I believe it's do-able. I think I'd go straight to couch to 10k though, or maybe do half of couch to 5k then move it up.

Watto1 Mon 26-May-14 15:18:43

I hope it's doable as I am planning to do a half marathon in March too! I'm also overweight and have never run before. I'm on week 6 of Couch25k and have just managed 20 mins running non-stop. I would never have thought it possible 6 weeks ago when I was counting down the seconds to the end of a minute!

There is a C25k thread over on exercise. Come on over!

toolonglurking Mon 26-May-14 15:18:49

I've just done exactly that! smile

Ran my first ever half marathon yesterday, having only started running in September last year. (honestly, I wouldn't even run if I was being chased!)

I am 5ft8 and 15 stone, so have quite a bit of extra weight, but I still managed to get myself through the half marathon with a smile (for most of it). I don't have a super sporty history (as my weight would suggest) but have always tried to stay reasonably active - so I think, if you want to do it, then you can do it!

*You will have to put your heart and soul into it though!

CrispyFB Mon 26-May-14 15:19:52

I did pretty-much couch (baby was 7 months old) to full marathon in 8 months. Admittedly I only ran 94% of the marathon (yay Garmin for clocking that accurately!) but at 7 months from couch I did run 20 miles without stopping and I'm more proud of that than my marathon where I first started walking bursts from 14 miles due to a dodgy hip.

Whilst I had no real history of running other than cross country at school, I did walk a LOT at that point (think 8 mile brisk walks with the buggy once a week) and had a history pre-pregnancy of cycling, hiking etc and many years before that, gym stuff. My BMI was 30 so not excessive as a starting point either. So although I wasn't massively fit, I knew my body had the potential.

It all depends on you and the body you have. I have other friends who struggle with even the couch to 5K part who were lighter than me - quite simply genetics and past history were not on their side. Some of my friends have been regularly running for years and who still have not achieved the 5K time I reached in the first month or even close to it.

Then there is DH who did no training whatsoever, had never run more than a few miles in his life and beat me in a 10K at his first attempt when I was in the middle of my marathon training. And who later ran a half marathon with practically no training at all and beat my time too. Genetics plays a MASSIVE part, he is a jammy bastard who does not appreciate how hard other people have to work to even complete the course. I have much more respect for my friends with their hard-earned 40 minute 5K times than I do for DH who runs a 25 minute 5K with a tenth of their dedication and perseverance.

You'll probably work out within a month or so whereabouts on the scale you'll fall! I will say though, the harder you push yourself (and I mean REALLY push yourself) the quicker the gains. The most progress is made at the start but it's also the most unpleasant part in my experience!

PassTheAnswers Mon 26-May-14 15:22:43

Possible yes, but I would advise targeting 5 and 10ks before half, even just to get used to running in a crowd and race nutrition- parkruns are great! Free weekly 5ks and a great community

. I started running in oct (6 months pp after cs) and was racing 10k a at a decent speed in March with a half marathon planned to the beginning of May. However, I got injured due to poor biomechanics and making the error of racing through an injury. I've had an enforced 6 weeks off and weekly physio. Expensive and frustrating and woul have been easily avoided had I been sensible.

Start slow, especially if you are pp and don't increase your mileage/effort too much in one go. There are lots of plans eg runners world which will get you round from start. Give as much time as possible to stretching, core work, and balance exercises as these really as crucial as a runner.

As a beginner your improvement curve will be rewarding.

MeanwhileHighAboveTheField Mon 26-May-14 15:43:32

Yes, I did it in 5 months.

I think I did 6 weeks to 5k, 6 weeks to 10k, then up to half marathon distance smile

MeanwhileHighAboveTheField Mon 26-May-14 15:44:13

It wasn't 4 weeks after having a baby though!

AmberNectarine Mon 26-May-14 16:52:49

I bloody hope so - I was on the couch in mid Jan and have first HM at the end of July. This week I ran two 10k races (58 and 63 mins respectively), so I think it can be done!

Beardlover Mon 26-May-14 17:32:33

Yes totally doable BUT don't leave building up the milage to last minute because that's when injuries happen. Build it slow but steady.

Beardlover Mon 26-May-14 17:41:59

The hardest bit will be getting going initially and the winter months. Arm yourself with a reflective top and torch and keep running.

Agree do the couch to 5k thing then after that add one extra mile every three weeks or so.

SaucyJack Mon 26-May-14 18:06:44

More than do-able- especially if you were used to exercising before the birth. I had DD3 in March, started exercising after the 6-week check and am now easily running 10k.

BakerStreetSaxRift Mon 26-May-14 18:42:27

Totally doable. I got up to half marathon distance from nothing in 3.5 months. There are probably better ways to do it but I just started at 2k (at a just-about-running speed so I could keep going), then legs ached for a week, then 2.5k, then 3, then 4 week by week (doing about 3 or 4 runs a week). Once I got passed about 13k the higher distances got easier so could step it up quite quickly.

Great idea. Good luck and enjoy it!

Blueskiesandcherrypies Mon 26-May-14 19:02:57

Thank you so much for all the encouraging replies!

Well done on your own achievements - some really inspirational posts.

Other than walking everywhere, I didn't do any exercise prior to having my ds (he's my 4th so I've been in permanent pregnancy/having baby mode for the last 9 years. I'm done now!). However, I did run the Bupa 10km a few years back and trained for that from 'couch' too.

I'm excited to get started, my only real concern is that ds was born by c/section 4 weeks ago so I don't want to aggravate anything. I do feel fine and able to get going - slowly - and HV reckons it'll be ok.

Thanks all - more inspiration and encouragement very welcome!

MetellaEstMater Mon 26-May-14 19:25:29

Completely achievable. I ran a 10km race yesterday 4 months after having DD2. Due to time/tiredness my training was predominantly HIIT based and I have done a lot of strength training (squats etc.) to avoid having too much impact on my body postpartum. This meant just one run a week but I got round with no walking or stops and I am by no means a gifted athlete!

Remember to do your pelvic floors btw! Running takes its toll in that department when you're postnatal.

Good luck!

Joules68 Mon 26-May-14 23:21:24

Good luck!

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