Couch to 5K

Some sort of hare-brained scheme...advice please!

There is a half marathon halfway through September. Someone I love a lot has asked me if I want to run it with her and given that I thought I might be burying her at one point this year (long story, happy ending), I really really do.

Is this...

1) do-able

2) advisable

3) a silly idea


Graduated last week but have done two 7k runs this week and found them reasonably comfy. Have time to run regularly, especially once summer holidays start.

Should I just go for it?

10 Replies

I don't think its silly per se but I couldn't do it by then! but would you be prepared to walk parts of it? how experienced is your running partner? There are lots of training plans available but general advice is to increase distance by no more than 10% a week, have you got enough weeks? If you up mileage too fast I think you are risking injury

1 like

Totalbeginner says it all really. Have a look at HM training plans and see whether you can fit them into your life, but it is certainly possible if you put the work in. If you have just graduated you may be better off just doing one longer run per week, initially. I would also suggest doing some core strength exercises if you are going for the HM. We often develop our legs and abs when running, with the consequence that they often end up out of balance with our upper bodies and in particular lower backs. Swimming and weights are both good for core work.

Good luck with it.


Thanks. I do (lightish!) weights already and weekly yoga, which I think helps the core thing, but am looking at actual advice about cross-training and things. Dunno whether it will indeed happen now, as it's on a Sunday and I may not be able to get back for work, but think I'm going to start HM training anyway, just in case!


I would say get a good regime set up and give it a go. But be good to yourself too and don't overdo it. The joy of still having your friend around to do it with will surely help to some extent too. Good luck - and be careful! :)


It's 13 miles! If it's in September it will be tough to be ready. I wouldn't do it to be honest but you might be a lot younger and fitter than I am

I looked at Asics training plan for a half marathon the other day, also this September coincidentally. It asks you a set of questions and then comes up with a plan, then it lets you pick how many times a week you want to run, eg 2, 3 or 4 (four is hard as there's little recovery time), then it asks if you want to aim for a slow, average or quick time. Once you've answered those few questions, plus whether you're male/female and how old you are, you get a training plan, complete with how quick you should pace the runs. you'd need to have a device to measure your pace (or it would be advisable) If you download a plan then it will be a good indicator of how much you need to do to in the way of preparation. That might give you the answer you're looking for


This sounds good, is it free or a paid-for thing? Do you have a link? Thanks for the advice :)


Hi Tea Fairy :)

Just responding as I had a very similar situation myself. A friend who has been running for nearly a year and is up to running 14 k and increasing slowly every week asked me to join her in her October HM. I graduated recently and started the B210k programme, I'm currently running 9 km in week 4.

She was really keen for me to join as she introduced me to C25K, she says I've been making much quicker progress in my training than she did and I'll undoubtedly have caught up by October. However, at this point I don't think I'm going to run. I feel that it would be too greater leap to be running 21 km by the race. I don't want to end up being injured, burning out come to hating running (which I currently love) due to the pressure of a HM. If I am going to run one I'd be intent on running it properly and getting a time I'm happy with and I didn't feel the timing would allow for that. I've said that I would like to do this at some point and maybe spring next year would be a good time.

I realise that you have your own reasons for wanting to do this and you'll get loads of good advice about how to proceed if you want to, I just thought I'd share my thoughts.

Good luck what ever you decide, Emily :)


Crumbs!! That's ambitious. Only you and your legs can answer that one. There is the option of doing it as walk/ run I suppose but even then it would be a tough ask. Don't envy you the decision


Thanks all for the advice. You are blooming lovely humans. Think I may have to leave it not because I want to but because it involves flying out (we'd stay with another close friend, bit of a girly weekend as well) and I don't think I can comfortably get back for work on the Monday as the half is a Sunday.

But I'm going to look at a HM training plan of some sort anyway, and we'll look for a less awkwardly-timed race, perhaps not quite so soon.


Here is the link

At least if you input your details, what you want etc, then they will crunch the numbers (FREE) and at least you will then have some idea of the level of work required to get you there in the short space you have


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