Couch to 5K
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Ooops - Half Marathon

Hi All, I'm looking for some help please. I've set myself a goal which I'm starting to regret already, I've just signed up and paid to do a half marathon in September (6.5 months away). I can currently run about a half mile without stopping but then find it difficult a to commit to further. What I am looking for is some help and guidance on how to train for the half marathon, both from physical ability and food nutrients any ideas and apps would be greatly appreciated. Please help if you are able to.. Thanks Steve

P.S - are these new Fitbit watches any good? Thanks

7 Replies

First things first, Steve. This forum is primarily for people working through the NHS C25k running programme, which is designed to get you running for 30 minutes continuously, three times per week in about nine weeks of training. I don't think there is a more appropriate starting point for you than this training plan. It will build your stamina and technique in a gentle way, reducing your risk of injury and as thousands can attest it really does work There are other Half marathon training plans for beginners, but they may be too aggressive, depending on your fitness.

I would suggest you go here download the app or podcasts and start your C25k journey straight away. Keep posting on here and you will get all the advice and support you need from others, many of whom are working towards their first half marathons. Your time scale is realistic, if demanding, but it is possible. Good luck.


Yep, can't add anything further to Iannoda's wise (as always) words. C25K is the way to go...


First of all, get yourself to commit to running further. If you have committed to doing a 13 mile race you will need to find the commitment to run more than half a mile. If you can't find the commitment it isn't going to happen. Commitment is everything.

Then do C25k. This will get you up to running 3 miles-ish in a bit over 2 months and in the habit of regular running. Then build up the distance week by week until you can do a ten miler. If you can do ten in training, thirteen on the day is easily doable.

Do some squats and lunges to strengthen your legs. A bit of cross training on days you don't run is always good, but not obligatory. Definitely the squats though.

As to nutrition: eat lots of vegetables and fruit, some meat and fish, a little starch and no sugar. Don't eat anything that comes in a box or has a TV advert. Drink a gallon of water a day.

App and techwise, all you really need is a way of telling how far you have run and how long it has taken you. At the most basic level you can do this with mapmyrun online and a watch.

Good luck. It will be a great sense of acheievement when you cross that finish line.


Can't add anything to what IannodaTruffe and Rignold have said. There is no easy way to run a HM from scratch. You'll have to put in the training. If you follow their advice to the letter, you should be ok but, one step at a time. Do the full c25k programme, without skipping any runs, then build up your mileage in a sensible way from there. Make sure you run in good shoes and stretch well after each run. Tech won't help you run but determination, effort, commitment and c25k most definitely will. Good luck

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All of the above is fantastic advice. I would just add by choosing a scenic place to run for your long run of the week- along a river or canal etc - stops any boredom and are quite flat making it easier to get the miles in. Good Luck!


A half marathon takes a huge amount of determination and mental strength - as well as physical fitness. Dunno how old you are, but for me 6 months to train for a HM wouldn't be enough. But speaking personally, I am slow in my progression of distances. It took me a year to get to 10K. There are others on this forum who have reached the HM distance in a far quicker time than I ever could, but they all of them have done the C25K plan FIRST! Do that first and in 9 weeks time you'll know yourself if you're ready for the HM in September.


Some excellent advice above.

Just to add that some people advocate a run-walk approach. That's how the C25K programme works in preparation for you doing longer continuous runs. If at some stage in your preparations between now and September you realise that running the whole distance is unrealistic, you could plan to do that and have more chance of getting round injury-free.


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