training for a half-marathon

Hi folks, has been a while since I posted on the forum but I have been reading posts regularly. Wondering if there are any C25K graduates out there who have moved onto bigger runs and have any advice for me?

I have tried to get going with c25k a few times now, but because my little girl was such a terrible sleeper, and *needed* boobies to get back to sleep, I never made it past week 3 because sometimes a week would pass without me getting a chance to run, and then I would have to re-start. BUT - the good news is we have successfully sleep trained her as of Saturday night and I cannot WAIT to get this going.

So imagine my luck when, just as I was pulling on my running gear, my friend texted me so ask whether I was up for the Milton Keynes Half Marathon in March. Without hesitation I said yes - what a great idea - and I was glad to have a motivator and a friend to buddy up with.

But then reality set in - I have never done a half marathon before, I've never done 10K, hell I've never even got close to 5K yet. Is there enough time to build up to a half marathon before March or I am I being over-optimistic?

For all intents and purposes I am a complete beginner - i'm not quite a couch potato (does any mum of a 15 month old have the time to sit on the sofa, EVER?), I am always dashing around and also get around 3-4 hours of steady walking a week (with buggy, toddler and shopping). But I have a long way to go....

Should I be kinder to myself and sign up to the 5K or 10K instead?



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14 Replies

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  • Hi. I started C25K at the end of last January, and I ran my first half on Sunday (the Oxford Half - what a brilliant day!). That's about eight and a half months. I don't think I could have done it sooner. I did manage to run 5k by week 9 of C25K, and a week after completing, ran 10k, albeit slowly. I did my first 10k race in June, then followed a 16 week training plan, running 5 times a week to prepare for my half.

    To be brutally honest, I don't think it would be wise to shoot for that half in March, unless you find that you're a natural runner and develop very quickly. Bear in mind that the winter months lie between, and you may not be able to run as much as you want/need to. During the middle of the year there are lots of HMs, and you could plan to do one a little later in the year. Unless, of course, you're happy if you can't run the full distance and do a lot of walking. On Sunday, one man did walk it, fairly slowly towards the end.

    10k is a step up from 5k, although not too big a step. 21km is a huge leap from 10k. As well as the physical aspect of it, you need to get the mental strength to push on, too.

    I admire your ambition, and if you keep that attitude, you'll get there. Don't overreach, though.

    Good luck.

  • Hi Steve, thanks for your insight on this. I think I should start training as if I am going to do the 10K in March - and then come January, I can book either the 5K, 10K or half depending on where I am at. I wouldn't say i'm a 'natural' runner at all!! I want this to be a positive challenge, not a challenge that ends up making me feel worried an defeated ... thanks again :)

  • also well done on your running achievements!

  • I think there are quite a few here who got from C2HM in 6 months. I did, and I was 46 and very out of shape. It is a realistic goal if you are consistent. Not an easy one, but quite doable. Try using the search function at the top right for other people's HM stories. there are plenty on here. And keep us posted with your progress.

  • I agree with Rig, you have 4 months and if you set your mind to it you can do it - there are plenty of posts here and training plans online.

    Maybe you could consider a run/walk one (Jeff Galloway for instance) - and I think that would increase your chances to arrive at the finish line with no injuries, and be able to go for an easy 6 k run 2 days later (that is what it did for me - at 52...)

  • Reading Rig & Paola's replies, perhaps I was a bit negative. You have to decide for yourself, but I think you might have a good idea in keeping your options open for a while. Good luck with whatever you do choose to do.

  • Hiya. I think I'd been running regularly for just over a year when I did my half marathon, BUT it was a trail/fell one with about 3000 feet of off-road up to contend with, so different challenges to a road race. I think you could be ready for something flat much sooner.

    Saying that, I think running 13 miles on Tarmac would crucify my legs and numb my brain, so maybe the effort is similar.

    I'd say book and train for the 10k, then choose a half later on. And you might be a 'natural' runner and just not know yet.

  • Thank you all for your thoughts and experiences. I'm going to stick with training for a 10K in March, then look at doing HM in the summer. Then if by January I decide I am one of these 'natural runners' maybe I can revise :)

  • I think that's a wise decision taz :)

  • Like a few people on here, I did C25k to HM in just under 6 months so it's v v v doable. Are you working too? In which case I would say try going out early mornings to get the training in which gives you 'me' time too before work and dropping off for childcare etc... I've been there too but I didn't run then and I so wish I had been as it might have kept me sane. Good luck ๐Ÿ˜Ž

  • mornings are my favourite time to run :) now that I know she won't wake while I am getting ready and halt my plans, I can do that now! I do work but only 3 days a week. xxx

  • It does also depend on what you mean by "Running" . I have been training for and will run a HM in 2 weeks time by using the Jeff Galloway Run/walk programme. Like one of these ( they are all similar) I have "expanded" on his programme a little - because I have a "normal running life" centred around running at parkrun every Saturday and at my local running club every Sunday ( which is "non-stop" running) but I have followed his long-run run/walk planning. Hence I have run out to 20Klm using run/walk and it is what I will do next Sunday. I don't feel that I could run non-stop for 21 Klm - and having done the run/walk, I don't think that I would even want to. BUT -- IF I finish, I will still get the T-Shirt!!! :)

  • thanks bazza! something to consider, I will look into it :) I quite like run-walking :)

  • 9 months and 4 days from starting C25K, I did my first on Sunday (Great Eastern, Peterborough), highly recommended as its very flat (ish) :)

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