Unfit, fat fifty one year old

I’m new on here but 2 weeks ago I found out I had been accepted for The London Marathon - felt overjoyed and terrified at the same time. Could I really become a couch potato to finishing a marathon in 28 weeks. So where do I start. I’m an unfit , fat 51 year old and I don’t do any exercise so needed to start from scratch. Tried couch potato 3-4 years ago but didn’t manage to finish it due to an injury. So this time got some proper running shoes from start.

So decided I would try and push myself in first few weeks and go out 4 times a week. Hence today I’ve just started my 3rd week training but I’ve just completed wk 3 of C25K.

I know to most people it doesn’t seem a lot of running but to think 2 weeks ago it was a push to run for a minute. Still a way to go but loving this plan and following the app. It’s a huge help


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13 Replies

  • Wow, you have set yourself a challenge.

    Good luck.

    My concern for a self confessed fat an unfit 51 year old is that you may overdo it in training.

    Of course it is possible to train for a marathon in 28 weeks, but you have to conform to the guide that slow and steady progress is the safest way to train. It is okay to run on alternate days, but as a new runner, you need at least one day off between runs otherwise you raise your injury risk enormously, your muscles develop micro tears when you run and these repair and strengthen on your rest day, not while running. So please do follow the C25k plan and then find a beginners marathon plan.

    There is a Bridge to 10k forum on Health Unlocked, as well as a Marathon and Race Support forum, both inhabited by regular contributors to this forum.

    Keep us posted with your progress and keep it steady

  • Thanks for the reply and I appreciate your advice. At present I’m just taking it slowly and listening to my body. As I’m now into week 4 I know it’s gonna get harder so will do reduce to 3 runs a week from now on. Once I’ve done the 5k I’m gonna look at 5k to 10K training. The reality is that in 26 weeks I will be completing in the marathon but I know it’s highly likely that I will have to have a run/ walk strategy.

    I will keep you posted over the next few weeks

  • You. Are. Very. Brave!

    Not only do l respect your decision but l also believe that with such attitude you can achieve your goal.

    See IannodaTruffe post, it tells you a lot. Get out there, get serious, get proper advice, follow it up to the last word, watch your diet, adjust your life habits and do it ;)

    My goal is similar but l come from a different stock, on a shy and cautious side, and will attempt 42K in a few years.

    People like you can inspire the rest!

  • Wow thank you. It’s posts like this that when the going gets tough I can re read these to keep motivated. As well as my training I’m also on a weight loss plan so diet is also going to play a big part.I try to walk whenever I can to also help build up my general fitness levels and stamina.

    I’m looking forward over the next few months to getting more advice from people

    One thing I forgot to mention is at the minute most of my training is on a treadmill as I work full time and it’s dark on a morning when I would normally train. I try to do one run a week outside.

    Does this matter in these early weeks?

  • Well, legs need to move somehow, don't they ;)

    Get the muscles in the groove first and then adjust training accordingly.

    Also, seek advice and read posts from our Marathon community. There is vast amount of experience and wisdom there!

    All the very best!

  • Will do. I think the London marathon site has a beginners marathon training schedule that starts in jan - but it still says u should be used to running 3 days per week to follow it. Therefore these next 9-10 weeks is just my starter lol

    Thanks again

  • Remember to go steady but slow in order to prevent injuries stopping you in the tracks. The most common beginner's error is running faster and pushing it. Resist and avoid that temptation, leave speed to pros!

  • Wow you are very brave. I'm just focusing on 5k first! I've just done Week 8 and made sure I had rest days,so far so good, but it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I realised I should do the strength and flexibility exercises on rest days (thanks to oldfloss) I think it is helping 👏

  • Oh I will have a look at the strength exercises too. Thanks for that

  • Firstly well done for getting a place, as you get more into the running community you will find those places are hard to get.

    The best advice I can give is listen to advice. There will come a time when you will feel like a runner and that time will come sooner than you think but you must still keep to the guidelines of increasing distance and time with your schedule you have no wiggle room for injury with your training, so everything will have to be done rigidly.

    I am looking forward to following you on your journey.

  • Not sure about feeling like a runner soon but I will take all the advice I can. I’m so glad I joined group as it looks like I will be able to get lots of advice on here.

    Still think I’m a little mad but I’m sure I can become fit enough to complete it 26 weeks today - might not be the fastest time but finishing ( and doing it safely) is my only goal.

  • Wow! Wishing you the very best of luck with your adventure, you seem to have a great attitude and will power so I am sure you will achieve your goal. Looking forward to hearing your progress 👍

  • Thank you - only in week 3 training so see how my will power is in 2-4 months time 😂😂😂😂

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