Couch to 5K
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12 weeks to train for the great north run HELP!!

I was wondering if I could get some options please, Iam 30 yes old, I signed up to do the great north run in September this year, I have never been a runner in my life but 2 weeks ago I Bought a running machine And have been running on it about 3-4 times per week running at 7kph and covering 1.3k in 11.20 mins is this any good? I have 12 weeks left until I do the 13.1 mile run, after about 6 mins on the machine my calves start to go tight and then after another 30Sec they ease up again, Iam frightened that Iam not going to do it and I don't want to let anyone down, I have never done anything like this before, It's been a big help having the running machine as Iam a firefighter in training so I am running for the fire fighters charity.

Does anyone have any tips on what and when I should be eating & should I be doing anything else to help the distance required in the time I have left.

many Thanks and sorry for the essay


5 Replies

we have all been doing the 9 week programm to get up to 5K. I must say that I find 5K difficult and so I know that I would really struggle with the distance you want to do. However, you are a good deal younger than me, and I have noticed that there are other people on this forum who run the longer distances you are talking about-they may be more helpful to you than I can be. If your starting position is that you have done a maximum run of 1.3K and you need to achieve 13.1 miles in 12 weeks, then this programe is unlikely to get you there in time (my opinion only) and you might do better trawling the internet for something EVEN tougher than C25K. I suspect that speed is less important than endurance for the run you are looking at. Very best of luck for this worthwhile charity.


There is lots of useful information here on half marathons, including nutrition.

The GNR website has a 'train and prepare' section also that leads you to this where you can make your own plan.

C25K will not get you ready in time, but as long as you are all ready fit and active, but just not a runner, you should be grand to run a half marathon in 12 weeks time, the downside is that this is a sort time to train and you can put yourself at a high risk of injury, so take care and listen to your body. Training on a treadmill does reduce the risk of injury slightly but road running can be a different experience, so try getting in some of that before the GNR too.

Good luck :)


I agree with the others that this programme is not likely to get you anywhere close to that distance in the timescale.

The links that didntrunthat has given are excellent and if your aim is just to get round and enjoy it then look at the programme that involves running and walking. I quite fancy trying that myself as I really enjoyed the intervals in c25k.

Good luck. Keep coming into this forum when you need encouragement.


This is a bit of big ask but full marks to you for trying, I would check out the Galloway Walk/run BTX4 posted the link on another post and aim to do it slow and steady to avoid injury. Definitely do some training outside as other posters have sometimes found it harder when they move outside


Thank you all for your information, I will take this on board and move forward thanks x


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