The Auckland Half Marathon

Yesterday, after eight weeks of training, I ran in the Auckland Half Marathon. When I started I wasn’t able to run for more than 20 minutes without having to stop. Within just six weeks I had already managed to complete a full training run of the 21km required for the half marathon non-stop and without having to be taken away in an ambulance.

I have to say it’s quite liberating getting over that initial hurdle of becoming fit enough to run continuously (within limits!) and was surprised at how little time it took.

The secret to my couch potato success was to invest in good running gear and to follow a training regime (note: this book is by the same author and mine seemed to cater for a more diverse number of styles) specifically designed for someone of my fitness to get up to speed.

The regime essentially consists of running three days a week with fairly easy runs on Tuesday and Thursday followed by a more challenging one on Sunday. It starts you off easy and gradually builds you up in waves in order to give your muscles time to repair in between runs.

So, if you are a bit of a couch potato like me, I fully recommend signing up for an event like this as it gives you the motivation to get off your arse on a regular basis. And get yourself a good training regime as well as some good running gear! It is well worth it.

[edit: also, if you are a chap, I recommend tape on your nipples for runs over one hour.]

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10 Responses to “The Auckland Half Marathon”

  1. lemmingz says:

    Well done on successfully completing the half marathon. I enjoyed running it too, though I think I could have done better. Will you be running it again next year?

  2. Damian says:

    Cheers William!

    Yeah, I think I might just do that. A friend is already trying to get me to do the Cathay Pacific one as well as one in Rotorua early next year. I don’t want to become a running bore though.

    Perhaps if I try again next year I’ll look at improving my time but this year I was content to just finish.

  3. Well done, Damian!
    I’ve (in principle! :) ) recently started an exercise programme as well. I even went all the way and got a mp3 player so I could listen to mp3′s as I train… look the part… :)

  4. (whoops, my tag didn’t work – mean to strikethrough the ‘listen to mp3′s as I train’ bit…) :)

  5. lemmingz says:

    Haha – I must say that training with an iPod really does help pass the time. Though having too many accessories brings about charges of “poser” from some people…

  6. Jack says:

    Congrats! Did anyone warn you running is addictive? As for the mp3 player, I guess in Auckland you may wish to drown out the noise of traffic, here in the beautiful South the sounds of the natural environment are quite enjoyable ;-) And I agree those training books are great when starting out and yes it is surprising and motivating to see how quick you improve. The down side is how quick you can lose fitness too.

  7. Jack,

    here in the beautiful South the sounds of the natural environment are quite enjoyable

    We’re pretty stoked with our view (Onepoto Domain is basically our ‘back yard’), but that’s hardly a match for a vineyard framed by a mountain range (as I saw on your blog)!!!

    (Insert bitter jealous remark here)



  8. Ken says:

    Running – that brings back memories. I agree it’s addictive (I think like anything if your repeat an activity 20 or 30 times you start to feel guilty if you don’t keep on doing it). I used to enjoy 1/2 marathons and even got up to running 32km most weekends but couldn’t ever achieve a marathon. The started to find I couldn’t maintain the activity and ended up walking instead.

    Still, I found the psychological advantages of running and walking was the main benefit. (And now I listen to my mp3 which is another benefit).

    It’s good to have a physical activity/exercise which you can look forward to and find that it is not a chore.

    But are you aiming for anything higher – a marathon perhaps?

  9. Damian says:

    But are you aiming for anything higher – a marathon perhaps?

    It would be nice to be able to complete a full marathon and is something I’d like to do before I die. But I’m also a realist and realise that if I attempt it at my current level of fitness it will actually be cause of my death. Who knows? Perhaps I’ll be fit enough next year?

    (As an aside – I see that the 1st place in the full marathon did it only quarter of an hour slower than it took for me to complete a half marathon! What a machine!)

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