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.]