Couch to 0k: How Not To Run A Marathon

From couch to sofa: how I didn’t run a marathon in 8 weeks – and how you could not do it, too. Because running marathons is hard bro

This is not me.
Photo cred Hsein / Flickr


Today I woke up with the joy of fresh beginnings in my heart. The first day of a training program is the key to setting good habits in the long-term: this phase can make or break a successful marathon training, but the secret is tailoring your workouts to suit your body type and lifestyle. For my part I selected a vintage merlot and the Miley Cyrus episode of Black Mirror to stave off any potential unwanted urges to run. It is important not to overstrain muscles or tendons when starting out. In short, a success. 


It’s not the first leader that matters, it’s the first follower. And one follows two. Or so society has lead us to believe. Science surpasses science, and so eventually all science is pseudoscience. In any case, DAY TWO was about solidifying important habits from DAY ONE. Unfortunately my merlot was all gone so I selected a Malbec, another red that starts with the same letter, instead (still not convinced Tesco actually uses different grapes for any of their £10 wine). Watched another Black Mirror episode and it was underwhelming by comparison. 2 stars. Tried not to let these minor setbacks get me down. 


Today I thought really hard about running. Like, really, really thought about it. I sat on the couch and imagined what it must be like to run: to feel the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, the sweat dripping down my toned, golden calves. I saw fellow runners and waved. I saw cameramen and smiled. I was a cheetah on the hunt, a stallion in open pasture, muscles expanding and contracting, an anatomical study in speed. 


Today I walked 26 steps according to my smart watch, which is the same distance as a marathon but in paces instead of miles. On a related note, wearing a smart watch is scientifically proven to facilitate weight loss and make you look 50% healthier and 20% younger. Add Oakley sunglasses to the mix and this increases by 10% and 5% respectively. It’s all in the details friends. 


Also not me.
Photo cred Fieldwork Inc. / Flickr


Today was a HIIT day. That is, today I HIIT my head on a lamppost very very hard. This produced a short term dissociative effect that made colours seem brighter and noises seem louder well into the evening. I believe this must be what they call ‘endorphins’. Truly exhilarating. 


Went to the doctor, turns out it was a concussion and not endorphins. Luckily it appears to be mild I still can’t exercise for a week. I told the doctor, I am an athlete and I can train through pain. She told me, sit back down for the last time you do not have a concussion go home. I will manage this unforeseen obstacle with dignity and meditate on my future successes. 


I took the stairs and PR’ed (that’s Personal Record’ed for all you plebes). I can see a vein stand out on my arm in a certain light. I am the fastest walker on the grocery store and always snag the last hummus. Victory is imminent. 

Not me but at night.
Photo cred ISOFOCOS Endimoniada 2017 / Flickr


Today I power walked up a big hill because I was running late to brunch and nearly threw up. The heart rate monitor on my smartwatch read 300. According to science this should not be possible. Note to self to donate body to science upon death. Work hard play hard? More like work hard work hard. Kids these days don’t know how good they have it, growing soft. Asked for extra bacon: a recovery diet should be protein-rich. 


Picked up race packet. Long sleeve cotton shirt included. I love long sleeve cotton shirts. I tried it on. I look great in it, sweatshirt grey is really my colour. It says ‘Marathon finisher.’ Mama I feel like a champion.


It’s the night before, I’m nervous. Pasta for the complex carbohydrates. Scotch for the nerves. A little melatonin for some solid REM sleep. My body is primed. My mind is focused. My heart is full. I set 21 alarms. I dream of winning and fulfilment for my empty meaningless life. 


Slept in. Sleep is essential for recovery. Drank extra recovery beer. Drank extra extra recovery beer. Details foggy. 


Signed up for next marathon. Stared at eggshell-white wall for 42 minutes. 


Cried myself to sleep

Photo cred Lottie / Flickr

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