Follow Up To My Ignite Talk

My Ignite Talk, Couch to 13.1: How an Out-of-Shape Nerd Completed a Half Marathon, is now online. Here it is:

Now that I’ve been able to watch it, I’d like to add a few comments.

First, it really was insane of me to decide to train for a half marathon after doing no running for 19 or so years. It’s absolutely possible, as I’ve proved, but it takes a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck. If anything had sidetracked my training, like illness, an injury, or some other problem, I never would have been able to do it. It’s extreme, and if you want to start running with little or no previous experience, you don’t have to shoot for 13.1. Just training for a 5K will help get you in shape.

A lot of people seemed to balk at the idea of paying $100 for running shoes. If you’re just training for a 5K, you can probably get by with cheaper running shoes from a department store. You’ll need the really good ones for longer distances, though, and if you’re experiencing a lot of foot or ankle pain with the cheap shoes, you’ll really feel a difference if you upgrade.

The app I mentioned, RunKeeper, can be found here.

Somebody asked for a copy of my training plan. Here it is. (Click on the image to expand it.)

Obviously, those are last year’s dates. I did make a slight variation to the plan. I had trouble running 4 times a week. It forced me to run on back-to-back days, and that was just a little too tough for me, so I dropped back to 3 runs per week after around week 10 or so. I do think that an experienced runner could start this program at around week 4 or 5 and still be OK.

In case you were wondering about my weight, I got down to 181 by the time of the race. Over the holidays, I got back up to 185, and last time I checked, I was at 184. It’s still a little high for my height (5′ 8″), but I do feel like at the very least, I’ve stopped it from going up. Running isn’t the best way to lose weight, but it can help. As long as I stick to running, I can, at the very least, avoid getting back up to 189 (or worse). I’ve also cut back on the Mountain Dew. My average consumption per day is less than 60 ounces, but unfortunately, it’s still greater than 0.

Finally, I didn’t realize until I watched the video that I really said “um” a lot during my talk. Sorry about that.