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From Couch To Marathon Part 1

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any organizations, events or publications mentioned in this post. All the links are there for informational purposes only.

In the previous post I talked about how I ended up running and how I got that eternal flame burning (close your eyeees, give me your haaand, okay, okay, let's move on) inside my body, so I guess now it is time to see what that road from couch to marathon was like. (Spoiler alert: imagine driving the hardest rainbow road track from Mario Kart Series (the ones without walls) without brakes, fill it with deadly traps and horrible creatures from Daleks to Mind Flayers to insert-your-favorite-monster-here and you start to get the image. Not to exaggerate or anything..)

So how does a guy with no prior (or maybe a minimum) experience run a marathon? Let's have a note here that running a marathon is not easy and to do that safely you should train properly for a long time. If you have no experience in running, give yourself at least two years to train before your try. (Yeah, I am aware that I did not, this is more do as I say, not as I do -thing). Here's how I did it (you do as I say):

Pretty much the next day after me and my friend registered for Helsinki10, Helsinki Half Marathon and Helsinki Marathon events (why go small when you can go BIG, as a beginner, stupid brain on endorphins), I started to google training programs of how should I train and prepare for this. And the wave of information hit me and flooded me with thousands of articles, YouTube videos, blog posts etc etc. After I woke up at the carpet beach (very local attraction) on the floor I figured it was too much, so I just put on my running shoes and went running. This was in September 2022.

After a few runs, I took another attempt to find something of which I could build my own program on and found a Finnish running magazine called Juoksija and their Maratonkoulu (Marathon School, unfortunately only in Finnish) article series. It was good, simple enough to understand as a beginner and I started to build my basic endurance with the help of it. Things were on a roll (even though I had to walk during my runs as my heartbeat had its own race to the top. Maybe it was still mad at me for that 5k run earlier).

Then came one of my happiest moments in life, as my daughter was born in November 2022. Aaaand then I don't remember anything from the next three months. But I can be pretty sure that I did not run. (Other than to catch my first born boy from mischief and other I-am-a-little-jealous-now-that-I-have-a-little-sister activities).

So sometimes in February 2023 I realised that the 10km event was quickly coming and that I had not prepared for it in any way, other than pushing snow for hours around midnight (this is another story for another time). I was also super tired (nights with baby, you know) and had no desire to read some long training programs and figure out what kind of practices I should do on which day. (Mistake, mistakeee).

Luckily (or unluckily, as you later will see) I found out that my phone's health app had an AI-trainer which could create a training program for running with just inputting how much you had run before, your goal, your weight and your height. Then it would adjust it depending on how you will do going forward. So now I just needed to hit the road whenever the phone told me so and listen to what the voices in my head, I mean headphones, say. That got me out and about, and most importantly, it got me running. It did not start that well though. As I had done the first running exercise of the program, I had a flu next day and had to lay low for two weeks. (Some would say that this is running for you).

So I eventually, when I got back on my feet I could finally start training. This was in the end of February 2023. Only six weeks to my first true test. So I trained hard with my AI-coach and started slowly progressing (slooooowly). At some point the program had a 10k test run. I ran it and succeeded to beat the goal I set. It felt super good, gave me a great confidence boost and I continued training with a smile on my face.

Then came the Helsinki10 event in April 2023. I was excited. From my test run I knew that I can run it with no problems so I was confident, in better shape than years and ready to take on new challenges. The start was at 8:30PM and that had me a little worried as I was so tired at the time that usually I was already at sleep at 9:00PM (babies). But I was so thrilled about the whole thing that on I did not felt tired at all. The event itself was super fun, it was so nice to be running with other people and I managed to make my personal record on the distance. Awesome, awesome night.

So on the next week it was back to training. My AI-coach was relentless. I felt confident. I felt that nothing could stop me. Oh, how wrong I was. But that is topic for another time. See you running!

Running participation medals on floor
The story so far.

Sunset on a lake
Sunsets are getting pretty.


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