29/10/2014 10:21 GMT | Updated 29/12/2014 05:59 GMT

So You've Decided to Run a Marathon?

So you've decided to run a marathon? Yes. Yes I have.

Last year I did a 100 mile bike ride for charity, and it wasn't that hard. (I can type that with some ease, as it's been nearly 5 months since I was at mile 99 and crying because I didn't want to cycle anymore.) So, it made perfect sense to sign up for the London Marathon.

I'm the sort of person that needs goals to motivate myself, and the more chance there is of publicly embarrassing myself, the harder I work. Hence: marathon.

I've never competitively run before. Never done a 10k, or anything like that. So the London Marathon seemed like an ideal place to start.

Despite my lack of experience, I intend to do this properly. None of this 'get to February and panic' malarkey, so I started my first week of training last week. *smug face*

Ideally, I wanted to start my training by just seeing how long I could already run for. Sort of Forrest Gump style. Just set off and see what happens. I was told this was a bad idea, as it will either a, go better than expected, thus negating the need to properly train, or b, go worse than expected, making the marathon seem impossible.

So, with that idea out the window, the first thing I felt I needed to do was get the right app. I'd googled training plans, but I wanted an app to tell me when and how long I needed to run, and to document the whole thing. This was more complicated than I had anticipated.

I'm a big fan of the Map My Fitness apps, and used Map My Ride for my cycling training, so I gave their "marathon coach" and "Map My Run Training" apps a go. I can't even begin to describe how useless they were. The first just crashed on launch every time, and the latter crashed after you entered a few details. Call me old fashioned, but I like my apps to actually work.

I tried a few others, but in the end, I settled on the My Asics Run app, and it's fantastic. It made me a thirty week training plan, and sends me emails every day I need to run, telling me how long I need to run for. Ideal.

There were a few alarming features, like, it tells me that last week I ran 11 miles out of the 575 miles I'm going to run over the course of the training plan. FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FIVE. I better be ripped after all that running, that's all I can say.

So, thanks to the Asics app, I ran five times last week, four lots of two mile runs and one three miler. The two milers I ran with the dog, and he was an excellent pace maker, as this blurry photo will attest.


I'm sure I'll be at 26 miles in no time*.

*thirty weeks