There are some pretty good plans to follow to get your distance up. Similar to the C25K plan, there are those that will help you work up from a 5K to a 10K, from a 10K to a half, and so on up to full marathon training plans.
Another thought is to check with local running/shoe stores to see if they offer clinics on running technique and other topics that will help you train and recover properly without injury.
My longest competition run was a 10 miler. I thought I was in shape enough for it. I wasn't, and the last few miles hurt....bad.
Final thought, look into Body Glide or similar anti-chafing cream. You may need it on sensitive areas once you start logging serious miles.
All that stuff - that's great advice given already. :)
If you can do 10k in under an hour you will do absolutely fine at a half marathon. Obviously not if you couch-potato it between now and then, but with adequate training you are absolutely in a physical fitness place where this is an achievable goal.
Join a running group. There are probably ones in your area. If you can go with a professional coach leading the group you can get some tips on style, cadence, posture, that will help you out.
Fitness Minutes: (129,294)
790 2/26/13 5:24 P
Follow a proper training program and slowly build yourself up to the distance. October gives you plenty of time, so you don't need to jump in with the long distances right away. A variety of training helps a lot, too - you want to do the long distance runs, but you also want to do shorter faster runs, work in some hills, etc. Most training programs will incorporate all of that throughout the week.
Watch for injuries. Even if you're being careful and doing everything properly, you can still end up with problems. I made the mistake of ignoring some mild leg pain until it had developed into a nasty strain that knocked me out for a month. It was a good lesson not to slack off on my strength exercises and rest days.
I personally like training with groups. I find that the company is nice on long runs and it's great incentive to get out there (plus, you can cheer each other on). I do a mix of group and solo runs, but I prefer a partner if I'm going over 18k or so. If something like that would appeal to you, you might be able to find a local training group or clinic to run with (especially if you've signed up for a local race).
Fitness Minutes: (37,302)
5,239 2/26/13 3:15 P
I've signed up for a half marathon in October. I've run 10k's before and I can do that it under an hour.