Most Popular

A Running Guide for the Overweight Runner

There is a man that runs around my town all of the time carrying himself with no evidence of being tired. You may see him out at the park r...

4.15.2010

A Running Guide for the Overweight Runner

There is a man that runs around my town all of the time carrying himself with no evidence of being tired. You may see him out at the park running and/or while you are putting your groceries in the car at the store. He may be on his 8th, 10th, 12th mile and still be going fast enough to beat you in a race while you are given a bicycle to race with. There are these sorts of people that have the stamina to run like that; then there are the sorts like you and me. It seems as if there is a struggle for every mile, ½ mile, or even just the next tenth of a mile hoping and praying that we see our stopping point in the short distance. It’s different for everyone, but what is consistent is that there are people who are just learning how to run and have no idea what to do first. This is where I want to help. I am not an aged runner. I am still a rather new runner but running is growing on me everyday. Four weeks ago I fractured a bone in my ankle area and my love for running was not known until I was not able to run. Take the following pointers as you will. These suggestions and ideas are only from my experience as a trial & error runner.

Be Disciplined. Becoming a runner takes discipline. To push through the pain, obstacles, and mental games that we play on ourselves takes discipline. It is more than just putting one foot in front of the other. Taking the steps is the physical part, but for me, it is by far not the hardest part. Focus your mind. There are times when my mind tells me to quit because my body “can’t handle it”. I push and my body handles it. The mind can be persuaded. Set your mind and control your actions. Let everything you do be with purpose.

It's okay to be slow.
In the beginning of each year, loads of people want to get their life back on track and lose the weight that has set them in the shadows. Many, as I have in the past, think that they should start out by running. As good as running is – an overweight person with no experience in running should not be running that much or hard. It is something to be built up too. Being slow does not mean that you are not working hard or that you are not successful; it simply means that you are slow…for now. Continue moving forward and you will build up to a run. It will happen.

Get a good pair of running shoes. It would not be a good idea to take out your snow boots and decide that it’s time to go for a run. It simply wouldn’t. Running can be very cheap or very expensive. It is financially what you make of it. You do not need to have a gps, heart rate monitor, iPod chip, arm band, pedometer, and/or a pair of sunglasses. These are awesome tools to improve your running, but the one thing that is essential is a good pair of running shoes. Running can be hard on the joints and when you take into account the past sedentary life that you’ve lived – it can be extra hard on those joints. Good shoes are essential to alleviate the discomfort that those love handles may be causing.

Map out your route.
Do you want to set yourself up for a success or failure? If you would rather have the failure as an overweight beginning runner – strap up and start running. A person that is focused to go no where will end up no where. An overweight person that is successful in running takes the time to plan his/her route. There are a few reasons why I think this is good.

1. You've set a goal in how far you are going to go.
2. You have a record of what you've done and know how much you've improved over time.
3. It's easier to be motivated when you can see the end.

Accountability.
Find some form of accountability. Personally, I use the blogosphere for accountability and encouragement. Find a buddy to walk with, talk with, and to get fit with. Some of the best relationships come from people first starting out as accountability partners. Set a goal to strive for. When you have something in your sights – the focus is stronger, mind is clearer, and your desire pushes you. Keep yourself accountable and success will soon follow.

Pace Yourself. It will do you no good if you can run a 10 minute mile only to be followed by a 20 minute second mile. Find a solid rhythm that you think you will be able to hold for a specific length of time. Stick with that pace and keep moving. We’ve all heard it before, “slow and steady wins the race”. As many faults as that saying may have, it's not about winning the race right now - it's about becoming healthy and a solid runner.

Enjoy yourself. Do everything that you can to make your running enjoyable. I enjoy riding my bike as well, but in the beginning it was not fun. The seat was uncomfortable, the path was not visually pleasing, and I’d ride so far out that I didn’t have enough energy to make it back without stopping. I found myself having many “rest” days simply because I did not enjoy it. That changed though. I used every opportunity to make riding my bike enjoyable. I got a better seat. I found a new route. I worked my way up to longer routes.

It’s the same with running. Find your stride. Focus your mind. Try new things. Do not settle for anything less than what you want out of running. Running is just one avenue to the healthy lifestyle, but it can be an experience like no other.

Enjoy a life of running instead of settling for a run down life.




32 comments:

Nikki said...

Awesome post.. Especially for me in the new c25k state of mind!

Jess said...

Oh MY! We have all caught the running fever! You can also go barefoot :) It's crazy. My weaker leg muscles (the ones I don't work on as much aka calves and hammies) are sore today. Anyway, I agree with the ability of running to be cheap. You don't need all the fancy gadgets that's for sure.

AND YES to the slow and steady. I think many people start off too face and hate it because they can't do a 10 minute mile. Man, it took me forever to get to the 10 minute pace.

Keep it up Seth! I'm proud of you for running and soon to be racing!

Kyle Gershman said...

All points are right on the money...I'd only add that runners set their expectations for having good days and bad days. Progress can come slowly at times. If you are not properly hydrated and fueled, you simply won't run as well as you'd like.

Twice the Man said...

as a large guy in the process of becoming a running this was very helpful, thanks

ashley!nocera said...

Great post! I love what Jess said about us all catching runner's fever. Seems to be true nowadays :) As I've already said, I am a newfound runner. I NEVER thought I would be saying that or that I would love it as much as I do. Now, of course I'm still new to it (only on my 4th day of running) but I already can't get enough of it. After every run, I can't help but think of when I'm going to be able to do it again...which used to be how I would think of eating. It's amazing how much we really can replace old habits with healthy activities once we set our minds to it. Now, like I said on Anthony's blog, I'm starting out with mile-long-runs for now. And I'm probably running them in about 11-13 minutes (including uphill-downhill terrain). You know, I'll actually time myself on tonight's run. But this post helped me feel like it's ok if I'm not running too fast just yet. I'll get there :)

Reese said...

Since I am just starting out, these pointers are just what I needed to read. Thanks! :)

Chad said...

Great post, Seth! You continuing your workouts even through your broken ankle was really inspiring - just so you know. Totally impressive and motivated me to get off my butt more than once.

Anthony said...

I like it, man. It works! Mapping out your route is a huge point of success. It gives you a mental end goal....and let's the mind know it's possible to push through the pain you may be feeling. Awesome points, Seth.

fitmacdaddy said...

nice post Seth! accountability is key. Find that running partner and you'll get better much faster@

Stronger.Faster. said...

mapmyrun.com is what I use to set my distances! love it.

accountability is key. i do this by signing up for races so I have something I am looking forward to and holding me accountable.

AND focusing your mind is the best point on here. you will never be able to run if you focus on how tired your legs are or how hard it is to breathe. focus.

great post Seth! I start running last year and now I am addicted!

Matt said...

Good post, I've been thinking of doing some real (non Wii Fit) running to see how it goes and I'll definitely re-read this post when I do.

cmoursler said...

mentally, I think you are my twin in regards to self motivation. It's like reading what my mind says.....of course I like it...it's how I think.
don't settle.
Win.
Great post.

Grace said...

Awesome!! Good insight! When I first started, you couldnt pay me to finish a mile...now I'm doing 4-6miles a day!! Waahhoo.

http://justanotherstupidweightlossblog.blogspot.com/

Sayre said...

This was a great post, Seth! I am new to running (walk/jog) though I have dreamed about it all my life. I just thought it was something I'd never do. And now? I'm doing it. Slowly - but I'm doing it.

Googie said...

Thanks for the ideas. The pacing part is what I need to work on. I feel like my lungs are going to explode after just a half mile. I really need to work on distance, not speed. Go and take a look at my latest post! LOL

Jessica Gilliam said...

Great suggestions! Thanks!

Star Child said...

Great advice.

My favourite is Map A Route. I have tried running, but got bored and a bit aimless. Having more of a plan make so much sense.

Thanks.

Nona said...

I love running, but had to give it up because I injured my knee and my doctor recommended I take up exercise which would impact my knee less like swimming. I tried that but it just didn't have the same magic for me that running did so I stopped exercising altogether and started doing the one thing he warned was more destructive to my knee than running, putting on weight. :(

Staci Dombroski said...

Great advice :)

Missa said...

I am still struggling with the discipline part, but I am all for doing this running stuff. I am in interval training right now, and afterwards feels like I really made progress. Maybe I am not saving the world, but I still think I am making history :-)

Cheers,
Missa
LosingEthel

Anonymous Fat Girl said...

Seth, great post. I'm still new to running but I've found a passion for it and you've got some great advice here. :)

Andrew is getting fit said...

This would have been great to have when I first started running! Good job.

266 said...

I have something for you on my blog!

Frank Dobner said...

Running was always a great time to solve problems for me. I used to do this one thing before I ran.

Whatever problem I was experiencing, I would clearly articulate the problem to myself and then before I ran, I put the problem out of my mind.

During the run, it was amazing but an answer would come out of nowhere.

Rareley failed.

Tara said...

Something else to remember is that treadmill running and outdoor running are two separate things. Your speed on treadmill will not likely be your speed out in the environments.

I did the c25k outside. I just started running on the treadmill to keep the pace at 4.3 and get a little speed under my feet.

Now I do half inside / half outside. I've worked up to running 2.7 miles pretty consistently. Not bad considering I'm a new runner (3 months in). It really does take some getting used to but when you do, man on man it's awesome!

karen@fitnessjourney said...

What an excellent post. My arthritis in my knees doesn't allow for running, but much of this advice could apply to any form of exercise. I especially like that you included the importance of enjoying the experience. I am a firm believer that there is a form of exercise that each of us can find fun.

In regard to what you wrote on my post about healthy cities, I think it is amazing that your town offers a free community center for people to come for a workout.

MochaTrina@Me So Hongry... said...

I find those tips most helpful as a new runner. I am in week 7 of the C25K program! I'm okay with my progress so far. Like so may other people I thought I would throw on some shoes and run like a track star...not so much. In time I hope to become a solid runner.

Matt said...

I think Five Guys has great burgers, but they don't have them in every city. I won't go too often to the one that just opened up near my work, but I'll do it now and then.

bbubblyb said...

I've been trying to run for what seems like a very long time. I usually manage about 15 mins out of 45. I've tried the couch to 5k about 4 times now always seeming to faulter around week 4-5. I don't know if it's my bad knees or my mind stopping me. But I keep trying. Good post and I think the speed thing might just be my problem, slow and steady is the trick. Maybe it's time to give the C25K yet another go. Thanks for the remotivation.

Josie said...

I never in a million years would have thought that running would ever become my passion, but oh it has. Thanks for compiling such a great list for people like me.

The Fat Chick said...

Thanks. Really helpful. Hope you have a good weekend

Aylilth said...

This is great!!!

Will keep this in mind when starting C25K.