Exercise! - Weight a Pre-req to running?

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09-01-2007, 06:30 PM
I hear alot of women saying that they're going to start running after they loose more weight. They usually say at their weight they can't run because it will be bad for the joints. How much truth is there to this?

I've been exercising quit vigorously in aerobics classes including step workouts for almost 4 weeks. I'm don't have any medical conditions. Should I still wait for awhile to run? What is a good weight to be at to start running? I can't imagine running to be harder on the joints then my step workout.

Also how different is running on an elliptical from running outside? Right now the weather is great outside, but when winter comes I'd have to move indoors and I prefer the elliptical to other cardio equipment

09-01-2007, 07:40 PM
I started running at 293 lbs. There was no magical reason at this number, I just felt that I was ready to do something more intense than the elliptical and walking. I started with the conservative couch to 5k program on beginnertriathlete "dot" com because it starts out very slow. The first week of running is only running for 2 mins and walking for 28 mins and progresses by week. I figured going this slow would prevent injury.

I run on a treadmill and this is definitely harder than the elliptical (the motion of the elliptical is smooth) but I haven't ventured out for a street/track run yet.

I'm sure someone here can give you a better idea of when is better to begin running but so far this is working for me.

Good luck! :woops:

09-01-2007, 07:51 PM
It's better to start running when you want to start running. I see no reason why weight should hold anyone back. If you DO experience problems with your knees, which even normal weight runners can have, and which I had, I would recommend some basic knee supports or ace bandages wrapped on the knees while running. I used the supports and it alleviated all the problems with my knees. Eventually, I stopped using them and never had anymore problems from my knees.

09-02-2007, 10:35 AM
I agree with gina and heaven - I started running when I was still over 240lbs, and I'm not dead yet! ;)

I started because I felt the need to do more than walk, and that 'pull to do more' helped me through the first few weeks of the Couch to 5K program... I now run at least 5K, at least four times a week. I CRAVE it.

Start when you feel ready, build up slowly, be kind to yourself, and get REALLY GOOD SHOES!

Good luck - let us know how you get on!!

Heather :D

09-02-2007, 03:12 PM
I second the good shoes, slow start and knee support if you experience knee issues. Also, if knees become a problem, the thing that helped me most was strengthening the muscles around the knees through weight training. Actually, that's probably a good idea for anyone who runs. Weight training is another thing you shouldn't put off until you've lost weight. While it's true we've carried around a lot of weight just naturally, it's most helpful to develop specific muscles. Besides, it's nice to start seeing those muscles as the fat start melting off.

Running on an elliptical is totally different from running outside. Running on a treadmill is also totally different from running outside, at least IMHO. The elliptical seems to target different muscles, but it's a great cross trainer for people who run. I usually run four days a week, and work on the elliptical twice a week. Running outside uses more muscles to keep you stable and going forward. Most people who train on a treadmill can't run as far outside when they start.

Have fun!

09-02-2007, 06:06 PM
I waited until I broke 200 pounds, but mostly because that was what I personally felt comfortable with. I don't see any real reason to wait if you take care of yourself, and stop if you feel uncomfortable.

It does take a while to understand what aches and pains are normal, and which are a sign of injury coming on, so be conservative at first, and go slowly. You'll get there.


09-02-2007, 06:22 PM
My feeling is run when you want to run, make sure you have good shoes, and cross train or do other activities at first

...wait that would be the same advice I would give whether you were 320, 220 or 120.

Since you currently do cardio step classes and elliptical, I would start by doing a run/walk on ONE workout a week, but keep doing the normal stuff on the others. This will help you ease in to it and give you warning signs if other activities that didnt used to cause pain do now.

I routinely had some foot problems at ~170 lbs and up that are gone now, but nothing that stopped me from running, just sent me to a podiatrist for some shoe inserts. It is certainly easier to run lighter but nothing would stop me rom running heavier.

Running = bad for joints is a hotly debated topic in the running world. Some studies have show that runners are no more likely to suffer joint problems than non runners. But the study only followed people who were already running. The most common things seem to be...if you have a tendency to joint problems then yes running will aggravate them especially if you try to do too much too soon.

09-02-2007, 07:03 PM
Also how different is running on an elliptical from running outside?

In my experience, they're really nothing alike. Your body is sort of moving in a running motion on an elliptical, and it's a fantastic workout, but it's just not running. I've found that no other cardio can compare to running for giving you a good workout, but there are tons of people who disagree with me.

I started mixing jogging intervals into my walks when I weighed about 250, and my knees did give me a little trouble at first. I iced them, I worked up gradually to longer running intervals, and it was fine. Now I weigh much less and I did a half marathon today. Woohoo! You can definitely do it too, and when you do, make sure you join us in the Cool Runners thread!! Oh yeah, and definitely make sure you get good shoes!!! Your shoe requirement will change when your body changes, though, as mine did -- if you have any pain in your feet, go to a pedorthist at a special store and get them to fit some shoes and insoles to your feet. That made a huge difference to me.

09-03-2007, 02:14 AM
I do step aerobics too... and I've been jogging in circles on my exercise matts during the "turbos" in turbo jam. The one time I did try some jogging my knees felt fine at the time but they were sorta uncomfortable to me for a few days after so I took that as a sign my body would like for me to drop more before I dig into a beginner runners program. I don't feel the step aerobics are quite the same as running unless your doing plyo type jumps... but everyones body is different. No harm in seeing how YOUR body will react... if you feel you're ready take the advice about shoes, and running surfaces and knee braces and go for it! :)

09-03-2007, 02:31 PM
Running is defined by both of your feet being off the ground at the same time with every step. It's very high impact, which is unlike step and unlike using an elliptical.

There's no rule that you need to be under a certain amount of pounds to run, but the physics of it (with every step, the force with which you land on that foot is equal to some multiple of your body weight) selects for lighter bodies.

09-03-2007, 10:12 PM
I also started running at a fairly heavy weight - like Lisa, about 250 pounds. It can be done, just make sure that you do it carefully, don't overdo it, and build gradually. Good shoes are very important, you've gotten a lot of good advice here if you do want to become a runner. I have discovered a real love of running, so I love to see others join in - hope you will too - but the most important thing is to find an exercise you hopefully enjoy and can do regularly.