Weight and Resistance Training - Safe weight for running?

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02-08-2009, 10:08 PM
Hey guys, please don't get irritated with me for asking this question, but...

On my HIIT the last 2 weeks, I walked briskly and used my peak on the HIIT to run at a slow jog. That's been getting easier to the point where I feel like I can do more now. So I'm going to try this week to do my last 2 peak sessions of each interval at a run, moving the high point up to a faster run.

After ice skating today and some very minor knee pain, I'm just wondering out loud, what is really the high point of body weight that is considered safe to run. I know it depends on gender, height, all that jazz, but basically, how many pounds "overweight" is safe to run? I just don't want to derail myself when I'm on such a roll, kwim?

So not asking for medical advice here, but figured we've all known people who have created knee problems for themselves, or trainers here who have seen things at the gym, so just casting a wide net to get a general opinion. I'm probably still 70 or so pounds over where the high end of a weight chart would put me (which I know is why I'm having such great results on BFL). Should I be cautious about running until I'm only 50 lbs over, 30, or does it not matter. I do run on a treadmill, so am protecting my joints by having a 'cushion track' and don't have to worry about anything like a hole or rock, which is how my mom and sister tore up their knees.

02-08-2009, 11:13 PM
I don't think there's any one answer that's going to work for everyone.

If your shoes are good (bought for running, selected based on knowledgeable advice) and nothing hurts, you're okay.

02-08-2009, 11:25 PM
Well, I wouldn't compare ice skating to jogging. Both will affect your legs in different ways.

I don't think there is a solid answer on this one. I've known people well over 200 pounds that have completed marathons, but I was completely uncomfortable (and in pain) running until I was at my goal weight for over a year.

I agree with MariaMaria- if you have proper footwear and aren't in pain then have at it :)

02-08-2009, 11:28 PM
Fran, are you saying knee trouble runs in your family or both your mom and sister had traumatic accidents and then developed knee trouble? I would think that is important in craftting a plan.

I ask because my knee (no pun intended, promise) jerk reaction is "this woman is in good shape and clearly has done strengh training, so she should just go for it..." but then I tend to be a "just go for it kinda girl..."-- read impulsive.... so whaddo I know???

sorry, not much help from me. but the first q stands>> :)

02-08-2009, 11:56 PM
Thanks guys. To answer Lucy's question, our family knees are fine. They both had injuries while running to tear cartilege or cause wear and my mom had a knee replacement back in like 1980 and my sister just deals with the pain from it, but quit running (and went mental from it).

02-08-2009, 11:58 PM
Fran, when I first lost substantial weight, in 1999/2000 I started running at about 190 lbs. I had knee problems before that and at the time the running didn't seem to make them worse. Now remember, that I was older then than you are now (55 in 2000). I continued running until well in 2001 when I hurt my foot - not running either! I've run some since then, but it isn't comfortable for me anymore. I'd agree with the folks earlier in the thread, get some good shoes, ease into it, and enjoy!

02-09-2009, 08:31 AM
Fran- I ran when I was at least 60-70 pounds overweight. I think my knee problems were from playing (vicious) tennis at that weight. Tennis causes a lot more abrupt lateral jarring. Try it- as everyone has said, get good shoes and see how it goes.


02-09-2009, 10:13 AM
I ran when I was at my high weight of 204. Good shoes, go slow, and try to start off with 2-3 times a week.

Thighs Be Gone
02-09-2009, 10:38 AM
I started running when I was 195 pounds and I run daily. I also have knee pain in my left knee from time to time--but it was worse when I was heavier. I read not long ago that for each pound you lose, you take four pounds of pressure off your knee. So, that's good news!

Before you run or even walk, you need to do some stretching. If you have ever seen Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, part one, she has some great ideas for stretching the knees. Basically, bend just a bit with your knees, put your hands on your thighs and make circles with your knees in both directions. Do the same for hip circles. You should never do "static" stretches before a work out.

Good luck. Running is freeing to me and I love it. Let us know how you are doing.

ETA: you idea of running HIIT is a wonderful idea...I started doing them out of necessity because I couldn't run more than 1/10 of a mile the first couple of weeks....I started lengthening my run time and now can do 3 miles + pretty easily. I had NO idea I was running HIIT back then! LOL

02-09-2009, 11:15 AM
Thanks everyone.

Thighs, yes, HIIT seems the easiest way I've tried to incorp running. I tried the c25k before and died in week 3, even with repeating weeks as an option, I lost interest (after buying my expensive & professionally fitted shoes, so I'm all set there!) This HIIT is kind of the same concept, but works 100% better for me. Not quite sure why!

Thighs Be Gone
02-09-2009, 11:26 AM
sportmom, HIIT burns more fat than straight working out does. :) In my opinion, you will start seeing curves faster! I love it. It definitely works better for me too. I sprint and then fast walk on the mornings I run HIIT.

02-09-2009, 11:31 AM
Thanks Thighs, yeah, I did know that part about it being far more effective than steady state. I meant that it was working so much better for helping to turn me in to a runner. Maybe the c25k was too much too fast and with my own HIIT I just move up when I am ready. I do something similar to what you described, going from 3.8 to 4.5 on the treadmill, it's like 3.8, 4.0 (fast walk), 4.3 (first slow run), 4.5 (run), then my peak on my last interval will be 4.8.

02-09-2009, 11:41 AM
the shock through your legs and forces whilst running are approx 3x your bodyweight

i'm about 296 which is 80+ over weight and i jog now and again. make sure you take it easy and allow your legs to get used to it. maked sure you have good shoes and prefferable and additional shock absorbing insole. i know its not the weather for it but if you can off road on a nice soft bit of turf, football pitch, round a ball diamond etc. its much less painfull.

02-09-2009, 12:17 PM
What about speed walking? If you can avoid the impact of jogging or running, it will be a lot easier on the knees. I think you could speed walk at any weight, and if you go fast you can burn as many calories as jogging.

I have never had an acute knee injury, but I have really worn down the cartilage in my knees over the years from being so heavy, and i am much more cautious about running. Speed walking and the eliptical machine are my favored types of cardio.

Here we go again
02-10-2009, 11:33 AM
I wanted to throw my 2 sense in. I'm 270's and I started running when I was 290. I can tell a difference me running now then 20 pounds ago, but all the same it's been really good for me and no pain. I also have a rod in my right lower leg that I've had for 9 years. My doctor and trainer have given me the ok to run and do high impact activities from what they have told me, every pound you lose takes 4 pounds of pressure off your knees.

02-10-2009, 02:43 PM
Thanks everyone! I did my HIIT today with the extra running interval as part of the main intervals, and then also threw up that one notch up for my final interval and it was great. Definitely harder, but I just kept telling myself I COULD DO IT, visualized that I was in Hawaii running alongside the ocean in a 5K and could see the finish line and that I COULD go on for five more minutes like that if I NEEDED to! :D It all seemed to work. I could have even probably gone higher, but no need to go crazy bc that could bring on pain, blisters, or a dread of my next session. As it is, I look forward to doing it again on Thursday.

And the crazy thing is, my ice skating soreness didn't come into play at all. My feet didn't hurt at all, it was great. Now walking around a few hours later, the run-combined with the lbwo I did yesterday, has got my legs feeling tight and lean and long. Can definitely tell some muscles were taxed in there! Amazing to think that 50% of my HIIT is now running. I've never been a runner. Thank you all for your responses & support.

02-10-2009, 02:50 PM
I am JUST under 300lbs and i started a very gradual running program. I think as long as you take note of things like joint pain and such afterwards you would be fine at any weight.

02-20-2009, 07:49 AM
i run now and im 204. i ran 7 miles once (very slowly) at this weight. did not feel good the next, but i was mostly just sore, no knee or ankle pains. im 5'4'' by the way. so 204 is prettyyy hefty for my height. definitely start out slow and see how your body takes to it.

02-20-2009, 03:15 PM
Well, altho I feel great when I'm running and the rest of the day, the last 2 running days I experienced severe leg aches from the glutes down to the ankles at nite. Last nite it was severe enough to keep me awake until 2 am, when I finally gave in and took some ibu and then fell asleep at 3 am.

The last time, I chalked it up to my legs needed their workout, as my lbwo was scheduled for the next day. But yesterday I had just done lbwo the day before, wasn't bothered at all that day or yesterday, so not thinking that's it. By the evening of my runs, the backs of my knees feel swollen and then my knees feel stiff when I'm try to go to sleep. Doesn't hurt to walk or move the knees tho, it's more of a whole leg achiness rather than pain.

So, I could keep trying, but I think I may need to take it down to fast walking and try again in another 20 lbs. I feel ok this morning, but I don't want to keep repeating this in case there is the chance that I'm doing some damage. I'm disappointed, but I know I will get there eventually. I thought initially it was bc I had slowed down the pace on my deadlifts, resulting in a slow muscle stretch. So if the pain happens again with walking, I'll know I can go back to running. But I suspect it was the running.

02-24-2009, 02:50 PM
I'm a little late on this post, but figured I'd add my $0.02.

I did walk/jog intervals in my 200's but around 190-200 I started trying to do distance running - nothing major but doing a straight mile and on to more.

At first I was very concerned because I would get knee pain after the run, or stiff knees the next morning. Basically it just hurt! I was concerned that I would really do some damage.

I took it slow from there but continued. I've lost about 15-20 lbs since then which has helped, but more so I think I simply built up my knee joint strength by continuing to run. The impact builds up your joints and your bones.

Now when I run (usually between 2-3.5 miles) I don't have the knee pain anymore and rarely are my legs killing me from fatigue.

I guess my point is to go slow and take it easy, but keep at it if you are wanting to run. Your legs and joints will strengthen and running will get easier.

02-24-2009, 04:38 PM
Thanks Michele. So a week later, I can report that I did my very fast paced incline walk, which killed me far worse than the run! I had to take down the inclines in a big way!! So I'm sticking with that for awhile bc I haven't had any knee pain or swelling sensation. Sleep is just too critical for the whole health and fat loss process so for right now, it's the best choice for me. If the pain is causing insomnia, it's 2much! :) So I will pick it up again in another 20 lbs when I'm lighter and my legs/knees are stronger from all my weight lifting too. Thanks again!