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Very Overweight Beginner Runner Looks for Tips

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Old 08-15-2007, 07:02 PM   #1
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Hi Guys -

I'm toying around the idea with running. Obviously right now It's not a good idea but as I drop weight... maybe another 40 or so I'm thinking I will try a couch to 5k program (but probably repeating weeks) or maybe even train for one of those mini-triathalons or something.

For those of you who began running when really heavy do you have any tips? I assume good shoes are an absolute must... and taking it slow is a must... but what else do I need to do/keep in mind?

Right now I'm walking for exercise mostly and fairly briskly so I'm hoping as I progress I'll continue walking faster and faster and soon be able to transition into jogging around 220 maybe? Or do you think that's still too soon and too much pressure on my knees?
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:32 PM   #2
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I'm curious about this also. I've never ran but its always been appealing to me. This may sound strange but I have a reoccurring dream that I am a runner! lol Dreaming about exercise.. YIKES!
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:14 PM   #3
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I'm definitely curious to hear from others!! I too have thought about becoming a runner when I lose weight.
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:56 PM   #4
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I'm curious as well. I started the Couch - 5k thing in January (I got through the first week, then we had a BIG crisis at home, and I haven't gotten back on it). I did the first "week" that they had layed out in two weeks. (I repeated each day before I moved to the next). I was proud of myself when I started it (I was at around 230 pounds then - I've dropped a whole 6 since then). I'm thinking of starting it again when I can. My biggest problem was that I was on a treadmill and my shins KILLED me. I was told it was my shoes, but when my husband and I started powerwalking 4 miles a day, my shins never hurt me. I'm not sure what the problem was. All that to say - I'm not sure what to tell you...lol. I'm not a doctor so I can't say "when you get to this weight or that weight you can do this". I think it's just good to go at a pace that you are comfortable with. Any movement is good for you, good for your heart, good for your health!
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ericah View Post
IThis may sound strange but I have a reoccurring dream that I am a runner! lol Dreaming about exercise.. YIKES!
Me too. But in my dream, people are chasing me.

Sorry for the pointless post, but I couldn't resist.
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:13 AM   #6
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I started C25K at 220 pounds. It can be done, but if you are new to exercising in general take a few weeks to walk first to build some muscle. Shin splints happen, you just need to stretch a lot before and after running and not over-do it (no extra days). I run 3 days a week and sometimes have to take a day off if I feel my shin acting up again (happened on Monday in fact). So I believe it can be done but to pace yourself a bit!
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Old 08-16-2007, 12:50 AM   #7
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Whatever you do, don't run down hills. I was warned. I walked up a lot of hills and then started jogging down them because I just wanted to get it over with and it was fun. It hurt my knee and my feet. Not real bad, but I never used to have problems. It's been about 7 years and I still get knee problems that started with those down hill jogs.

Bicycling is low impact. 15 mph gives you a good breeze when it's hot. Running is only 6 mph. Cycling is somewhat seasonal though, but it can be fun. Running is more like work. You can get studded tires for mountain bikes and ride in the winter on ice. I've bicycled 80 miles in one day, but I've never run more than 6. It just isn't fun for me. Cycling burns about 600 calories an hour which is about the same as running. The biggest drawback is the danger of impact with cars. I was out tonight on my bike and there was a collision 200 feet ahead of me.
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:03 AM   #8
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Green - Yeah, I bike too... I've gone as far as 28 miles which I guess at my size is fairly good hehe. Its one of the reason I was thinking a mini-triathalon might be fun. Chicago doesn't have hills luckily, but I'll keep that in mind. I have a feeling running won't be my favorite thing, but I want to run because I've never been able to. Even in grade school I failed the 10 minute mile! Anyway I'd like to be able to atleast give it a fair shot.

Cak - how far in the c25k program did you get? Did you find the later weeks to be too much?
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:12 AM   #9
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To everyone on this thread thinking about running - do it! I started the C25K plan when I was somewhere between 250 and 260 pounds, and I really think that becoming a runner has been sooooo instrumental in my journey over the last year. I started running last October, and much to my amazement, I discovered a real love of running, so much so that I'm actually signed up to do a marathon in October! Sorry if I sound like a pollyanna, but I really can't express what it has meant to me to become an athlete at age 40.

A few things to keep in mind: (1) you absolutely need to invest in a good pair of running shoes. Do not buy them at a Sportmart-type store - go to a real running store where they can analyze your gait and make a recommendation for you. (2) Keep your pace slow - it will be hard when you see all sorts of people zipping by you on the path, but particularly in the beginning, you should not be concerned about pacing. You should be able to have a conversation while you run - if you are too out of breath to do that, you're going too fast. (3) Make sure you build slowly - following C25K is a great plan, and there are other similar plans out there, but if you don't feel ready to move on to a new step in the program, repeat the step you're at until you feel ready. It is so important to listen to what your body is telling you to avoid overdoing it and injuring yourself. If you need to take more walking breaks in between running phases, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. (4) Almost as important as good shoes is to have a good exercise bra. I am a larger gal, so have become a big fan of Enell bras, but whatever works for you, make sure you have lots of support for the girls, it will make a huge difference in your comfort level. (5) Don't worry about what you look like when you're running - runners really are a friendly group (for the most part), and they will be thrilled to see you out there doing it. I remember the first few times I went out on the jogging path near me - I had to wear a hat and dark glasses to face the other runners, but once I got used to being out there with everyone, I found out how supportive of a community it is.

And come join us on the coolrunners thread here!
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:25 AM   #10
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Rachel -

Yeah that's sorta what I was hoping to happen to me also. (becoming a runner factoring into my long term success) If I like it enough I plan on entering atleast a few races just for fun.

I do have an Enell bra, which I love, but I'm going to have to get a smaller one soon. (Chest seemed to shrink first!) They are really expensive so I bought mine as a "seconds reject" on ebay... will probably do that as I move down in weight just so I can afford them.

You've lost a lot of weight so if you don't mind me asking besides the bra how does loose skin factor into running on other parts of your body? Do you find it uncomfortable at all? Does snug bike shorts/shirts help at all with the extra jiggling? Is that too embarassing of a question?
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:25 AM   #11
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To everyone on this thread thinking about running - do it! I started the C25K plan when I was somewhere between 250 and 260 pounds
Exactly! There IS no weight limit, not really. I started somewhere over 210. I can't say where over, cause I wasn't weighing. But I was probably more like over 220. I did it trial and error. Hadn't heard of C25K. So I just got out there and tried it. And I got about 15 feet before I felt like my chest was going to explode.

So I went to walking. But once I'd catch my breath, I'd jog again, another 15 feet. I walked a little over a mile every morning, and probably jogged those 15 foot bursts 3 or 4 times on that mile. Eventually, I realized I'd gone farther than 15 feet, then I made it from that bush to that tree! WOO HOO!, then I actually went half the distance up the road. Then I jogged clear to the end of that road and walked back. By then, I increase my distance to 2 miles.

Ok, so going it alone...

I ended up with blisters, shin splints, sore knees, you name it. So I learned quite a lot. Make SURE you buy good running shoes. Try them out on a treadmill if you can, cause you can return them if they don't suit you well as long as you hadn't worn them outside. Also get water wicking socks. Your feet will thank you for it. At heavier weights, I also found extra padded inserts in my shoes were great. For the knees, I started wearing my Wal*Mart knee support that I wore when my knee bothered me sometimes. This time however, I bought another for the other knee. No more knee pain. I actually think it helped strengthen my knees. I have some arthritis in them yet I don't have any problems from it. Since losing the weight, I don't have to wear supports anymore and my knees have been great. Also at heavier weights, you may experience some pull on your lower back. So...I ended up also wearing a back support while running. Seems like a lot to wear, but it really can help if you start to experience any of these problems. And with all that garb on, you want water wicking outwear. LOL

Definately stretch before and after and take it easy, don't push it. I figured out that I shouldn't push it...after I'd pushed it. Then you have to lay off jogging, and even walking, for awhile. It's hard to walk when you have callouses, blisters and aches so bad you wanna take prescription strength Ibuprofen.

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Originally Posted by mariposita View Post
Me too. But in my dream, people are chasing me.
Hey that can actually be a useful tool. Sometimes I imagine someone chasing me...someone I REALLY wanna get away from. You should see how fast I run then.
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:54 AM   #12
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I do have an Enell bra, which I love, but I'm going to have to get a smaller one soon. (Chest seemed to shrink first!) They are really expensive so I bought mine as a "seconds reject" on ebay... will probably do that as I move down in weight just so I can afford them.
I am an ebay-enell purchaser too! In fact, I started at a size 6 and just purchased a size 1, have had lots of chest shrinkage, so the bra expense, even with the ebay discount, has been signifcant! (But hey, it beats the alternative.) In fact, I'm a little freaked out that I might wind up out of the enell size range altogether soon - and then I'll have to find another alternative

Quote:
You've lost a lot of weight so if you don't mind me asking besides the bra how does loose skin factor into running on other parts of your body? Do you find it uncomfortable at all? Does snug bike shorts/shirts help at all with the extra jiggling? Is that too embarassing of a question?
I don't mind at all - the whole point of 3FC is to have a place to ask these kinds of questions, right? I feel relatively lucky on the loose skin front - I've lost 125 pounds, and I'm no spring chicken, so I think things could be a lot worse than they are. I do have some loose skin, mostly in the chest and some in my thighs and belly, plus my arms aren't the greatest. But overall, it isn't too bad. I don't really notice those areas jiggling more than any others when I run...I'm sure they don't always look pretty, but it's certainly not uncomfortable. I wear compression shorts sometimes, but not always.
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Old 08-16-2007, 05:09 AM   #13
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Do you ladies think someone my size could do it? I looked at the C25K program and it seemed simple enough. I can keep up with a 45 minutes exercise video all right. I'd love to become a runner (it's actually one of my goals). Should I wait until I get down to 250 or should I start trying now?
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Old 08-16-2007, 05:32 AM   #14
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Well I'm definately not an expert but I'd encourage you to wait... I don't think I could barely do it yet at my size yet and I'm fairly fit cardio wise. I've gotten my resting heart rate down to less then 60.

Running/Jogging is really bad on your knees. Even thinnner runners get issues by the act of pounding on the ground... It is a lot more then what you actually weigh. Runners can you expand on that? how much is it 3times? 5times? I can't remember it's been awhile since I read about it.

And once you do major damage sometimes it's not reversable.

I'd try walking briskly... you'll slowly be gearing up your cardio so that when your weight is down enough you'll be ready.

I have read about clysdale men triathaletes that were close to 300lbs but those men were very tall and muscular.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:01 AM   #15
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Rachel and almostheaven gave wonderful advice and I won't bother to repeat it because I would tell you the exact same things!!

I just wanted to pop in and give you some words of encouragement. I started doing a C25K-like program when I weighed around 250 and now I'm a few weeks away from my first half marathon. I just ran 13 miles this morning, and I'm even an assistant cross country coach at the school where I teach! Running has honestly changed my life. It has made me believe I can do things I never thought possible, and it's just such a wonderful stress reliever as well!

Take all the great advice you've already received about shoes, bras, stretching, etc...and do it!! I really believe if you have the slightest inclination to become a runner, you should do it. So many people recoil at the very idea of running, so I think those of us who feel that pull toward it are just MEANT to be runners. Don't get me wrong -- I'll never win any races or anything like that -- but I know I'll be a runner for the rest of my life, as long as I can physically do it.

Please keep us updated on your progress, and join us in the Cool Runners thread!!
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