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Overweight Running

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Old 04-12-2011, 02:33 PM   #1
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Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum, but not new to weight loss and exercise.

I started WW Jan of 2010, lost about 40lbs (gained a few back) and have been on a 8 months plateau... AHHHH!!!

I still eat right and walk 3-4 times a week. I walk 5 and 10Ks whenever I find one I like. I walk a 15 min mile for a 10K. One hour, 35 min.

I want to take up running. I have no knee problems and I recently saw a nutritionist who wants me to up my walking to running.

I have started a Couch to 5K program and I am "running" the intervals 3 times a week on a treadmill (better for overweight folks, or so I was told). It's going pretty well, especially now that I have figured out that wearing 2 sports bras simultaneously is the way to go...

I guess my question is, can overweight people be runners or do I need to lose more weight first? I am 5'9", 250lbs and I'm "walking" fit. I do weight training and yoga (for my back, scoliosis, occasional spasms).

Any personal experience stories would be appreciated. My "plan" is to kick this last 90lbs in the back side and work towards running a 5K Turkey Trot at Thanksgiving.

(On a side note, how to I add a weight loss "ticker"? I have the HTML code, but where do I put it?)

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
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I HAD to answer this thread! ABSOLUTELY YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! I started running at 200 lbs 3 weeks after I started my healthy way of eating (Sept '10). I am bottom heavy, so I was particularly careful not to increase my running time too fast (about every 2 weeks). My lungs would have me increase it much faster, but I was cautious of knee injury. I only had one knee injury during my heavier times, and that was due to not stretching properly or long enough after my run.

It's hard to run when your bottom heavy...but I just kept telling myself how much EASIER this would be after I lost weight/fat. I was right, cuz 7 months & 55 lbs later...I can attest...IT IS EASIER!

Running while overweight will get you to a normal BMI faster than any other exercise! BTW, I also started trying to do pull-ups at 200 lbs. By the time I was 195, I could do my first pullup. Now...I can do 21 of them. One thing I learned is that overweight chicks are STRONG...and our muscles are LARGE...cuz of all the extra baggage we carry around...so...hey...just use it to your advantage...I know I did!

Happy trails!
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:53 PM   #3
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I run, and have been doing fairly well at it. Just be careful to not do too much too fast, and have good shoes.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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I can't, but I'm happy to hear that others of you can. I would just caution you to take it slowly and really pay attention to your body, you don't want to end up with an injury, but really, that's a rule anyone starting to run should follow. It sounds like with your walking, you've got the right base to build on.

I love to run, and I think my body is just not designed to do it. My dad, who I'm built like ran for about 20 years, but then ended up with 2 hip replacements before he was 60. I ran as a kid all the time, and off and on through college. I got serious about it again after college when I was trying to lose weight and eventually ended up with shin splints and a torn disk in my back. I've tried a couple times since then, and it could be a coincidence, but the running always coincided with the end of exercising enthusiasm. I think I may just have pushed myself too far, KWIM? This go round I promised myself no running until I'm under 160 and then to start really slow.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:13 PM   #5
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They do it on Biggest Loser. I started running around 200 pounds, I think. The thing about it is you just do it wherever you are. You can run as fast as you want for as long as you want. If all you can manage is 30 seconds of running, then you do that for a week and the next week you increase it to 45 seconds. That's how you build it up.

Running remains the best cardio workout I have found, though I enjoy spinning more. I find it tough to challenge myself with spinning these days, but I can always run faster/longer. And I would say running has had the most impact on my ability to "play" at anything. It takes a lot to get me winded, so my energy on hikes or caving with my son or sledding is through the roof.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:17 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the replies! I have the shoes down, I had whole-foot-sized blisters after my first 10K, eek! and after learning about and buying wide shoes (wide feet), synthetic socks and in-soles (I get blisters from the sharp edges of in-soles in shoes, so I bought new ones) I had no blisters after Sunday's 10K.

I am all-over-heavy, hehe, so I jiggle all over, and wear very tight, compression type capris and tops.

I have NO desire to be injured and I am doing the 9 week Couch 2 5K over a 18 week period. My real reason for taking up running is that I want to be able to run for 30 min, so I can go for a "quick run" a few times a week and save my LONG trail walks for the weekends, it'd free up so much time for me during the week.

I feel a lot more confident that I'm doing the right thing, thanks everyone!
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nics View Post
I have started a Couch to 5K program and I am "running" the intervals 3 times a week on a treadmill (better for overweight folks, or so I was told). It's going pretty well, especially now that I have figured out that wearing 2 sports bras simultaneously is the way to go...

I guess my question is, can overweight people be runners or do I need to lose more weight first? I am 5'9", 250lbs and I'm "walking" fit. I do weight training and yoga (for my back, scoliosis, occasional spasms).

I started running using the C25K when I was around 250lbs. I did 5k races at that weight so yes, it's possible. The treadmill is worse for overweight people because it's very hard on your knees anyway, adding a high body weight to that just compounds the chance for injury. Trail running with a stability shoe is the best, followed by a track, then road running, then if you have to-treadmill. A treadmill feels easier for running because you are not using the same motion as you would running outdoors. A belt is doing the forward motion for you whereas on a non-moving surface you are actually using muscles to propel yourself forward. It's more effort but also a somewhat forgiving surface will save you from injury later on.

You CAN do it. You just have to give your body a little extra TLC and pay attention to your pronation (the way your ankle rolls) and form (so you're not depending on your knees to carry you).
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:31 AM   #8
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It is possible, with all the caveats about increasing slowly, making sure you rest, and *wearing good shoes*.

I would add, though, that I don't think running is the best workout - swimming is. You get the same kind of calorie burn without the impact. That said, most of us can't walk out the door and start swimming laps.
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:55 PM   #9
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i would love to start running or even jogging..i have no idea where to begin at 238 pounds
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:08 AM   #10
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I started doing intervals of 5 minutes walking then five minutes running on the treadmill. i've worked my way up to total running for 40 minutes then intervals again for the last 20 minutes of my work out. Slow and steady is the way to go. good luck!
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:10 PM   #11
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every day i say i'm going to go out and run.. and i never do. it's just so intimidating. i can't tell you how many times i've told myself i'd start the C25k...and didn't get past the week one ;/
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:58 PM   #12
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Definitely!!! I was almost at your same BMI when I started running again. I still love running (but I find road running way more enjoyable compared to running on a treadmill and easier, I've only recently started on a treadmill to push myself to go faster).
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:17 AM   #13
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I started jogging back in 2008. There was this great little green-belt/power line/paved trail thingy close to my house (not close enough to walk there though sadly). It was 1.6 km from one end and back, but there was at least 1 other trail that looped off about the main path and back that was around 320 meters long. I used to walk/jog it and take the loop going and then just head straight back. I started out only being able to jog for about 30 seconds (I timed myself) before having to walk for about a minute to catch my breath and then jog for another 30 seconds. The whole exercise took between 35 and 45 minutes. I did it -every- day during the summer, when it was the hottest (b/c I'm stubborn sometimes), always trying to better my overall time from the previous day. In just under 3 months I lost 29.8 pounds and 17 inches overall. That was my only exercise and I coupled it with a low cal diet (1300 calories). I started at just around the weight I am now, maybe a bit heavier, close to 260 and finished just shy of 230.

It CAN be done. I did it in really old, but very good, Nikes and I never had a problem. The absolute WORST thing to happen though is a knee injury. Five years ago I fell of a side walk (honest to God); I slipped off it and came down with all my weight onto my right knee. I didn't get a chance to brace myself at all; and the person that startled me and caused me to slip didn't even offer to help (grr!). I damaged the bursal sac in my knee and ever since, I've had serious problems with that knee. It's something that just doesn't go away. One small, wrong move, one small weird shift of weight sets it off again and I'm in pain for several days. It's why I can't do any squats or lunges.

So, advice, would be to be VERY careful with your knees. Make sure you're running form is proper; back straight, shoulders squared, and you're stepping down properly.

And take it slow. Push yourself, but don't over-do it because then it doesn't become fun and feels more like punishment (at least to me it did).

By the end of the 3 months, or nearabouts, I had increased my endurance from 30 seconds, to 1 minute 30 seconds. I was quite pleased. But then we had a really horrible heat wave, my asthma acted up b/c of it, and my dog (well, parent's dog sorta) whom I had staying with me had heat exhaustion repeatedly (she already has epilepsy) so I ended up having to stop because I was worried about her safety during the day and worried about my lungs b/c of my asthma.

I never did get back into it But I did enjoy it!
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:30 AM   #14
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Definitely possible! I started 11 pounds ago. It is something I NEVER thought I would do and enjoy. In fact, I used to laugh at people who ran and wonder why they got any enjoyment out of it. Part of that was because I thought I'd never be like that and part because I truly thought it wasn't something enjoyable. I have since changed my mind greatly and now I completely understand that it is an enjoyable and wonderful way to exercise your whole body.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:35 AM   #15
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I jog at 250s lbs. it depends on how much you can do. my friend is very very small, but i bet i can outrun her.
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