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Safe weight for running?

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Old 02-08-2009, 10:08 PM   #1
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Default Safe weight for running?

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.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:13 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:25 PM   #3
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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
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:28 PM   #4
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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>>
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:56 PM   #5
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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).
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:58 PM   #6
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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!
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:31 AM   #7
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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.

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Old 02-09-2009, 10:13 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:38 AM   #9
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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
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:15 AM   #10
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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!
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:26 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:31 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:41 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:17 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:33 AM   #15
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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.
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