Getting in Shape

Beginning running

Sooo I've always liked the 'idea' of running. I even kid myself that one day I could be a runner. However, the actual activity sucks to me lol. I feel like this is because I try to do too much at once, feel like I'm dying, then quit.

That being said, I'm looking for advice on how to begin running. First of all, I'm very heavy, I'm 5'8 and right at 300 lbs, and I do absolutely no exercise currently. I know walking is probably the best way to start and then build up to jogging/running, but has anyone else started from not doing any exercise at all and worked up to running? I'd love some tips/advice. 
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Re: Beginning running

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
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    Have you tried Couch to 5K?  It is a walk/jog program that will get you up to being able to run a 5K. It is also great because at the end of whatever week you are on and you feel like you aren't up to moving on to the next week you can just repeat the current week and then move on with the rest of the program.

    I used to hate running but have really gotten into it as of late, but like you I always seemed to start with too much and then I become super sore and then quit and have to start all over again.  I have finally come to the realization that I won't be able to run a half marathon right off the bat so I am just easing in and adding in some cross training on my off running days.

    So just start off small and slow.  Remember no matter how slow you are running you are still lapping everyone who is lounging on the couch.

    theycallmelinzChellaTimsjay788mhoffman17
  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas
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    Get the Couch to 5K (C25K) plan/app! You can google the instructions or get the app, and there's even one called "Zombies, Run!" that will lead you through the program in a fun, storytelling way. C25K is designed for people who have never run before, and each day/week has workouts with amounts of walking/running to work you up to running 5K straight. If it's too tough at any point you can repeat the day until you get stronger.

    I think the other important thing is good shoes, especially if you're heavy. Quality shoes will save your joints! Go to a running store and ask them to analyze your gait and give you some options to test (on their treadmill in-store normally.) It sounds intimidating but the employees all usually really love running and love to get new people into it, so they are super kind and excited.

    Last bit of advice is, when you get close to the end of C25K, sign up for a race or fun run! It is excellent motivation and an amazing feeling to finish your first one.

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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
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    amelisha said:
    Get the Couch to 5K (C25K) plan/app! You can google the instructions or get the app, and there's even one called "Zombies, Run!" that will lead you through the program in a fun, storytelling way. C25K is designed for people who have never run before, and each day/week has workouts with amounts of walking/running to work you up to running 5K straight. If it's too tough at any point you can repeat the day until you get stronger.

    I think the other important thing is good shoes, especially if you're heavy. Quality shoes will save your joints! Go to a running store and ask them to analyze your gait and give you some options to test (on their treadmill in-store normally.) It sounds intimidating but the employees all usually really love running and love to get new people into it, so they are super kind and excited.

    Last bit of advice is, when you get close to the end of C25K, sign up for a race or fun run! It is excellent motivation and an amazing feeling to finish your first one.
    Yes, I agree completely about the shoes.  For the longest time I had knee pain and then I bought new and appropriate running shoes for my feet and oh my goodness the difference.  No more knee pain.

    Also, make sure you stretch really well after every run.  Set a timer for 15 minutes and stretch well the entire time.  Google stretches for runners and find some good ones.

  • theycallmelinztheycallmelinz Georgia
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    Funny story. I bought the C25K app well over a year ago and used it maybe once haha. BUT I'm willing to try again! Looking at it now, it only gives you workouts for 3 days. Are you only supposed to use it 3 times a week? Or just repeat days?
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  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas
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    Three times a week is plenty to start, but you can rest the other days, alternate cross-training (strength training, classes, DVDs, whatever) on the other days, or repeat, or move ahead faster. No matter how enthusiastic you are, though, you shouldn't run every day (at least certainly not as a beginner.) You don't want overuse injuries when you're just starting.

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  • One day I was like "Oh hay i should go for a run after work" and now I did 9 miles this Sunday /flex

    Totally possible to improve from 0, just don't expect to go 60mph right away! I think for the first few days i didn't set a distance or time I wanted to go, I just ran until I was tired or i set a "to there and back" goal. i would figure out my distance and pace after the fact. As i got better (and walked less during the run), I starting planning my routes to go farther. I wouldn't try to run more than every other day, or more than 3 times a week to start.

    I really like MapMyRun.com. I like being able to look back and see how far I've come. I've also said it on other posts before, but I love love love my fitbit.

    Other than that, maybe look into something to hold you accountable to running, so you don't give up or skip days when you're tired? Maybe a running club in your area, or FI or a friend to run with you?

    Good luck! You can totally do it if you put your mind to it!
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  • I also find little goals to be helpful.  Whenever I am coming to running from an injury or break, I will start with walking and add in short stints of running.  For example, I will run to the second phone pole.  When I get to my goal pole, I will walk and recover.  Then I will decide to run to the stop sign, walking again to recover when I get there.  The intervals are good for building up endurance without doing too much too fast. 

    If you run on the treadmill you can use songs, tv commercials, or even mile markers on the treadmill itself for the same effect.

  • lulu411 said:

    Sooo I've always liked the 'idea' of running. I even kid myself that one day I could be a runner. However, the actual activity sucks to me lol. I feel like this is because I try to do too much at once, feel like I'm dying, then quit.


    That being said, I'm looking for advice on how to begin running. First of all, I'm very heavy, I'm 5'8 and right at 300 lbs, and I do absolutely no exercise currently. I know walking is probably the best way to start and then build up to jogging/running, but has anyone else started from not doing any exercise at all and worked up to running? I'd love some tips/advice. 
    --------

    I also recommend the Couch to 5K app. I would suggest however that you complete it once with just walking. It's 3 days a week with rest days in between. End goal is to complete 5K distance without taking a break.
    Commit to say Tue-Thurs-Sat. The routine is warm-up, intervals of easy pace and moderate pace, and cool down. Easy pace is comfortable and you can carry conversation, moderate pace is a slightly faster pace than easy where your heart rate elevates but you can still make short sentences. A brisk walk. Once you complete the C25K walking, you can start over but this time walking the easy pace and jogging for the moderate pace. After that cycle, I'd do it a 3rd time, this time jogging for easy and moderate.

    As the weeks go by, you'll see increased stamina and strength. It won't feel easy because you're consistently challenging yourself. Which is great because it means you're making progress.

    I'm not a coach or any kind of fitness professional. This is just what I did with friends.

    As for gear, #1 is proper shoes. Go to running store and get fitted. #2 supporting sports bra, #3 tech running bottoms tops and socks. 2 capris, 3 tops, and 5 pairs of socks (you can find good stuff from target or old navy.) <--- This should be enough to get you through the first few weeks. I wouldn't buy too much as you're likely to lose quite a bit of weight at first. You can always layer on top with old sweaters as temps drop. #4 heart rate monitor. This will help you pace yourself according to effort.

    Good luck and have fun!

    Oh and look up local running groups. They're a great source of information and motivation. You don't necessarily have to run with them, but you can start together and chat before and after.
    butterscotchjbeans
  • I also recommend the couch to 5k! I went from 0 running and did the couch to 10k app. It totally worked for me. You also need a really kick ass playlist with all your favorite songs (you can play them with the app) and then you have to completely prohibit yourself from listening to said playlist UNLESS you are running. Haha. Worked for me anyway.

    If you live in SoCal or Florida, you might want to look into the DisneyRun races... ridiculous, I know. But I signed up for the Tinkerbell 10k this year when I had zero running experience. It was SO. FUN. And because they are expensive as all get out it helped guilt me into running at least twice a week to get ready for it. After surviving it, I totally cried when I crossed the finish line. It was ridiculous. But I was so proud of myself.

    Since then, I've done the Disney Half Marathon. Totally NEEEVVVEEERR would have thought I could do that. Ever. But I did and I'm already signed up for another one in May. Can't wait. Also, the Disney races are super fun and they have all sorts of crap happening along the route so you don't get bored.

    Also, the Zombie Run app or whatever its called. That helped keep me not bored too. Also almost all my running is on a treadmill at the gym because it's easier. And I can't handle the heat because I'm a wimp. Still works just as good. I lost a lot of weight and got healthier and that's all that matters.

    AlexaF2014
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North
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    I'm assuming the couch to 5K is similar to the Learn to Run from the Running Room up here. Basically, they start with 1 min run, 2 min walk, then move to 1 min run/1min walk, then 2 min run/1 min walk and so on up to 10 min run/1min walk, which is the basic formula they use to teach all other running classes (even marathons). You'd do a few days at each stage. If you need more walk time, start with more and then slowly push yourself to up the running and lower the walking.

    I also recommend joining a running group or class. You'll feel more accountable if you have people to do it with and if you've paid to do it. Track your progress. I find it makes me feel more accountable to myself too.
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    theycallmelinz
  • I'm a REALLY big fan of C25K! I was completely sedentary until about a year and a half ago, and starting that program changed my life. Now I generally run 15-20 miles per week and I've done several road races. I actually did the program with my fiancee, who was in equally poor shape, and we helped motivate each other. It's one of the reasons why I love him so dearly! Sure, running has helped me shed a few pounds, but much more importantly my energy levels are phenomenal, and I used to struggle with insomnia, which has now completely disappeared. I promise you - you will not regret this commitment if you make it!

    As a previous post suggested, you can use C25K flexibly. If you feel like it's advancing too fast for you then just repeat last week's program instead of starting the new week (I had to do that several times, especially in the beginning when I thought I was dying every time I went out there). If you start the program and feel like you can't even do the short bursts of jogging then just walk for 30 minutes. It doesn't matter if you're slow. YOU JUST HAVE TO COMMIT TO 3 WORKOUTS PER WEEK. NO EXCUSES! Be ruthless with yourself.

    I completely agree with all the previous posts, with one exception - I hate running to music. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like the changing beat from song to song throws my running rhythm out of whack. I love finding my own beat in the pounding of my feet and the passing of each breath. The beats from the music distract me too much. Also, my experience with running groups is that they're full of hard-core people, which I don't find very helpful.

    Happy running! And happy wedding!
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  • Hi & Welcome to running! I just completed my first marathon, after having started running (from nothing) almost 10 years ago. 

    I know so many people, of all shapes and sizes that have had a lot of success with C25K. And signing up for a race in 3-6 months is the best way to keep yourself accountable. Don't worry about being the slowest person/only person at the end of the race, I run about 15 races every year and there are so many people that are doing a race for the first time, it's really inspiring to see people meet their goal! 

    Local running stores are a great resource for more than just equipment. They often organize weekly training runs, many of them actually do a C25K series, or they can possibly hook you up with a training partner. After running on my own for a long time, I recently joined a club and it's made a huge difference in my life. Some clubs may attract very fast runners, but my club has everything from sub-3:00 marathoners to people that primarily walk through races. I guarantee there are others that match your ability out there that have similar goals, and that are looking for a partner. You can always find a virtual buddy. One of my training partners for the marathon this year lives 500 miles away, but we kept each other motivated and she was a sounding board for my misery.

    Other tips: running is hard on your body. If you have access to a pool or to a bike/exercise bike, I find it really helpful to use those on my non-running days, or on days where I just don't feel up to running, but want to be physically active. The first few week of starting can be really painful as your body gets used to the impact-that pain goes away, I promise! And it does get easier, you just have to make it through about 4 weeks. 

    Keep track of your progress somehow. I have a white board where I log my total mileage, count down how many runs I have to go until the next race, etc. It is such a huge motivation for me to see how far I've come. 
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    theycallmelinz
  • theycallmelinztheycallmelinz Georgia
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    Thanks for all of your responses! I definitely plan to stop in at one of the running stores here and get fitted for a decent pair of shoes and see what all I can find out in there. Now if I can just find the motivation to get up and go DO this. 
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    butterscotchjbeans
  • vikinganna87vikinganna87 Live Free or Die
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    All I want to add is that cute outfits help!  I definitely don't run often enough - getting dressed seems like the biggest challenge, but once I have my running clothes on I've made the commitment.  If I invest in nice new pants or a great jacket it helps motivate me.


  • I haven't tried any specific programs, but I highly recommend slowly working from walking to running by doing intervals. Start out walking and alternate walking and running and then finish with some walking. Please don't forget to do some stretching after you warm up with a bit of walking and after you're done. The last thing you want to do is pull a muscle or something when you're starting a new fitness program. Then just start increasing how much time you're running. I think sometimes people try to jump right into running as long as they can and then give up when that isn't as long as they'd like. 

    I also agree with the suggestion for good outfits. For me, comfort is most important. Make sure you have sufficient support for your chest - a good sports bra (or layer two if needed). Then pick out some comfortable and cute pants/capris/shorts and a top! I always feel better working out if I'm comfortable and feel cute. And make sure you have good quality, new shoes. Old shoes can break down and might not provide enough support which puts you at risk for an injury. 
    theycallmelinzvikinganna87
  • You can do this!  I love all of the advice that was given to you.  The couch to 5k apps are amazing. I currently use a couch to 10k app and I cannot believe how I improve every week.  Good shoes are super duper important.  They will save your knees and feet.  Everytime I hit a running goal I buy myself a new sports bra, leggings, top, etc.  I definitley feel more motivated when I'm in stylish, supportive running gear. 

    I also have a monthly planner to help organize my life.  I schedule my runs every week so that I "have" to do them.  I might not feel like running on a Monday after work, but that's what I "have" to do that day, so I just go do it. 

    I see this post was from a few weeks ago.... have you started?  Any motivational progress to share with us? If you haven't start yet, I promise you can do this!!

  • theycallmelinztheycallmelinz Georgia
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    Soooo I certainly appreciate all of the feedback I got from you guys, and I'm ashamed to say that no, I haven't begun even walking =/ My excuse is that I can't make myself get up at 5am to do it, and I get home so late in the evenings that its dark and I don't feel like it then either. But I know those are just excuses. Any help on how to kick my butt in gear?
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
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    Soooo I certainly appreciate all of the feedback I got from you guys, and I'm ashamed to say that no, I haven't begun even walking =/ My excuse is that I can't make myself get up at 5am to do it, and I get home so late in the evenings that its dark and I don't feel like it then either. But I know those are just excuses. Any help on how to kick my butt in gear?
    Do you have a lunch break?  You could always take a 30 minute walk in the middle of the day.  At least it is something and in the winter it will help up your energy level.

    And I know they are incredibly boring even if you watch TV at the same time, but have you thought about looking in to a treadmill?

  • theycallmelinztheycallmelinz Georgia
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    Soooo I certainly appreciate all of the feedback I got from you guys, and I'm ashamed to say that no, I haven't begun even walking =/ My excuse is that I can't make myself get up at 5am to do it, and I get home so late in the evenings that its dark and I don't feel like it then either. But I know those are just excuses. Any help on how to kick my butt in gear?
    Do you have a lunch break?  You could always take a 30 minute walk in the middle of the day.  At least it is something and in the winter it will help up your energy level.

    And I know they are incredibly boring even if you watch TV at the same time, but have you thought about looking in to a treadmill?
    I'm supposed to get a lunch break but rarely take one. If I made myself take one to go for a walk, I'm afraid I'd be all sweaty going back to work and I'd feel gross.

    A treadmill could be a possibility after our wedding, but right now most of our money goes into savings so I wouldn't be able to make a purchase that big until afterwards. I know I just need to get with it and get up in the mornings.
    Anniversary



  • I understand. Winter is a hard time to start. The darkness, the cold, the rain/snow... they all make great excuses. However, the good news is once you get used to walking - in the dark, in the cold, in the rain - your motivation builds and these things don't matter anymore!

    It's fine if you cannot do the 5am thing - I personally could never do that! If mornings are really not your thing then you'll just need to get over the darkness factor in the evenings, or do a lunchtime walk as was suggested above.

    You need someone to hold you accountable. I volunteer! You should walk for 30 min 3 days/week to start. Put the days in your calendar! What day will you start? Today? Tomorrow?

  • For awhile last summer I was up every morning at 4:45 to get to the gym.  Did it suck? Yes!  But I was meeting a friend there so I had to show.  We held each other accountable.  I set my clothes out and filled my water bottle the night before so I could literally get dressed and run out the door.  I promise you, you can do this!  Or try getting reflective clothing or a flashlight to carry with you during the evening.  You may even find fellow runners/walkers out doing the same!

    Also, don't worry about being sweaty going back into work! Walk for whatever distance/time you're comfortable with and then allow for a few minutes to refresh in the bathroom.  When I did my 5am workouts in the summer, I was still red in the face when I got to work but I didn't care.  I just ran a few miles before 7am and I felt great!! Grab your fitness goals by the horns girl!

    Can you start this weekend?

  • Hi, That's so awesome that you want to run. The way to start in my opinion is to start small. Just go for a walk around the block, but speed walk. I would do this for a week and then on your second week just try to run half the block as much as you can in a slow pace. If you can' do the the whole block no worries because one day running that one block will feel like a breeze. It takes a while to get a good pace in running. I know it may look easy but its a hard and rewarding sport/exercise! 

    ps drink lots of water 
  • I first read this discussion two weeks ago, and did a lot of research on the C25K app. I ended up getting the free version of the app, and I am on Week 2, Day 3 of the whole thing. I LOVE IT! I have always loathed running because I wasn't good at it. When I run using this app, I feel so much better about myself and my running abilities.

    I highly recommend this app. It's great for people who don't enjoy running, and aren't particularly good at it.
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  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm
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    edited December 2014
    I first read this discussion two weeks ago, and did a lot of research on the C25K app. I ended up getting the free version of the app, and I am on Week 2, Day 3 of the whole thing. I LOVE IT! I have always loathed running because I wasn't good at it. When I run using this app, I feel so much better about myself and my running abilities.

    I highly recommend this app. It's great for people who don't enjoy running, and aren't particularly good at it.

    ---------------


    I always recommend C25K.  I've been running on and off all my life, but I never had a set plan.  I would kind of just go out and then stop because I thought I was tired.

    I did C25K last year just to get myself on a set system, and it really helped me gain some discipline and confidence.  I ended up moving up and doing my first two half marathons this year (hopefully a full in 2015).
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  • slothiegal good luck to you! I don't think I ever want to run a marathon, lol! Just a lot of fun 5ks. I'm glad you mentioned becoming more disciplined, and confidence! That's really want I want to gain from working out.
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  • JamieLynn913JamieLynn913 Watertown, CT
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    I like you, was never into running. Now I look forward to it. The key is starting out slow. Start out at 3.0 mph on the treadmill and see how far you can go with that. Also, walking/running on an incline will help sometimes. When you feel you can do 3.0 no problem, bump it up, etc. I started out running at 4.0 after awhile, and now I'm at 5.6 and can do that for awhile. You won't get there in a day. Like everybody else said. take it slow, drink LOTS of water (your muscles will need it), stretch, and make sure you eat bananas. I noticed once I started running a lot more and even though I was stretching, my calf muscles would tense up at night and FI would have to help me get them to stop cramping. Bananas help with that :) Good luck!!

    theycallmelinz
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