What is a good distance to start running when you are overweight?

Ask:

I am really overweight, and know that i need to lose weight. I figured the best way to lose the weight is to start running, but I dont know what is a good distance to start with. Obviously I am too out of shape to run the whole distance, so should I run as far as a can then walk when I am out of breath? I am embarrassed that people will see me walking and running, any tips?

Answer:

It is not so much about the distance that you can run until you can’t breathe anymore that is going to cause you to lose weight. From my own experience, I started out walking & then slowly incorporated some slow running spurts into a combination of a walk/run program until I could run without having to stop at all. I was so overweight that I could not walk up the stairs without being out of breath & my heart palpitating!! That was embarassing enough for me. I could not walk 10 minutes without my feet hurting so bad from my excess weight in the beginning. I made a choice/commitment to myself to lose 100 lbs in 1 year. Now it is 1 yr and 1 months later and I have managed to lose 101 lbs so I know that you can do it too. I knew I had to quit smoking in order to run so I quit cold turkey 1 1/2 years ago. I knew there was no way that I could run if I smoked so therefore I would never lose the weight.

I made a decision to make a ‘lifestyle’ change including what I ate. I eat more protein now to build leaner muscle which burns fat & calories faster. You can find protein in eggwhites, chicken and turkey. Eat more fiber such as apples because fiber tricks the body into thinking that you are fuller longer. Believe me I was just like you. I just couldn’t look at myself in the mirror anymore at the way that I looked or felt about myself.

I had lost weight in the past by running so I knew it would work again. At that time I only needed to lose 35 lbs and I did. All of this was no due to overeating, it was due to a medication side effect which caused a slowed down metabolism & therefore I gained more weight more quickly.

What I did was start out with the walk for a couple of weeks at least 3 times a week for 15-30 or as much as you can tolerate. You will begin to feel better mentally just by being active & when the endorphins kick in even for just walking. When you are comfortable enough then try doing some really slow running & focus on your breathing. That is the biggest thing to overcome & tackle in running in the beginning to go any distance. What worked for me was deep breathing from my abdomen and then slowly breathing out of my mouth and ‘feeling’ my body be relaxed as I just jogged in ‘slo mo’ and I do mean really slow. I didn’t care what other people thought at this point. My determination to keep it going and to lose the weight was stronger than what other people thought of me. As I have heard other people say; those people that you think are looking at you funny are just doing that — looking…not running or moving physically at all. That is the point, you are doing it and they are not. I said to a running friend ‘when does it ever get easier?’ and like a day later I read somewhere in a running book that “If it was so easy than everyone would be doing it”. It makes alot of sense doesn’t it? don’t be so hard on yourself. The fact that you are willing is 1/2 the battle. Trust me, stick with it and don’t over do it. Listen to your body. If you have pain, never run or walk through it. Give yourself a rest day so the muscles can repair themselves. In the end you WILL run and get to a certain distance that you will feel good & confident about. I feel so much better about myself. I could not even lift or drag 100 lbs if I had too. I still have more work to do but I need machines in a gym to do some weight or strength training which down the line will help also build more leaner muscle. If you stick with it, I guarantee that you will see the results that you want. You just have to be patient & look at the ‘big picture’ if you miss a day or two and say to yourself that ‘I have the rest of my life’ to get out there & walk/run. Your legs will be more toner and more of muscle and so will your butt. My face is alot thinner and my waist too. You will feel great both mentally & physically and running can be very addictive so hang in there for the long haul. One day at a time is all you have to handle. I still stop and walk sometimes because I am trying to go faster but I have read that is better to do rather than to keep on running because you will tire your body out & get fatigued quicker and in the end ruin what your intentions where anyway. I really wish you luck & I would love to know how your progress is coming along. Think positve thoughts & affirmations while you are out there. That also helps alot & motivates you more too and eventually trust me you won’t even think twice if anybody is looking at you. You will just feel so good about yourself and what you are doing and you will just keep feeding on that feeling. Good Luck. This probably has to be my longest answer to anyone ever but I can truly relate to where you are right now. : ))

My own experience, learning from others and reading alot more on health and wellness and I did lose my goal weight. In actuality I gained alot more than just losing the weight, you will see what I mean…

Answer 2:
I was 40 lbs overweight when I started in Mar 08, I found the best way to run and stick with it, is to make a rountine of getting out there, not worrying about time or mileage but just making the effort to do something. In the begining I scheduled *bc I’m a sahm and husband works alot* a time where he was home to look after the kids. Usually 5 am more often than not and I set a goal of going out around the block and if I had to walk, I did but only for a minute maximum. My first time out was 10 mins, and it took me a bit to get past that. Once I could get that block mastered I went to the next block and repeated that I’d run more than I walk and I found the best way to do running is to pace yourself slowly and build up endurance gradually. 

Once you can master running successfully without stopping is when I worried about mileage and time. Now about breathing, my best advice is to start slowly when running, breathe in and out slowly. Breathing isn’t as easy as one things when starting running, I developed exercise induced asthma so it took me a while to get it together.

Mainly try to relax and have fun with it, if you look at running as a chore then you’re less likely to stick with it long term. I run with an ipod and I find finally getting to hear my music on my time is a great stress relief for me.

Please don’t be embarrassed walking/jogging, a lot of people do it and they do that their entire running career so don’t worry about it!

Good luck :)

Add Your Comment

*