Post # 1
I am getting an exercise and weight loss plan together after having a baby (granted it will not start for a few months as I am still healing from a c section and breastfeeding a newborn) and I have some questions about running.
First of all, I am very overweight (obese) but I have good blood pressure, good physicals, heart rate…whatever. I love being outside, I love hikes with the dogs, I love taking walks (2-3 miles usually once every other week right now due to time).
I have PCOS and have always struggled with weight. When I was 16 I was in an abusive relationship that lasted about 4 years, and my bf would not let me go anywhere or do anything to better myself (school, exercise, outdoor activities) I put on a significant amount of weight (about 100 pounds) in that time. I grew up, got confidence in myself, and got out of there! Later on while treating hypothyroidism and my pcos, and getting to work on ME I lost about 50 pounds a few years ago…unfortunately, most of it was put back on because my husband and I lost our house and had to move to a small apartment in a busy city for a year.
Now I am back around that heavy weight, and I know I can start to get rid of it again now that we have another home, and live in a beautiful slow-paced area with lots of outdoor oppurtunities. So here is my question.
I have always been so jealous of runners. They seem so passionate and happy about running, and I long for that kind of connection with an activity! But being so heavy, I don’t know if it is something I can just “do”. Do I need to lose weight first? Will it be worse on my knees to start now? I already have some knee pain. Any tips from people who enjoy running, or who have been in a position where they also started from a heavy weight and went on to enjoy and continue running? Hopefully this isnt too jumbled…but TIA!
Post # 3
Good for you for wanting to get healthier! I would probably suggest doing something like an eliptical or a tredclimber first before trying to run. Running on pavement can put a ton of pressure on your knees, ankles, etc. that your body might not be ready for. Someone told me once that every pound you lose is like 5 pounds of pressure off your knees. So for me personally, I would try to lose some weight first and then work on running. Good luck to you and have fun! I’m not good about exercising, but at times when I am in my life, I got such endorphine highs! Hopefully you’ll find the same!
Post # 4
@hismm: I started running in high school, I love running!! It is great for being fit, but even more importantly- healthy!! It gives me more energy and just makes me feel good. Plus, I have a major sweet tooth and I love dessert, so I go ahead and eat dessert and the running balances it out!
If you are not in good shape, I wouldn’t start running right away. FI’s best friend was really heavy and decided he wanted to do something about it- so he started running right away. He learned the hard way that was a mistake! It was really hard on his knees (running is a high impact sport on your knees). His knees were injured for almost a month after his first run- he just over did it. What worked for his was using the elliptical first- and then gradually running. A low impact activitiy like the elliptcal or a bike is easier on your knees, especially at first! Once you start running, just keep it gradual. My first cross country practice was running 5 minutes non-stop… that’s it! Once you can do that, just gradually add time or distance. You should never increase your mileage by more than 10% a week to avoid “runner’s knee.” Cross training is also helpful- mix it up and do weightlifting or a spin class so you aren’t running all the time. There are lots of free training programs online, like couch to 5 K. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start a fitness plan as well. Good luck! And in case you are curious, FI’s best friend has lost 41 pounds this year- he just exercised regularly and tracked what he ate on my fitness pal. Good luck- you can do this! 🙂
Post # 5
I would echo Schatzie and say start with something that’s easier on your knees first.
Swimming is a great excercise and the buoyancy puts less pressure on your knees. Perhaps you could start with that?
Post # 6
There is a risk of injury no matter what type of exercise people do. Don’t be afraid. I’m about 60 lbs overweight and starting couch to 5k for the 2nd time (the first time I was a healthy weight but still not a “runner” by any means). It’s a very easy way to get into running. For example, the first week you do 5 mins walking warmup, then intervals of 60 seconds of jogging, 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes, then 5 minutes of cool down. Very manageable!! Here is the link to the program, I also downloaded an app on my phone so can listen to music and then a “trainer” tells me when to walk, jog, cool down, etc. It’s great. The first time I used a stop watch and it was annoying to have to keep looking at the watch.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do!!!
Post # 7
One piece of advice to help avoid injury – go to a running shoe store like New Balance and have yourself fitted for proper running sneakers. It can make all the difference.
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2014 - Cedar Lake Cellars
I would say that anyone can do it, as long as you’re reasonable with your expectations. When I first started running, my friend and I would joke that we went “wogging” because we’d walk as much as we jogged. But, it you keep pushing, you slowly start to increase your pace and distance. Don’t expect overnight progress because that’s how you get hurt. And, don’t expect a runner’s high everyday. I have runs where I hate every step… But, I still feel better afterwards. And some days, I love every step. I don’t think the really passionate runners convey that very well and it’s almost intimidated me into stopping before.
Post # 9
@LemonLavender: I love that term – I jog so slow that walkers can pass me; at least I have a term for it now!
I would echo @jny1179:‘s comments and say getting fitted for shoes is very important. They might be able to advise about the knee pain, too. You could also check at the running store to see if there are any learn to run programs near you. There is a great one here in my town that meets weekly and has an excellent training program that has you running a 4 mile race in just a few months. Women of all shapes and ages participate – it’s amazing to see. They start you out very slowly and next you know you’re a runner. I know other folks have had luck with Couch to 5K.
Post # 10
@hismm: No, I look like a fool. I can jog a little.
Post # 11
Anyone can become a runner, you just have to listen to your body. I highly recommend the Couch to 5K program (free app for smartphone, website full of training plans) as a way to get started. Each workout (3X a week, 25 minutes at a time) starts with a few minutes of walking as a warmup then alternates walking with jogging/running. As you progress in the program, it changes the ratio of walking to running and at the end of week 8 or 10 or something like that, you’re running for 25 minutes!
Deciding to make a change in your life is the first big step, congrats! 🙂
Post # 12
It might be worth doing other forms of exercise before starting to run. I did a C25K programme earlier this year, wound up tearing both calf muscles and spending nearly two months on crutches.
I thought I was recovered and tried running again a few months later and wound up with tendinitis in my knee so bad that I had to take two days off work because the painkillers I was having to take to keep the pain within manageable levels left me completely zombified.
So yeah… Running isn’t for everyone.
It’s also not great for reshaping the body. Don’t get me wrong. You can use cardio to build a calorie deficit but for the best bang for your buck you need a calorie deficit and some form of progressive resistance training AKA strength training.
I have lost about 35lb since January through exercise and dietary tracking this year (I’m eating as much as I was before but exercising a lot more). My exercises of choice are powerlifting/strength training and walking
I lift weights three times a week (Stronglifts 5×5) and walk every time I can. I do yoga occasionally (a couple of times a month) and I love to dance, but weights is the big thing for me.
As you can see, there’s a big difference in my shape (and confidence).
January (77.1kg – 170lb):
September (62.7kg 138lb):
I know I’ve got a way to go (I’m aiming for 20% body fat, so another 6-8kg, 13-17lb to lose) and I hope that I can actually take up running again one day, but I’m actually now in training for a powerlifting contest next spring so I can’t risk injuring myself in the mean time.
Post # 13
I do believe anyone can “start” to run – but usually that means a gradual start.
I love the suggestions of the couch to 5K program.
When I first started in the sport of running, I joined a half marathon training club at my local YMCA to get coaching and support from the club and I loved it. It was awesome to get a weekly training planned emailed to me and have 3 workouts a week with the people who know what they’re doing and some people were beginners just like me so it helped me feel encouraged.
I started jogging 2 minutes and power walking 3 mins for 45 mins… Then when that got comfortable I would change the ratio by 30 seconds more jogging and 30 seconds less walking. It helped me build endurance and not get discouraged because I could do anything for 2 minutes straight. lol
Since then I have done 3 half marathons, a triathalon and countless 10Ks and 5Ks and I don’t think I would be as knowledgable or healthy if I didn’t start with the club I did.
Its great when you have music to encourage your pace too!
It takes time but you can do it!
Post # 14
This is great feedback ladies! Thanks! I am going to look into the couch to 5k and also look into joining the Y in our area. Memberships only 43 a month with lots of free classes in all categories.
You look great! You can definitely see the difference including attitude! Congratulations.
I will also see about getting fitted for a good pair of shoes. I’m in love with my hiking shoes so hoping I can get something for day to day workouts that are as comfortable.
Post # 15
Unfortunately not everyone can run. I have horrible feet with crooked metatarsals and running would be a disaster for me! I use kettlebells and low impact step aerobics to get my cardio. People with joint problems, lower back or knee problems should check with their doctors before starting a running program.
Post # 15
I would say that barring deformities or severe biomechanical issues, anyone can start running! Our bodies have some pretty amazing adaptations that make us excellent distance runners (check out the book “Born to Run” for more- it’s a great read!).
I have always been a runner, and I’ve never been overweight, but I did have a pretty serious injury a few years ago (not running related, a broken neck) and had to take ~3.5 months off of exercise all together. Getting back into shape after that was painful, and you’re going to have to be prepared for that. However, have faith that if you stick with it, it gets easier!
Start with a run-walk program- I’ve heard Couch to 5k is a good one. The biggest mistake you can make is to do too much, too soon. Even though you can’t start running now, you can start walking! Get good shoes from a running store (not Dick’s or something, find a local specialty store or a Road Runner Sports if there’s one in your area). And stick with it, you will be rewarded!