I was/am overweight, I was seriously overweight. I have spoken a few times about it here and here and maybe even here. I started my journey by doing some workouts at home and at the gym, but where I saw serious progress was when I started running. Running was the trigger that got me addicted to exercise and if you are overweight at the minute (no matter by how much) and you want an exercise to help you out. Then may I politely suggest to you that running maybe the option for you. Here are some tips I discovered when I started running and no I never went to the doctor about whether I should run or not as I had no time/bothered to. If you would feel more comfortable doing that, then, of course, go for it. Shall we?
1. Learn to talk and run
I have been teaching my friends and loved ones on how to properly run for a little while now and my first and to me, the most important bit of advice is to learn to be able to talk when running. If you can hold a conversation when running then you are comfortable and as a beginner or overweight person, you should be comfortable. Working hard to keep going, but to the point that your lungs and breathing is affected. Let your legs take the struggle.
An example of this is when I was teaching someone to run, they complained that they would have to run walk and that they felt as if they were doing it wrong. I told them that they were (I am nothing but honest) and showed them to just pick a distance they wanted to run, in this case, it was 1.5 mile and some others 5k (3.1mile) and that I promised we would run that distance without stopping. They looked at me as if I was mad, but agreed, and then we set off… At a lovely slow pace, they were confused as they felt they weren’t running and I informed them that as long as they were doing what they were doing, then they were running. Eventually, we made it to those targets and everyone was happy. This is how I learned, I didn’t go full pelt to a target, I slowly built it up at a crazy slow pace and then when I tried it again, I went a little bit faster because I knew I could. No offence to others, but I simply just do not believe in the run/walk method of training someone.
2. Get comfortable clothing
I just love being comfortable it seems.
The best thing about running is that it can be fairly inexpensive to do it. Now it can get expensive when you are fully immersed and you want the best shoes and the tightest of clothing to help shave off those milliseconds in a race. But for just starting out, wear a hoody and joggers. Who cares as long as you are doing it?
I see no value in getting clothes you do not feel comfortable or used to wear when doing something challenging. You won’t be mentally on the run and you need to when you are starting out. Focus on the run, not what you are wearing.
3. Learn to know your body
Now I will admit I went both feet in with running and ran every day or every other day when I first started. It worked for me and I felt no pain or injuries. But that may not work for you. If you start to feel pain in certain places, shins ankles hamstring etc. Then listen to them, slow down and see if that aids the discomfort and if it does then you were possibly going too fast for your body at this time. Your body will catch up soon don’t worry. But if the pain is staying with you at this slower pace. then Stop. No if’s or but I haven’t finished my run, stop. (I know you won’t because barely any runner ever does) But when you are starting off, nothing could be worse than getting injured at the beginning of this journey, so please listen to your body, it knows when things are going wrong.
4. Screw the people who make fun of you
You will hopefully never have to encounter it, but there are some weird, negative people out there who will try and shame you for trying to improve yourself. This could be from laughing to pointing or whatever. Ignore that nonsense and keep running. You have got this and if you are improving yourself, does it matter what they think. I have had this a few times and if anything I used it to help push me to keep going. I would mutter under my breathe, but damn it I would run an extra mile or so, I would make sure that in a few months they would see me again and they will see my improvement and they will not be laughing then.
5. Sign up for a race
I am not saying on your first run or after it, sign up right away for a race, but think about it, is there a 5k race nearby? Use that as an incentive to keep running and keep the habit, you have a race to train for. I did this with a 10km and then a marathon (which I was in no way prepared for) I got to around 7 miles comfortably without stopping (albeit slow pace) and thought, ‘well, why not?’ So up I signed up for the Titanic 10k and I ran it. It was my first race and I was nervous but I was excited as you will find that you are not the only one on this journey and by God, runners come in every conceivable shape and size and you are just another one. There will be times of struggle and doubt before and during the race, but you will see people far “fitter” than you going at the same speed and pace as you. Those people are just the same as you, starting out, you just happen to look different. Running can be a cruel beast like that. It doesn’t care how you look. Sign up and enjoy the experience and get that medal!
If you enjoyed this post let me know and I can make it a little series! If you want to chat more about any of my posts, please follow me on Twitter, Instagram and also to receive updates, Until next time, thanks for reading and I hope to see you again soon!
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