Beginners Running Tips

Running for Heavy Individuals: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting Started

When you are overweight and starting a running program for the first time, there are a few special considerations that must be made in order to stay on target with your goals while remaining injury-free.  Listed here are tips for heavy people who are starting to run for fitness.  

Wear Proper Shoes
Getting fitted for proper running shoes is of utmost importance for all runners.  The right shoes for your body and footstrike will prevent injury and decrease the amount of stress placed on vulnerable joints such as knees and ankles.  Any running store will be able to help you find the proper shoe for your individual needs.

When starting a running program, don’t be afraid to walk.  In fact, the best way to stick with an exercise program is to start off slowly.  Instead of aiming to run 10 minutes on your first day, instead plan to alternate running for 1 minute and walking for 2. 

Follow the 10% Rule
As a heavy person you may be more susceptible to injury due to increased stress on joints.  Follow the 10% rule by only increasing the amount of time you spend running by 10% each week. 

Running is more than Weight Loss
Bear in mind that your journey as a runner is more than just weight loss.  Focus on the additional benefits that running provides, such as improved cardiovascular health, better circulation, and improved self esteem.  Focusing solely on weight loss can make this calorie-torching activity feel like a chore, leaving you with less motivation to participate. 

Pay Attention to Effort
A common mistake that first-time runners make is to start their runs too quickly.  As a heavier person, you may already be predisposed to health conditions, such as heart attack and stroke, which can make intense exercise dangerous.  In running, you don’t have a follow a “no pain, no gain” attitude.  If you feel the effort is extreme or your breathing is out of control, slow down or take a walk break.  Regularly monitoring your pulse to make sure you do not reach maximum heart rate is also advisable.  You can determine your maximum heart rate here.

No Imposter Syndrome
Just because you might not have the body type of a typical athlete does not mean you can’t call yourself a runner.  Among the top concerns of overweight runners is feeling as though they “don’t belong” on the trails and running paths.  If you can run a single step, you deserve to call yourself a runner. 

Starting to run as a heavy individual can be a transformative and rewarding experience, promoting both physical and mental well-being. With careful planning, gradual progression, and a focus on overall health, individuals of all sizes can enjoy the many benefits that running has to offer. Remember to consult with healthcare professionals, invest in proper gear, and listen to your body throughout your running journey.

In addition to all of our running inspired articles we also have an excellent eBook (PDF) format for download available. Here is the link to our running eBook that is chock full of helpful running information for beginners. Enjoy!

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