I am currently 60 lbs over weight (gained this in the last 2 years) but would like to take up running. Is this possible or would I have to lose the weight first? If there is anyone on here who has recently started running how did you start? How hard was it starting out?
A lot of people on here will tell you not to run if you're 60lbs over weight, and for good reason. You do not want to hurt your knees. With that said, I started running when I weighed 50 lbs more than I do now. I did the run/walk thing for the first 18 months of my running (and I still walk occasionally).
http://www.jeffgalloway.com has some good information on run/walking, including a pre-conditioning program that might work well for you. The key thing is to build your strength in you legs and knees gradually. That means A LOT of walking when you first start out.
Running doesn't have to be hard. Stay at a "conversational" pace, and it really is enjoyable "me" time.
Yup, pre condition is essential. Plus, when people start running they normally do one thing wrong. They start off, on their first day, running. If you have never run before, you will need to, as wes mentioned, build strength in your legs..meanwhile, start walking. First on primarily flat areas then add in some incline/hills and up your speed. Once you have been preconditioning your legs for approx 8 weeks and you are able to walk at a moderately paced to speed walking for at least a 5k then you should be able to start your walk/run. Slowly lengthen the running segments of your walk/run...depending on how often you do this..you could be running a 5k approx 1 month after starting the walk/run segment of the training. All in all, in approx 3-4 mos..you could go from never running to running in a 5k. Which is pretty awesome for a beginner runner, dontcha think?
This is the best possible way to ensure that you become a successful, injury free runner!
Well I can only speak from personal experience, and it just so happens that I have lost 61 lbs. It's taken me a little over a year. I started off just walking at a very moderate pace. I've heard that most people don't see as much of a benefit from walking because they just walk to slow, so then I started walking faster. After losing about 30 lbs., I decided to try my hand at jogging and the knee pain was excruciating! Keep in mind that I'd been having some ache from time-to-time to my knees prior to trying the jogging. After only 3 days into it, I stopped and went back to brisk walking. I waited a few months, and tried a jog/walk again, and just fought through the knee pain, and now my knees are fine! I see a few posts above mentioned conditioning, so I don't know if it was that or the lighter weight, or maybe a combination, but that's how it happened for me. But you know, I've seen people on the biggest loser (and we know they have a lot more than a mere 60 lbs. to lose!) running like crazy on treadmills! I guess everyone's tolerance to running is different.
The biggest advantage I found from starting out with a brisk walk and working my way into jogging was that I had somewhere to go from walking. In other words, when I hit a plateau or the weight slowed down, walk/jog combo then became that extra boost of exercise I needed to keep the weight coming off. Then when I hit another plateau I dropped the walking and just pushed through to 100% jogging. Had I started out running, I would have had to add some other form of exercise to keep the loss going. For me, as I lost more and more weight, I had to slowly lower my calories as wells as increase activity. I mentioned the progression from walking, and then I also added circuit training in the form of a DVD workout in the a.m. before work.
As you continue this journey, please stay with CC. You will find the tools on the site as well as the support on the forums priceless!
You can do it!
Wait about 10 lbs and do a running-specific strength training program like the Armys Fit To Run program or the no business running (without this) workout to prepare, then start a walk/run program like the couch25K or our very own Learn to Run - AGAIN program, and you can look forward to years of injury-free running ;)
I started off running 85 lbs overweight but I've been a 'runner' before. I think the biggest thing is to start slow. Start with a run/walk and if possible, start on grass/trail/dirt to ease the impact. Listen to your body and if realize that there is a difference between the pain of doing somethign difficult and the pain of hurting yourself. If it's the hurting yourself pain, slow down or stop or change something. Don't try and push through it.
I was 70 pounds overweight when I started in March of this year and couldn't run 2 full blocks. I'm now only 40 pounds overweight and I'm still going strong and have remained injury-free. I had a bit of muscle soreness in my legs now and again at the beginning, but you'll have that with any new exercise regimen. Now I'm training for a 10 mile race in October.
I can only echo what everyone has said above. Take it slow and easy, starting with a very beginner walk/run program. Always make sure you can hold a conversation and keep in mind your will power and even heart/lungs will be able to take more than your muscles and bones can. When I started I only did 20 minutes 3 times a week and made sure not to run 2 days in a row. I also started out walking more than running and gradually increased my run-time.
I'm about 60 lbs overweight as well (working on losing weight but it takes time) and my legs absolutely hate running. They always have, but then again I've always been overweight. Be careful about running being that overweight, in high school when I was required to run for P.E. I ended up destroying the cartilige in my right knee and now have pain in that knee even on low impact activities (Thanks stupid PE teachers) and I have chronic shin splints for the excess stress from running and being overweight. I'm sticking to biking and using the stair climber, it still hurts my knee but not even close to as much as running. Hopefully once I lose the 60 lbs I'll stop having knee problems and be able to run without injury.