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How fat is too fat...

Blueberry2010-12-13 03:24:09 +0000 #1
...to run? I have some long term plans that involve running (tris) and would really like to mix up my training coming into the cooler months. Weight loss is, of course, a goal. But, I don't want to do any joint damage by starting to run before I've lost much weight.

Any thoughts out there? Knott?
Muirenn2010-12-13 03:27:16 +0000 #2
Hmmm. No answers but some obvious questions to think about are:

Do you already have joint damage? If so, what?

What is the condition of your feet? Any problems with fallen arches, Achilles tendonitis, bunions, history of sprained ankles or other strains?

How about shin splints? (Hairline tibia fractures).

Knee problems of any type? (Crucial info).

Any joints that 'give' a little too easily? Especially knees, ankles, hips.

Back pain? History of back problems?

Do you have any specific weak areas? Underdeveloped arms as compared to calves and thighs so perhaps weaker back (both upper and lower). Is abdominal strength, chest tone, shoulder strength and posture adequate to support entire body? (Do you pull your shoulders back without straining your neck and head and keep inner abdominals supported and ribcage lifted back and front, not to be confused with sticking the ribs out and caving in the thorasic spine). Are many areas relaxed most of the time, thus forcing the majority of the work on very specific areas and causing undo stress?

Is your overall posture in relation to strength about equal? Or do you slouch a lot, does your back hurt when you stand because the core wasn't supported properly in sitting position but could be alleviated with better posture etc?

In other words: Do you have a lot of muscle to support the activity and help protect your joint health through core-conditioning, strong posture and good spinal allignment?

Have you been doing any walking, elliptical, etc? Or are you starting 'cold?'

~~~

Of course, these are just possible questions to ask yourself. Seriously, you should see a doctor if you are concerned there may be a problem.
KnottedYet2010-12-13 03:49:09 +0000 #3
Never too fat to run!

Even if only 20 feet! If it's 20 feet without pain, you are good.

Seriously, if you haven't run in a long time start off slow. Maybe run past a driveway, then walk until you've recovered from that effort (no panting, no fatigue, no pain), run past another driveway, walk until recovered, etc.

Your joints have been dealing with your weight every second of every day. If they aren't bugging you now they are adjusted to your weight now. It's the new activity they need to adjust to. And ANYONE who hasn't run in a while should start like that! Not just someone who has extra weight at the moment.

Go for it!

Just remember, nothing should hurt. If it hurts, run even shorter differences between walks. If you just can't run at all without pain, you should really check in with your doc. (I'm assuming your doc already ok'd the tris?)
dinabean2010-12-13 04:01:29 +0000 #4
I weigh 230 and I did a sprint tri in May. My goal was to run the entire run portion, and I did (although the bike leg was my best leg, woo hoo!). I've also run several stand alone 5Ks and a 15K. I am slow -- so very slow, 15 minute miles slow. But I followed the Couch 2 5K plan, and worked my way up to running slow and you know what? I love it. I am not good at it, but I love it.

I always thought I had knee problems and so couldn't exercise, but I manage just fine and don't actually have any joint pain. Biggest suggestion is invest in GOOD running shoes -- go somewhere to get a run assessment, etc. (or, if you decide to do the minimalist running thing, start even slower).

I really think the couch 2 5K plan was key for this working for me -- it's just the right balance of challenging but not overdoing (do NOT cut out the walking warm up and cool down!). I was amazed that I want from total non athlete to triathlete in 8 mos. (Started C25K in Sept of last year, started spin classes in Nov and bought a bike soon thereafter, and then started swimming in January, culminating in the race in May).

Be careful, of course, check with your doctor, the usual. But really? Go for it! I found I felt better, wanted to eat better, and I did lose about 20 pounds (i've regained 10 after falling off the wagon a bit, but am starting to creep down again).
tulip2010-12-13 04:10:56 +0000 #5
Years ago, I did a training program with a running club in your area. It was very similar to the Couch-to-5kprogram, although it wasn't called that. I ended up really enjoying running, which had always been a chore before. I had no injuries because it is a very gradual program.

I stopped because I moved out of the area and did not have s suppotive running group in the new city. I never picked it up again. Yet.

PM me if you want the name of the organization. It was very convenient to you, and I think they are still active.
jessmarimba2010-12-13 03:55:12 +0000 #6
Like they said, go for it! But having the right shoes is probably going to be pretty important for you. And if you're worried about joint damage, it never hurts to run on softer surfaces (grass, dirt, etc.) - it actually uses more muscles to trail run vs. road run so you'll burn slightly more calories too.
limewave2010-12-13 04:25:34 +0000 #7
Blueberry, I started running when I weighed over 300lbs. I began by walking a block and then trying to jog a block. Each week I tried to go a little farther until I could run an entire mile. It took several months. But I was going from completely sedentary to trying to be active. You have the benefit of being a cyclist!

I didn't have special shoes--although, it never hurts to have a good pair of running shoes if you can afford them. I wore sweats, shirts, and shoes from Walmart.

It may seem hard at first, but keep at it. You can do it!
OakLeaf2010-12-13 03:59:41 +0000 #8
I think that the greater the load on your joints, the more important it is to have good running form. Like Knott says, if it hurts (during or after your run), learn a different way of doing it.

Yoga is great for strengthening the stabilizing muscles in your hips and feet that are so important for running. If you don't already do yoga, do some targeted hip and foot exercises a couple of days a week.

"Good shoes" (or good running surfaces for no shoes) are important, but just be aware that when we say "good shoes," we mean shoes that fit you and don't have an excessive heel-to-toe drop. When someone at the shoe store says "good shoes," they often mean shoes that are expensive and have a lot of trademarked "features." Make sure they fit. If they squeeze your toes or foot bones together, if the sides of your feet rub the sides of the shoes, if your toes aren't completely straight, find another pair.

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