Friday, October 1, 2010

Advice From A Novice Overweight Runner.

Being overweight brings a unique set of challenges to running, in particular if you have been overweight a majority of your life. The initial challenge is fear.
Fear of failure usually comes first; you think that you will not be able to run.  I am here to tell you that you can and will. But this will happen only if you want to put the effort required into running.  The first time in my life that I ran I was 232 pounds. I did not run fast or far but I ran.  You will not be able to run 5 miles the first day but you will be able to run. Even if it is only a block, down the street or even a few steps, you can run.   Running is a skill and like any skill you get better with time and practice.
Many say that others will stare at them because they don’t look like a runner. Well if someone is staring at you while you run, there is a strong possibility they would be staring regardless of what you do. I have met so many wonderful people running and a majority of them were cheering me on as I ran by. I have had women shout “You go girl” out of car windows as they drove by me.    In fact, even though I am happily married, I have been asked out on several dates while running.   I have always found that funny because I am usually drenched in sweat when I run.  Let them stare; hopefully they will stare long enough to see your transformation.
Other says they don’t have running gear and it is expensive.  I am a frugal when it comes to running apparel.  Look on the clearance rack in discount retailers; they always have last season shoes on sale. Every pair of Asics gel running shoes that I own came from Burlington coat factory on the clearance rack.  I usually purchase pants and shirts from Target or Wal-Mart’s clearance rack. I never pay more than five dollars per piece.  
The fact is that the day after you run for the first time you will be sore.  You will feel muscles ache that you never knew you had.  My advice is to drink lots of water, stretch, take some ibroprofen and soak in a warm bath after you run.  The next day do it again, the more you run the sooner your muscles will get used to running.   Pretty soon, you will not have that achy feeling anymore. That is when you will know it is time to run harder and longer.  

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