Too Heavy to Run?

Hi All,

I'd really appreciate some advice if that's ok: I've been away from regular running for about 6 months now and due to some massive changes in work and lifestyle I've gained a lot of weight due to poor eating habits (mainly due to struggling to adjust to a new lifestyle). I've tried to keep to some kind of gym programme (cardio mainly) since I moved house but I don't enjoy it and I'd love to get back running again. My problem is that I've gained a lot of weight and I'm now 4 stone over my ideal weight (OUCH!). I ran the London marathon last year and I was a couple of stone overweight then but there's a difference in being overweight and fit and overweight and not fit. So my question is, is it ok to start some kind of jogging/run/walk programme outside or should I address the excess weight issue first? I've been given a clean bill of health by my GP but no specific advice on if running will be damaging for me because of the extra fat I'm carrying. I do have "issues" with food which I won't go into here but if I were running regularly I think it would help. But I've got to be realistic here - no point in getting injured.

Any comments?




  • I can't see there being any harm in giving it a go, start slowly and build up, do a run/ walk program, good running shoes keep to softer ground if possible and listen to your body.
  • If you are keen to do it and the GP says you don't have any particular problems then I'd go for it. Agree with Katalyah, start slowly and make sure your shoes are ok. If you ran the LM last year and are heavier you may want to get your gait checked again at a decent running shop.

    Other than  that get out there and enjoy it and good luck.

  • a. you were fit enough to run a mara 9 months ago have only been away 6 months

    c. you have kept up cardio work

    d. you are only 2 stone heavier

    I would have thought you'd be fine to start again, as long as you ease into it gently and listen to your body.

  • Give it a go, if it's too tough put in some walking. If you're really nervous about your joints get in the pool. You should be fine.
  • Hi Mitiog,

    remember me from pixie's thread..... get out there I am sure if you start slow you will be fine just get out there and test the water you may surprise yourself.

    Good luck...

  • From what I can see you'll be fine. Especially agree with Yersinia, you ran a marathon not so long ago and its only 2 stone. When I started running I was 4 stone over my ideal [and still 2 stone over now] and I just made sure I was careful in not over doing. As you point out, running will help get the weight off and will, in the long run, be good for you so I'd go for it.
  •  As the weight drops off you will improve dramatically. Sounds like you are looking for an excuse not to run.

     Get your boots on and get out there!!!

     If you have to stop after 2 mins at least you made the effort and did it, which is more than most! If you don't keep going! (It is suprising how many new takeaways you find on a good run!) BONUS! LOL 

     Achieve todays small, short term goal and tomorrows long term goal will follow naturally!

  • Hi Guys,

    Thanks so much for your encouragement! I've now done 2 workouts using 2min run, 1min walk and it's been ok, a little soreness in the calves on the first run but today was fine. It's really basic but I've got to start again somewhere. It felt good to be out there. I think I was just a bit paranoid about getting injured. Will take it slowly tho' and maybe next week increase the run interval a bit.

    Flo Po - I remember you! Felt a bit shy about posting on the marathon threads since, well, I'm not exactly marathon material at the moment but I've been reading them. Strangely enough I work in central London now so my morning run takes me over Tower Bridge. Weird remembering VLM last year with all the crowds cheering knowing that I'd already run almost 13 miles. Now 2 miles seems a lot! I'd love to be fit enough to run another marathon...I'll get there image
  • Of course you will again if you want to. Don't be shy about posting there are plenty on the marathon threads who are on the bench for one reason or another.

    Why don't you enter a 10k later on in the year to give yourself a target.

    Good luck!

  • Hi Mitiog

    I to am overweight (16st 8lb at the moment) and have started a run/walk program I currently upto 2 min walk and 5 min run/jog x 3 at 3-4 times a week, I wear knee supports when I out running just to protect my knees while training and I plan to get rid of them once I feel my weight has decreased enough that I dont damage my joints. To be honest Im not sure this is ideal but its better than hurting myself and not being able to run at all.

     keep with it and good luck.


  • I was in your situation 2 years ago,but i hadn't done any excercise for 15 years and i was 18 stone.I took up running and ran a half mile circular route from my house with a break half way to catch my breath.It wasn't far but i couldn't manage to get round the whole route without stopping.But each time i went out i aimed to get a little further before i had to stop for a rest until one day i got the whole way around.I felt like i'd won a gold medal in the Olympics.I didn't have any issues with being able to run due to my weight.Yes my muscles ached sometimes and i was out of breath when i finished,but on each run i felt a little stronger and could go a little further and a little faster.I also enjoy my food and i am not the type of person that can cut my food right down,but i made an effort to seek out healthy food that was tasty,and i cut down my portion sizes and stopped snacking between meals,but i also made sure i still had just enough junk food to keep me happy as a reward for my hard work.I love kebabs which are just so unhealthy,but i still have one now and then and i enjoy it all the more as a special treat knowing i've earnt it.2 years on i have lost 4.5 stone and weigh 13.5 st and have run races up to 10k and i'm training for my first marathon.2 years ago i couldn't walk up the stairs without feeling light headed and breathless.And although my legs ache sometimes i have never had any problem physically running,and as the weight comes off it gets easier.

     Good luck with your running and getting fit.You can do it, and i'm sure you have a marathon in you if want it.

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