For the fat blokes (and girls)

I am seriously overweight, currently just over 18 stone and intend to lose at least 2 of them by April 22nd (hopefully 3stone). If I can run VLM 2012 weighing less 16 1/2 stone I will be happy. I am following the RW 5 hr training plan and going pretty well (by that I mean injury free so far). My problem is, whilst following the plan it asks me to sometimes run at marathon pace eg Tues this week is 1m jog, 4m at marathon pace, 1m jog. I can run 6 miles no problem but it is all at one pace (around 12mm), I don't have a faster or slower. As I lose weight I will expect to get slightly faster but for now how do I work out what a jog is compared to marathon pace? Or should I just go with the flow and wait to see what happens as time progresses, then adjust accordingly?


  • I think going with the flow is not a bad idea. Take it easy. Go slow and build up distance before speed.

    Listen to your body and take care of your joints.

    Work on the food intake/output as well. Maybe substitute running once a week with swimming or cycling or a decent power-walk.

    What feels right and "brings results", so less weight will be right I think. Don't overdo it.

    Hope this helps? Keep it up!!

  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭
    12min/mi is not far off 5 hr pace so at the moment don't worry about it. Main thing at the moment is to be building fitness and losing weight and critically staying injury free. As long as you are doing the number of runs/ miles slow and steady is fine so as you say go with the flow. Most people starting out are pretty much one paced
  • Agree with the above. Don't worry about the pace at this stage. Build up the distance at what feels like a comfortable pace and listen to your body. 
  • 18stone isn't necessarily "seriously" overweight - some of us ex-rugby playing runners aren't far short of that but perhaps the difference is our muscle mass is greater than the norm so we are naturally heavier. I'm around 16.5 stone at the mo.

    anyway, you say you don't have a faster or slower. although you think you have only one pace, in reality you don't. I suspect therefore that the runs you are doing aren't at the right pace.

    if you're trying for a 5hr marathon, that gives a marathon pace of just under 11.5 mins/mile. have you tried to run at this pace? if you're finding that hard perhaps a 5hr marathon is out of the question; if it's easy then you're probably undertraining.

    you need to be able to run slower than the predicted pace in the warm up and cool down sections, and many of your long runs will be at a slower pace.

    weight might have nothing to do with this but generally speaking the lighter you are the quicker you'll go.

    see what happens, and how it feels at an 11.5 min mile pace
  • Running at a steady speed is just what you need for a marathon PhilK so you're  on the right track. Don't worry about speeding up - if it happens it happens but you need to be comfortable above anything else. 

  • fat buddha wrote (see)
    18stone isn't necessarily "seriously" overweight - some of us ex-rugby playing runners aren't far short of that but perhaps the difference is our muscle mass is greater than the norm so we are naturally heavier. I'm around 16.5 stone at the mo.

    Seconded, I'm about 17 stone at the moment mainly through to much good food. I blame the missus. image

    Like above go with the flow. Something that might help if your worried about the weight and it's a bit extreme. A couple of years back I was a bit chucky after having to take time out with a broken rib. Stopped drinking full stop in the biuld up to a race and it made a big difference not just with the calories but also with no hangover's so lots of early starts for training.

    Also as FB can testify beer tasted so much sweeter for it after. image 

  • Agree with above but  if you can do a faster interval session once a week. Even if  it is a short time ie 10 secsor a 100m early on and gradually build this session. You may find that if you dont do one session faster you will become one paced and then may get carried away on the day by other runners. This happened to me as all my running was one paced because i did not include any faster sessions. Also faster sessions are brilliant for calorie burn which also helps with weifgt loss.
  • Thanks for the replies. To answer a few,

    I do not drink (well, very rarely these days - about once every few months I have a night out and give it a good bash).

    I do a speed session once a week (buitl up gradually but it's now either 10X400m or 6X600m  with 200m walk recoveries between) but this doesn't seem to make any difference to my LSR pace.

    Despite living in a seaside town, I do not swim. Can't. And some bugger 'borrowed' my bike a few months ago and hasn't brought  it back.

  • While you're carrying excess and trying to lose it, I'd get the bike out, you can maintain the cardio improvement get a valuable muscle stretch that I find compliments my running, and improve muscle tone whilst at the same time help you preserve the old knee and hip joints, which will stress when running with max weight. Good luck
  • It's tough - I struggled for a long time with the whole pacing thing but recently it all started to fall into place.

    Basically I just kept running the shorter distances faster and faster until I was utterly comfortable at 5K, then I tried to do the same for 10K - it's not about speed so much as feeling like you can run that distance easily and come back thinking "I could have done more" then I kept trying to kick my own ass week on week.

    Once I'd got to that level with 10K I set out to do a 10 miler but deliberately started out slow (almost to the point where I was irritating myself) and ended up running a half-marathon in a time that I felt happy with and I didn't feel on death's door like I had in previous halves.

    I'm not saying that it'd work for everyone but I didn't get pacing at all until I'd pushed at the lower distances so that was clearly the secret my legs had been keeping from me!
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