Considering starting running for the first time!

Hi all. Recentley, after having a lengthy discussion with a friend i work with who does half marathons a few times a year, i have decided to take up running to zap some flab and increase my overall fitness.

I have read the beginners training guide which gives a rough schedule and also the gear advice page. 

Some background. I'm male, 31, currently around 17.5 stone, and around 3 stone-ish overweight. I used to play amateur Rugby and also was a heavy manual labourer ( hence my size).

 I live in North East Flintshire in North wales as well, so any advice on good places to start running and places i can progress through would be much appreciated.  Currently im thinking of starting along the towpath along the River Dee.


I am looking to regain control of my body and turn my fitness level back on. 

I should also mention that due to the discussion with my work colleague, i have agreed to try and get in shape for next year, when we will be attempting the CHester and Liverpool half marathons in Aid of cancer research, in honour of his child who sadly passed away from cancer just before the new year.

Anyone got some hints for me on how to make good, solid progress or any random tips?


Also, i'm looking for nutrition advice as well, so i can make it a solid and well rounded feature of my life.

Thanks for any advice you can supply. 


  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    I am a beginner. I'm 40 years old, weighed 16 stones just over a month ago, and i could not run more than about 50 metres without my shins being on fire and with me gasping for breath.

    A little over 5 weeks later and i'm well over a stone down in weight (i was previously 16 stone for a long time so don't think that it was a temporary weight), I can run several miles, and I can actually visualise myself being able to run much further distances for the first time.

    For me it was a two pronged strategy. I am following a run walk plan on my iphone which tells me when to run and when to walk via my headphones. It is very easy at the beginning and you may wonder what good it is doing you but the reality is that it is building up your strength and getting your tendons and muscles used to running. The other prong was diet. I think this is at least as important as the running. The less you weight the easier running gets anyway. I didn't follow any particular diet such as cut all carbs.. or eat exactly x, y or z... I read up on it and did what i think is sensible.. something i can stick with forever, not just while i want to lose weight. Once a week I have a blow out.. kebabs.. curry.. whatever. You find that even on that blow out day you eat less cos your stomach is not used to massive quantities anymore.

    I have also been doing a bit of mountain biking too which i am sure has helped.

    Doing all of the above so i can live longer, to look better, to just lose weight, are not good enough reasons for me personally. If I did this for those reasons I know i would give up after a few days. In fact I have tried before and that is exactly what has happened. What I have done instead is lined up a series of races. First a very long off road organised bike ride, then a 10k, then a half marathon, then a full marathon. I have specific dates for them and every day i see those dates 1 day closer. If I EVER feel like falling off the barrel i just need to think about those dates to get right back on it. It's working a treat for me so far...

    If any of this gives you motivation or helps you come up with ways to improve your own plans then i am happy. You have an AWESOME cause to run for - one that is very personal to you. That's a great start in my book.

    Hope taht helps if only a teeny bit..

  • 1.Running is repetitive and can lead to boredom

    2.Its time consuming.

    3.t can lead to injury if done incorrectly

    4.It takes time to get any good ( see 1 and 2)

    5.Its not the best way to loose weight if your over weight (see 3)

    6.Its a lonely pursuit as not as many people do it as it seems (for reasons see 1-4)

    This is what I roughly say to anyone who comes to me and says "you run, I was thinking of taking it do i start?."

    Can you love 1, 2, 4 and 6 and learn to avoid 3?


  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    I disagree with Stephen on several counts - having said that, as stated in my previous post, I am a newbie and I am pretty sure he is very much NOT a newbie image

    In regards to his points:

    1) I do not find it boring at all, in fact all i can think about is my next run. Perhaps I have something wrong with me.

    2) it is time consuming but less so than watching stupid rubbish on tv or playing computer games which is what i was doing before. So, it actuallys saves me time and makes me go to bed on time as it tires me which is also good for me.

    3) 100% agree - follow a good, slow, gradual plan. Read up and become at least a little knowledgable on the subject before you start. Stretching is massively important too btw. Many many very helpful articles, posts, and people on this website. My main purpose of replying in fact is to try and give something back.

    4) anything takes time to get good at - so what?

    5) in conjunction with a good diet it is a GREAT way to get fit and lose weight. 

    6) look at the comeraderie and friendship of runners on these threads who are willing to help a total stranger (me) learn stuff they knew 30 years ago... it is as lonely as you want to make it.. go out on your own and never talk to anyone about it? yeah it's lonely. Go out on your own and then talk about it all day on here (me) - not lonely. Run with a running partner (i wish i had one) - DEFINITELY not lonely. Run with a club (what i plan to do eventually) - DEFINITELY not lonely.

    just my views.. 

  • Thank you Amir. Your encourangement is very much valued. I will be taking your advice.


    @Stephen.  I understand completely the points you make, and the reasons you make them. However, please reread my post. I am 100% dedicated to this as i will be doing it specifically for a very good reason. Namely the memory of my friends child, and Cancer Research.


    I came here for help looking for the best way to progress towards my goal and value any and all advice offered image

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    I agree with Stephen to an extent - you need to make sure that you're in the right mindset to start running and have the motivation and determination to keep going, but congrats for starting and for making the first move.

    Saying that - Amir is right - if you can download the podcast telling you when to walk/run. In a month you could be running 5k without stopping. For me, that's a great achievable outcome. You can download coach 2 5k from the nhs website (or google it).

    When friends of mine have started running - i've said the following:

    - Get some proper shoes (this means having an analysis done on how you run to avoid injuries). I know a lot of people who have started out running with tennis shoes and had to stop because of foot pain/shin issues. Sweatshop are good place but any technical running store should do it.

    - Diet: At first you may become more hungry. Make sure that you're giving your body the right fuel it needs. This means having a good diet and avoiding the crap. If you're losing weight - consider than on average 10 mins of running burns 100 calories. That means roughly 30minutes burns off a mars bar.

    Regarding running routes - the world is your oyster image Go out of your door and see where it takes you. If you go to you can see routes that other runners use in your local area - these might give you some hints.

  • Congrats on starting! I've been running for just 12 weeks, but I'm a complete convert. I'd say the first 5k are the hardest so use whatever works for you to get there--all the incremental miles are a piece of cake after that! (ok, I'm only doing my first 9m today, but relatively speaking image ).

    For me, the greatest motivator has been a HR monitor. Whenever i feel I'm not making enough progress, my HRM will tell me otherwise. (For example, I was gutted that my 2nd timed 5k was only 18 sec faster than the 1st one--until I checked the specs and saw that my average HR was way slower than the 1st time, even tho I was running faster. That really gave me the boost I needed.)

    Good luck with it! You'll start noticing a difference in just a few weeks!
  • Walk and run, even if it's 1 minute jogging and 2 minutes walking; build up slowly - finish a session feeling good, rather than feeling knackered and demoralised.  Get fitted up properly with some decent trainers.  Try to do as much stuff off-road, on grass, as possible to begin with; you're a hefty lad and it'll be easier on your joints.

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭
    Start out slow and on your own<img src='' /> my first week was horrible I did 2k on 1st of may managed to run maybe 200m spread out between the 2k.

    Don't let that put you off I'm now over the moon with it.

    I'm also dieting with weightwatchers, and frankly running to loose weight on it's own will not work, you need to say, loose 3,500 calories a week on average to loose 1lb.

    If you start running and eat more to recover will hardly loose weight you need to diet as well. There is a good thread about loosing weight on here join in that thread as well.

    I like setting goals so plan something not necessarily a half marsthon find done 5k initially sign up for it to run in xx weeks. then you have no choice but to get jogging, then when you can do that maybe start running with your friend?

    Whatever you do get some decent trainers if you cannot get a foot assessment do the wet your feet and walk on a4 paper to see what sort of footfall style you have, see under trainers in tge gear secrion to see how to do it.

    Relax, don't be afraid to feel daft when a quick runner flys past you, and enjoy the whole experience, and remember it's also probably making you healthier.

    It sounds daft but try to wear clothes that make you feel comfy, if you are embarrassed it won't help you. Feel confident whilst out and about, wicking t-shirts cost more but are more comfy I gave up and have 3 decent t-shirts feel more comfy with them.

    A win, win situation. Get fitter, certainly tone your body at worst and in the long term will help your colleague.

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