Obese- and want to try running.

Hi there, on Monday I started the "couch to 5k" bearing in mind I haven't run for a while. This consisted of a 5min warm up walk followed by alternating 1min jogging and 1 1/2 min walking for 20 mins and another 5min walk cool down. My legs were hurting after the 5min brisk walk and I was knackered after the first one min jog but I think I just need to find the right rhythm. I'm supposed to do the next "jog" which is the same as above but my calves and thighs kill when walking down stairs etc. Should I continue the alternating or maybe just a 30 minute brisk walk. I know running while your obese can be bad for your knees so I don't want to hurt myself but if its ok then I'll try stick to it because I know I'll make excuses tomorrow or the next day. My stats are 82kg and 5'3 if that makes any difference. Thanks for any help


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    It may be worth consulting your GP to see if there are any underlying medical issues that could be contributing to the leg pain.

    For the couch to 5k plan they do say you should repeat the same week if you are struggling, so its not an exact science that everyone will be able to complete the proscribed time/distance first time around.  Could you reduce the pace of the brisk walk, it should be fast enough to raise your heart rate, but slow enough to enable you to continue a conversation

  • I'd start off with the brisk walking if I were you.

    Bear in mind that exercise is only half the solution.

    You only burn about 100 calories for every mile run or walked.

    You need to cut down on your calorie intake at the same time.

    Well done on starting.

    I'd look for a 10k to run early next year ? Give yourself a target.
  • The post run/walk leg pain you describe sounds like DOMS - especially it being worse going down stairs!

    There's nothing wrong with starting off with brisk walking. Anything that gets you moving and helps your body start adapting to being active. If you suffer for days after the run/walk you're doing at the moment, it'll be hard to stick with. Once you can manage a brisk walk without pain (too much pain - a little bit of discomfort is to be expected!) then you can progress to run/walk, and eventually running image

    Well done!

  • Stevie - As others have said, and as you alluded to yourself, running when obese is just too much like hard work and more than likely is doing more harm than good.

    So forget about running for now and concentrate on weight loss through loads of walking.

    If you're interested I have detailed here the journey from being significantly heavier than yourself, approx 95kg, to a 2:55 marathon 3 days ago.

    It can be done but it needs a lot of patience and since the main aim is to improve health and fitness there is little point in rushing things and getting injured. Good luck.

  • I started loosing weight first got rid of first 1.5st then started running.

    BMI 37.5 in march now 25.7 but had to be struck with the diet to loose that much that quick you can do it, BUT, you need a lot of determination. Look at 1200-1500 calories a day. I was 99.3kg now 68... I guess I was around your weight when I started running image
  • Hi Stevie, I agree about the weight loss too. I tried C25K about 2 stone ago and couldn't handle it as I suffered shin splints and bad aches and pains. So for 6 months I used an elliptical trainer and rowing machine while I lost 2 stone and today I did week 1 day 1 of C25K again and it was SO much easier this time!! Good luck and definately keep walking as that will be really good exercise while you slim down a bit more! BB

  • as mentioned, brisk walking is an excellent way to reduce weight, and so long as you remain in calorie deficit you WILL lose weight. Fact. keep at it and you'll notice results. When the walking is posing less of a challenge, then perhaps start to work into the couch to 5k plan, remembering to take it at your own pace. if you're getting recurring pains (as opposed to sore muscles because you've exercised) then see your GP to rule out anything sinister and get appropriate help for anything specific.

    Also, i'd suggest getting your family/friends on board too. Any change in lifestyle, whether large or small, will put peoples noses out of joint a little. People like the status quo and fear change, for the most part. If you get your nearest and dearest on side, and include them and have their support, it'll make it much more likely you'll see it through. Good luck image

  • I would say the same as parkrunfan, start by regular brisk walking. Its suprising how effective it will be, and its low impact. A friend of mine has started the same sort of regime/program and has been walking regularly (mainly because she doesnt like running and has no intention of starting!) . First she found walking 2k hard. but now after 3 months she can walk 10k including hills, and more importantly has dropped an entire dress size!

  • 18 months ago I was in the same spot. Running was very tough and demotivating so I changed my approach.

     I dieted a little by cutting out anything with excessive calories and brought the cheapest exercise bike I could get from Argos and started doing 15-20 mins a night hidden away in the garage. The legs and lungs get stronger and the weight falls off rapidly. Tried running again last November and found it much better (still hard though) have now being running for a year.

  • Definitely do about 6 weeks walking first- it takes about 6 weeks to start to build some resiliance in the legs, and if you go straight to running, you will probably end up with an injury.

    Good luck.

  • If you are on a deadline for a run then you just have to suck it up. Wgen I started my legs hurt for the first 4 weeks every day. Either run less or put up with it.
  • Hi Stevie, You are doing great. Keep going with any exercise that leads to moderate exertion x 3 times a week, eventually building up to x 5 per weeks. This is easy to define dosen't have to be a certain pulse rate etc. moderate exertion is that if you are holding a coversationwhilst exercising  you can complete sentences, only just. Try it when walking so that you become aware of how you feel, breathing etc. Also was wondering if you have considered swimming. Will really help with increasing stamina, burning calories and no aches and pains afterwards? 

  • Go Stevie, do weal feels right for you. I stared on an exercise bile to lose the first few stone in May, and shifted it running a couple of months ago. I struggled with

    C25K to start with but did what I could, I.e I shortened the run intervals to suit my capability.

    Progress has been slow for me due to injury and....well bing overweight. However, I am jogging for 6 mins now, 30 seconds used to be a struggle.
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