Complete newb; over 40, very over-weight...

Never thought I'd ever sign-up to a runner's forum - yikes.  This clearly must be a midlife crisis image

OK - I'm 41 and weigh around 18 stone..  and I'm not 9' tall so my BMI is well and truely in the 30+ catagory.

I've finely decided that my spectacularly sedentary life-style needs to change and now that I'm working from home I can spare at least 30 mins / day to do something energetic.

To that end, I've downloaded the C25K free app and aim to build up to a massive 5 Km run (which fits nicely to my 30 mins/day limit). 

I'm on week 1, day 2..  and my bloody left foot is killing me! (outside edge, midway between heal and toe). Oh and the muscle on the outside, front of my shin (Tibialis Anterior - I think) seems to simply "lock" solid and hurts.  I suspect that my old trainers may not be the best.

Short of visiting casualty (to be told, no doubt, to take it easy) does anyone have any suggestions for reducing the discomfort..  or is it an inevitablilty of being overweight and starting some exercise and that I should "man-up"



  • Hi Joj, try the "0 to a marathon in 22 weeks" thread for some encouragment and good advice.

    DFs right about seeking alternatives when injured - I've had to cut the running for a bit so have taken to cycling. Foot injury sounds familiar! Try icing it,  I'm sure the more experienced runners on this forum will be able to give more comprehensive advice.

    and get some decent trainers, they will make a difference!

    most of all, well done on making the decision to make a change, wish you all best!

  • Get fitted for some new proper running shoes.

    Run on grass where you can to reduce the impact.

    Get your weight down via diet. Being a lighter weight will reduce your chances of injury. Just eat what you do already, but much less of it.

  • I am 43 and hadn't done any real exercise for years and then decided I needed to get healthy and loose weight and so since October I have been combining diet with exercise. I am now 3 1/2 stone lighter and ran a fun run in 30 mins and have put in for my first 10km. So if I can do it anyone can.

    Glad to see you are doing the couch to 5km program, it kept me motivated and it was great to see myself getting better each week but as others have said, at first it might be wise to do other activities as well, such as swimming or maybe a spin class because the strain on your knees at first can be tough. I packed some bags with 3 1/2 stone of weights and it was bad enough picking it up, let alone imagining running carrying it!

    Good luck and enjoy.

  • SteadyCJSteadyCJ ✭✭✭

    Welcome, good luck and enjoy your new lifestyle.

    Try walking for 30 mins every other day to start with, that way less stress on the joints (your shins will thank you). After a week or more of that then start the c25k, jog the run bits slowly. Do not build up too quickly, if necessary repeat a week of c25k.

    Get some decent running shoes, they make a big difference.

  • Thanks everyone. I think I'll map a 3km walk course around the village and start using that for a few weeks to build up *some* fitness.

    As to other activities, time is the biggest issue - I'm pretty busy during the day and evenings are busy with the kids. I'd love to take up swimming again but that's an absolute minimum of 1.5 hours to get 30mins of exercise.

    I'm going to go to a sports shoe specialist and get my gait measured. If I'm going to do this, may as well go the whole 9 yards (pun intended).

  • If you have an iPhone (don't know if it works on others Runtastic is a good app to download. It will tell you how far and how fast you have gone and will keep a tally for you.

  • I had a bigger BMI than you, I am sure. I learned to walk before I could run... I walked 4 miles a day (4 - 4.5mph which is a quick pace for walking), 6 days a week for a few months, while eating very sensibly. The weight really did drop off, and then I found the C25K app. I think the walking I did probably helped me a lot when it came to walking as my body was more prepared for it, but even so the aches were there.

    I don't really have any advice about this other than I found that there has to be a balance of running and rest, of wanting to push on and not overdoing it. I walked like John Wayne for a few weeks once I started running, and it was only when I could comfortably run 5k that I found my general recovery time was just the few hours after a run, and no longer the next day(s!). I would suggest at least one day off between runs, possibly even day 1: Run, Day 2: Walk a few miles, Day 3: Night off. You will probably appreciate the slightly easier going schedule.

    Good luck with it mate, don't push it too hard if you're finding it painful, build up into it and it will get easier as you build stamina.
  • Good advice from SimonH.

  • OK, had my gait checked..

    I underpronate which explains why

    1) every sprained ankle I've had was on the outside, never the inside on the joint

    2) why the outside of my foot hurt when I train, given most trainers will just make my gait issue worse.

    Time for some proper trainers that are designed to work with my gait and not against it.  Any suggestions?  Most of the cushioned trainers seem to be designed for lighter runners and not, ahem, larger walkers!


  • Sounds like you need a lot of support even when walking, maybe get some supportive walking boots to start.

  • Joj...well done for getting your bum off the sofa image For me at least that was the hardest bit...

    Great yove had your gait analysed as, in my experience, the correct trainers are worth every penny..even if its alot of pennies they are well spent!

    Is there anyone locally you can train with?

    Meanwhile, well done for starting..every journey starts with a single step and all that ...xx

  • I had similar problems when I started last year as a near 19st lump who couldn't run for 2 mins, shin splints, twisted ankles, everything.. I had my gait done, bought a pair of New Balance 940's on the shop's recommendation, and I haven't looked back. Five half marathons later, I'm now in the 16s and seven weeks from my first marathon.  Getting out there and foot analysis are the two best first steps. Well done!!!

  • Great encouragement Steve image Well done you...and if proof where needed, it really does pay to have your gait analysed and find the right kit xx Well done Steve Taylor xx


  • This is all good stuff and I think its great that firstly Joj took the positive decision to get fighting fit but also that he is getting nothing but support.  Im on a few triathlon and cycling foums that are full of prima-donnas who are so up themselves  that they often forget the thread topic, offering no real help or advice.

    More power to you Joj.  Remember, little but often and whilst not everybody will agree, diet is more important than the running in my opinoin (at the very least its as important), simply because it enables.  Low impact, short jog/walk/run/jog/wak and you will be fighting fit in no time.

    Im 47 and have lived the exact experience you are going through at around the same age.  3 stone later, it was all worth it.

  • I've just done my second Parkrun, and I have a 10k tomorrow so if proof is needed that it can be done, albeit really slowly. One lesson I'm still learning is how NOT to give yourself a hard time if a run doesn't go so well. At least I'm not sat on my couch THINKING about running lol

  • If it helps I did my first parkrun yesterday and think that I have managed to do it the slowest time EVER but I really dont care; fact is I did it and next time I will be faster than this time (52 minutes!!)...This time last year I had a BMI of 52 and weighed 18stone 9 and wouldnt (actually couldnt) have walked a mile never mind walk/run 5k...

    How you doing Joj?

  • Well done Myecclecticlife. You should be proud of that!! Out there is better than couch, and the very fact that you're already thinking about going out again is a great credit to you. Your time's irrelevant, as you're out there in the first place

  • Walking will definately help with the early fitness and it will also stengthen your ankles.

    I was not your weight but i was 14st 4 and in 20 weeks i have lost 2 stone, and can run 10km in 62.54 mins ( i swear in January i could run for 1 mins only and had to hoble home), Not great time i know but from where i was i am delighted and it hasnt been without the advice of people on this forum. Indeed i am still asking for help and advice now.

    All what is said above is true, start slow and dont panick of you get sore knees, sore shins, sore feet, you will get them as you havent trained. But stick at it and i bet you in 10 weeks time you will see a HUGE difference.

    Swimming early on is good for you, build the muscles up, WARM UP and WARM DOWN.

    Most of all and this may sound crazy....but enjoy what you are about to do, i have loved it, but i dont want to do it again, basically change the way you run your life and you will feel great, i promise you.

    Good luck.

  • aww so lovely that people are so encouraging. A great post John Jenkins!


  • Started running in March weighing in at well.....a lot (my BMI was in the 40's).......way too much for a 5'2" girl.   I can now run 5.6km in 44 minutes and have lost just 8 kilos.   Was hoping for more but I will take any gram I can get.

    I started walking 2km to and from work every day for 2 months before running!   Now I have started I don't want to go back down the slipperly slope of sitting on my f**, lazy bottom on the couch every night drinking wine!

    I now run 3 times a week, one night of rugby training and 3 rest days!  

    Sore thighs today; well more stiff than sore....after 2 weeks of indulgence in Italy my Tuesday night run floored me!   Short, slow run tonight me thinks!

    Hope it is going well for everyone else!  

  • I have just started at a running club about three weeks ago on an introduction to running course and I get all of those symptoms that you are experiencing.  They have started me on walking and I have been walking 1.5 miles at the running club at least twice a week and 2 other sessions at the gym.  I am in the same boat as yourself and want to feel good about myself.  The people at the running club are really helping me along, they have given me goals to work towards each day and also breathing exercises which I can feel I am getting a lot better now.  Hope things are still going well for you.  Hopefully with me being at the same level as yourself will give you some encouragement and work towards this as all of the people on here have shown that we are not on our own and that it is lovely getting advice and encouragement from those who have been there and done that.image  I really want to start running with the others but my calves tell me that I am not ready but I will not give up (I know how you feel).


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