Boy running for funRunning is one of the best, if not THE best, ways to get yourself and your cardiovacular system into shape.  No matter how far away you are from your goal weight and no matter how out of shape you feel, you CAN run.  All it takes is some patience, change of mind-set, and of course, work. 

I have lost 130 lbs.  When I started out at 307 lbs I could only do about 10-12 minutes on a stationary bike.  After some time passed, I dropped some weight and could do more.  When I had lost 60lbs, I finally decided that I would start trying to run.  What a great idea that was.  Since then, I have changed my life with healthy eating and running.  I lost an additional 70 lbs.  Everything that I did in my life became physically easier.  No more hard breathing, no more straining to tie my shoes.

I was blessed to have a great wife who already ran and valued exercise and health.  We did it together.  If you can, try and get a partner for the journey.  When one falls down, the other picks up.  I also had my sister and mom who did weight watchers with me.  If it hadn’t been for my sister, I never would have even started my journey.  Thanks Shell.

I know you probably think that running hurts too much, or that you can’t catch your breath, you might even think that it is bad for you.  Well, I thought all of these things also.  Running has been rumored to hurt your joints, but science shows that running actually strengthens joints and makes them healthier.  As far as the other rumors, if you can change the way you see running, you will bypass these.  Running may hurt some in the beginning, but if you start out slow and walk a lot, this will be minimized.  Running out of breath is easier to fix, you just have to go slower.  Basically, you can’t go too slow.  Get your heart rate up to where you’re breathing but not huffing and puffing.  NO HUFFING AND PUFFING.

Basics that will help you get started on your journey with running!

  • Slow down– By going slower, you drastically reduce the chance of injuring yourself while increasing the chance that you will enjoy your run.  No pain no gain is not the best theory to live by when you start out running.  Enjoying it is the first step in creating a new person who runs for life.  Keeping the pace slow and not huffing and puffing will help you stay in the fat burning zone also.
  • Time is more important than distance- It takes about 45 minutes of moderate activity before you body is using fat as a fuel source.  The longer time spent running, the more fat you burn and the more your body learns to use its fat as a primary fuel source.  This really helped me out becaue I always felt bad for running slowly.
  • Get shoes that fit– Go to a running specific athletic store and get them to fit you with shoes that work for you.  They should watch you run so that they can determine the way your foot lands.  This will help them find the type of shoe that will support you as needed.  This will help out a lot with soreness and injury prevention.
  • Stay at it!– Just running on a consistent basis will change your life.  Your emotions, creativity, fitness, and health will all improve.
  • Walk breaks– I think walk breaks are a great way to increase the enjoyment of a run.  They also help you keep your heart rate where you will be burning fat.  They break up the run into do-able segments also.
  • You’re the captain of your “running ship”– Don’t worry about how others run faster, slower, longer, further.  You are the captain of your running ship and you should run in a manner that will increase your enjoyment.  The top priority is to run/jog/walk in a way that will keep you at it for a lifetime. 


Below you will find links on how to get started.  These links are also on the front page.   Just remember, slow down, walk, and have fun.  Don’t worry about your speed, just get out there and run/walk at a level where you can talk to your buddy.

Jeff Galloway and Couch to 5K are great resources on how to start running and stay injury free.  These resources will also help you enjoy the process much more.  By using these types of approaches, I have finished 7 marathons and 4 ultra-marathons (up to 50 miles)


Jeff Galloway’s guide to getting in shape to run injury free! 

Couch to 5k- Get in shape for your first 5k run

Fittrend Online Running Journal


You can ALSO run a marathon and beyond!



Image credit: San Diego Rock&Roll Marathon

You can run a marathon.  Maybe you can’t even walk for 30 minutes, but if you keep up with your activity, you will eventually have the ability to finish 26.2 miles.  Is finishing a marathon one of your lifetime goals, one of your impossible dreams?  I believe that you can do it.  It is not easy to get to the starting line nor the finish line.  However, it is possible.  As you probably already know, I started out at 307 lbs and only able to ride a stationary bike for 12 minutes.  If I could do you it, you CAN do it.  You must take it slow and build up your fitness.  I talked to my doctor about it before I started to train for one, you should too.  Below are some resources to get started towards  your goal of finishing a race that only about 1% of people finish each year.


image credit:

GOING BEYOND 26.2 MILES IS TOTALLY INSANE!!!!!!!!!!  The image above is a guy working on finishing the Badwater Ultramarathon.  It’s a 134 mile race from the lowest part in the United States to the Highest.  That’s hardcore, not to mention that the race goes through Death Valley in the summer when the average temperature is 120. An ultramarathon is any race longer than 26.2 miles. It can be done, but ultramarathons are not something you do to get or stay healthy.  They can really beat your body up.  I am not saying never try it, I did it, but it’s not for everyone.  Even before I wanted to do a marathon I desired the ultra.  I read about a guy who ran 50 miles and I just could not believe it.  That made me want to do what I couldn’t believe was possible.  It took me a long time to do it.  I did several marathons first and then I slowly worked my way up the ultra ladder by doing the shortest races first until I reached 50 miles.  I just don’t have the time to train for anything longer than that.  If you have running experience you can give it a shot.  I also talked to my doctor before I did an ultra.  He was not real excited about it, but he told me I was healthy.  You should do the same.  If you don’t have experience and want to do an ultra, keep it on the back burner until you have some, but don’t forget about your dreams.  Here are some resources to help you get started.


27 Responses to “How-to: running and marathoning!”

  1. December 22, 2008 at 2:29 am

    Would you recommend a treadmill as an alternative to actually running outside? Where I live, we don’t really ahve the terrain to go outside and run but I hear that running outside is way more beneficial for some reason.

    • 2 run4change
      December 22, 2008 at 2:38 am

      Running outside does produce some different effects on your body since there is more impact. The impact is not a bad thing, it just produces a different training effect. If you were training for a road race, running outside would be the way to go. If you were training for a trail run, running on a trail would be the way to go. If you are going for a balanced life of fitness, health, and weight loss. All options are a go. Run on the treadmill. That is how I started. I can actually stand to go around 4 hours on a treadmill. I like treadmill running and there is certainly nothing wrong with it. Some hardcore possible arrogant runners may think that the treadmill is not “real” running, but it is. Anyways, your the captain of your running ship. If you want it that way, that is the best way for you since this is the way that is livable for you. Thanks a lot for the comment.

      Sorry for the long answer. Short answer: Yes, I recommend a treadmill as an alternative and even a sole source of running.

    • February 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm

      Woohoo! Just wanted to say that you are an inspiration! And yay for running!

    • 4 run4change
      February 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks KK. That was a great comment and encouraged me a lot

  2. December 30, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    You are totally inspiring me – and my adult daughter – to give running a try. I tried the other day while pushing my grandkids in the jogging stroller. It wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was EXHILIRATING!! I’m sure you understand that! I live near a new high school and I’m going to go up there tonight and go at least once around the track. I’ll report back and let you know how I did!

    • 6 run4change
      December 30, 2008 at 2:40 pm

      One thing about running that we should all consider. Running causes your body to released endorphins that in turn cause feeling of well-being and creativity. Great great job.

  3. December 31, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    I have to agree totally about the endorphins!!! I have always relied on my treadmill to get my cardio workout (I did get in a spin class here and there), but recently just moved it outside, on the suggestion of my son, and I like it much better and it seems I am more exhilirated at the end. Thanks for the great tips, Jason. Now I won’t feel bad when I’m not running so fast, and I do enjoy the run/jog/walk thing.

  4. January 5, 2009 at 6:21 am

    I’ve always wanted to run. I always felt that I would love running because I like walking so much. The problem is that I’m still too overweight so that running isn’t comfortable. Now, I get that running as a workout isn’t meant to be easy, but what I’m saying is that when I walk, I sweat. I work hard and I always walk 30 to 60 minutes. But when I run, I’m literally completely drained within 15 seconds. It’s awful.

    Last year when I was going to the gym nearly every day, I’d get on the treadmill and run. The first day I felt terrible. I ran for for about 30 seconds before I felt like my lungs would explode. But I kept it up everyday, working a little harder each day and within 2 weeks I had gone from comfortably running 30 seconds to comfortably running 6 minutes.

    I guess I need to just get out there and do it!

    Love this blog! Thanks!

    • 9 run4change
      January 5, 2009 at 6:31 am

      I love to walk also. I walk a good share of my long runs. It makes it more fun and feasable. If you can only run for 5 seconds, that is great. Walk until you feel good again, then run for 5 seconds, then walk until you feel good again, etc. That is how I started and that is how run/walk people recommend. Great job, thanks for the comment and come back again.

  5. January 12, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    I jsut started running sprints on the treadmill last week. It has beena good change of pace for me as walking the treadmill was getting old after 4 months of it. SO now I have a new way to push myself. Currently I do them in 30 second sprints with a 30 second break, but I can already tell I am getting stronger as sometimes I can even go for a little longer. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  6. 11 mgs
    January 31, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Hi Jason

    I only recently came across your blog and I must say CONGRATULATIONS! The short version of my story is that I hit a high of 312 lbs a few years ago, got down to 230 but lost my motivation and over time got back up to 280 as of last July. Since then I am back down to 237 using a combination of South Beach (I have a journal on the SB Friends site ‘My Journey to 220’)and using the treadmill and exercise bike. When I started I could only run at a pace of 5 mph for a minute at a time. Today I can pretty comfortably do a pace of 6 or 6.2 for 30 minutes for 5K. I am so thrilled with that. Today I took your advice about slowing down and going longer so I did a pace of 5.5 for 45 minutes = 4 miles. I have never run that far before I think I probably could have kept going. It was a bit of a mental challenge from the 30 minute point on, but not a physical challenge at all. I want to thank you for such a tip. I don’t have as a goal running a marathon, but rather I simply want to lose weight (220 is my real goal and then I will re-evaluate). I think I will use this technique on weekends and try and stretch the time over the coming weeks and months. Thanks again.


    • 12 run4change
      January 31, 2009 at 9:53 am

      Congratulations on running further than you ever have. It is a great feeling isn’t it. Good job. You are welcome for the tip. I am glad that I could help and be a tiny little piece of your success puzzle. Keep up the good work. And you don’t have to run a marathon to be a great runner or exerciser. In fact, most runners, even the elite, never run a marathon.

  7. February 7, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Hi Jason.

    I am one of the Sisters from the The Sisterhood of Shrinking Jeans. I love love love your site and your story. I especially like what you have written about “running”, about slowing yourself down, about NOT huffing and puffing, and building up your endurance. I am not a fan of running for those reasons- huffing and puffing, it hurts, etc. However, you have given me a few things to think and about and I just might have to re-evaluate my position on running.

    Congrats on the weight loss!!!!

    • 14 run4change
      February 7, 2009 at 7:49 am

      THank you Lisa for your wonderful encouragement. You definitely can start a running program. Contrary to what I and other used to believe, RUNNING IS FOR EVERYONE 🙂

  8. 15 tryingforatri
    February 8, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog, it’s given me the wonderful opportunity to peruse through yours! 🙂

    First and foremost, you are such an inspiration! I really like your running philosophy, and is something I’m just starting to grasp now. It’s not how far or how fast that matters, so long as you’re out there and enjoying it!

    • 16 run4change
      February 8, 2009 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks tryingforatri. I appreciate your visit. Running is a good thing especially because you get to be the captain of your own running ship. It is all running: fast, slow, jog, walk/run, etc. You’re out there, you’re running. Thanks again

  9. 17 Leah
    March 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I am in my second month of training for my first half marathon! Thanks for all this info. I never thought of myself as a runner and I don’t particularly enjoy it but I know that there are a ton of health benefits and I just want to be able to say I’ve done it! Once I have recovered from my half, I will decide whether I want to try for a full. 🙂

    • 18 run4change
      March 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm

      Leah- Just being able to say that you have done it is such a huge motivator to me too. I feel just like that. It builds us up when we are proud of doing what we felt was impossible before we did it.

  10. 19 geegs23
    June 18, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Another great post! I’m planning my first half marathon for the beginning of 2010; location unknown at this time. We originally wanted to do Key West but that appears to be out due to the price of accomadations.. blah! I don’t currently run right now.. I do however walk almost 5 miles every evening with my pup. It’s amazing, I went from almost no activity at the end of April to walking 5 miles sometimes more on the weekends in about a month. That first day walking around the lake (2.2 miles) was rough.. after a 1/4 mile I wanted to turn around and go home but pushed myself and made it around. In the next few weeks (need to purchase a better pair of sneakers first) I want to start running a bit, I’m thinking of trying the C25K program to start with and building from there. What is your take on the C25K program? I’ve read that you shouldn’t do more than what the program instructs you to do on any given day even if you think you can do more. Do you know why that is? Or should I push myself if I feel I can do more? What’s your thoughts? I’m glad I found your site, it seems like you’ve got a lot of informative information on here. 😀

    • 20 run4change
      June 18, 2009 at 7:37 am

      geegs. I will send you an email so I can give a better answer to your questions so keep an eye out for it. 🙂

  11. June 18, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you so, so much for your blog. The honesty is refreshing! I love that you promote running for people of all sizes. I ran my first half-marathon last year weighing 307 pounds. It is possible!

    I’ve been blogging about my running and WW journey… but discovering your site today has inspired me. I’ve done WW with little dedication for nearly four year. I have 200 pounds to lose. I lost 62 and now have gained it all back. I haven’t run in months. But that changes now.

    Thank you SO much!

  12. 23 Cindy
    August 8, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Thank you for doing up such an inspiring blog. I am obese and have always struggled to lose weight, I’ve also tried running before but found it way too hard, I think now that I was trying to do more than I could cope with. However lately I have been doing a lot of walking and its such a great feeling, feeling myself getting fitter. The other day I couldn’t do my usual walk (30 hard slog up to catch my horses) as I have lost enough weight that the pants I was wearing were falling down so I drove up to my horses, got a piece of twine (hay baling string) and used that as a belt. Thought I would go for a easy walk as that was better than doing nothing and next thing I know I started running. Only took about 20 min at a walk/run pace but I was so proud of myself, I’m now hoping to make it a bit more of a regular thing. I tend to get shin splints (although I was fine this time around) so until I can get some correctly fitted running shoes I’ll be sticking to the grass and not over doing it.

    Thanks again for your site, I will be bookmarking it! 🙂

  13. November 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Hello 🙂 What a inspiring blog! I googled about tapering and stumbled upon your stories. Well done mate! well done! I’ve been running for about 6 months now and started with a half marathon. I’m now tapering towards my first Ultra- a 60KM mountain run called the Kepler Challenge here in New Zealand. I ran my first marathon distance (42km) during y peak training run of 49KM so that’s that…..I’ve ran my first marathon! WoOt. With a time of 5.5 hrs for 49KM I’m happy with that……and super happy to be tapering 😉

    I’ll be back here fore sure- i love stories like this as they motivate me. Like wise I hope my blog does the same.

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