Running 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.
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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)
YOU CAN DO IT!!
You can ALSO run a marathon and beyond!
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.
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.
- Ultra running resource site. Just about all you need to know.
- Runners world ultramarathon training
- Hal Higdon 50 miler training
- UltraLadies 100 miler training schedule