Running is one of the best sports for anyone and if you are overweight, it could become your key to fitness and a healthier you provided you follow certain traits of proper running. Whether you want to run for a competition or are concerned about losing some weight with running, it would be difficult provided you have the will to achieve something. Runners can be of all shapes and sizes and even when it comes to competitions, there is a huge range of varied marathons and you can be a part of it too. We will be focusing on tips and techniques that would make running safe and fulfilling for heavyweight individuals.
Are you overweight?
How to determine if you are really overweight or are just carrying a few extra pounds. Runners who have a BMI above 27 are considered to be heavy weight.
Overweight Runners and Running:
Running is a sport that gives your body additional shock and puts additional weight on your joints. Thus runners who are overweight would need even greater support as their overall body weight is exerted on joints and muscles. This additional weight can become critical for your body if you do not asses your body biomechanics and do not adopt proper technique of running. Some of the effects that overweight runners face include:
- Even after a short run, they are unable to sustain running.
- High impact and load of weight can cause serious injuries and health related issues in these individuals.
- Additional stress on knees can weaken muscles and tissues around knees.
Running Tips for Overweight:
- Maintain a Proper Form: A good posture and form of running is important for all the runners however it holds special importance when running is related with heavy runners. A good form would not only improve their running performance but would also keep them from injury by even distribution of shock and reduced stress on muscles and joints.
- Begin with Walk: Although your goal may be running but if you begin straight with a fast pace running, you may not end up anywhere. Best would be to begin with walk instead of running. Continue walking for a few weeks and then gradually as your body will gain strength to run begin running at a slow pace. For the first few days even walk may seem quite challenging, so better take some break and breathe well during your walk.
- Adding Run to Walk: After a few weeks, you can add a few minutes of running to your walk. Follow the pattern like few minutes of walk, then few minutes of run and then few minutes of walk. Keep the pattern same while reducing the time of walk and increasing the time of run over a few weeks. Gradually, you will gain strength and endurance to run for a longer duration.
- Time Yourself: Maintain a log for recording time of your running program. Make sure that you remain comfortable while working out. Don’t worry about speed as with time and practice you will be able to gradually speed up running.
- Keep a Check on your Pulse: Keep an eye on your pulse rate and make it an essential aspect of your running routine. A check on heart rate is most important for overweight runners especially beginners. Regular check on pulse would enable you to find out if you are overdoing or overstraining your body. Higher pulse rate can be a sign that serious health issues and injuries may occur and you should slow down with your workout a bit to get your body in control.
- Wear Supportive Running Shoes: A quality pair of running shoes is important for all the runners. Overweight runners should look for shoes that can offer them maximum support with shock absorption and you will be able to run miles well.
- Recovery is important: Recovery period is an essential part of training. Your body would need time to recover after workout and if you fail to give it proper time to recover; you may witness decline performance, increased stress and fatigue, discomfort, pains and injuries. Space out recovery and rest time during training days. Better take a day off and give your body proper rest.
- Healthy Diet: Keep an eye on how many calories should you eat with running routine depending upon your weight. You should consume a lot of lean meat, fruits, veggies, dairy products (low-fat) and whole grains. A healthy diet would enable you to perform better. Remember to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
- Be Accountable to your own self: As an overweight runner, you need to keep yourself accountable for your training. You can find a number of devices such as pedometer that are an excellent way of keeping a check on your regular running trends. You can keep an eye on your stats and can evaluate your progress based on your goals.
- Motivation: To keep yourself going despite of facing difficulties while running because of your heavy weight, you need motivation. Take your success in to account even if it is a minor one or achieving a bigger milestone. Celebrate progress and improvements with running and it would motivate you to consistently run to gain more success. Research varied training plans to keep the fun, challenge and interest element in your workout.
There is no doubt that running for the first time may not be a pleasant experience for an overweight runner. But as long as you will consistently make efforts; over time with practice you will get better results. As long as you keep yourself motivated and fit while maintaining proper form of running, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals. Take all the negative thoughts and comments out of your mind and stick to positivity and a strong will to achieve something.