Friday, March 7, 2014

Anyone Can Run...Even You

Hear me out here. 90% of the people I talk to say they can't run. Remember I said you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to?

Okay, so I started running at 270 pounds. 270. I didn't think I could run one minute without collapsing. Really. That first minute felt like forever. But it got easier. Before I knew it I was running my first nonstop mile, then two, then 4, and now I'm training for a half-marathon. That's 13-point-freaking-1 miles, people. I have no doubt in my mind that I will finish that race. And I love it, most of the time. Sometimes I feel like the miles on the schedule are so long and there is no way, but I have done every one of them.  

Running and weight loss go together so well because the more you run, the more you lose and the easier running becomes. 

What do you think? Do you want to give it a try? Here are some thoughts to get you started.  

First, find a running plan. A popular one is C25k (Couch to 5k) which you can get as an app on your phone, or find it online, here but there are many versions of the plan available.  Basically, you will start with a short amount of running followed by a period of walking and build up your stamina until you are running full time.  You usually run every other day, 3 days per week.  I started with a C25k, but in the beginning couldn't discipline myself to get 3 runs in per week.  I ended up signing up for a class at the Y called Anyone Can Run.  I knew that if I had to run with a group of people once a week, I would make myself do the other two runs.  If you can't find a class, find a partner to run with or to keep you accountable in some other way.  I've got a few work friends who are reporting in to me so I'll hold them accountable. HA! 

Second, take it SLOWLY. Like a turtle. REALLY SLOWLY! Speed will come later. You have got to get your heart and lungs used to pumping that hard for that long. In the beginning, it may feel like you could speed walk faster than you are running, but that is ok. I read from someone much smarter than me, if you can go slower, you probably should. 

Third, sign up for a race. Make it a fun one. If you commit to running a race, you are more likely to actually train for it. Once race day comes, if you're like me, you'll be hooked. 

Finally, if you have to walk. Walk. There is nothing that says if you stop to catch your breath you need to.  In fact, there are whole marathon plans built upon running/walking intervals.  I sometimes like to walk when I get a drink. It gives me something to push towards.  You'll find, over time, the need to walk fades away and there'll be some days that you don't have to walk at all, then the next run you will. Who cares?

Are you a runner? Are you ready to try?

Thanks for reading!


  1. Alright I found your blog from your post on Runs for Cookies Motivational Monday. I am at 270 and I echo so completely with your post about wanting to be a runner. But I have so many questions and issues. I've had people tell me (specifically trainers at gyms) that I need to lose some weight before I start running. I've tried the C25K app and I found I couldn't get much past week 3 ... do you have any advice for me? I really want to lose this weight and I think running would be a great benefit for my health and stress. For now I stick to the elliptical at the gym ... and am considering adding in some strength training. Any advice would be more than appreciated. Good luck to you on your journey.

    1. Amanda, I am so glad you asked that. I am in no way qualified to give medical advice, but in my experience, unless a doctor has told you you shouldn't be exercising or you have some sort of other condition that you might hurt yourself seriously, you should be amping it up. Slowly, of course. But if you want to be a runner, you should be. Definitely start out slowly. I still run pretty slowly compared to most of the other runners I know. I can run about a 14 minute mile on the track, but average 15-15:30 on my long runs.

      C25k worked for me, for a while, but I really got tired of the intervals. after I could run 1 mile without stopping, I just tried to get a little farther each time. I think if you read Runs for Cookies, she did something similar. Just try to go a little bit further than you went the last time and you will, slowly but surely, progress in your running. If you're running and you can't imagine going any further, pick a landmark that is a little ways out (a fire hydrant or light pole) and just make yourself run to that. I often repeat to myself "run until it's too hard, walk when it gets too easy" as I run. Most of the time, just walking 1 minute is sufficient to catch my breath.
      I hope this helps! I would love to hear how you are doing! By the way, I was talking to a guy at the running store yesterday and he said he started running at 270, too. :) Must be a lucky number.