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3247 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Jan 29, 2012 5:47 PM by Whale Shark
RyanPolk Rookie 1 posts since
Jan 23, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 23, 2012 9:11 AM

New Runner, 340lbs. Any advice?

For a little bit of a backstory, I am 25, 6'6" and as of last summer weighed in at exactly 400lbs. I graduated college with a BS in criminal justice. I want to eventually work for a federal level department, such as ATF or DEA. To do this, I need my degree as well as five years minimum experience in local law enforcement. The police academy where I live requires being able to run a mile and a half in 18 minutes just to get in. I went on the atkins diet and began doing somewhat regular running and exercise. I dropped sixty pounds over the past six months. However, while my running has improved, I feel like I am not gaining endurance as quickly as I should. I figure it is due to my training - which until now was just jog as long as I could, then walk until I could jog again. Probably isn't pushing myself like the exercise listed on this site.


So, I will be using the training method described on this site. I started this thread to keep me motivated, and to ask a few questions, if anyone could help.


- Should I start at w1d1, even though I've been doing running on my own?


- Is there anything I should worry about for trying to run at my weight?


- I get what I assume to be heat rashes between my inner thighs after jogging for a week (four times in the week). I've read about using body glide for longer runs, but I only jog/walk at tops for an hour, usually less (30-45mins usual) Should I be using body glide anyway, or is this something different?


- My biggest problem is motivating myself to go. Are there any tips for pushing yourself off of the couch to go do it?

  • quikyerp Pro 82 posts since
    Apr 13, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jan 23, 2012 11:42 AM (in response to RyanPolk)
    New Runner, 340lbs. Any advice?

    Consult a doctor or physician would be my advise.


    It seems like you're doing great! C25K program would give you a good routine and additional micro goals to help you out. Just make sure you're not over doing it to prevent injury, slow down if you need to. A friend / running partner is great for motivation. I bought myself $100 shoes


    I'm still a newbie runner so my advice shouldn't be taken tooooo seriously.

  • StartWhereYouAre Rookie 2 posts since
    Sep 14, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jan 23, 2012 3:51 PM (in response to RyanPolk)
    New Runner, 340lbs. Any advice?

    ??My thoughts:


    Start at W1D1, just determine an intensity that lends itself to the program.  I trained for and completed a half marathon over the last year.  But I run verly slow and am just now doing C25k in order to improve my speed.  Even veteran runners have an intensity that can fit into C25k, they just don't need the structure and have moved into more refined training.


    You are already aware that your weight is a potential problem for running.  Running is a great exercise because it is straightfoward.  When compared to walking running can burn about twice as many calories as sitting still (per articles on  However it does that by forcing you to lift your weight further and then dropping it back to the ground where you catch it.  When Force=mass*acceleration all of those extra pounds have to be supported.  I would personally recommend losing some more weight with other exercise before running too seriously (bike, elliptical, rowing, etc) but if you insist on running I would say


    1) Concentrate on your form to be sure you are supporting your weight in the safest way possible.

    2) Pay attention to those support muscles as well as your major muscle groups.  Improving your fitness will make you sore, but some pain signifies damage so listen to your body.

    3) Cross train.  Even if you insist on running you can give those muscles a break.  And cross training is always a good idea. 

    4) Do floor exercises and stretch to improve the strength and flexibility of those muscles you're abusing.

    5) Lose the weight as fast as possible so that it's a nonissue.


    All of these points are true for someone running at any weight, but due to the extra gravitational pull (and lack of fitness that often accompanies it) it's extra true for someone overweight.  However there are a lot of technically overweight people who are good runners.  And good form/well balanced training has saved plenty of bigger runners while bad form/unbalanced training has injured ideal weight runners.  Just pay the extra attention and keep moving forward. 


    But ultimately this advice is worth what you pay for it.  I'm no expert, and ultimately even the experts are going to rely on statistics and best practice and not know your specifics.  The best person to know when you've pushed too far (or when you can push harder) is you. Good luck!

  • deedubbadoo Amateur 9 posts since
    Jan 24, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jan 24, 2012 10:42 AM (in response to RyanPolk)
    New Runner, 340lbs. Any advice?



    I feel your pain!  I was 378 lbs at my heaviest, so I know how tough it can be to get the ball rolling.  I started out by first getting my diet in check because if you aren't eating fairly healthy, killing yourself on the treadmill / road work, isn't going to benefit you as much.  I used the "Mifflin - St. Jeor" formula to establish my daily caloric intake.  That is, what I need to eat, in order to maintain my current weight if I remained sedentary all day.  Once I had that number I simply subtracted 500 calories from that, to create my daily deficit.  You can find the "Mifflin - St. Jeor" formula here:  Once my diet was locked in, I started walking at a 3.0% incline at about 3.5MPH.  I would aim for anywhere between 35-45 minutes a day.  Myself, I would get on the treadmill and watch TV and walk, simple I know.  The secret with having your diet already in check and walking is while you initially lose weight, the impact on your body is not as severe as jumping right into running.  Conditioning the muscles to get used to the work, while melting the fat off of you.  Once you get down around 300-315lbs, I see no reason why you couldn't start the program but, definitely start from the beginning. 


    I was around 307lbs when I started C25K, I just finished the 1st run of week five, and I'm right around 289-290lbs.  I feel fantastic!  Best advice, get your diet in check, start slow, and listen to your body.  You will be amazed at how quickly that weight will fall off of you. 


    As fellow big guy, I also know the pain of the heat rash on the inner-thigh or chafing.  Best thing I ever did was order a couple pairs of moisture wicking compression shorts (Under Armour), that come down to just above the knee.  Not only do I not chafe anymore, but it keeps my quads warm while I run.  Best money I've ever spent.


    Good luck to you, remember that the diet will be the biggest part of obtaining your goal.  It's much easier to propel a 290lb version of yourself around the track than a 340lb version.  You can do it! 

  • Runner-sgt Amateur 15 posts since
    Sep 20, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jan 24, 2012 7:06 PM (in response to RyanPolk)
    New Runner, 340lbs. Any advice?

    Getting your diet in check is typically the hardest part, but the most important. Once that is done the workouts become more effective. Although long runs won't hurt you, you get to a point where they just arent enough. It great to add variety to your program. I've been running for about 9 years and have found that adding plyometrics, wind-sprint, fartleks, ladders, swimming, light jogging and various other activities to my weekly schedule not only adds fun and different to your routine, but also benefits your running. As stated in one of the above threads, please ensure that your form is correct before you continue. Taking a running clinic to find out your gait and see how you land is extremely beneficial for ANY runner.

    MOTIVATION: Every one is motivated differently, but almost everyone gains a certain amount of motivation from seeing results! One of the best things I did when I started marathon training was recording! Lap times, miles, how many laps, workout length, total miles for the week, hours ran during the month, etc. The mile was my basic unit of measurement. I started my 26.2 mile journey with a 1 mile run. I timed it and built on that. I ran a timed mile once every other week. The improvement was noticeable after the first week. I'm not a very social person, and I prefer to do all of my training alone. But, I must agree that having others to workout with can keep you motivated. After 1 month of training I was running 5Ks and 10Ks every weekend. Running alongside fellow runners during a competitive road race is fun and good for you! It also helps you meet people who may be facing the same challenges as you! This is where I found local running clubs and groups. Distance runners are a different breed of people, since most "normal" people somehow don't see the FUN in running. When you finally find the people that don't think running 26.2 miles for "fun" is abnormal or borderline insane, it's nice to know you're not alone. I developed my own kind of motivation during those times that it was hard to finish that last mile or lap. When my body just wouldnt go any more I would tell myself that IF I allowed myself to stop and walk then I would HAVE to make up for the time I wasted plus some. For example, if i allowed myself to stop and walk it would only be for 10 seconds....but when I started running again after those 10 seconds I would owe myself 15 seconds of sprinting to put myself ahead of where I would've been had I not stopped. It was my own reward program haha. With a demanding workout program comes the need for self discipline because. 

      CHAFING/HEAT RASH: Compressions shorts works wonders for preventing this! Not only are they good for preventing that, but they also help with lactic acid build-up in the muscles and vibration. Both of these things can help diminish some of the soreness after a long run. I found that changing to very thin shorts/shirts/undergarments helped get rid of heat rash on my outer thighs and sides. Moisture wicking material works wonders.Body glide may also help if you find that you have skin rubbing on skin during your runs, vaseline will work just fine in very thin layers, as will regular anti-persperant/deoderant.

      Hope this gives you some insight and good info! Good luck on reaching your goals! 

    Anthony D.

    2006 Valley of Flowers Half Marathon Lompoc, CA: 1:35:15

    2007 Inaugural Pismo Beach Half Marathon: 1:31:27

    2007 Valley of Gold Half Marathon Tuscon, AZ: 1:40:08

    2007 Valley of Flowers Half Marathon Lompoc, CA: 1:28:40

    2007 Surf City USA Half Marathon Huntington Beach, CA: 1:31:31

    2008 Pier to Peak Run Santa Barbara, CA

    2008 Rock-n-Roll San Diego Marathon: 4:03:18

    2008 Inaugural Rock-n-Roll San Antonio Marathon: 4:21:45

    2009 Guam Ko'Ko Road Race Half Marathon: 1:29:37

    2009 Guam PIC Half Marathon: 1:27:53

    2010 Guam Ko'Ko' Road Race: 1:32:17

    2010 Guam Marathon: 3:36:09

    2010 Guam Perimeter Run 50K: 6:08

    2011 Guam Two Lovers Point Half Marathon: 1:27:12

    2011 XTERRA Guam Off-Road Triathlon Finisher

    2011 Guam Summer Sprint Triathlon Series Finisher

    2011 Rock-n-Roll San Antonio Marathon: 4:16:06

    ...and coming this year!!!

    2012: "Highest Marathon in the America" Madison Marathon, Montana (July 2012); Air Force Marathon Wright-Pat AFB, OH (Sept 2012); Le Grizz 50K Glacier National Park Montana (Oct 2012); Dirty Dash Billings/Missoula Montana (June/Sept 2012)

    "Run til' you cant anymore, then run some more..."

  • Rookie 3 posts since
    Jan 27, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 25, 2012 6:07 PM (in response to RyanPolk)
    Re: New Runner, 340lbs. Any advice?

    Ryan I too was 400 lbs or a biscuit away from that, could barely walk 1/2 mile without paying for it with swelling feet and ankles.  I started in the pool and got my weight down without all the pressure on my joints.  Got myself into the best shape I could doing weight training combined with cardio ( anaerobic and aerobic).  Dropped 67 lbs the first year, went on to lose a total of 100 lbs. Did my first triathlon sprint with an open water swim of 800 meters, 14 mile bike and 5 K run.  I know it seem like you'd be working backwards but training on core strength is key to improving yourself and ultimately accomplishing your goal.  Positive mental attitude will go a long way.  Have accomplished a 1/2 Ironman to date and have my goal on a full Ironman this November.  Plan on dropping another 60 lbs between now and then. (Gained back some due to health issues but not EVER going to give up.  Best of luck to you, ask questions, take what you can use and toss out what you can't but most of all stay true to your dreams.  Good luck from someone who has been in your shoes.....literally.  You can avoid a lot of burns, chafing, etc, by dropping and tightening up your core especially at your age.  Young bodies are a wonderful thing, don't wait until you are an old man like me I was 45 when I "woke up" and made up my mind.  Good luck and God bless.

  • LeeSpaziano Rookie 1 posts since
    Jan 26, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jan 26, 2012 4:47 AM (in response to RyanPolk)
    Re: New Runner, 340lbs. Any advice?


    Please allow me to share with you how I motivate myself.  Perhaps you can do the samething.


    First off, I know myself. I can tell you I really suck at doing discretionary things.  If I give myself any leeway, I’ll always make the wrong choice.  Given the option to procrastinate or cheat, I will.  If my plan is to “exercise sometime today”, today will come and go with no exercise.


    So how do I solve the problem?  Take away choice.


    I have planned out my exercise schedule weeks inadvance.  My life is scheduled around myexercise, not vise versa.  I plug all of my workouts into Google calendar and it sends me text message reminders of what I’m supposed to do and when.


    No choice.  The calendar says run, the text message comes in, I put on my shoes and start running.

  • Snerb Pro 140 posts since
    Jan 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jan 26, 2012 6:25 AM (in response to RyanPolk)
    New Runner, 340lbs. Any advice?

    Take this with a grain of salt, just because it worked for me doesn't mean it would work for anyone else....


    Don't try to motivate yourself to simply run, that's fairly easy to do.  Try to motivate yourself to make the lifestyle change that running has become part of, diet, exercise, etc....


    Document your running.  Adding a 1/4 mile to your route might not sound like much, but it's a milestone and there's a ton of motivation with those milestones.  I walked a 1/4 mile to a local school's running track, ran as many laps as I could (for the first week and a half I could only do one lap), and walked home.  The next day I did the same thing.  I remember being pretty proud of myself when I could run 3 laps (.75 miles) without stopping.


    The two questions that I asked myself were...

    - What choices do you make when you're not running

    - With those choices, am I giving myself a good chance to get the most out of my running


    You're a big dude, listen to your body.  Stick with it and there's going to come a time when your mindset changes from 'I'm running to lose weight' to 'I'm losing weight to run'.




    5k - 24:26

    5k Trail - 24:57

    5 Mile - 39:52

    10k - 51:19

    10k Trail - 53:15

  • NucleEd Amateur 10 posts since
    Oct 16, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jan 26, 2012 9:25 AM (in response to RyanPolk)
    New Runner, 340lbs. Any advice?

    Join a club or find a partner so you can hold each other accountable for what you eat and how and when you exercise.  Partnerships will give you the extra push when the motivation is hard to come by.

  • Whale Shark Rookie 1 posts since
    Aug 6, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Jan 29, 2012 5:47 PM (in response to RyanPolk)
    New Runner, 340lbs. Any advice?



    I think it is great that you are working on getting in shape, also the motivation you have should help you get there.  As a note, this message is coming from someone who used to be 325lbs and am now 185lbs and 8 weeks from my first 1/2 Ironman Triathlon. 


    First, lets start with the motivation.  You say that it is hard just to get off the couch, but one of the things I have always done is to never sit on the couch in the first place.  If you are like I was, as soon as I went home and sat down, I was not motivated to go work out.  What I do is to make sure I take my workout stuff with me to work so that I go the the gym or on my run first.  Also, another huge thing, if I can do my workout in the morning before I go to work, that is all the better.  You should try to get your run in as soon as possible in the day.  It will help keep you from saying, "I will do it after work", or "I will do it at lunch".  Like Lee states above, make a schedule and stick to it.  It is the most effective way for me to make sure that I do my workouts when I am supposed to.  There is nothing better than opening up your calendar and "checking" off the box for your completed workout.


    On your running, you say that you get heat rashes, and I hear you there.  One thing I have done is gotten some spandex to wear under my shorts.  It has helped me with any of the rubbing and chaffing that goes on down there.  The body glide can help, but the physical separation with the spandex does much better for me, and may very well for you. 


    Another very good way to improve your fitness is to start cycling.  You can get started very easily and it will not be near as difficult on you body as the running.  I would reccomend splitting your workouts between running and cycling until you get a bit more fit, too much running at that weight can lead to injuries fairly quickly, I had some issues as well.


    Good luck,



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