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Here’s some things I learnt about running, or as I like to call it, power shuffling, when you’re carrying extra weight. Let’s face it, if you are fat {I tried to find more delicate words, it turns out there was no clearer way to say it, so there you go} running can be very stressful on your joints and muscles and stuff. A trainer at the gym once told me that the downward pressure while running on your body is 4 times your body weight. I don’t know about your calculations but that makes for A LOT of pressure in my case.

When I started the Couch to 5km for the first time, it all came as a bit of a shock to me. After a run or two I started asking questions of fellow runners online. A wealth of knowledge and information, ladies such as Rhian and Elizabeth {both have #c25k sections on their blog, use category or search to find} answered my call. For the more personal questions, like is that normal or is it a weight thing, I asked my brother. He would diplomatically answer but I always knew he was taking my concern seriously, not just assuming it was always a weight factor.

So I’m going to share some of the things I learnt with you. Some tips, from me to you. As always, I’m not a professional, speak with your Doctor or trainer if you have questions and if you do some damage get it checked out asap. A lingering issue with your feet, ankles, knees or hips can haunt you for AGES. Be smart Sugers. Use your brains first, your legs second.

Make sure you have good shoes! Oh my goodie goodness, good shoes will change your life. Bad shoes will make the whole run more painful and slow and horrid. Last week I wore my old shoes forgetting that worn out shoes and running are a bad combination. 15 minutes in my ankles and calves were screaming and my gait had taken on a sort of limp to it. Invest in good shoes and replace them often, someone once told me 6 monthly if you’re running 3 or more times a week.

Try interval running. When starting out the chances of you making a 3km run straight off the bat are slim to none. This isn’t always the case but it was for me. If running outside my brother recommends using the light or power poles as a guide. Run one, walk one or whatever combination you can come up with. On the treadmill I use my Couch to 5km app and it sets the ever-increasing intervals for me. Just get started, it will start to fall into place.

Stretches are your best friend. Make sure you are stretching before and after. I know it’s easy to skip but it must be done. Even stretching DURING your run will help. I know I end up with cramps in my calves and feet a fair bit during the run. Sometimes it pays to just stop and stretch it out for a minute before you keep going. Stretching is the bomb, short version. SO wonderful.

Trust your gut, not your inner voice. Sometimes when I run I feel like I absolutely MUST stop every five minutes. My inner voice tells me so, your legs are sore, what’s the point, it’s too hard, you’re not going to make it… On and on it goes. If you listened to everything THAT voice says you’d never go anywhere. There are times when you will need to slow down or stop. Times when for your health it’ll be required. But that voice won’t know. Learn to tell the difference between the two. If you’re anything like me, you’ll know.

Some days just suck. There was a post shared by Elizabeth on her blog Scarlett Words about those days that just suck. And some days your runs just do. Maybe you haven’t been out running for a while, maybe you ate too much dinner before going… Whatever, some days just suck. Don’t let them get in the way of you trying again. Getting back on that horse. Giving yourself a break and just acknowledging that it didn’t go so well today is the best thing you can do.

Ask for advice from people you trust. Like I said, I always sought information from people around me, even once speaking with my Doctor when I had a question about an ongoing pain I got when I ran. It’s important to include people in this journey you’re taking. For advice and for support. So you know, some people will be all weird about you running, don’t include them. Find people who will be a support.

And just keep going. When times are hard, your legs hurt and catching your breath is getting difficult, just keep going. You’ll be surprised by how much you can do when you just keep going. If I’m completely honest almost every time that I run I start looking for shortcuts, ways to finish sooner, run less and walk more. It’s a bad habit I have, you’ll find that all your bad habits will have a spotlight shone on them when you take time out for yourself to run. Expect that and just keep going.

Hope that’s helpful for someone out there just starting out, or who maybe haven’t started because they were concerned. I hope that there was a tip or two here that will speak to you and where you’re at on your journey. And if not, well maybe pop over and check out what she thinks you should know, it’s a great beginners guide to running. Thanks for that Cilla.

Over and out big girls.

  • Haha! I knew you’d be sucked in by my dying fly video. Is it bad that my blogging peaked in 2009?

    This is all really good advice Melissa, and it’s stuff I wish I had known when I first started running all those years ago. In my experience the hardest part of running is putting your shoes on and walking through your front door – nothing will stop you once you’ve gotten that far!

    If anybody else is inspired to start Couch to 5K (C25K) I made a printable chart to help you track your progress. Find it here: http://scarletwords.com/2011/09/13/c25k-v2/

    Good luck everyone! Given a chance running can change your life.

    • Melissa {Suger}

      I absolutely agree, it’s the putting the shoes on and just getting out the door that counts. Once you’re on your way, it’s just head down bum up time.

      Thanks for sharing your run-wisdom, much appreciated. 🙂

  • HumbirdsSong

    Thanks so much for the shout out gorgeous! This is all great advice and I agree, shoes should always be number 1! They make a world of difference.

    If anyone’s interested, here’s my Couch 2 5K experience: http://www.hummingbirdssong.com/p/couch-to-5k.html

    • Melissa {Suger}

      You’re so welcome. The shoe thing is essential!

      Thanks for the direct link! Hopefully people find those archives as useful as I did. 🙂

  • river

    I ran last week, just a short distance. I didn’t mean to, but the bus was there and my legs just took off on their own. I’m just now getting around again without pain. hoo-wee, I suffered for that momentary lapse in judgement. I can laugh now, but i’ll be more careful now. no running for me.

    • Melissa {Suger}

      Oh dear! Take care of yourself River. Maybe a stroll is more your thing. 😉

  • Amy Wells

    I’m just starting to get back into running and I completely agree with you about the shoes. And my tip, whether running in or outdoors? If you have an IPod, use the music as a guide. For eg ‘ I’m going to run for one song, then walk a song ‘ and for the run portion, choose the boppiest or angriest song you can find, whatever type of music will motivate you. As you get fitter, run for two songs, then three etc….

    • Melissa {Suger}

      Great tip!! Love the using music as your guide thing and the choice of types. Haha.

  • I’m starting the c25k toooooo! I’m so scared! Eeek! I didn’t even make the W1 D1 haha! x

    • Melissa {Suger}

      Don’t be scared!! Hang tough, don’t start your speed to high/fast and let me know how you go! 🙂

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