Tips for becoming a runner?

I'm 5'4, 255. Running has never come easy to me but has always been something I want to do. My routine at the gym is usually to get on the treadmill and slow job for as long as I can. At first I can usually last about 2 minutes before I have to slow down to a walk. My heart rate gets up to 200 and it's hard for me to breathe. So I usually walk till I catch my breath then try to jog again. I can never go as long as my first initial jog. I usually can only last 45 seconds to a minute after that. I usually switch to the elliptical after about 15 minutes on the treadmill. I'm able to go much faster on the elliptical due to less impact. I have improved some but I would eventually like to be able to jog without having to slow down to catch my breath. Any tips?
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Replies

  • mjoy2631
    mjoy2631 Posts: 3 Member
    I've got a Couch 2 5k workout on my ipod and love it. I've been away from running for several months so I'll start with that again. I would recommend trying something like that or go to runnersworld.com and see if you can find a plan there. Good luck & keep moving along - it will get easier.
  • jeepinshawn
    jeepinshawn Posts: 642 Member
    Continue to work on losing weight, the lighter you are the easier running can be. Run slower if you need to, your pace will improve slowly over time.
  • gabriellax92
    gabriellax92 Posts: 65 Member
    MobyCarp wrote: »
    You'll get a lot of recommendations for Couch to 5K (C25K). There are many variations of this program, which has turned a whole lot of walkers into runners. Some of the key themes embedded in the system are:

    - Don't run as hard as you can for as far or long as you can. Honor the limits of the program.
    - Don't run on consecutive days. As a new runner, you need those intervening rest days for your body to repair the small damage done by running and come back stronger.
    - Do walk/run intervals that progessively get more challenging. By the 3rd or 4th week, you'll find yourself doing more than you thought you could, and probably more than you could achieve simply by always trying to do more.
    - If it's too hard to run, run slower.
    - Wait for the program to prepare you with intervals before you attempt a significant continual run.

    At 5'4" and 255, I'm sure you've also heard advice that you should lose weight to become a runner. You're on MFP, so I assume you're working on the weight. There are conflicting opinions on how much weight you need to lose before you start trying to run. Definitely consult whatever medical professionals you have and trust for advice on how to go about running while minimizing the chance of injury. Assuming there is no overriding medical reason that you can't start a program, it can be done. Let me tell you a story.

    I met a very large guy in my first half marathon training program. I never knew what he weighed or what advice his doctors gave him, but he was obviously in the morbidly obese category. He put in the work. He wore out shoes faster than everyone else. He was out in the cold of a hard winter for his 2 mile time trials longer than anyone else. Tough guy, and his goal was to complete the target half marathon ahead of the cutoff to get an official time. He made it by a minute or so. By the end of the training cycle it was visibly obvious that he had lost some weight.

    What happened then? He kept running, and he kept taking weight off. When I met him, he was the only half marathon trainee in the 15 minute per mile pace group. Three years later, he's still stocky but not obviously overweight. And he's a pace leader for the 11:30 per mile pace group. It can be done.

    Very inspiring, thank you! Weighloss is definitely my number 1 priority right now (although it has been a slow process), I would like to work on running in the process as well. Obviously it's not gonna happen overnight but it's something that interests me very much. Thank you for your advice
  • Philtex
    Philtex Posts: 793 Member
    At first I can usually last about 2 minutes before I have to slow down to a walk....... and it's hard for me to breathe............. Any tips?
    • Sounds like you are running too fast. If you can run any slower, then do so.
    • Count me in the C25K recommending crowd.
    • Call it running, not jogging (okay, that is just my personal pet peeve).

    Welcome to the world of running!
  • PaytraB
    PaytraB Posts: 2,360 Member
    Another C25K graduate here.
    What MobyCarp says about the program is correct. What C25K adds to that, is the training schedule. It's something to work towards; a goal. Reaching each goal is inspiring for the next training day. It's very motivating.

    As already stated, you're probably running too fast. What speed is the treadmill set to while you run? Whatever it is, it's probably too fast. Slow it down and run. You'll be surprised at how much better you'll do. Speed comes with a lot of time under your shoes. One general rule of thumb is: while running, try speaking a short sentence aloud. If you find it's hard to speak, you're running too fast.
    Get a good pair of shoes, preferably ones that have been properly fitted at a running store. At the very least, buy a pair of shoes that are a half size larger than your regular day shoes.

    Keep at it. You can do this. Just keep it slow.
  • fitbethlin
    fitbethlin Posts: 162 Member
    I know everyone is saying you are running too fast, and that could be true. I'm an insanely slow runner and when I started, everyone told me the same thing. I was at 4.0 mph on the dreadmill and I could walk or "jog" at that pace, but anything slower was walk only. I found that advice frustrating, but I get where it was coming from.

    If you can only run 2 minutes and you can't slow it down much more, then cut the time. That's the whole C25K philosophy.

    If you don't want to do the formal C25K programs, run 30 sec, walk 60 sec for 6 minutes total. Next time, try for 7.5 minutes total. Once you can do that, try for 9 minutes. I really like the Zombies, Run! app for 5K training because I like Zombie stories. ;) The progression on that app is a little easier too, I think.

    Oh, and if you are using the treadmill to get the heart rate estimate, don't rely on that. I mean, you can compare your Monday run to your Wednesday run, but only if it's the same machine.

    Philtex wrote: »
    Call it running, not jogging (okay, that is just my personal pet peeve).

    My husband used to correct me when I would say I was running. I'm very VERY slow, so he called it jogging. Over the years, sleeping on the couch a few times has helped him come to understand the error of his ways. Now asks me how my runs are going, even knowing I'm still only hitting a 12 min/mile when I'm training. ;)
  • Vikka_V
    Vikka_V Posts: 9,563 Member
    Listen to your body, if you need to take it easy, do so. You are trying and you will improve :smile: it will get easier, but still listen to your body, any aches or pains, breathing issues (obviously) back off a bit. Do "intervals", you will gradually be able to increase the time between the intervals.

    One huge tip that I would give to any new runner is to invest in proper gear, clothing and shoes can make or break your run. Comfort/functionality is a huge component.

    Have fun, you'll probably start to love it ! :smile:
  • gabriellax92
    gabriellax92 Posts: 65 Member
    fitbethlin wrote: »
    I know everyone is saying you are running too fast, and that could be true. I'm an insanely slow runner and when I started, everyone told me the same thing. I was at 4.0 mph on the dreadmill and I could walk or "jog" at that pace, but anything slower was walk only. I found that advice frustrating, but I get where it was coming from.

    If you can only run 2 minutes and you can't slow it down much more, then cut the time. That's the whole C25K philosophy.

    If you don't want to do the formal C25K programs, run 30 sec, walk 60 sec for 6 minutes total. Next time, try for 7.5 minutes total. Once you can do that, try for 9 minutes. I really like the Zombies, Run! app for 5K training because I like Zombie stories. ;) The progression on that app is a little easier too, I think.

    Oh, and if you are using the treadmill to get the heart rate estimate, don't rely on that. I mean, you can compare your Monday run to your Wednesday run, but only if it's the same machine.

    Philtex wrote: »
    Call it running, not jogging (okay, that is just my personal pet peeve).

    My husband used to correct me when I would say I was running. I'm very VERY slow, so he called it jogging. Over the years, sleeping on the couch a few times has helped him come to understand the error of his ways. Now asks me how my runs are going, even knowing I'm still only hitting a 12 min/mile when I'm training. ;)

    Yes, usually don't go any higher then 4.0 on the treadmill. I have short legs lol. Today I did 3.9 and it felt slow but was a good pace for me. Still couldn't last very long though. I have a Fitbit to rate my heart rate. I will definitely give the C25K a try. I downloaded one to my phone but it says run for 60 second then jog for 90. I think I can do that for a couple rounds but I know after that it will become a struggle. Guess I'll figure it out.
  • gabriellax92
    gabriellax92 Posts: 65 Member
    fitbethlin wrote: »
    I know everyone is saying you are running too fast, and that could be true. I'm an insanely slow runner and when I started, everyone told me the same thing. I was at 4.0 mph on the dreadmill and I could walk or "jog" at that pace, but anything slower was walk only. I found that advice frustrating, but I get where it was coming from.

    If you can only run 2 minutes and you can't slow it down much more, then cut the time. That's the whole C25K philosophy.

    If you don't want to do the formal C25K programs, run 30 sec, walk 60 sec for 6 minutes total. Next time, try for 7.5 minutes total. Once you can do that, try for 9 minutes. I really like the Zombies, Run! app for 5K training because I like Zombie stories. ;) The progression on that app is a little easier too, I think.

    Oh, and if you are using the treadmill to get the heart rate estimate, don't rely on that. I mean, you can compare your Monday run to your Wednesday run, but only if it's the same machine.

    Philtex wrote: »
    Call it running, not jogging (okay, that is just my personal pet peeve).

    My husband used to correct me when I would say I was running. I'm very VERY slow, so he called it jogging. Over the years, sleeping on the couch a few times has helped him come to understand the error of his ways. Now asks me how my runs are going, even knowing I'm still only hitting a 12 min/mile when I'm training. ;)

    Yes, usually don't go any higher then 4.0 on the treadmill. I have short legs lol. Today I did 3.9 and it felt slow but was a good pace for me. Still couldn't last very long though. I have a Fitbit to rate my heart rate. I will definitely give the C25K a try. I downloaded one to my phone but it says run for 60 second then jog for 90. I think I can do that for a couple rounds but I know after that it will become a struggle. Guess I'll figure it out.

    ** Sorry correction. It says run 60 sec then walk 90**
  • fitbethlin
    fitbethlin Posts: 162 Member
    I downloaded one to my phone but it says run for 60 second then jog walk for 90. I think I can do that for a couple rounds but I know after that it will become a struggle. Guess I'll figure it out.

    The Zombies, Run! app I talked about might also be a bit much this early in your training, but part of what I like is that sometimes the intervals are "walk fast"/"walk slow" rather than "run"/"walk".

    Maybe you can use your C25K app that way the first week - do it as fast and slow walk intervals. After you feel like that's not so hard anymore, the next day you get on the treadmill, make one of them a run/walk interval and the others slow/fast walk intervals.

    You just build up incrementally over time and then all of a sudden one day you realize you're running wayyyyyyyyyy more than you thought you could. It's kind of amazing how many people have similar experiences. :)
  • gabriellax92
    gabriellax92 Posts: 65 Member
    fitbethlin wrote: »
    I downloaded one to my phone but it says run for 60 second then jog walk for 90. I think I can do that for a couple rounds but I know after that it will become a struggle. Guess I'll figure it out.

    The Zombies, Run! app I talked about might also be a bit much this early in your training, but part of what I like is that sometimes the intervals are "walk fast"/"walk slow" rather than "run"/"walk".

    Maybe you can use your C25K app that way the first week - do it as fast and slow walk intervals. After you feel like that's not so hard anymore, the next day you get on the treadmill, make one of them a run/walk interval and the others slow/fast walk intervals.

    You just build up incrementally over time and then all of a sudden one day you realize you're running wayyyyyyyyyy more than you thought you could. It's kind of amazing how many people have similar experiences. :)

    Thank you! I will look into it. Actually looking forward to the gym tomorrow ha!
  • ICameToGetDown
    ICameToGetDown Posts: 958 Member
    I started in a similar situation. I was 275, but started running around 240. I could only go maybe 20 seconds before having to stop, now I can go just over a mile and am 195ish

    Don't let anyone tell you "you can't".
    Go slower than you think when people say go slow. I suggest you run outside. It's much easier to slow down and it's a different movement / feeling, plus being outside is just better.

    Keep at it 3x a week to give your joints a break. The "off" running days you can do walking or strength training.

    It's important to do a good cool down stretch.

    Be sure you have the right shoes.

    A good compression tank helps (you can put a tee over it).

    Once you get more comfortable, sign up for a race and enjoy!
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,657 Member
    One suggestion that you may not want to hear is to start with walking longer and faster. walking is less stress on the joints, but will help build the muscles, tendons and your lungs and heart. Also, with spring starting, it's a great time to walk outdoors. When you can walk briskly for an hour, then start adding in the short run intervals.
  • Misssynth
    Misssynth Posts: 179 Member
    Everyone has already covered everything I was going to say (you and ALWAYS run slower, when I started the C25K my run was slower than my walk!), but I just want to tell you to keep going. Remember running is very much a mental activity. Unless youre in genuine pain, don't stop. Your head will be screaming at you to and your legs will slow down but unless it hurts (not aches, hurts) you can do a little more. Build up slowly though. 20 seconds to 30 to 1 min etc etc.
    I started C25K at 224lb and couldnt run 30 seconds. Under a year later I'm running 8k fairly easily at a decent pace, I run 5k's twice a week with one longer run and go to the gym for weight training and i'm 189lb. You can do it!
  • magda770321
    magda770321 Posts: 2 Member
    VERY VERY important part of not getting out of breath so quickly, is to regulate your breathing! I've always hated running- because one gets tired!!!
  • magda770321
    magda770321 Posts: 2 Member
    Sorry! Somehow my complete post wasn't posted!?
    You have to keep a constant rythm while running. Start with 3 steps breathing in, 3 steps breathing out. Keep it up,push yourself for as long as possible- only if you're really not able to keep the rythm anymore, go over into a 2 steps in, 2 steps out. As you get fitter, you will easily increase it to 4 in, 4 out etc..
    Good luck!!
  • fitbethlin
    fitbethlin Posts: 162 Member
    So if you want any inspiration, check out this guy's post. He mentions that he didn't like C25K so he made up his own goals, but mostly, it's just a feel-good story that'll get you out the door on a day when you want to stay in.

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10537502/i-think-i-fixed-my-heart
  • menotyou56
    menotyou56 Posts: 178 Member
    C25K!
    l just did Week 1, day 1 and I'm excited to get back into running!