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Is 230 pounds too heavy to run?


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I usually go for a one-hour walk every day but I was short on time yesterday, so I tried running instead... it felt really good for the first thirty seconds! Then everything started to hurt and I couldn't breathe so I had to stop. But I tried again, and settled on running for sixty steps at a time, alternating with about two minutes of walking to recover, for a total distance of one mile in 15 minutes. I was fairly pleased with myself because I did six bouts of running, but when I got home I had to fall down and die...

Is running meant to make your lungs feel like they're going to cave in for lack of oxygen?  

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No, running is not meant to make your lungs cave in from lack of oxygen.  Being out of shape does that.  Believe me, when I first started running, I thought I was going to die because I couldn't breathe.  It was very good of you to stop when you hurt.  Running and walking is what I did the first couple of times.  Then I moved into more running than walking, and now I can run 5.5 miles without even really getting winded (just sweaty).  You are doing a good thing, alternating, and a mile in 15 minutes is fairly fast!  That's what I started out at.  Way to go, just keep on keeping on.  Keep running in spurts and eventually you will do 65 steps, then 70 steps and not feel like you are going to die.  Your body is just not quite used to the running yet.
Try the Couch to 5K plan. It's here in the Fitness forum somewhere and you start off with a mixture of running and walking

Here's my .02.  I don't weigh the same as you, so I can't tell you for sure if what you're feeling is okay.  However, in the beginning for me, my lungs were on fire, my legs hurt, my sides hurt, I was a mess.

I started listening to other runners I know IRL.  I changed my breathing which has helped me tremendously and may help you.  I breath in through my nose and then out through my mouth, with my exhale being on my left step.  This helps my side stitch from flaring up.  I don't really even exhale so much has "haaaa" out the breath.  I find I am able to pace myself with my breathing or switch to pacing myself with my running...either way, I'm always breathing out on my left step.

Make sure you stretch out beforehand good and proper.  This will help with calf aches, shin aches and overall leg aches.  

Good luck to you!!!  Sounds like you're doing GREAT!  When I first started I too, did the run for 1/8 of a mile, walk for 100 yards, on and off until I was comfortable running the distance.  In no time you'll be running your mile instead of walking, just keep up the great work!! 

kajikit, i have a learn-to-run program that takes you from running as briefly as 15 seconds at a stretch up to a 40 minute workout, of which 36 is running.  you can advance at your own pace, and it's all about time rather than distance.  PM me if you're interested.
Not too heavy, no, but you need to be careful and decide if the pain is manageable, understandable, not an injury, but merely a reflection of your body working hard to improve. 

My cousin is running (Couch to 5k Program) and she started over 300lbs...she has lost nearly 30 in the 6 weeks she's been running the program.  She HAS changed her eating habits too.

I was 190 when I started and have lost 40 lbs since July.

My lungs were AWESOMELY pushed to the limit at the beginning.  I felt as though my head would explode.  I read many times about how you are supposed to be able to at least respond briefly to a conversation otherwise you are pushing too hard -- well, I'm afraid I would have NEVER progressed beyond a quick walk if I followed that guideline, or at least it would have taken forever (perhaps it was too much smoking in my younger years and the fact that I had never done any cardio in my life!!)....anyway, I pushed MUCH harder than that, kept at it and NOW have what I would call "very good" cardio ability.

I strongly believe in the C25K program for avoiding injury to an overweight body, for keeping goals challenging but do-able, for giving me direction, focus and accomplishment all along the way.  It worked for me.  I ran 10k for the first time last Friday!  I love running!!
#6  
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How tall are you?

When you ask about "too heavy to run", that immediately worries me -- more because of your KNEES than your lungs.

Knees were not built to take that kind of impact long-term. If you aren't set on running, there are plenty of low-impact ways to get your cardio in that won't wear down your knees in the long run. If you ARE set on running, then PLEASE get fitted for a good pair of shoes and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If your knees start to bother you, let them rest!
So I started a walk/run program at maybe that weight or about 215lbs.  The walking was just feeling easy.  I started with 30sec run, 4min 30 sec walk all x 4 or 5.  You do this 3 x per week.  Always warm up and cool down after.  Each week, if you are ready add a bit more run and deduct same walking.  I got up to 1:30 running and then was trying the more ambitious only walking 2 or 3 min in between.  Anyway a few weeks ago my knees just became a crisis and I've been in physio rehab for the 3rd week now.  Almost better.  so just DO listen to your body.  If any thing hurts, back off, try a more moderate approach.  In my case she said that as you take on more vigorous exercies your body's weak spot begin to show.  In my case its an IT band problem.  the muscle to the inside of the knee is not very strong and the outer muscle is strained and pulling the knee cap out of alignment.  Correctable but be careful.  She said I can get back to running before long.  I'm to try cardio on the bike to build my quads without strain on the knees for now.    Good for you for trying!  Take it easy and good luck.
I started running at 230 too back when I barely joined the gym. I had the same symptomns as the ones your having right now. You should try to do intervals. That helped me out a lot. Know how long you could run without stopping and rest twice for the same amount of time and just do it again and again. It works and pretty soon you wont have those pains and aches no more. And youll be running more

I used to have that experience when I would run in gym class in 7th and 8th grade. I would be inactive and then BAM, I'd be sprinting the mile.  I was pretty overweight then, and it was painful. However, I went out for the Cross Country and Track team the next year and found that going a slow pace and letting your lungs take time to expand is helpful. Sometimes after "speed workouts" (short bursts of sprinting in between sets of jogging) would cause what I like to call the "runner's cough". Just the lungs expanding for next time. From experience, the more often you run (starting out slow) the more your body will get used to it, and the less painful of an experience it will be next time. 

 

Also, right now I am over 200lbs and run 2-4 miles 3-4 days a week.  It is all a matter of training your body. Not your weight. (Don't we all know people who are not overweight and say that they can't run down the block? Exactly). Good luck! 

#10  
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I just thought I'd add that I don't run at all (except when I feel like it for 10 mins or so) because, after years of doing it because I thought I should, I just realised that I'm totally not built for it.  My lungs would be fine, my muscles would feel like they were working away (NOT in crisis), then something would pop here or click there and I would hurt myself.  I felt like my muscle fibers were snapping... it was a disgusting sensation... or my hip joints would be sore, or my left foot would cramp up and I'd have fascitis for a few days... so I was just like, hey, maybe you should do something else.

Now I do pilates, elliptical, weight training, cycling, and a variety of strength training.  I just keep it as varied as possible and I'm in very good shape, because I can keep motivated, because none of my excercise feels like a punishment... (though if you are getting into excercise, it will feel like a punishment for a little while... its worth it...) Don't just do it cause you think you should. Running is not for everyone.

Yea, I'd love to run but I'm built a bit too heavy up top. I'd give myself a black eye! LOL  I have to settle for speed walking, the eliptical (which I LOVE) and bicycling. I like to lift weights too.

Kim

 

 

Original Post by kburg:

I just thought I'd add that I don't run at all (except when I feel like it for 10 mins or so) because, after years of doing it because I thought I should, I just realised that I'm totally not built for it.  My lungs would be fine, my muscles would feel like they were working away (NOT in crisis), then something would pop here or click there and I would hurt myself.  I felt like my muscle fibers were snapping... it was a disgusting sensation... or my hip joints would be sore, or my left foot would cramp up and I'd have fascitis for a few days... so I was just like, hey, maybe you should do something else.

Now I do pilates, elliptical, weight training, cycling, and a variety of strength training.  I just keep it as varied as possible and I'm in very good shape, because I can keep motivated, because none of my excercise feels like a punishment... (though if you are getting into excercise, it will feel like a punishment for a little while... its worth it...) Don't just do it cause you think you should. Running is not for everyone.

 

I walk at a fast pace. Then slow it down and then speed it up.  I do this because I am so afraid of hurting myself. But it is very cold here so now I am doing indoor exercise.
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