Feel Your Best: Overweight Running Tips
I’ve been a seasoned running for over six years and there’s a subject that not many people talk about: what it’s like to be an overweight runner. I’m here to make it less taboo. I didn’t set out to be running with the extra pounds, but I’ve embraced that I can still enjoy the sport. Here are my BEST overweight running tips to help you feel confident, prevent injury and crush PR’s.
Feel Your Best With These Overweight Running Tips
I truly feel like the running community is accepting of all levels and body types. Whether you’re running a marathon or around the block, your body shape doesn’t determine your strength. My best advice is not to be intimidated, if you’re overweight and new to running. Just get out there and put one foot in front of the other.
My journey as an overweight runner started after I delivered my second son. The baby weight wasn’t coming off quickly. I had two options: stop running and be even complacent or overcome the hurdles of my new body type to continue the sport I loved.
Obviously, I picked the second option. I learned that I could still enjoy running with a few tweaks to keep me comfortable.
Find The Best Shoes For Overweight Running
Running shoes are individual based on the anatomy of your foot. However, being overweight means it’s even more important to be properly fitted. Great fitting shoes can provide extra cushion, help prevent injury and give you some extra bounce.
Train With Consistency
This applies to everyone, but I feel like it’s even more important when you’re overweight. Even if you aren’t training for a race, make sure you’re consistent about logging miles. That way it won’t feel like you’re starting fresh every time. Building your endurance and muscle memory will help make it feel easier over time.
Invest In Anti-Chafing Products
Running with curves means that you’re going to have some friction issues. It’s just something that comes along with the sport. If you’ve never experience chafing, consider yourself lucky. For runners, chafing issues most-likely occur under arms, in-between your thighs and your buttocks.
To help prevent chafing, you want to purchase Body Glide. It’s the type of product that you can never use too much of and you always need it. I even take it with me during races, in case I start to feels areas that are chafing.
Cross-Train To Strengthen Even More
For every one pound you’re overweight, that’s an extra four pounds of pressure on your knees. Your body needs the muscular support to protect your joints.
It’s important to make cross-training part of your regimen. I love Pilates and swimming to help support my running – they’re both low impact.
Replace Your Sport Bras More Often
Same as running shoes, a great fitting sports bra is your BFF. It can take pressure off of your shoulders, prevent chafing and offer sweat wicking during a workout. Since becoming an overweight runner, after having kids, I’ve noticed sport bras need to be replaced more often.
About once every six months, I will go get properly fitted for a new sports bra. If your bra straps are stretched out or you’ve got exposed underwire, it’s time to replace it.
Find A Supportive Running Group
You don’t have to feel alone as an overweight runner. If you want to stay motived, it’s important to find a group of runners that have similar goals as you. The support system will help hold you accountable and stay consistent. I believe in the power of numbers and relationships. Find your running tribe, it’ll can be life chaining.
Consider Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk-Run Method
If you’re new to running and you’re feeling overwhelmed with your lack of endurance, try the run-walk-run method. It helps to save your endurance so you can cover more mileage. I’ve found that it’s also easier on my joints than just straight running.
You can start with short walking intervals, or keep it even like a 30:30 ratio (run for 30 seconds and then walk for 30 seconds). I highly recommend Jeff Galloway’s “Half Marathon You Can Do It” book. It’s a great read if you have your eyes set on 13.1 and you want to try the run-walk-run method.