I want to get into running, but I am about 240 pounds and have had asthma my whole life so that sounds scary hard. I rather be more distance over speed now that it is summer. Any tips to start running? Also how to get over fear of people staring?
Hey anon! Congrats on your decision to start running! I started running at 340 lbs so I know very much where you are coming from. I have a ton of tips for you ! First, I am a huge fan of C25K, Couch to 5K. It is a proven, nine week program to help new runners gain strength, stamina and confidence. You run 3 days a week, for nine weeks and it works you up to a 5k (3.1 Miles.)
Some general tips for new runners, from a pretty new runner myself.
- Stretch out before and after and don’t skip the warm-up and cool down time. There are well worth the time and will help prevent injury.
- Like you said, worry more about completion than pace. Speed will come with practice.
- When you get stuck on a day (you will) keep repeating the day until you get it. You should expect this to happen and not be sad when it does.
- I am convinced ½ of running is mental. Keeping a positive mental attitude is critical. If you are convinced you can do it, or if you are convinced you can’t you probably are right.
- Sign up for a 5K this fall, right now! Having a date in mind will keep you focused.
- How are your shoes? If you can swing it, new shoes, fitted at a running store (not a shoe store) will make a world of difference.
- There are lots of C25K apps out there. My advice is not to spend $$ on them. Find a free one. I use 3 apps, that I highly recommend. 1.) Zombies run - for entertainment and music. 2.) Interval Run - to tell me when to run and when to walk, 3) Nike + for overall run tracking and community.
Specific to your concern about people watching you while you are running. I totally get that. In fact, I have several posts from early in my running where I talked about the same thing. If I could offer you a little wisdom here it would be:
- 50% of people that see you running don’t care and will forget about you within 5 seconds.
- 30% of people will wish they had your courage
- 19% of people will be cheering you on - and even would be willing to help you. The Tumblr running community was very welcoming to me, and I am sure they will be with you too.
- Less than 1% might have negative thoughts…. but really, who cares about them. Trust me, I know this is easier said than done but the old saying is true - anyone that would drag you down, is already beneath you.
I think the main thing is to just go do it and keep doing it , trying to do just a tiny bit more each time. If I can do it, so can you.
Please free and keep me posted, on or off anon on how it goes and let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. :)
- Here are my C25K Posts.
- Here is one of my favorite posts that talks about a low point in my C25K running - If I can overcome this, you can overcome it too :)
Good luck :)