How to Start Running with Weight to Lose?

author : acbadger
comments : 1

Member Question:

My name is Ernest and I am in the beginning stages of triathlon training. I am currently 312 pounds but have been on a clean diet and fitness program for 3 months. I have lost 63 pounds and feel great! I have always dreamed of doing a triathlon but had given up. With my new-found fitness I am taking the long journey to fulfill my life's dream.

Because of my weight, I am not able to run yet but am doing long brisk walks. I have also gotten back into the pool (was a Varsity swimmer in high school, 18 years ago) and have just started using a bike machine until I can purchase an adequate triathlon bike. My goal is to participate in a triathlon they hold near my home in April 2007. I have 11 months and am hoping this is enough time to build the endurance to get through this sprint triathlon.

 

My main concern is obviously the running but my priority is weight loss, so if I have to push back to another triathlon, I will. It's no longer a matter of 'if', but 'when'. I really need any advice on how to get ready. I am just reading as much on the sport as possible and getting the research done to understand the sport as I slowly build the endurance.

Answer:

Ernest, first and foremost CONGRATULATIONS on your weight loss. It is wonderful that you are finding pleasure in physical fitness, not only for fun (which triathlons truly are), but for your health as well.

For you and your weight loss, I think being on a bike and in the pool are GREAT cardiovascular exercise options for you. Low impact exercises are going to be the things that keep your joints healthy while you continue to take off weight and get in shape for the triathlon.

There is a beginner program on this website (that I write, actually) that will help you increase your endurance and strength on the bike as well as in the pool…but it sounds like you’d prefer I focus on your running…

I recommend that you continue on your “brisk walking” program. Perhaps alternate walks outside or on a treadmill, with some time on an elliptical trainer. These machines are GREAT as they are the best alternative to walking/running without the impact of hitting the pavement. When I am training for marathons, I do one to two “runs” per week on the elliptical trainers. The trick to these machines is to put the resistance up. If you are on the elliptical with no resistance, you will have a tendency to raise your heart rate higher than you want it and go far faster than you would if you were really walking/running outside. Place the resistance anywhere between 8 and 12 and “walk”/”run” on the elliptical. It saves on the joints and you don’t lose the endurance you’ve established by changing it up a bit.

Once you are finding success with your walking/elliptical training and feel comfortable trying to jog a bit, move to a walk/jog program. Keep your jog time LOW and your walk time HIGHER, then interval the minutes (e.g. walk 9 minutes, jog 1, walk 9 minutes, jog 1). Gradually, when that becomes easier, make the walk time a LITTLE shorter and increase the jog time SLIGHTLY (e.g. walk 8 minutes, jog 2, repeat). This is going to help you maintain your endurance and increase your time jogging. It’s the BEST and SAFEST way to start running (Beginner Triathlete.com has a great “Couch to 5K” workout you could look at as a guide...but I would recommend for you to start with the shortest jog time as possible and increase it GRADUALLY).

Most importantly, I would recommend that you LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If your body can walk 7 minutes and jog 3 minutes one week, it doesn’t mean you are going to be able to do the same thing the following week. If you find your body is tired or you are unable to run like you could the week before…just back off. It is no big deal to need some rest. It’s far smarter to listen to your body and take a rest day, than to push yourself so you get hurt and are off your training schedule for an unlimited amount of time!

Train hard, train smart…but most importantly, train SAFE! Good Luck Ernest!

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date: June 5, 2006

Author


acbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

Author

avataracbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

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