3 Sure-Fire Tips on Running for Overweight Beginners

  1. Take Walk Breaks

The first tip in my arsenal for overweight beginning runners is to take walk breaks.  Walk breaks will help minimize injury.

If you suffer from occasional knee pain, back pain, or shin splints then walking can help you relive some of the stress on those areas.

In my prime, I used to run hills and climb mountains like a tiger.  But, now my knees tend to give me a few problems.

And, if you are an overweight runner then you are creating a lot of shock to your knees and your body when you are running.

The run/walk method helps alleviate muscle fatigue (Spectator, 2010).

If you are a beginner then you can try running one minute and then walking one minute.  This will allow your muscles some rest time

Jeff Galloway made the run-walk method popular.  His running principles include: starting slowly, easing into it, and pacing yourself.

  1. Follow a Running Plan

The second tip in my arsenal for overweight beginning runners is to follow a training plan.

You are excited to get up off the couch and dust off your Nike’s, Reebok’s, or Puma running shoes? And, you may want to go hit the trail for a 5 mile run on Day 1, but do not do that. STOP!

Take your time, look online, and find a running plan designed to gradually improve your fitness.  Following a running plan will help slowly improve your endurance, prevent injury, and prevent burnout, and overtraining.

A good running plan will include running and strength training.  Ideally, your plan will include at least 3 days of running and at minimum 2 days of strength training.

  1. Listen to Your Body

The third and final tip for overweight beginning runners is to listen to your body.

Take it slowly.  If you are out running on a hot summer day, and become lightheaded or dizzy, then take a break.

Don’t push too far out of your comfort zone.

You may want to consider investing in a heart monitor to use while running to ensure that you are staying in a safe heart range.  These monitors can measure your effort and keep you from exercising too extremely.

Also, remember to take rest days.  The body needs time to rest and recover from strenuous activity.



Runners find walking a fast way to beat injury. (2010, October 6). Spectator [Hamilton, Ontario], p. GO6.