How to Run If You’re Heavy

There are all kinds of runners, including overweight ones.

In any case, running is a great option that will help you improve your health, get you in shape, boost your confidence, and reduce excess weight.

In this article, I’ll answer the question of how heavy is too heavy to run and give you some tips on how overweight runners can safely, without injury, get into a healthy running habit and lose excess weight .

Generally, a person is too heavy to run when their tendons, joints, and bones cannot withstand the forces present during running.

The heavier a person is, the more stress they put on their body, increasing the likelihood of injury.

A study conducted on 7,801 participants showed that an increase in body fat percentage negatively affects lung function.

Below I will give you some tips on how overweight runners can safely, without injury, get into a healthy running habit and lose excess weight.

Tips for heavy runners

If you are overweight and want to run to improve your health and get in shape, there are many ways to reduce the risk of injury and enjoy all the benefits of running.

This is an important step for all beginners, especially for those who are overweight.

Share your plans and goals with your doctor and inform them of any past injuries that may affect how well you follow your training plan.

If your doctor considers that running is not completely safe for you, find out what you need to do to change that.

Walking will help your body, especially your joints and tendons, to get used to the fatigue.

Keep gradually increasing the duration of the walk until you can walk as little as 30 minutes without stopping, as this means you are ready to run.

Overweight runners should run slowly at a conversational pace with regular walking breaks.

This means you should be able to speak normally while running.

Most runners make the mistake of doing slow workouts too quickly.

The goal of your workout is to lose excess weight without increasing the risk of injury.

Because ground reaction force increases with speed, if you run many miles at a fast pace, you increase the risk of injury.

Elite runners and their coaches know that slow running is not only a way to prevent injury, but also to improve running performance.

Although it’s not logical, this strategy helps elite runners increase their average weekly mileage, which is one of the most important elements of long-distance running.

By running more often but at a slower pace, you can safely increase your weekly mileage and improve your running performance.

Running, like everything in life, takes dedication.

We all have days when we don’t want to run for one reason or another.

Try to stay persistent in following your training plan, as just a few skipped workouts can set your goals back in a few weeks.

Also, shorter, more regular runs at a slower pace have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and thereby extend your life.

Research conducted on 55137 adults showed that a short 5-10 minute run every day at a slow pace significantly reduces the risk of death caused by cardiovascular disease by 45%, extending life by 3 year.

If you run 3 times a week, you will have enough time to rest.

Recovery is just as important as training.

Avoid running every day.

That way, you’ll have at least one day of rest between workouts and enough time for a full recovery.

It is important to remember that you cannot run if you are injured, and this will help you reduce the risk of injury.

6. Focus on proper running technique

Running with proper technique is key to injury prevention.

But how to run in the right way?

The most important thing is that your foot lands directly below your body’s center of mass.

Also, it is important that you do not overstride, that is, bounce too much.

That way, the ground reaction force caused by bouncing is reduced, along with the risk of injury.

7. Gradually increase the weekly mileage

It is advisable that you gradually increase your weekly mileage.

A sudden increase in weekly mileage can overexert your muscles, tendons, and joints, increasing the risk of injury.

Drink plenty of fluids during the day as they will be lost through sweating while running.

Apart from fluids, sweating also releases large amounts of electrolytes, so drink isotonic drinks as well, on hot days or during longer workouts.

Also, drink fluids while running if you feel the need.

It is important to emphasize that you should avoid carbonated drinks that are full of sugar because they will only harm your body.

Do not eat anything for an hour before running.

Running on a full stomach will negatively affect your running performance and can have negative consequences such as nausea, cramps, bloating, and fatigue in your legs.

Read more: Can I Run on a Full Stomach?

Because of the high stress on joints and ligaments caused by excess weight, your running shoes should have a soft sole to absorb as much force as possible.

That way, you reduce the risk of injury and need less time to recover between workouts.

By running on softer surfaces, such as grass or macadam, you reduce the stress on your joints and tendons and, with it, the risk of injury.

If you have no choice, and you have to run on asphalt or concrete, shorten your stride and run more slowly to reduce the forces involved.

Furthermore, wear running shoes with soft soles to reduce stress on your joints and tendons.

With regular training, your muscle endurance and strength will increase faster than the strength of your tendons, joints, and bones.

Therefore, it is important to listen to your body and not overexercise to avoid injury.

Although running is safe for most healthy adults, research has shown that, under the same conditions, being overweight is associated with an increased risk of running-related injuries.

Periodically, reassess your goals to stay on track and remind yourself of what’s important to you.

Meeting your goals will not only help you grow as a runner but will also provide great satisfaction and motivate you to keep moving and set yourself new challenges.

Read more: How to Set Running Goals?

It’s good to keep a running log because it allows you to track your progress.

If the training becomes too difficult, you will be able to review previous entries in your running log and remind yourself how much you have progressed since you started training.

That way, you can more easily maintain your motivation.

Even if you like to run alone, there are several reasons why you should seriously consider running with a friend or a group of runners once or twice a week.

Also, running regularly with a group of runners with the same fitness level as you will keep you motivated and help you when you’re struggling.

Do isometric strength exercises for runners

Isometric strength exercises are ideal for overweight runners because, when they are performed, the length of the muscles and the angle of the joints do not change.

They are performed in a static position and require muscle tension without using movement.

They help with strength building, injury prevention, and rehabilitation.

Both beginners and advanced runners should do them once or twice a week to strengthen their muscles and thus improve their running performance.

Strength exercises will also help you burn more calories and thus reduce your body weight.

Read more: Top 12 Isometric Exercises for Runners with Example Workouts

If you are overweight, you should do dynamic stretches during the warm-up before each run to reduce the risk of injury.

Dynamic stretches prepare our muscles, tendons, and joints for activities that require more mobility or effort than typical everyday movements.

Read more: 20 Essential Dynamic Stretches For Runners

From what weight is a runner considered heavy?

Runners are considered overweight if their BMI is over 25 or their weight is over 200 lbs.

BMI (Body Mass Index) is one of the ways to calculate your nutritional status.

If your BMI is between 18.5 and 25, it means you have a normal weight.

If your BMI is over 25, it means you are overweight.

Couch to 5K programs are designed for people who can’t run a 5K at once.

Therefore, the Couch to 5k program is ideal for them as it allows progress with minimal risk of injury through a gradual progression of steady running and includes four days off a week .

When choosing your Couch to 5K program, make sure it’s based on time and not distance.

Read more: Couch to 5K Training Plan (FREE PDF)

Is running bad if you’re overweight?

In general, if an overweight person can walk for 30 minutes without stopping, then running is good for them because there is no significant risk of injury.

Also, if a person cannot walk for 30 minutes without stopping, then it would be good to reduce the weight and strengthen the muscles by walking with short stops and proper diet so that they can run without too much risk of harm.

At what weight is it safe to run?

In general, people who weigh less than 200 lbs can run safely because they are less likely to injure themselves.

Furthermore, it is important to note that some people who weigh more than 200 lbs can run safely if their muscles are strong enough to withstand the forces produced while running.

Increasing the weight of runners also increases the risk of injury.

In running, the knee must absorb forces four to five times greater than a runner’s weight.

This means that if you have 50 lbs of extra weight, your knee has to absorb between 200 and 250 lbs of extra weight with each step.

Will losing weight help me run faster?

Losing excess weight will help you run faster because in this way you will improve your maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max), that is, the maximum amount of oxygen the heart can send to the muscles that use it. it to produce energy.

According to research from the University of Zaragoza, runners who have the natural ability to achieve a very low body fat percentage have a performance advantage over others.

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