Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is doing well! Things are going well generally here. Work is stressful (as usual), which makes me WAY more thankful for my running group! I am really beginning to find that the group (or maybe it’s the actual act of running? Hmmm…) helps me de-stress after a day at work. Either way – loving it.
For the longest time, I used to think that I couldn’t run because I was overweight. Now I realize that this is a silly thought. Why silly, you might ask. Well, this is what my best friend pointed out:
- I have legs and feet.
- I know how to walk.
- Somewhere, I’ve got a pair of shoes.
- Thus, I have the ability to run.
Once I realized this fact, I feel like a whole bunch of doors opened for me. I literally may have had one of those movie moments where a character comes to a realization and a whole bunch of angels start singing. However, as a mental health professional, I would have been alarmed if I heard singing or voices that weren’t there, so I am pretty happy I didn’t hear the angels singing!
While I am most certainly not an expert runner, I have found that paying attention to these particular things have made my transition into running a little easier. These are also things that ANYONE can do, but I am gearing this more toward plus-sized runners because I feel like we may need a little more TLC than someone of a normal weight.
Without further ado…
- Always make sure you’ve got clearance from your doctor to start exercising. This is especially important if you have any chronic conditions like diabetes or asthma. Definitely don’t want to throw your body so out of whack that your condition flares up!
- Carry some form of identification on you in case of an emergency. Again, crucial for everyone, but especially if you have a medical condition. I already wear a medical alert bracelet 24/7 after having gastric bypass because there are some medications that I can’t take, even in case of an emergency. Letting first responders know about any conditions you have if you can’t talk is essential for the best care in the event of an emergency. Before I splurged on my fancy bracelet, I wore a RoadID and loved it. It also comes in a ton of different style options and is totally affordable.
- Get fitted for shoes! Just any old pair of sneakers won’t do for the long run, especially if you’re going to run a few times a week. You need the support of properly fitted shoes for your knees, back, and hips. Your local running store should be able to help you find the pair that works best for you. The employees at Fleet Feet Cleveland thoroughly assessed my walking and running gait before helping me select the best shoes for my feet. I’m sporting a pair of Brooks Running shoes and I have had no hip, back, or knee pain!
- Invest in a good sports bra. If you are well-endowed in the chest area like myself, a supportive sports bra is a must. There is nothing more uncomfortable than having your girls flopping around or feeling like they’re going to fly up and hit you in the face. I got a really great one from Lane Bryant, and I’ve heard Moving Comfort has a nice selection as well.
- Invest in some Spandex. I know, I know, no one likes it…but you know what is even worse than Spandex? The chafing from your thighs rubbing together. Imagine salt seeping into a wound slowly and constantly, or your thighs literally being on fire. That’s what chafing feels like to me. If you’re not feeling up to strutting around like a peacock in Spandex, wear them under a pair of shorts or pants. There are also a TON of anti-chafe balms out there as well if you don’t feel like shimmying into Spandex.
- Pace yourself. This is super important! You are not Usain Bolt. I think one of the reasons that I hated running in the past is that I was trying to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak. I don’t run marathons. I don’t even run 5k’s (yet!), so I have no idea why I was trying to do a 7 minute mile. I’d be winded in like 30 seconds and not want to keep going. It’s ok to stop and walk if you need to. In fact, alternating things like walking and jogging is a great way to build up stamina and endurance. You’ll be surprised at how fast you progress, too. My last group run, we ran for 90 seconds and walked 90 seconds. The same time last week, we were only jogging 45 seconds. An app for your phone can help – go to your download store (iTunes or Google Play) and just search “Couch to 5k”. Lots of apps, both free and paid, will pop up.
- Above all, don’t give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’re going to be sore. Some runs are going to be better than others. Listen to your body. Rest if you need to. Get enough sleep. Take a long hot bath. But get right back into your routine!
Share with me: any other tips you want to add?