Getting in shape for someone who’s overweight presents similar problems to those I face (a way oldster triathlete) in my daily training regimen; the problems run on parallel paths.
Listening to a great interview on GTN (Global Triathlon Network), the ‘starting-to-run’ problems faced by Sam, who once weighed 364 pounds, and a woman who’s an osteopathic surgeon, Ilana, also overweight, I realized that age presents many of the same problems as those who are overweight. Sam, BTW, worked his way up to Ironman eventually!
Here are the high points of the interviews (which I highly recommend giving a listen-to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffscXNLpBYg ) :
- Start gently, you might run for 2 minutes and walk for 5 minutes. You might even start just walking, if you haven’t done anything for a long time. Also, you need to watch your heart rate, get some coaching about what intensity levels you want to work at. Needless to say, ask your doctor what kind of exercise you can safely do….you might be surprised that you can do a lot more than you thought.
- Your bones will strengthen and take the weight as you exercise more; just make sure you get the right nutrition so the fuel for growth is there. With proper nutrition and very gradually increasing exercise load you can avoid stress fractures and the like.
- In somewhat the same vein, joint problems like osteoarthritis are self-regulating. Leg strength work and proper gait is essential; supporting musculature will keep joint motion right, so that the joint(s) can adapt to the new strength and stress.
- You might feel that you ‘just don’t look right for running’, or how you might appear to others. It’s natural to want to have a good public face; but the more you can just accept who you are, at any moment, the more likely you can be yourself. You’ll feel a little better about that, too, so the reward is more than physical; it’s your sense of well-being.
- Above all, Ilana, the osteopathic surgeon, says “running is good for you”. Add to that, if you want to do your first triathlon, swimming and biking both exercise different parts of your body, bringing together a good wholistic life-style. It’s keeping me on top of MY game!!