How to Start Running When You’re Overweight: The Ultimate Guide [2022]


Trying to start running when you are overweight can be a daunting task. You may not know where to start, or even how to begin. In this guide, I will walk you through the steps I made. I will help you to start running, even if you are obese or carrying a lot of extra weight. I’ll also provide some helpful tips on how to plan, as well as advice on how to stay motivated. Let’s get started!

How to start running when overweight - just run.
Run just run!

Before we begin, I want to let you know something. I am overweight, and I would refer to myself as fat. Even so, I consider myself a sports enthusiast. Biking, inline skating, swimming, and skiing are some of the activities I participate in.

So the reason I put together this guide is to help you start as I did. So:

How To Start Running When Overweight?

  1. Prepare to fight with yourself
  2. Walking is a slow running
  3. Listen to your heart
  4. Running plan for obese beginners
  5. Now start running when you’re overweight
  6. Reward Yourself!

Prepare to fight with yourself

This is the most important tip that I can give you. When you are overweight, starting to run can be extremely difficult, both mentally and physically. You will have to push yourself harder than everyone else just to keep up. And there will be days when you will want to give up. It’s important to stay strong and remember why you doing all this. 

Did I fail? Many times. But I keep fighting and this time, I finally can say I am actually running. So what was my secret this time? I did everything as I am describing below.

Walking is a slow running

When I thought the last time about how to start running when overweight, I knew this time it has to be different. So I changed a lot. I totally re-worked my strategy.

When you are just starting out, it is important to take things slow. Running too hard, too fast, or for too long can lead to injuries, and we want to avoid that. Instead, focus on building up your endurance by walking first. 

You can start by walking for 20 minutes a day, and then gradually increase the time. How I start was exactly like that. I told my family “I’m going for a walk”. And I just walked around the block for ~25 minutes. After a week, I increased it to more than 30 minutes and so on. 

I progressed by adding small workouts to my routine. And I also began wearing sportswear in order to prepare my mind and body for a new state of being. And that I’m a sportsman.

Listen to your heart

This is a metaphor, of course. But running can be tough on your body, especially if you are overweight. It is important to listen to your body and pay attention to the signs that it is giving you. If you are feeling pain, stop running and rest. 

What helped me a lot was using sports trackers and especially smartwatches. We live in a wonderful time where technology can help us to be healthier. I use my watch to track my heart rate, and I make sure to keep my heart in the safe range. 

When I decided to start running, I made an excel sheet. Then every day I wrote how many minutes I ran, my average heart rate, distance, etc. This really helped me to see my progress and keep motivated. 

I also enjoy going over the run note in the evening and, in particular, looking at the map. All that helps me stay motivated. 

If you take anything from that paragraph, it’s: always track!

Running plan for obese beginners

Now that you have built up your endurance by walking, it is time to start running! 

But before you begin, it is important to create a running plan. This will help you to avoid failure and set realistic goals. 

If you’re starting from scratch, I recommend doing 30 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking. Repeat this week, which entails 5 runs for 10 to 15 minutes each.

The following week, you can increase your running time to 60 seconds and decrease your walking time to 60 seconds. Repeat this for the next two weeks. 

After that, you can start running for two minutes and walking for 30 seconds. Remember to listen to your body and take rest days as needed! 

If you do not feel you are ready for the full run, do not stop here. Do not give up. Just take your time and repeat! 

Now start running when you’re overweight

After all of this, you are finally ready to start running! 

Remember to warm up before you begin, and start with a slow jog. You can gradually increase your speed as you go. 

Beginners should start with 5-10 minute sessions. I propose not exceeding even if you feel ready. You’ll thank me for the next day 🙂 To begin, you will not be tired and secondly, you will not be scared to run again.

Do not forget to cool down after your run, and stretch your muscles! 

Running overweight might be difficult, but it is definitely worth it. You’ll discover that you can’t live without running once your attitude about exercise has altered to the runner.

Reward Yourself!

If you want to succeed this time rather than fail, don’t make the same mistakes I did. Because we fat people will be pushing ourselves more than others. And since we will be struggling and doubting ourselves more, there has to be something that can help us push through our difficulties.

I don’t recommend combining start running overweight and a new diet. The time for your new diet, on the other hand, will come later. So much self-denial would be tough to endure, and few of us are capable of doing so.

Every time you reach a goal, no matter how small, make sure to reward yourself! This will help you stay motivated and on track. 

After I analyzed my failures, I realized I had never rewarded myself before. 

So, after my first run, I went out and bought myself a new running outfit. It felt great to finally have some decent running clothes! 

And after every week or two of successful running, I would give myself a small present. It could be something as simple as a new book or a piece of running gear. 

That’s all, do not forget:

NEVER GIVE UP