How To Start Running When You Are Overweight

Running is considered to be the greatest form of exercise. It is one that can be done anywhere, anytime, and on any budget. The health benefits from it are absolutely amazing, and it is essentially free, and the greatest thing about it is that you don’t have to be a pro to start.

How to start running when you are overweight is a pretty common question because often overweight people have a hard time at their beginnings or feel anxious when it comes to working out, especially in gyms that are crowded with people, and for them running can be a perfect activity because it can be done alone.

As we already said, running is one of the healthiest exercises to do, but besides the mental and physical health gains, running is also effective when it comes to weight loss, so to find out how to start running when overweight, keep reading our tips and tricks that will make your beginnings easier.

Before you start

Check with your doctor

This is the first thing that any new runner should do, especially if you are overweight. Share your goals and plans with your doctor and ask them to assess your plan and ideally warn you about any potential health issues. Tell them all about any previous injuries or pre-existing conditions that may affect your regular runs. You may also require an exercise stress test on a treadmill to see if you have any cardiovascular issues. Simply make sure that it is safe to start.

Wear the proper gear

There is a temptation to put on any old t-shirt and some old leggings and head out. However, that would be completely wrong. You should make sure that the clothes on your body are designed for pavement pounding and make sure that they are the right size. Some of those clothes would be the right sports bras for women, running leggings, the knee braces for running, etc. Because wearing the wrong clothes can increase the discomfort on your first run by rubbing on your skin and causing chafe, which can make you not want to run again.

Get the right shoes

Running while overweight can cause extra pressure on your joints and make you more vulnerable to injuries, so it is very important that you are wearing the proper running shoes. The most frequent injury that happens while running is known as plantar fasciitis, so the best thing you can do to avoid it is to get some of the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis. You should also replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles.

How to start

Set a goal

Running for overweight beginners may look like a very hard thing. Almost every person has a problem starting with exercises, there are always excuses such as “I can’t run today, I have too much work to do, I will start next week” etc. and that often leads nowhere. So, to ease that starting part, set a goal. For example, that you will be able to run 3 miles without stopping, it may look like much, and you will not be able to do it right away, but that goal that you have seated in your mind will keep you going and help you plan on how to get there.

Be realistic

You may set up a goal of 3 miles. However, do not expect to do it on your first run. There is a huge probability that even a minute of running will get you tired the first time. Consistency is the key to success, in this case, so make sure that you start small. Start with things like walking if you have not worked out in a while or running for 5 minutes nonstop and increase your activity for a little bit every next run, allowing your body to adjust to the new activity.

Create a running plan

The best way to stay motivated is with a running plan. You can just google plans for running when overweight, and you will find endless options. Or you can create your own plan. Doing three sessions from 15 minutes a week is a great place to start. Then, the next week you can increase the time and even implement running exercise on a cross-trainer or treadmill. You will create a great plan just by listening to your body and reflecting on how you are dealing with the increased intensity.

You can even try the Run/Walk strategy, which is a great strategy to comfortably build your running endurance. Start by running for 10 minutes, then slow down for a minute and continue walking for the next 3-4 minutes. This is effective because it allows your body to rest without doing complete breaks.

Try out Rhythmic Breathing

Most of us know that we should breathe in through our nose and breath out through our mouth while running. Although rhythmic breathing is basically a game-changer, and it will make your runs way easier. All you need to do is breathe in for 3 steps and breath out in the next two steps. By steps, we mean any time your foot hits the ground. After you get used to this breathing technique, you will start to notice a big improvement in your lung capacity, and you will be able to run for longer periods.

Run Sprints

Everyone’s version of sprints may be different. And at the beginning, you may not be able to do them comfortably, but you will start to feel more comfortable bumping up your speed with time. You can start by running as fast as you can for one minute and then walk for the next two minutes. It is better to run sprints for shorter periods rather than running slow over a longer distance. Because when you are running slower, you tend to pound and plod the ground, which produces a bigger up and down motion. And that can cause a greater impact on your muscles and joints and become highly detrimental to your lower back.

Give your Body a Break

Make sure that you pay attention to your body and listen when it needs a break. Learn the difference between basic soreness and real pain. If you proceed to run every day, you will probably end up with sore muscles, and the pain will make you stop with your runs altogether. So instead of overheating your muscles, run 3-4 times per week, and do not push yourself at the very beginning, and when you feel sore, instead of stopping, simply walk and take the needed breaks.


These were our jogging tips for beginners that are overweight. However, we know that achieving your goals and sticking with your running plan may feel difficult sometimes. So do whatever you need to do to stay motivated. There are many strategies such as running with a friend, rewarding yourself, tracking your progress, etc., but you should choose one that will work for you specifically. With that said, what is left is to remind you that there is no image of a runner, so never let your weight be an obstacle in your life. You can always make a change.

About The Author

AthletePath Staff

We are a team of enthusiasts and professional athletes thriving to provide you with helpful advice on buying everything you may ever need to become a better athlete.

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