Running for a half marathon for an overweight person is not an easy task. Being overweight can be a major problem, but it shouldn’t stop you from the sport. The key to all things is determination. Your determination helps you to achieve anything, although it may be difficult. Be motivated.
This will encourage you to give your best to achieve your goal. At such times, you will find some people who might discourage you. And an added bonus is that when you run, you will lose weight.
People who will make you feel uncomfortable. But do not get discouraged. By your determination and strong will power, overcome it, and move towards your goal.
Running a half marathon while overweight is definitely not impossible. Just make up your mind and set a goal to get back into shape. Once you have decided to run for a half marathon, you have to follow some important steps. Having the right gear too helps.
Top Tips When You are Overweight and Running a Half Marathon
Consult your doctor
Before you begin, the most important thing you have to do is to consult your doctor.
Share your running plan and goals with your doctor. It is very important that you should undergo a complete body check-up before beginning the exercise program for your half marathon.
It is better to have your current health status, such as your heart rate, blood pressure, weight, body fat percentage, cholesterol, etc. It is necessary to know your health condition before you start training in preparation for your half marathon.
Once you get a green signal from your doctor and are satisfied with your health status, make sure you are ready with proper exercise shoes, comfortable exercise clothes, and a positive attitude to keep you motivated and to go strong. Now you can start your exercise for the half marathon.
Build your stamina
Your next step is to concentrate on building your stamina to run a half marathon. Running is what you need to shed the extra pounds. Set a long-term goal for yourself – at least 18 to 20 weeks of exercise.
Adding exercise to your daily routine helps you to shed your extra pounds and also increases your strength.
Every person has different body types and different fitness levels. Some lose their weight very fast, and some take a longer time to reduce their weight.
Body Composition Analysis
So ideally, the next step would be Body Composition Analysis. Body Composition Analysis is important for a number of reasons. Today Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis is helping health professionals gain a better and complete understanding of the body composition.
This body composition analysis shows the total amount of muscle mass, fat-free mass, body fat mass, protein, weight, minerals, and water in your body. It is always better to know how many calories, protein, vitamins, etc. are needed while losing weight according to your height, weight, and age.
This body composition analysis helps your nutritionist, personal trainer, and the physician to plan a better exercise program for you to help you get through that weight loss.
You need to burn your calories to lose weight. Hence adding exercise to your daily routine will also help you to burn your calories. Cardio and weight training are a must. So join a local gym to achieve your goal. Cardio training strengthens vital body organs, like the heart, lungs, and bones.
Cardio training burns more calories during the workout, and weight training keeps burning calories even after the workout. Cardio training alone will not help you to get ideal body weight. Hence weight training is also equally important.
Weight training is completely based on your goal. Weight training boosts your running abilities and helps you to build lean muscle. It also strengthens your skeletal muscles as well as your upper body.
Weight training helps you to prevent muscle injuries, and it helps you to build up speed, which leads you to run faster. You need strong skeletal muscles to run a half marathon.
At least two or three days a week of weight training is needed for muscle growth. In a week, you should do two days of cardio training and three days of weight training.
Your body needs a break, so workout for only about 4 to 5 days a week in the initial stages.
Add walking or walk/run in your training chart for at least 6 to 8 weeks. Build up your fitness through walking and running. Running helps you to build your stamina and strengthens your lower body.
Change your training gradually
Be positive and patient. Do not take your exercises and nutritional plans as restrictions but take them as your positive lifestyle. Changing training patterns helps you in the long run.
Don’t change too much at once, or you may end up over-trained and soured. Be realistic about being overweight. It is very difficult for you to walk for 3 to 4 miles on the first day.
Therefore, in the beginning, set a mini-goal. Start with small goals – like walk for ten minutes nonstop and then take a small break/take a breather and then run for one minute. Every week add extra seconds or minutes to your run.
Achieving these mini-goals every week will motivate you. If you get through this, then sight for higher goals.
The next step is to follow a healthy diet. This is as important as your exercise regime. You should consume high-quality foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetables, dairy products (excluding butter), healthy oils, and fish.
You need to add carbohydrates, proteins, and nutritious food and foods with Vitamins in your diet.
Carbohydrate foods: Runners need a high amount of carbohydrates to saturate the muscles with glycogen. The carbohydrates are available in foods like rice, oatmeal, barley, bread, cereal, pasta, potatoes, peas, corn milk, and yogurt.
Yogurt is the perfect combination of carbohydrates and proteins. Even banana contains high carbs in it. This fruit even contains Potassium as well as other minerals like sodium, magnesium, and chloride, which balances your blood pressure. Oats contain plenty of carbs, and it is high in fiber.
Proteins: This helps you in muscle growth and muscle repair. This even helps you to burn more calories. Consumption of protein also reduces your appetite. Many studies show that consuming plenty of proteins helps you to increase muscle mass and strength. Proteins give you better bone health. The protein-based foods are meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and tofu.
Nutritious foods: such as green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek leaves, and broccoli. Broccoli is full of Vitamin C., which prevents you from sore muscles after your heavy workout. Broccoli also contains calcium, folic acid, and vitamin K, which strengthens your bones. Colorful vegetables, nuts, seeds, and berries make for nutritious food.
Vitamins: Potatoes and Sweet potatoes consists of Vitamin A. This Vitamin improves your eyesight, strengthens your bone tissue, and boosts your immune system.
Water: Intake of at least 2 liters of water a day helps to stay hydrated, which is very important for runners. Some studies say that even water helps you to reduce your weight.
A healthy diet is equally important to lose weight and strengthen your body. Losing weight will make your running easier and less stressful. Running increases your appetite, especially if you are a new runner. So probably you will end up eating more. Add proteins to your diet.
A high protein diet makes you feel full and reduces appetite. This reduces your yearning for junk food. You should stock up on healthy and natural snacks. You can also eat enough to satisfy your increased appetite by consuming yogurt, fruits, carrots, and hard-boiled eggs.
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Things to Avoid
To gain something, you have to lose something. To achieve your goal, you have to stay away from some kinds of food. Cut out on low-quality foods such as sweets, processed food, fried food, junk food, refined grains, and aerated drinks from your diet.
Sweets: They increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Consuming sugar contained foods in large quantities can affect your immune function. Some studies say people who consume the most sugar have the lowest intakes of essential nutrients––such as vitamins A, C, B-12, and calcium.
Processed Foods: They are often high in unhealthy fats. It is an altered food in some way during its preparation. Processed food contains a high amount of added sugar, artificial ingredients, high trans-fat, and sodium. During a variety of different techniques of processing, many nutrients can be destroyed. Heating or drying of processed foods can destroy certain vitamins and minerals. But not all processed foods are unhealthy; some processed foods contain beneficial nutrients such as olive oil and rolled oats.
Fried foods: Deep fried foods are heavy in fat and calories. This even destroys your nutrients. Intake of fried foods causes high Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Diabetes, Obesity, etc. Being already overweight, deep-fried foods are not advisable for you. The more you keep away from these deep-fried foods, the more it will help you to stay healthy and from gaining more weight.
Junk Food: there are many disadvantages to the consumption of junk food. Consumption of junk food lowers your appetite. It also kills your appetite by keeping your stomach full for a long time. Junk food is high in sodium, which causes digestive problems. This also increases your weight.
Refined Grains: They are much lower in fiber and micronutrients. Refined grains are mechanically milled to remove the bran and germ portions of the seed. This process can alter the composition of the grain, and as a result, refined grains do not have all the nutrients that whole grains do.
Aerated Drinks: This contains a high amount of sugar or fructose, phosphoric acid, citric acid, and calcium depletion. Calcium is an essential mineral for strong bones, but this depletes the calcium from your bones and decreases calcium absorption. Consuming aerated drinks yields many disadvantages. One of them is dehydration. For a runner being hydrated is very important. Weight gain is another disadvantage of aerated drinks.
The above are some tips which you have to follow if you are planning to run a half marathon. Stay Fit, Stay Healthy.