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Running while overweight

So, I wanted to ask some advice on the best thing to do to improve my running. I started c25k in Jan, and found it hard but have managed to make it to running 5k 3x a week for the past couple of months. Still not in 30 mins but more like 40. But it's good progress from where I started.

I knew I was much much heavier than I used to be, but was still rather in denial, having studiously refused to weigh myself for about 2 years now.

Since Jan I have improved my fitness massively, and know I have lost some weight and toned up as my clothes fit differently. Now I realised I must tackle what I eat as well, and actually weighed myself this week, to have a very nasty surprise. I am even heavier than I feared, and would still qualify as clinically obese. Rather a shock as I would have said I was 'plump' it seems my bmi disagrees.

Has anyone out there managed to run more than 5k while still very overweight? Should I stop trying to increase my running distance until I have managed to get my weight down, or should I keep going with my plan of working up to 10k at the same time as dieting?

I am not suggesting I would stop running, just wondering if I should stick at 5k for now until my weight comes down some more or keep working (slowly) on increasing my distance?

I don't need diet advice, that's simple, I need to eat less calories. (It's not the theory, just doing it that's the problem). Just looking for advice on the running side. Thanks.

8 Replies

Long, slow runs. That's what you need to lose weight.

Forget all about speed and distance. If you want to lose weight, you'll want to be running for a longer time. With a 3-runs per week strategy, run 5km, run for 1 hour and have a shorter recovery run. Don't go out for 1 hour straight away, but simply build up your running time to get to 60 minutes. It doesn't matter how far you run or how fast - the calorie burn is similar whether you're running 4minute or 8minute pace.

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I would definitely start to build it up slowly - you'll need the challenge apart from anything else.

Good luck.



I am still quite overweight. Although I have dropped two dress sizes already I have more to go. I graduated in Sept 2017, ran 10k for the first time in Feb 2017 and several more since, now up to 11.5k. I have registered for a 10 mile event early 2018.

I have built everything slowly. I run slowly anyway so will always be a tortoise, how ever I think I'm built for distance rather than speed😃

I can run, so I do run!

Enjoy 🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏼‍♀️🏃🏼‍♀️


Well I am really glad to hear that, and well done jacks-w. I would like to try and keep working on my distance but I didn't want to be unrealistic. I am not a speedy runner and don't think I ever will be, but thats fine, and slow running is still better than no running.

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In my experience (in RL) men seem to do this more than women. I think it's a mindset thing(?) As long as you do it sensibly I don't see why it should be a problem, you got this far, didn't you?😍


I started dieting earlier this year combined with training to run a 10K - as MarkyD suggests I gradually built up to doing 60 minutes. As I lost weight so it all became easier - just take it steady and don't worry about time or distance - these will improve naturally.


I managed to lose 2 stone before and during running but then stopped counting calories and put a stone back on despite running three times a week! However, I totally recommend running because my fitness levels have improved amazingly and I know I used to puff and pant even walking up hills, now I run up them without even getting out of breath. I recommend calorie counting and that means weighing and tracking all food as the only way to lose weight. If I stick to it, it works for me. Right now I am being a bit naughty but I know what I need to do!


Yes you can run! You can walk too as it burns loads of calories and is always good exercise. You continue to burn calories for a while after exercise, which is good news.

I managed to lose weight and keep it off but i eat healthily and don't drink. It's not easy as you have to stay on it. When you can run though it's a big help as if you do eat too much you can always go and run it off.


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