Stupidly scared

I don't know what's wrong with me but I'm petrified of doing the first run. I'm so keen and even started dreaming about running but am scared to do it. I'm worried I will be laughed at as I'm obese or injure myself and then that's another thing I've failed at. I have put it off until I have bought every accessory such as iphone holder, water bottle, new kit and sports bras, gorgeous trainers and even sweat bands. Wish I could do less thinking and more doing :)


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91 Replies

  • Just do it. I'm a plus sized runner I started going out super early at first so no one would see me but now I go out any time of the day. No one will laugh at you.

    The program is really good and builds you up nice a slowly.

    Don't think, do.

    I also put my kit out ready as another incentive.

  • Yes thank you, must put kit out and will set my alarm now to go out early tomorrow. I live in London near the city so it is quiet at weekends. Hopefully the only people I will see early on a Sunday are other runners who won't be that judgemental. Do you take water with you?

  • No, I only take water if it's super hot. Generally you don't need it untill you start going out for over an hour.

    Just make sure you keep hydrated throuhout the day.

  • Hi there. I am obese and asthmatic but started run/walking last year. I was as scared as you before I started but once you get out there you realise that people wont laugh at you, most people wont even notice you! And they can be very encouraging. I lost 2 stone last year and even did a 10k trail race, very slowly. But an injury and other circumstances mean I haven't run for months and have put the weight back on, so I am starting again tomorrow. How about we both decide to definitely go out tomorrow then come back and post here to say how we got on? Oh and if you haven't already done it go and read the runners world beginners article that someone has posted a link to, it was really good.


  • Hi Liz, Thanks for your post. Yes you are on. Tomorrow it is! 2 stone and 10k seems amazing. I would be so pleased achieving that! Well done you. I hope you achieve your new goals.

    I will look for that article tonight :-)

  • Small steps, and we do the first ones tomorrow. Excited and a bit nervous :-)

  • Did it! Well I didn't quite manage all the run minutes, I had to walk for most of run 7, and I am not sure my walking was brisk but I feel so good for having done it. Will rest tomorrow then go again on Tuesday.Knowing that you had gone out this morning really spurred me on to get out of the door, thank you. :-)

  • Liz congrats! Well done you. I'm so chuffed that me reporting my run help motivate you. Never considered I could motivate someone else :-D

    Did you enjoy being out and about?

    I'm not sure my walking was brisk either but did my best. I'm going out Tuesday morning so will check on you again then. I'm going out if I can bear to as my legs are killing me. My poor out of shape body must be in so much shock.

    Hope it all gets easier!!!

  • I loved being out and about, It was a really nice day. There were quite a few people out walking as well but I didn't let them put me off! A few people even stopped to let me run past which was a good feeling. My legs are a bit stiff today but not too sore thankfully but I have been doing other exercise which probably helps. Did you stretch afterwards? That makes a difference. You might find your legs hurt more tomorrow but don't let that put you off even if you have to delay your next run. I am sure it will take me more than 9 weeks to do the course but am determined to keep going and not worry if I have to keep repeating weeks! Let me know how you get on tomorrow. :-)

  • If you make your goal putting on your running gear, pressing play on the podcast and giving it a go, then you won't fail anything :) There's plenty of plus size runners on here, old, young, unfit etc so please don't worry. Just get out there and enjoy - you'll be concentrating so much on what the podcast is saying and the cheesy music that you won't have time to worry what others think. Loads of folk repeat weeks too if it seems tricky at the start, so just give it a go and see how you do :) Good luck and please let us know how you get on.

  • Thank you so much. I guess you are no longer a newbie runner as your username suggests but have done your 5k?

    Indeed baby steps is what I need. I'm an all or nothing kinda gal and usually throw myself into things, injure myself then go back to existing on my sofa. Hope this podcast stops me from doing that! :-)

  • Just put all that gear on and go! Laura will see you through.

  • I really hope so thank you! I do hope I can hear Laura and the music over my heavy panting :(

  • I think lots of us were scared of actually going out and doing it. I chose a time when I didn't think I would meet anyone out on our roads. I have a friend who wants to do it but is scared and I am going to go with her for her first few runs. Do you have anyone who would go out with you? Most people are actually really supportive. This forum is also a great place to get support and encouragement. Good luck and keep us posted.

  • Thanks for your reply! I have friends who can do 5k & 10k runs who want me to join them but no beginners nearby apart from my sister. She's overweight but not like me (size 22/24 thanks to a sugar addiction) and not as motivated. She always says she will come and support me but it never actually happens or she gets bored easily and only does exercising once. My hubby would come with me but he lives abroad. Therefore I need to get some confidence and do things alone until he joins me eeek!

    This board has been amazing and I'm almost teary eyed at how lovely people are here. I'm so grateful. Hopefully that will get me through until I am good enough to race with friends. That seems so far off in my head and too exciting for words :-)

  • Just go, go, go! Really. Go, you won't regret it. There are so many positive benefits. Stick with it slow and steady, and take your rest days. You could soon be addicted. Just go! :-) x

  • Wow I hadn't considered being addicted! I've had shopping and sugar addictions recently so it would be so lovely to replace it with a healthy one :-)

    Thanks so much for your support x

  • Hi Lala - I was a very unfit size 20 when I first started C25k so don't let that put you off. You've got all your lovely gear that needs to be taken out now! So as Newbie says, tomorrow morning pop your kit on, get out of the front door and press play - that's a VERY achievable goal, and take the rest of the podcast from there. I've done plenty of runs several times as I didn't feel ready to move on. The only person you're competing with is yourself, so kick your thinking gremlins into touch and show them who's the boss! :) Good luck, and do come back and share your progress with us.

  • I've never taken anything slowly before but knowing other people have repeated runs until ready to move on sounds very reassuring thank you!

    I'm usually positive about things but this running thing had tapped into all my insecurities. Will do my best to not let it beat me :-)

  • Hey - I stayed in doors the first week for the same reasons - thought people would think I was ridiculous. Laura and this forum made me feel like I could achieve so I peeked outside , no cars screeched to a halt , no one pointed and in fact other runners and the dog walkers said 'Hi'

    Do it - you'll feel so good


  • I'm worried I will look a right state and get over taken by dog walkers but as long as I don't hear anyone laughing at me I hope to survive. Thanks for the support!

  • Really, please don't worry about it. I'm 6ft tall and weigh 17 stone, most of it on the belly (about 16 of it, I think). I was also quite nervous of going out, but honestly, nobody will give you a second glance. Just take it easy the first few times and get used to being out and about. There's no need to push yourself any further than you feel comfortable, and as Mamma_Mia says, you're only competing against yourself.

    Enjoy getting out there!

  • Thanks Moickle. I weigh a little bit more than you and am desperately hoping I can drag it round for a full 20mins but taking it easy and doing anything will be an achievement. I will try and give it a go!

  • What you could do, which is how I started, is to walk the route that you intend to run. I didn't even put on my running togs for the first couple of weeks, and I only walked, no running. Once I was familiar with the route I started the C25K.

  • Get out there now ! Don't delay. It's great!!!! OK so you will get tired and puffed out first time out (maybe) but it's great when you nail that first session and Laura tells you that you can go home. You'll be elated. From that moment you'll be hooked like the rest of us

    We've all done it. Thousands of us, of all ages, shapes and sizes. Larger ladies can run believe me! Larger ladies are strong!!! Don't under estimate what you're capable of.

  • Hadn't even thought of the elated feeling of afterwards. Thanks so much. That's what I will be thinking of when I'm out there tomorrow. Fingers crossed it goes ok!

  • Your First Run - Beginners - Runner's World

    Hi LalaE,

    I took my first walk / run, after reading the first two paragraphs of this article in Runners world magazine. I read to the end of it then read it again - got changed - & then just went out saying I would be back in half an hour. I had downloaded C25k and made sure it was all working and the headphones would stay in my ears !

    The 2nd time which was week one run two (w1r2), I started a little routine before going out - about an hour before I'd eat a banana and a glass of water - get changed, check iPod and the right run was ready to go, few tissues in my pocket, separate house key attached to a nappy pin (!) pinned to my trousers. Blah blah:) sometimes I would listen to Laura as I was getting ready to just put me in the right zone and prepare myself for the run/ walk programme - and remind myself it's only for half an hour.

    Try not to worry, you'll be able to give it your best and develop your ability as you progress - looking forward to reading how it went - x

  • Oh wow this article was brilliant thank you so much :-D

    I think the comment regarding being embarrassed about doing something about your health when you've obviously ignored for so long really hit home. I'm so ashamed I've got in this mess with aches and pains to rival my grandmother's.

    Anyway will start addressing this tomorrow and as you say just do my best. Thanks very much for your support :-) x

  • Please come back and tell us how it went, thought / felt.

    Don't put yourself down any more, although the first steps are the hardest you are one sleep away from feeling very proud of yourself!

    All that time spent thinking -tomorrow it's time to be doing :)

    Good luck , jax

  • Go go go. You won't regret it trust me... It took me 10+ years to get into this running lark. I am on W4 as of Monday which I would of never thought in a million years that I would be. :-)

  • Well done you! If I get through W1 I will be chuffed :-)

  • Hey Lala , most of us have felt exactly the same, so don't worry too much about that. First time I was so self conscious , I ran in jeans, a anorak and normal trainers . When it got to the running bits , I just pretended that I was in a rush to get somewhere ha ha !

    You CAN do this , cross my heart, you really can ! So get your gear on Missus, chin up, deep breaths, and SMILE :-D !!!

    Failing that, we will come round to yours and rattle on your letterbox :-D

  • Thanks for making this very anxious gal laugh :-D

    If I don't do it I will definitely publish my address ha ha

  • Aw bless your heart Lala, we will all be virtually cheering you on. Im sure once you get out there you will absolutely love it , glad youre taking that first step , please come back and tell us how it went , we would all love to hear of your progress :-)

    You can do it :-) xxx

  • You can do it! I, like many many others, felt exactly the same as you do right now. I started at the end of April and was 49, very overweight, a size 22/24, asthmatic and had never exercised in my life. Even at school I was excused PE! I went out at 6am as I thought that no one would be around to see me at that time. I was right, there wasn't! But the running has given me so much confidence that I no longer care whether people see me or not but I found out that I loved running in the early morning and so still do most of my runs at that time. I have lost 30lbs now but am still large by other peoples standards but getting fitter every time I go out of the door and run. :) I hope you take that first run because the second will be so much easier.

  • 30lbs is such an achievement. Well done you! Im a 22/24 think I need to drop 100lb in total but would be so chuffed with 30. I hated PE especially trampolining! I did quite like cross country running out in the fresh air and never came last through sheer determination... although that was 20yrs ago! Hope I can channel that again and get some confidence too :-) Thanks for your support!

  • Just go for it! You'll love it. Then come back and tell us how marvellous it was :)

  • Will give it a go! Thank you.

  • I echo the sentiments above: kit on, get out! :-) It will be hard work, but keep at it as the rewards are immense and you'll soon be feeling prouder and prouder with yourself after each run. You're doing something positive for your health; don't worry or care or what others think! Good luck; you will worry less and less as the runs and weeks go by and it will become more manageable. Keep us all posted! :-)

  • Would love to feel proud for a change. Thanks so much for your support :-)

  • Dark glasses seem like a very good idea. At moment planning what sweat proof makeup to wear so I don't look too terrible.

    Thanks for your good luck wishes I will need them :-D

  • I wear sunglasses when I run - it helps me focus on the run and I find I control my breathing better :)

    Oh that and I'm super cool ;)

    Good luck !!

  • I know how you feel, but everyone is right in telling you to get out there! I'd also add that if you're really daunted you could start out by getting out and walking around your prospective running route for the first week, just to get you used to the routine - this is what I did. I was raring to go with the running after that, and it gave me to opportunity to check how busy the area was and who I was likely to run into (dog walkers, mostly).

    The first week is the hardest week! When I did c25k last year I "failed" the first run, but I went out 2 days later and tried again and I completed every single run after that! I'm a fat woman in her 30s who had done zero exercise since school - if I can do it so can you.

  • I think as you mentioned the key is sticking to it even when a run doesn't go well. I usually write it off as something I can't do.

    Gosh I should figure out a route, good point! Thanks for your support :-)

  • I really think the important thing is getting out of the door!

  • Put on your new gear and get outside. Turn on the podcast and see what happens. All you have to do is walk for 5 minutes to start with, if you don't feel you can break into a run when Laura says so just carry on walking but do Do DO get out there and make a start. You will not regret it and you will feel so good about yourself just for getting out there. Best of luck and please let us know how you get on.

  • Thank you so much. Anything is better than vegetating at home. At least it's also half an hour where I cannot reach my fridge :-D

  • The good thing about the 5 minute walk to start with is that you’re well away from your neighbours before you break into a trot. I wore a peaked cap for my first couple of runs so that if I met anyone I only had to make the briefest eye contact. I’m over that now. Good luck for your first run Lala. Take it slowly and take care but DO it. You’ll feel great when you’ve done it!

  • Thank you for your response! I was thinking about not putting in my contacts before I run so I can't see anyone pulling a face as I run past. Lots of traffic round here and roads to cross so perhaps not a good idea :-D

  • Ha ha! If I did that I’d never find my way home! Love your profile pic by the way. :)

  • I actually did do this and got hopelessly lost! Not recommended!

  • I live in a very small French town, built vertically! Now I'm running a bit further I can go all around the outside, but my first few runs had to be along the only road through. Some very kind American friends of mine stood up and gave me a round of applause as I clomped past "Le Bistro" on my second run. I'm sure they meant to be encouraging, but talk about drawing attention to me!

  • I. Would. Have. Died!!!! Of course they were being supportive but I want to run in the shadows with no one to witness me. In central london that's going to be tough. Glad it wasn't a hinderance to you and you can now run round the outside. How fab!

  • I survived! Went out for W1 R1 today and lived to tell the tale, just. Was really nervous going out but had promised people here I would so just put on some lippy (MAC Brave, very apt) and went out and did it. I felt confident in my gear, it was all comfortable enough and was very impressed by my sports bra that kept full control of my F cups. I was worried about my hip and lower back that have tightened muscles but they were alright. I did get quite a bit of pain on the outsides of my foot and a little in my ankle so maybe my strike is not good or my feet are not used taken quite as much heavy impact?

    I ran when Laura said but I must confess that I stopped a little too quickly ¾ of the way through due to the foot pain. I also got some shin splints when I turned onto a busy straight road and saw it was a hill. Why have I not noticed that before?!? I only saw two other runners, but still there was far more people about than I had anticipated. Most people looked either very trendy and recovering from the late closing clubs nearby or at bus stops to go to work. When I broke into my first ever run I turned a corner and ran into a huge group of girl guides. What were the chances!

    There were a few pavement pizzas I had to run around too euw. I went out to dinner last night and very glad I only had a few oysters to start then roasted cod with Mediterranean vegetables and a small glass of light white wine, otherwise I may have done my own.

    I was scared I would have a coughing fit and collapse but I only did some heavy panting which not even the cheesy music could cover up. When I got home I did have a coughing and sneezing fit but that has passed now thankfully. I did a couple of calf stretches before going out which were agony so I best do some more. Does anyone follow a stretching routine that is good?

    Just ate the yummiest banana ever :-D

    It is a lovely day hope everyone who is out today has a brilliant run! Good luck Liz B!

  • Oh well done! I am just going to put my kit out ready for going out this afternoon, planning to go about 3. Will let you know how it goes. There are some good stretches here

    I find my calves are the bit I need to stretch most.

  • Fantastic news ! Was so hoping to see you'd gone out and you did !!

    So proud of you :) :)

  • Thanks so much! That means a lot. Yes did it and so excited. Want to go out again but legs are stiff as anything.

  • You're a star! We're all so proud of you!

    You made my day by going out and starting the program. Hurrah!

  • Phew! I am so pleased you got out there and did it! Now you have broken the ice you will be fine :D

  • Well done for getting out there ! It wasn't so hard was it ? Now you just have to do it again !

  • Just! Ha ha :-D

    I 'just' need a new pair of legs!!!

  • Well done for getting out there and doing it. That's the hardest run you'll ever do out of the way. It's all just practice now. There is a link to good post-run stretches here on the forum (in the pinned posts section I think) They are brilliant and an absolute necessity. Don't bother trying to stretch before you run because your muscles aren't warmed up and you may get injured. The 5min warm up walk is all you need to be doing at this stage. Very very well done again for getting out there and conquering your fears :)

  • Thanks AMum I'm so silly I didn't know that at all!

  • Yay Lala, see what did we tell ya ? You did it !! :-D

    Well done for getting up and out of the door, we all knew how nervous and scared you were, but you have done it, WKR1, its done and dusted, over with, job completed.

    You need to give yourself a massive pat on the back , you overcame your fears and did it , massive milestone there :-)

    Coupla days rest then your next one, you did this one , you can do the next one cant you ? Yes, course you can ! :-) xxx

  • Aww thanks poppy pug! Yes will go again when I can walk like a human and not a robot. I'm determined to be a runner. Whatever it takes !

  • Well done Lala! You’re on your way to becoming a runner and we’re with you all the way. Good for you! Remember to take your rest day and gently does it. :)

  • Indeed good advice, I am off to the cinema today. Taking it easy. Also a bit of yoga. Hoping I am in a fit state by 6.30am tomorrow morning to go again eek!

  • Question : If you saw another obese person going to run would you laugh at them? Bet the answer is "of course not". And this will be the same answer for the majority of people you may encounter. So give it a go. First time will be the worst until you realise nobody gives a hoot what size you are. And in a few weeks you will certainly be a diferent person! Good luck in your journey.

  • No you are right I'd think they were inspirational to be addressing their health problem. It's a bit easy to be kind to others than yourself though which is a bit of a shame. Thank you for such a valid point!

  • If this helps when I first started these were my stats....

    January 2014

    I am 5 foot 9.5

    18 stone (I was clinically pushing out of obese into very obese on the height/weight chart)

    Size 20

    Couldn't run for 1 minute without thinking my lungs were gonna explode, legs drop off or both.

    August 2014

    Still 5 foot 9.5

    14 Stone 5 Pounds

    Now overweight on the height/weight chart

    Size 16

    Just ran 5 miles today for the first time ever without stopping.

    PS loud music helps and you know what even if people do say something nasty who cares you are doing something to change your life, your getting out there and doing it and I've discovered that people who say something nasty are usually very unhappy in their own screw the naysayers and get out there!

  • Thanks so much. Wow what an incredible journey well done you!!! 5 miles is brilliant. My aim is to be a fit and healthy size 16. Curvy but not fat by anyone's standards and still retaining some of my boobs and bum. A very sexy look in my opinion. You are an inspiration. Yes making sure my music is on loud will help. Maybe so loud I cannot think straight therefor no more negative thoughts! :-D

  • I have had that battle too....the negative thought battle but you have to ignore it and eventually it will go away, tell yourself you can and you will do it!

    I used to actually talk to myself on the way round jogging, if anybody would have heard me they would have called the loony bin! I used to counter the negative thoughts by saying the positive ones and eventually the negative got quieter and quieter......still pops up like today but I soon squashed mr negative.

    Sounds strange but actually saying "I have come this far I can finish" helps.

    Also I've had some lovely strangers support me.....I had one gentleman who was waiting at the bus stop to catch is bus at 4.30am see me coming move out the way, and then he started clapping and shouted "keep going girl" as I jogged past....was probably the best thing that's happened whilst jogging.

  • Fantastic results Tattoojunkie!

  • Thanks teabreaks xxxx

  • That's so nice of people. It's funny as me and my sister whilst out in our car see people running and we are always positive and cheering. Not that they can hear. No matter who it is we are always thinking 'look at them go'! We feel jealous. It didn't occur to me that others have the same view. Your journey has been brilliant. I cannot wait for W1R2 now !

  • That's the spirit ! Whoop whoop !!

  • You go girl!!!!!!! Remember all of us are behind you! We all started out where you are, you will never be alone in your journey xxxxx

  • Yay! Standing up and giving Lala a round of applause! The first run is the hardest ans you did it!

  • Thank you so much CurlyGurly (fab name)! I really think I can do this now without being too self conscious. Knowing people don't leave their homes, jeer and throw rotten fruit at me is very reassuring. I even chatted to the girl on the supermarket checkout a lot complimented her and made her laugh as I was feeling so good. It's nice to know that a little extra confidence and happiness affects others positively as well as ourselves.

    However I just got out of bed to stand up and it seems I've turned into a robot overnight! The front of my thighs are agony. Hoping more stretching and a yoga DVD might help :-D

  • So my thighs are not much better after lots of stretching and applying ibuprofen gel.

    I guess I can move my next run to Wed instead of tomorrow but am feel a bit disappointed with myself. I have never done the traditional quad stretch of holding bent leg behind you as I have fat thighs and the arm span of a T-Rex! :(

    If anyone knows a different good quad stretch or has any advice please let me know :-)

  • Ibruprofen and an extra rest day and then get back out there! C25k is built to ease you into running, but you will feel the effects - you're body will start to adapt to this new way of using it, stretching and building stronger muscles. this will hurt! It will get better with time and you will be able to feel the effects in a good way sooner than you think (calves of steel!).

  • Thanks! I guess I'm waiting to see signs of failure and I cannot do it... like getting an injury and missing a run. I will definitely be doing Wednesday morning instead. I'm already planning a different route :-D

  • You should be proud of yourself not disappointed! You only have sore legs because you plucked up the courage to go for a run. You need to pace yourself so dont feel bad if you have to delay your second run or if you find it hard when you go out and do it. Just remember how good you felt when you got out there. :-)

  • Hey don't worry about taking the extra day - my better runs have always been after a 2 day break - ease into it and try not to chastise yourself , you got off the couch !!

  • Thank you EJbirdy. Will do. Congrats on being a graduate. I'm very jealous!!!

  • Thankyou :)

  • The ache is your thighs telling you they are rebuilding themselves to be stronger for the next time. It’s good pain – not an injury. Take an extra rest day if you need to and then go, go, go!

    If you have a resistance band you can lie on your tummy or side and pull your foot up behind your back with the band hooked over your toe. Here’s a link with pictures:

  • Oh great thank you Breezie it just dawned on me I have some Pilates bands I've never used! Will do this before bed and hope for some relief!

  • By the way don't be afraid or see it as failure to take an extra day off to help with the muscle ache xxxx what your doing is very hard on your legs and sometimes you need 2 or 3 days what's important is that you get up when you're ready and get out there xxx

  • You'll be great. I look back to starting week 1 and wonder how on earth I can now run 5k. My best advice is trust the programme. I would finish a week with 'Laura' on the Change for life app and think I'm not ready for next week and then I'd go for it and be fine. You can do it and will surprise yourself. I've got one podcast to go to graduation. You will get to that point too. Good luck x

  • And oops just see time scale of post. Hope you are on week 4 now!

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