Week 2 very chubby treadmill user

So I genuinely am a fat person but I have recently lost 2 stone. I could never have imagined myself running but now I can manage. I must look a state but last week I broke through my feelings of shame, worry and embarrassment to give this programme a go. Since Jan I have upped general exercise (Les Mills classes) so I do two classes a week and keeping going at those for 45 mins has been ok so I have some level of fitness. I do 10000 steps weekdays as I have an active job. I don't look the weight I am, if that makes sense, but obviously my body knows it when I come to exercise.

This is background to my question as I am too embarrassed to ask any running friends who regularly do 5Ks, 10Ks and half-marathons.

I completed week 1 pretty much ok, very hot and sweaty and ready for the walks after 60seconds though! Tried not to think about the wobbly bits and the skinny men pounding the treadmills at the speed of light around me in my local gym. HR seemed to be 150ish during the running and 130ish in the walking briskly intervals between running.

Today I completed week 2 run 1, made sure I didn't go too fast like I did on the first bout of running then found it much easier and enjoyed it! I actually WANT Saturday to come so I can go again. You have no idea how strange that is for me to even write....

I have three questions:

1. I can't yet go outside. I feel I would cry with embarrassment. I know it's OK to stick with the treadmill but when I do eventually go outside (I'd like to try the park run one day far away) will it be much easier or harder? As I can't see the speed in front of me and run to it, how would I ensure I don't burnout? How do runners know how to pace themselves?

2. I need to work up to going outside as it would save me time when work is busy, not having to get in car drive to gym etc. Is it ok to combine inside on treadmill and outside at times or is it best to stick to one method only?

3. On rest days, am I ok to do my classes as usual or the cross trainer? Is there anything else I would be better to do? Or does rest day mean don't do any exertion at all? As I lose weight and get better at running I would like to get better at bending and flexing.

I'm in my 40s.

Thanks anyone for any answers/tips/encouragement X

41 Replies

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  • I started this programme from a not-great place (earlier posts detail it) and only thing that got me outside was that there are so few people where I run when I run. I cannot overemphasize what an absolute mess I looked like those first few weeks.

    However - could not give a rats patootie now what anyone thinks of me. Firstly - the Smirkers (as I call them) are beneath contempt, they are just ignorant and trying to make their lousy lives feel better by trying to find SOME reason to feel 'superior' to someone else. It's not easy the first few encounters with those losers.

    But as you increasingly run on, or walk on preparing for the next run, past them your understanding of what you are actually doing beside the simple act of running - that you are doing something fun, good and tough for and by yourself - will quickly be nurtured until you simply feel to good about yourself to care what anyone else thinks of you.

    That is my personal guarantee to you based on my own real life experience and starting from a 'mental' place where you are now.

    Those you encounter walking will wish they were running.

    You know that feeling from your own past.

    The 'fast and fit' Runners - they KNOW what you are doing and why and the very honest price you are paying to run and will be thinking 'good on you!' even if they don't signal it overtly.

    I cannot answer your questions 2 and 3. I can comment that for me it is best if I keep it simple - I don't want the hassle, and it is hassle - of putting my gear in the car, driving to the Rec center, finding a parking space, finding an empty locker, dodging other people on the track inside a noisy, stuffy over heated building etc etc. THAT is a huge DE-motivator and as much as I love this programme now I know in my heart I simply could not keep doing it under those circumstances.

    What is the worst thing that can happen if you run outside? Catcalls or smirks from the ignorant, yes. I think a lot of us have experienced that, but you know what? We did burst into flames (or tears ;) ) when it happened. For whatever reason we kept on going and as I say - sooner than you can believe or understand right now you simply won't be affected by it. Nearest I can get to explaining it is that those looks and the occasional cat call affect me the same as if someone came up to me in Church and said to me 'You're an ESKIMO!' Would not affect what I think about and would place them in the 'something wrong with that guy' category.

    You also do not have to run around Piccadily Circus on a beautiful sunny Bank Holiday (at least hope not :) ) Figure a good route that is a good balance between 'privacy' and comfort until you ARE ready to run Piccadily Circus. In other words - build up slowly and steadily just like the running itself.

    I really hope you hang around with us. And BTW - I am darn impressed at the will power it must take to lose that two stone, I couldn't and have tried for years. It's only since I took up this C25K programme that I am even starting to make a dent in my weight so I know - even if you don't - you are a hell of a lot tougher mentally than you know right now.

    Will follow you and cheer you on. We are all in this together here - and have very similar core stories. You are not 'Terminally Unique' you know :)

  • thank you so much for this reply. It made me cry because I was so touched at your words and the feeling with which you wrote to me. Other posts below made me laugh out loud. Basically my face is a picture this morning!

  • I am so glad you have decided to run with us, none of us could do this on our own, believe me ☺

  • Hello! It's a learning curve to go from outside to treadmill or vice versa. You may feel it's a setback when you first try it, but there's just a new set of things to get used to - uneven ground, pacing, weather, etc. If you can, I'd start to mix it up now. That way you learn the best of both worlds. As for learning pacing, it's practice, it's slowing down and two years on there are still days I can't get it right. Worst case scenario you need to walk a bit more.

    Your classes are probably fine, but I find if I do too much leg stuff the runs feel hard. You know your body, make sure to have a few rest days in there as well.

    And please don't feel self conscious. We all are at the start, but it's nice to run new routes outside. You're doing this for you - nobody else.

    One of my goals when I was doing the program was a 5k race about 2 months after graduation. Perhaps a similar parkrun goal could be in the works for you?

    Happy running.

  • yes, thank you! Park run fills me with dread as I am part of a local community with about 30 park runners in it. My local one is hilly, I don't think I could ever do that but there is one further away that is flat. Agree, something to aim for.

  • Hi, when I first started I had to lose at least 10 stone, I'm half way there. So well done. Loosing weight is 70% diet and 30% exercise, so maybe look at the dietary side of things. I hit a brick wall at Xmas. Starting eating rubbish again and as yet have not kicked the habit!! I haven't put weight on, however I haven't lost either. So what I'm doing is obviously combatting my eating, although if I wasn't I would probably be loosing again!!

    Anyway I started c25k and gave up on week 2 or 3, doing it in the house, running on the spot, up and down the corridor. It was too difficult, I was just too heavy and unfit. So I changed tac and done DVDs to build fitness. I then joined a gym who has helped me build strength as well as helping my diet, however it's a ladies only gym, my daughter wanted to join and as she was under 18 needed a parent with her to join, so I got enticed in! Best thing I done! Once I'd built a bit of strength and lost a few stone, I tried c25k again.

    It took me about 11 months to complete due to repeating weeks until I felt mentally and physically capable to move on. I continued with the gym while doing it, so I was at home on a treadmill doing the programme 3 times per week and at the gym 4 times,per week, both complementing each other.

    As I've progressed I have still done my 4 gym sessions, 3 runs which I have now taken to going outside, preferably with the hubby or daughter, although one day I was so mad with them not supporting me, I went out full of hell and done it myself, I even gained a PB haha. But that gave me the confidence to go alone, for which I have been a few times now but it's took me a few year to build up to it. I have also done body combat and body jam DVDs at home rather than classes. Hope a bit of my story helps to answer your questions.

    Keep up the good work you will get there x

  • thank you. I forgot to say I am on Slimming World so that's how I lost the 2 stone and I am committed to continuing though I am probably (if honest) on plan 80-90% of the time therefore losing a pound a week rather than 2-3 a week like others do. I figured I have to make this work for my lifestyle cooking for others and occasionally being out and working late so I am losing at a slower rate because of that. But there's no doubt that feeling like I feel about the runs is making me more determined to be good. I have just shunned a Flake for a Hifi bar - that's got to be a good thing......... :-)

  • Remember that for every idiot there are many, many more people who will think 'good on you' for getting out there (and maybe even inspired to do the same!)

  • awww, thank you (another wee tear in my eye)

  • Many people find running outside more difficult if they're doing c25k on a treadmill ( Cairokitten springs to mind). It's a different technique and there are more distractions. But that is part of the fun! It is much more rewarding outside, you can vary your route, try new things,, practise running tourism, run in the wild etc, etc. I personally think you're more likely to stick to it after graduation if you run outside. Otherwise it just becomes a chore - but then I've never used a treadmill.

    As to being self-conscious that really does disappear after a couple of runs. Most people are too caught up in their own little worlds to look at us. We are just not the centre of the universe and really nobody cares! It's hard to believe at first, try it out!

    Good luck with your journey - there are many people on here who started off like you and have changed their lives. Have a browse, there are some amazing stories!

    And keep posting!

  • thank you so much, I am so incredibly inspired by you and the others on here.

  • Well done for your determination. When you do pluck up enough courage to go outside (and I know you will) just remember this, you burn more calories outside especially when it's cold and because of stopping and starting ( crossing roads and going around obstacles) Another bonus is that it's more interesting. I don't know where you live but you could try running early morning in a park for example.

    The best of luck with the programme. It's really great

  • thank you. I will think on your suggestions seriously. I am so not great in the morning (think puffy face and wild hair then multiply it by 10) that I like the suggestion of running in the dark. In black. With shades on and a black cap.

    And being arrested!

  • What they all said, plus to keep a track of pace you should have enough breath be able to talk to someone while you're running. If you don't have a running partner try singing or talking to yourself under your breath just to check every so often.

  • You have an amazing attitude and that's a HUGE plus. Like you, I was desperate to avoid the outside and so ran/still run in my garden. But the reason I'm still in the garden is now more a weird kind of superstition rather than anything else. It works for me and therefore I'm sticking to it until I graduate. The support on this forum is phenomenal and I know that I could not have got to where I am without it. Not only has my physical ability changed and improved week by week, but through the support on here, my confidence in myself has grown too and for me that was probably the biggest battle. I am amazed at your sheer determination and grit and will be watching to cheer you on as you go forward :)

  • thank you so much, that means a lot x

  • A huge well done in starting and getting to week 2. "Running takes balls, other sports just play with them".

    In answer to your questions:

    1. Apart from the first three weeks I did all the programme on the treadmill. I found moving outside different, not harder. The single most important thing is to slow your speed down and run even slower than you think you need to. Savour each step! It's easier to pace yourself on a treadmill because you just hit a button and away you go but pacing yourself outside takes time and experience so don't worry if you don't get it right the first few times. If you feel yourself gasping and really out of breath then just slow down some more.

    2. There's no problem mixing it up when circumstances dictate but once you venture outside you'll probably end up not going back to the treadmill!

    You could try easing yourself into the big outdoors by firstly doing one run outside and the other two inside, then the next week do two runs outside and one run inside until the third week when you can do all the runs outside. This gets your body used to the outside surfaces.

    3. Yes you can do anything on your rest days apart from running! Cross training will make you a stronger runner, but just don't overdo it to begin with as your body will be tired getting used to the running. Just make sure you take a complete rest day each week. Stretching, Pilates or yoga are all good and make sure you stretch after each run.

    Finally, as you run more you will build up more confidence. Other people really are so engrossed in their own lives that the only thought they're likely to think when they see you running is guilt and "good for her. How does she do that".

    Running is a very empowering thing to do and I guarantee you will feel epic after a while 😊

    Good luck and just enjoy the transformation to your life.

  • thank you. I took a big gulp when I read 'transformation' - part of me still wonders if this is possible for me.....but then I have always said I can't run and now I can run for 12 mins with breaks in-between of course.....so what might be ahead...?

  • My son's hobby is weightlifting. He is passionate about it. He has muscles on his muscles. the young ladies (and some of the old ones :) ) always flock around him and are unashamed in saying how handsome he is etc.

    I'm human - sometimes I used to catch myself looking on with a hint of envy in my eyes.

    Anyway.

    When I finally 'confessed' to him I was running it was also with the apologetic 'but I can only do 15 minutes at a time right now'.

    He looked at me in amazement and said 'Dad. I couldn't run for that length of time myself - and if this is NOT some kind of weird joke that you are doing it, I don't get the punchline'

    And when I finally convinced him it was not a joke - I swear,for one brief second, there was a flash of envy in HIS eyes. :)

    What might be ahead for you when you 'Transform' ?(because you will if you want to :) )

    Moments of sheer fun that you never could have imagined as well as all the other well-known benefits of being a Runner. :)

    'Onwards and Upward' my friend - we do this together :)

  • Anything is possible if you want it badly enough 🙂

  • Welcome to the forum and well done for getting to Week 2! The C25k programme is just amazing, following it is one of the best decisions you'll ever make. I guarantee there are people more overweight, slower, older and with more health issues than you who have completed the programme, so you will too! Go slow, listen to Laura, stretch, take your rest days and you'll soon be a runner!

    I did up to Week 7 of the programme inside on a treadmill as I was far too scared and self conscious to go outside. When I finally built up the courage to 'try' running outside I went out at 10pm wearing all black so nobody would see me in the dark and was actually shaking like a leaf I was so scared. I haven't run inside since! I can't describe how little anyone notices you (and like others say, if they do they either understand what you're doing or they wish they could do it themselves) and how, after a little while, you wouldn't notice or care if anyone did! Running outside is different but I actually found it easier as there were so many distractions, mental tricks such as 'running to the next lamp post' etc are easier with an actual goal and I love the feeling of actually gaining ground and seeing physical progress in a distance sense rather than just running on the spot. I also liked not having to adjust my pace to that of the treadmill. If you want to complete the programme on the treadmill (or a mixture of outside and treadmill) though that is totally your decision and doesn't mean you are any less of a runner! I would just say that I didn't listen to people who told me to run outside due to my own insecurities and once I did venture out I suddenly realised what all the fuss was about. :)

    You'll hear it from everyone but, seriously, you can NOT go too slow on this programme! As long as you're doing a running 'motion' it doesn't matter if you're at walking pace, your fitness will improve as the programme goes on. The key for getting through the 9 weeks is to be conscious enough to slow down and then when you feel like you're going as slowly as you can, slow down a bit more!

    If you run outside it will be a matter of keeping mindful to go slowly!

    The forum is one of the best places on the internet. I wouldn't have completed the programme without it. It's full of incredible, inspirational people so do post for advice, encouragement and to let everyone celebrate your successes with you!! :) We'll be with you every step of the way!!

  • thank you so, so much x

  • Hi my first reply on this forum (all the posts are so real!) but I'm glad to hear it's ok to go really slowly, sometimes I wonder if I'm actually moving forwards!! But it is making the runs more manageable for me. I'm about to do W3R2 and I'm amazed I'm actually running!! My fears are fading fast too 😳

  • off out now still chuckling about the 'figure in black'... :-)

  • Welcome aboard, I can only echo all the excellent advice you have already been given. I just want to wish you all the very best for the programme, and a Massive Well done to you for getting off the sofa and taking steps to make some really positive changes in your life .

    Please keep checking in on here , its a really supportive , friendly place to be and plus we all get it . Weve all started off at more or less the same point and can all relate to exactly what youre feeling now .

    I was always very worried about going out into the great outdoors with my running kit on and then I remembered something that my Mam told me years ago when I was worried about what other people would think about something or the other ( cant remember what it was ) and she told me " That people were more bothered about the boils on their a*ses than what you look like ! " Ha ha :-D

    You've made a start and that's the hardest step , keep going it will be so worth it ! :-) xxx

  • :-) (more wee tears!)

  • Well done, Sofargoner!

    I lost a stone, down to 18.5 stone before I started running and started C25K just over a year ago. I did it all outside and also found a diet that suited me (LCHF) and by March this year (51st birthday) I was running 5k in 45 minutes and had got down to 16 stone. Then life intervened - holidays and my Dad dying - and I lost focus a bit, put on about a stone over the

    next few months, but I am now getting back on track, and have lost half of that stone and am getting back to regular running.

    Everything everyone above says is pretty spot on. Mixing treadmill and outdoor running is fine. Running outdoors is (for me) more enjoyable. I have membership of a gym, but I started C25K outside because I was concerned about being able to ramp up the speed for those one minute runs and drop it down again fast enough - I'm a bit cack-handed with technology sometimes. I did most of it outdoors, but if the weather was vile I did some runs on the treadmill - different, but not really harder.

    Outdoor running is possibly better for your brain, because of the many balance adjustments your brain has to make with running over even slightly uneven ground, combined with the variety of interesting things to see and think about. At a size 24-26 and 18.5 stone I was a bit concerned about how people would react to me pounding around, all my blubbery bits shaking and wobbling, my gasping breath and my purple face. Actually, it was, as others have said, not a problem. Many people I came across were dog walkers or runners or people who were walking to improve their fitness. Some routes I take early mean I pass factory workers on their way in for the early shift. Reactions range from nothing to a smile and a nod, to "good mornings" and "well dones", to "wish I could do thats", an occasional person who stops me to congratulate me and ask how much weight I've lost now, and once a high five from a bloke running the opposite way round the lake run I do who was passing me for a second time and was impressed that I was still going. I may just be lucky, but no-one has ever been negative or in any way abusive. Outside is great - I hope you will try it.

    My other comment would be that on my down days I go swimming twice a week, and I try to fit in some weight training - I am aware that running is mostly focussing muscle building in my legs and lower body, so I find these other options allow me to do some work on my upper body.

    Good luck with the rest of your C25K workout and your continued self-transformation - you can do it. You are doing brilliantly.

  • thank you. I think my greatest fear of the outdoor thing is running out of puff and having to stop as I can't pace myself, then the people I pass think 'she's too fat to run'.....its the thought of failure before I have even tried. Maybe I need to do a few more weeks to see that I actually can do it before I venture out. I live next to a park that's home to a park run so there are lycra-clad people everywhere I turn, ascending hills with great ease.....

  • Don't you just hate that!

    Mind you, I too am now a lycra-clad person as Sainsburys sportswear goes up to a 22 and I can fit into it.

    I understand your fear - get yourself to where you feel you have a bit of confidence and then go for it. You are doing really well - and those apparently-perfect lycra-clad will drift into perspective once you get out there; they know how hard it is at any level to do what you and they are doing, and most of them will have nothing but fellow-feeling and admiration for you.

    Keep going and believe in yourself.

  • Would a heart monitor help with pacing yourself? Maybe start off by aiming to keep at around 75% of your maximum heart rate, and adjust up or down, depending on your comfort.

    Well done on your progress so far!

  • Everything I've read in your posts sound exactly the same as my thoughts! I'm very overweight, have just started the C25K recently (I live near a park so always outside training) I'm on w3r2 later today and gradually gaining confidence. I'm far more aware of keeping active on rest days but just long walks with the dog or a Zumba class. As for seeing people out-they're all too busy exercising to notice!! If anything I can almost guarantee most people will think 'good for you, go for it'. You're doing a really positive thing, it's about you, nobody else 😎

  • PS I love your name :-)

  • It matches my face...!

  • forgot to ask, whats LCHF?

  • Low Carb High Fat. It works on the basis that we need to return to the food we were eating before the food industry demonised fat, and then replaced it with sugar, causing the current diabetic/obesity epidemic. If you are interested in taking a look you could try dietdoctor.com. As I said earlier, I lost a fair bit of weight, whilst eating yummy food and cooking most of it in butter and cream!

    I am a type 2 diabetic and currently trying to do Dr Michael Moseley's "The 8-week Blood Sugar Diet" which is a very low calorie diet aimed at taking off weight fast (but in a healthy way) and normalising your blood sugar. He focusses on LCHF, but also the Mediterranean diet (olive oil, pulses and beans, meat, leafy and grown above ground veggies, berries & apples & pears which are the less sugary fruit). Certainly, I have found that many of the recipes are tasty and filling and I am not feeling hungry, but I usually have about 1000 calories rather than the 800 in the book. Even on days when I am having a bit of a disaster, so long as I stick to the LCHF principles I seem to at least maintain my weight.

    I started testing my blood daily on this diet, and before I started I was scoring over 8mmol. The diabetic range for a fasting blood test is between 4.5 and 7.2, whilst the non-diabetic range is between 3.9 and 5.5. Today, after 2 days of eating too much (3000 cals one day and 2000 the next - oops!), but none of it sugary/carby my fasting blood sugar reading was 5.7mmol.

    Many people find these diets controversial and can get very angry about them. It goes against everything I've been taught since I was a child being unsuccessfully dieted. But it seems to work, and the blood sugar results suggest that it is working and this will keep me healthier and off pills for a long time or possibly forever, which is no bad thing.

    There is an LCHF Community on healthunlocked if this interests you, although there is not much action there at the moment. Happy to discuss further if you are interested.

  • I just think your great! I do treadmill, as in the gym nobody really cares what you're doing. I'm thinking of running outside, when I can run 30 mins. Good luck, and keep going!

  • Oh wow I wish you lived nearby!! I could be reading about myself. I'm on week 3 & already hooked. I'm also on the treadmill & have the same worries about not being able to pace myself outside . Keep up the fab work & look forward to hearing how you're doing!! Well done on your weight loss so far too :)

  • I love your post. Well done on the weight loss so far! Awesome. And well done for being brave enough to start the program.

    1. Maybe go along and volunteer at your local parkrun and get to know some of the people there. It will give you a bit more support when your ready.

    2. I dislike the treadmill... makes me dizzy! He he. I go by my breathing. If im breathing too hard I slow it down a bit as if Im not breathing Im clearly trying too hard to beat the person in front!! That doesnt happen often!

    3. I do train in between runs. But beware it can make your legs tired for your run. I would say as you in the early stages try a few things out and see how you feel.

    Also... Im in a running club who cater for all... and I have the pleasure of helping train a man who was 17 stone at the time he ran walked his first half marathon. You would be amazed how many runners started where you are. We are a friendly bunch xx

  • Running outside is great, lifes too short to worry about what other people think. Often we also project our thoughts on to others, when we really have no idea what people are thinking. I have run with my running tights on inside out, I fallen over on runs and got a double thumbs up from a homeless guy.

    Follow the program don't worry about pace or distances. Definitely take rest days, you can walk on non running days. Yoga would help with flexibility.

    You can do a combination of treadmill and outside. Outside is more interesting.

    Don't worry about your age either I'm 46, and lots of people on here are in their 40s,50s or 60s.

    Good luck

  • Today I completed W2 R2 fairly comfortably although I needed the loo in the middle (was out for a few drinkies last night) but was determined not to stop!

  • Great stuff. Keep it up.

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