Can a relatively fit, obese ex-runner safely do this programme?

I used to run 10k races until about 10 years ago when my thyroid medication (which was working perfectly for me) was switched for the very much cheaper levothyroxine. Since then I have suffered with depression, joint pain, fatigue, brain-fog and weight gain to name but a few of my symptoms. Recently my thyroid medication has been changed and many of my symptoms have either disappeared (the joint pain for example) or very much reduced, although I have not managed to lose any of the weight yet.

I am currently obese at 15 stone (I'm 5 ft 6) as a result of inadequate treatment but am feeling like I would like to start running again. I used to really enjoy it and was hoping it would help with my weight loss now that my treatment is ok.

I am fairly fit; I walk everywhere at a reasonably brisk pace, I do karate 2 or 3 times a week which is fairly intense exercise, and I do bodyweight exercises at home and am reasonably strong. I no longer have the joint pain I had when I was taking thyroxine and I am itching to get back to running. I want to do this slowly though, to minimise any risk of injury, and this plan looks to be excellent!

I would appreciate any advice you could give me.


Carolyn x


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11 Replies

  • Hi Caroylin,

    My fitness level was "couch" when I started and I'm now on week 5. Just start slowly and gently and see how it goes. Don't get ahead of yourself - stick to the program. The article on How to Run Correctly was really helpful to me: Also, I just finished reading Born to Run which was interesting and inspirational.

    Hope you'll decide to join us! :)

  • Oops, looks like the link to the running tips didn't come through correctly, let me try again...

  • Thank you :) I shall read the article to prepare myself. I am really looking forward to starting but a little scared I won't be able to do it with all this extra weight. I shall keep going though :)

    Carolyn x

  • I don't see why you shouldn't do it but maybe you should check with your doc first just to be on the safe side. As you're already walking a lot, the first week shouldn't be too much of a shock to the system - maybe do the walking sections more slowly than you would usually walk, and then the running sections very slowly too till you see how it goes. I'm sure you'll find your own pace quickly. The programme is all about building stamina so the time is more important at the beginning than the distance covered. Laura on the podcasts tells you exactly when to walk and run and you 'just' :-D do it slowly enough so that you get through the run.

    Lots of people here are overweight and it doesn't seem to stop them running successfully.

    Good running shoes and a sports bra are sort of essentials but you'll know that already!

    Good luck and have fun! :-)

  • Thanks :)

    Yes, I have the sports bras (essential for the karate!) and I have good running shoes. I guess I have no excuses now ;)

  • Yup. Don't forget to blog about your first run! :-)

  • Will do :)

  • I would echo the above comments, and add that from reading what you are already doing you could easy be fit enough. I was a life long smoker and anti fitness person until december, I am 6ft and weigh 21 stone and have just done week 5 run 3 I am loving the programme. It really eases you into it physically and mentally. I say go for it, it is not carved in stone and if you are struggling repeat weeks if not move on or up the pace.

    I hope you decide to do it, ad good luck.

  • Thank you :)

  • as an ex-runner Im sure that you will be able to progress through the plan without any problems. it is designed to push you each week but it sounds as if you are already quite active. good luck & keep posting. shelley

  • Thanks. I'm looking forward to it :)

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