How To Start Running When Overweight

Starting a running routine when you are overweight can be an intimidating and challenging task. As someone who has personally embarked on this journey, I understand the struggles and doubts that may come with it. However, I can assure you that with the right approach and a positive mindset, you can overcome any obstacles and achieve your running goals.

Set Realistic Goals

When starting out as an overweight runner, it’s important to set realistic and attainable goals. Don’t expect to run a marathon right away! Begin by setting small goals that focus on improving your overall fitness and endurance.

For example, you can start by aiming to run for one minute without stopping. Once you achieve that, gradually increase your running time to two minutes, then five minutes, and so on. Celebrate each milestone along the way and remember that progress is progress, no matter how small.

Choose the Right Gear

Investing in proper running gear is essential, especially when you have extra weight to support. The right pair of running shoes with good cushioning and arch support will help protect your feet and joints from the impact of running.

It’s also important to wear breathable and moisture-wicking clothing to keep you comfortable and prevent chafing. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-fitted sports bra either!

Start with Walking

If you’re new to exercise or have been inactive for a while, starting with walking is a great way to ease your body into running. Walking not only helps to condition your cardiovascular system but also builds up strength in your legs.

Begin with brisk walks for 20 to 30 minutes, three to four times a week. As you feel more comfortable, gradually introduce intervals of jogging or running into your walks. For example, you can alternate between walking and running for one minute each. Listen to your body and progress at a pace that feels challenging but not overwhelming.

Proper Running Technique

Having proper running technique is crucial to prevent injuries and maximize efficiency. When you run, focus on maintaining an upright posture with your shoulders relaxed and your head up.

Avoid overstriding, which means taking too long of a step forward. Instead, aim for a shorter and quicker stride. This will reduce the impact on your joints and help you maintain a steady pace.

Listen to Your Body

As an overweight runner, it’s important to listen to your body’s cues and take rest days when needed. Pushing yourself too hard without allowing for proper recovery can lead to burnout or injuries.

Pay attention to any pain or discomfort you may experience while running. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to take a break, seek medical advice, or consult with a running coach or physical therapist. It’s better to address any issues early on rather than pushing through and risking further damage.

Find Support and Accountability

Embarking on a running journey can be more enjoyable and motivating when you have support and accountability. Consider joining a running group or finding a running buddy who shares similar goals and interests.

You can also use technology to your advantage by using running apps or online communities to track your progress and connect with like-minded individuals. Having someone to share your successes, setbacks, and personal experiences can make the journey feel less lonely and more empowering.


Starting a running routine when you are overweight may feel daunting, but with patience, determination, and the right approach, you can achieve amazing results. Remember to set realistic goals, choose the appropriate running gear, start with walking, maintain proper technique, listen to your body, and find support along the way.

Embrace the journey and celebrate even the smallest victories. You are capable of more than you realize, and running can be a transformative and empowering experience. Lace up those shoes, step out of your comfort zone, and start running towards a healthier and happier you!