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Overweight beginners: some precautions

 

Running sensations that give you more than the time

Focus more on a good relationship between your head and legs. Running should be a source of pleasure not a form of torture! This follows naturally from trusting your feelings without seeking to adhere strictly to a training programme or a minimum exercise period - at least for the first few months.

 

Two tips for overweight beginners:

- Alternating between speed walking and jogging at an easy pace often allows you to cover a greater distance without causing discomfort to muscles or an unpleasant feeling of breathlessness.

- Changing routes regularly reduces the risk of boredom.

 

Pay close attention to your exercise diet

It is quite common for regular running to "naturally" alter certain eating habits. Moderate effort for longer than 40 minutes generally increases calorie combustion and can, over time, lead to significant weight loss. The only reliable way to lose weight is obviously to burn more calories that your calorie intake (with or without some sports activity).

Keep in mind:

- It is better not to go on a low-sugar diet while practising regular running.

- It is important to stay nourished and hydrated when jogging for more than 60 minutes and to quickly replenish stores of glycogen (the exercise fuel stored in muscles and the liver) after training. Energy bars or drinks are good but bananas, cereals or brown bread are also recommended.

- It is wise to avoid weighing yourself too often (once a week, early in the morning after micturition is sufficient). Ensure that the weight loss linked to running is not too drastic.

 

Adhere strictly to gradual progression in the distance run

Marathon runners aren't made overnight! Years of running experience are necessary for the body to get accustomed to the constraints on muscles and tendons. You must have patience and adopt a routine: that's the price of learning true endurance...

 

As regards increasing the running distance:

- Gradual progression remains the watchword to reduce the risk of causing injury (no more than a 20% increase from one week to the next).

- Keeping a training diary will allow you to keep track of exactly the number of kilometres run each week and ensure that no potentially harmful ache or persistent fatigue takes hold.

- Bear in mind the fact that seated sports (cycling, stationary cycling) and swimming contribute to improving cardiovascular condition and are a remarkable complement to running for overweight beginners.

 

Don't forget to get a health check before you start

You'll have to get over the apprehension of the stethoscope!It is always advisable to visit your GP before starting to run on a regular basis. Whether you are overweight or not. Some tests may go beyond simple auscultation and checking blood pressure:

- Electrocardiogram.

- Effort test (on mat or bike).

- Blood tests.

An echocardiography (at rest and during effort) may also be prescribed – especially for beginners aged over 50
The aim of this medical check up is not to put you off physical activity or sports. But rather to reassure you. Don't hesitate to ask your doctor for advice.

 

 

Running benefits from being practised as a group. Especially at the beginning. Bear in mind that advice from more experienced runners can be priceless.

 

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