Should Fat Guy Start Running?

by Khaleef "Fat Guy" Crumbley on September 4, 2011

in Daily Update


I had a nice long talk with a couple from my church today. It was great because we had a couple of conversations with them several months ago, decided that they seemed like great people that we wanted to get to know, but haven’t had much of a chance to converse with them since.

They then let me know that they had seen a few of my posts on this site. I was happy to hear that, since the point of this site is to allow people to keep me accountable with my goals! However, I had no idea that the wife (yes, I’m intentionally leaving out their names) is crazy!!! 😯

She loves to run! I’m not talking about jogging around the block, or a brisk walk/jog/sprint interval program, either. She was talking about 1/2 marathons and full marathons! I told her how I feel about running – human bodies were not made for running. That’s why so many runners and athletes have problems with their knees. I had a Health professor tell me that a while ago, and that’s all the proof I need! 😉

Even if that wasn’t true, I’m much too fat to run! If she were just a normal reader that never met me, I could just assume that she hasn’t had a chance to read my about page and see how fat I really am. However, since we see each other almost once a week, that’s not the case.

Once she started talking about running, I could see how passionate she is about it. I have never met anyone who had her perspective on running and all its benefits. She talked about things that went way beyond getting in shape or clearing your head. I am going to beg her to do a guest post, or series of posts on the benefits of running. She even talked about something called an “ultra” – which is longer than a marathon! She actually competed in the Badwater Ultramarathon in Dealth Valley. It’s a 135 mile race that goes from below sea level to over 2,000 miles above it!

I know of many people that wouldn’t be able to drive 135 miles! Now someone who has done it – and wants to do it again – wants me to start running with her in a few months!

Correction: She didn’t actually run the Badwater Ultramarathon…yet! The one she ran was only 50 miles.

I kept giving my standard ‘no’ when she asked, but she’s so passionate and persistent, I don’t think I can keep saying no to her! Actually, I would be willing to do anything that would make me healthier and help me to reach my goals. As long as it isn’t foolish and extreme, and doesn’t take away from my time with God or my wife, I’m in. But running is different! I’m a really fat guy, and my body isn’t built for running. Even when I played sports in high school, I hated running.

The other problem with her type of running is that it’s all long distance! If I was called upon to run for a few minutes, I would think about considering it. But she told me today that she believes that anyone can run 10 miles, and most of the problem is mental.

To tell you the truth…I’m scared! 😳

photo by Sura Nualpradid

What Do You Think?

So, should I stick to my plan of doing cardio and weight training, or should I run with a woman who [happily] runs a 50 mile race and wants to run 135 miles?

I’m going to write that one more time, so you know that it wasn’t a typo – she wants to run a 135 mile race in Death Valley, in the middle of July!!!

I am expecting you all to write the only sane answer to this question…’no’!

While I have you here, I might as well let you know that I’ve been nominated for a couple of Plutus awards for my writing about personal finance. You can click on the link for details on how to vote for me!

© 2011, All rights reserved.

Sustainable PF September 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I used to love running but my joints can’t take it. I ended up really liking both the elliptical and then the biking machines. I like to bike to work too (real bike).

Fat Guy September 5, 2011 at 9:17 am

Do you get the same feeling from those machines as you did from running? A lot of runners talk about a “high” that they get from it.

I’m worried that my joints won’t be able to take the shock of this much weight pounding down on them continuously!

Linda September 4, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Don’t ruin your joints especially your knee joints for someone elses passion. I am overweight and have had surgery on both knees. Ortho doc doesn’t even want me to climb stairs. Just remember the damage you do now may be unrepairable later. the elliptical and recumbent bike are great because they don’t put stress on your joints.
blessings to your detirmination. Your blog will help me keep acountable.

Fat Guy September 5, 2011 at 9:18 am

Wow, I’m sorry to hear about the troubles you’ve had with your knees. I remember my professor showing us how much damage running can do on your knees – especially for someone who weighs as much as I do.

Sunny Day September 4, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Try it out. What’s the worst that could happen??

Fat Guy September 5, 2011 at 9:20 am

It would take me a very long time to build up to that point. I’d be willing to walk with intervals of sprints for now.

that crazy runner September 5, 2011 at 6:59 am

ok first, i’ll say that i ASPIRE to run badwater – i doubt i’ll be running that any time soon. the one i did do was this one:

and second – it’s ironic that you have an ad up for the richmond marathon on your post cause i did that one – it’s my favorite 🙂

thirdly- you don’t have to start out w/ long distances; we all work towards a goal. i’m not saying running is for everybody but it may surprise you 🙂

lastly – here it is in writing – the condition – you give running a fair shot, i’ll guest blog about it – let’s see if your readers can convince you 🙂

Fat Guy September 5, 2011 at 9:23 am

Thanks for commenting – I was hoping that you would!

I can’t believe you are going to make me run in order to have you write. I’ve never seen anyone talk about running the way that you did yesterday…I’ll really have to think about this one!

Ema September 5, 2011 at 7:49 am

Do it! I used to hate running, but I have grown to really like it. If fact, I’m going out for a run right now:) A lot of people think that running takes up a lot of time, but it doesn’t.

Fat Guy September 5, 2011 at 9:27 am

I can’t believe my own sister has turned on me! Maybe I’ll start once I drop a good 60lbs or so!

cashflowmantra September 5, 2011 at 8:57 am

There is nothing wrong with getting out and doing some running, but I don’t think it is a good idea to do 10 miles on the first trip.

Fat Guy September 5, 2011 at 9:27 am

I was really hoping for a lot more people telling me not to do it. I’m not sure if I could even do 10 feet on the first trip!

Andrea September 5, 2011 at 10:05 am

When I was in high school and elementary I was that kid that was aaaaalways picked last and that was aaaalways huffing and puffing behind the rest during warmups. It wasn’t because I was fat but because I had allergies (found that out as an adult though) Anyway, because of that I HATED sports, I still hate teamsports but once I went to college I started going to the gym and discovered that ‘runner’s high thing’.

This year I bought a bike and started c25k, I haven’t finished it but I LOVE it. I think out bodies were made to move, not to be tortured, but our bodies are incredible machines that were built for much more than we let it do. I’m not a runner but I hope one day to do a half marathon and if given this chance that you’ve been given I would try it, you don’t have to start off running 10 miles. This isn’t foolish or extreme and you can ALWAYS stop. Build up slow, push yourself and I think you’ll discover that ‘high’ that people talk about… it’s pretty awesome.

Do it! Or at least… TRY IT!

Fat Guy September 6, 2011 at 11:15 am

It’s amazing to see people who hated sports and/or exercise get into running so much.

I think I can get up to jogging, but that’s about it.

krantcents September 5, 2011 at 10:52 am

You could try it by participating with part of the training. She probably trains by doing 50-100 miles a week. You could participate in a a half hour a day.

that crazy runner September 5, 2011 at 9:07 pm

can i chime in?
i assure you – i was not going to put you out on the asphalt and make you do a 10 miler off the bat. my point was just to say that if you wanted to run a 10K race, i could get you there… over time, commitment, and training. a lot of it has to do with accountability and sometimes, it’s nice to have someone encourage you along the way, esp. when you don’t think you can do it.

i really think you’ll surprise yourself.

Fat Guy September 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I don’t think you’d put me in any danger or anything, it’s just that I hate running so much! Who knows, maybe it will be the thing that kick starts my weigh loss again.

Too bad my coach won’t be ready anytime soon.

Co-workerA September 6, 2011 at 7:33 am

I think you should work up to it, like walk a 5k, then jog a 5k, then jog a 10k.. and so on and so forth, and you should do it during lunch with me!! .. but God Bless this crazy runner!!

Fat Guy September 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm

It’s too bad that it’s impractical for us to change at work. If we jog at lunch, I’d be drenched!

Kristen September 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

I think you can build up to running by starting with fast walking. Just fast walk as much as possible and start adding in 30 seconds to 1 minute of jogging then slowly, over time, do more jogging and less walking. That will help you lose weight and increase your endurance so when you’re lighter, running will be easier. I have recently become a runner and while I can say that I agree that it’s not always fun, I have become rather addicted to it because it lifts my mood dramatically and has helped me to shed 15 pounds in about 8 weeks. I have many more to go though! Let’s run with “That Crazy Runner” in a few months 🙂

Fat Guy September 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I do “fast walking” now, and I planned to add jogging in intervals. However, jogging is the most I want to do. Maybe when I drop 30lbs, I’ll be ready to think about considering running. 😉

retirebyforty September 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I think once you lose a bit more weight then it’ll be good to run. I use the elliptical machine and that gives me a good work out. You can also try classes like boot camp. It’s a good cardio workout and is not too hard on the joints. good luck. I’d say no. 😉

Robert @ The College Investor September 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Running is such a great way to lose pounds quick. My boss started running, and lost over 60 lbs in 6 months!

Daniel September 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

As a runner myself I definately believe in the benefits. I don’t think just because you are overweight means you can’t run. Have you ever seen the Biggest Loser tv show. They do quite a bit of running. The key is easing into it. Start out with just walking. Then add a couple minutes jogging here or there. After a few weeks you may be able to jog a whole mile. But definately don’t start out on a 10 mile run with her that is just too far for a beginner. Ease into it and consult a physician if you have any concerns.

Pekka December 9, 2011 at 12:22 am

Like Daniel says above, it’s not quite as much about your weight as it is about just easing into it. Just try a few steps of running and see how it feels. Don’t push yourself too hard in the beginning, just go as far as your body will allow. I got back into running a bit over a year ago (at about 240 lbs) and could only run a minute or two before I had to stop for walking. Eventually started getting further and further with my running, and now I can do half marathon distances on a whim (and am at 185 lbs now).

But with your weight, I think it’s very important you’ll lose a big portion of it if you want to do running in long term. Joint- and all kinds of other health issues will come up eventually if you don’t. And of course there are some issues that will very likely come up early, like shin splints. But that stuff happens to almost all new runners – not just the overweight ones.

Remember that running or sports don’t *really* make you lose weight. It’s almost all about the diet. If you allow yourself a reward (i.e more food) everytime you’ve done some exercise, or you don’t generally reduce the calory intake, no amount of sports will help you. Running and sports will help burn some of the those extra calories you take in and they have a ton of other health benefits, and of course will generally help you feel more healthy but what you eat is still the biggest part of losing weight itself.

So give running a try. It might work for you, or not. No stress. You’ve got a ton of other stuff you can do. And if it doesn’t work out, try running later once you’ve lost a bit of that extra weight first.

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