Running for “The Big Guy”

In the green shorts standing at 6ft tall and weighing in at 270lbs.  He has completed several half marathons, a plethora of 10k’s and 5k’s.  He is free of foot pain, knee pain, hip pain, or back pain.  He is “The Big Guy.”

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Big Guys can run too.  If you recently decided to train for a 5k, 10k, or half marathon, you probably downloaded a training app to get you race ready.   Here lies the problem; you are not an 8-minute miler.  These training apps suggest that you add 1-2 minutes to your 5k pace in order to run farther distances.   For example, if you run a 12:30 mile adding a minute or t wo yields you WALKING!  NOT GOOD!  So how does the “Big Guy” get race ready and remain pain-free?  There are several simple but effective methods:

  1. Get properly fitting shoes: the best shoes are those that are designed for your particular foot type and provide additional shock absorption to reduce the stress of your weight on your joints.  You can find these at a Run Specialty Store (i.e Foot Solutions, The Foot Store, Fleet Feet)
  2. Get custom molded orthotics (arch supports): these are shoe inserts that will help to control the biomechanics of your feet while running and/or walking. They also assist with reducing shock on your joints.  Your local podiatrist or pedorthist can evaluate and recommend arch supports for you.
  3. Get warm: the difference between a corvette and a mack truck is how fast they get from zero to 60. The “Big Guy” is a mack truck therefore it takes him longer to get from zero to 60.  Starting too fast can result in injury, fatigue, or complete failure.  Add 5 to 10 minutes to your workout in order to properly warm up your muscles, joints, and tendons.
  4. Get mentally tough: one of the biggest hurdles the “Big Guy” has to cross is the thought that he is NOT able to run. Mental blocks or self doubt is the kryptonite to your inner Superman.  Don’t be concerned with the time; focus on the distance.  Start one mile at a time an increase by a quarter of a mile every two weeks if you are running at least 3 times per week.
  1. Get in FORM: getting informed about running styles and running form is essential to longevity in running. The “Big Guy” more likely will have a shorter stride length and be more of a heel to midfoot striker.  Knowing this will help you learn how to relax or increase your speed while running.  The best way to learn this is to simply RUN physically and mentally.  Pay attention to your body from your feet to your shoulders while you run.

Ready, Set, Go, Big Guy, Go!

Kevin Ray, DPM

The Foot Institute, LLC clip-art-of-fat-man-running

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