Is My Current Training Regimen Too Ambitious For My Fitness Level?

by Amy
(Holyoke, MA)

Hello - I recently decided that I wanted to start running. Prior to this decision, I had been getting quite a bit of exercise for about 3 months prior but mostly through cross training, tennis, and basic walking.

I am not an athlete, and i am currently overweight (210 lbs, 5' 6" - but used to be 255). At the heavier weight I always assumed running was impossible - even a mile seemed like too much.

But within the past three weeks, I started pushing myself and ran my first mile, than 1.5, than 3.0 miles split 1.5 with a walking break and then another 1.5 - than 2 miles, and finally after 2 weeks I hit my first 3 miles all at once.

Since then I have run 2.5, 2, and 3 miles this past week. I don't plan on increasing much faster and want to get my body used to the working out - but I was wondering if you think the 3 miles after only about a month of running with no running in my history is too fast.

I do not feel so fatigued or out of breath when I am done, and my heart rate stays around 160 - i don't run too fast (about 4.3 on the treadmill without an incline). It actually feels good when I am finished. Just wanted an opinion.



Answer by Dominique:
Hi Amy,
Thanks for your running training question.

It looks like you have made some real progress over the past months with your decrease in weight from 255 lbs to 210. Well done!

If you had started with absolutely no exercise background, then getting to 3 miles within 1 month would possibly have been a bit too fast. Depends a lot on your overall health and weight etc.

But given that you had already been doing cross-training, walking and tennis you have already been building up your fitness levels. So, it does not surprise me that you are already able to cover off three miles now.

I think it is really wise what you are doing now: consolidate for a while, make sure you get used to this new level of exercise and then you can increase your mileage a little further.

The walking in between is a really good idea as well when you are starting to run and increasing your mileage.

A few references for further reading:
Check out my Beginner Running Tips for some more beginner running tips.

And check out my page about Increasing Mileage Safely if you plan on building up the mileage more.

Keep doing what you are doing, keep the speed and the incline low on the treadmill and keep on losing that weight!

Well done.
Best of luck with your running, health and weight loss goals!
Kind regards,

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