As per the username I'm making a fresh start and wondered if running would help me get fitter?

I'm probably not the first bloke in his mid 40's to wake up to the fact I'm fat, unfit, slow and likely heading for heart attack territory if I don't take better care of myself.

I'm 5' 11" slim build / frame, but currently carrying 18st so have a sizeable beer belly (although I don't actually drink - it is more likely the biscuits and poor diet).

Having enjoyed a bit of running in my younger school days and feeling it is a kind of exercise I can do cheaply and easily (just pop on trainers, shorts and t-shirt) I wondered if you had any advice on how to get back into it?

I appreciate I need to change my diet and will work on that, but should I start with walking first and see how it goes? Would running with this excess weight damage my knees or back?

Any advice appreciated. :smile:


New Member
Your suggestion of walking first leads me to think you don't exercise at all, is that the case?

Perhaps look at the Couch to 5k program. It starts with walking and you can work on your diet as you are working on building up your running stamina.


Active Member
Staff member
I think Couch to 5k is a great place to start. A lot of leisure centres offer them, some running stores do and there's also an app you can do on your phone. And as Nessie said, parkrun is a fantastic first goal for you - you can walk/run it too so you don't have to wait till you can officially run a 5k.

Fresh Start

Thanks for the advice. I've had a look at those links and I'm not sure if I'm ready for the couch one yet, but I like the idea of the park run one and being able to walk it to start with. I think I need to lose a bit of weight first before I start running. I just feel way too heavy at the moment.

I'm starting to clear out the junk from my diet - which, for me, with a massive sweet tooth and fast food habit, is proving quite difficult - and will treat myself to some cold weather outdoors gear for Christmas so I can keep the walking going, then hopefully in the new year I can start to look at the couch 5k one and see how that goes. :smile:


Active Member
Staff member
I think starting with walking if you're heavy is a really good move, it'll help you lose weight and avoid injuries that you might pick up when you start running. And I hear you about the sugar. I don't like or eat fast food...but cake? Oh I love cake. Maybe think about limiting the things you like, rather than cutting them out completely. Maybe start with one piece of cake/biscuit a day and then maybe three/week and then two/week - you can then plan when you want to eat that treat which helps with self-control and actually stops you feeling guilty. I've done this in the past when my sweet tooth has lost control and it's really helped me.

Also, don't feel shy about parkrun. They're so welcoming to walkers/new runners/heavier will be so welcome there.


Regular Member
Staff member
I don't know how generally fit you are at the moment @Fresh Start but I believe it's advisable to have a check up with your GP if you are going to take up strenuous exercise having not done it before?

I'd echo what the others have suggested re couch to 5k, they are quite structured and are designed to gradually build up the distance and the one I know of in my area have qualified "run leaders" who are supposed to ensure all the participant's needs are catered for.

Whatever route you choose, I hope it goes well for you and you enjoy it!

John the Monkey

Regular Member
Remember that you can repeat weeks in couch to 5k - there's no need to advance faster than you're happier with (I've done so many week 7s before completing the programme! ) More than anything else, make what you'really doing a habit (e.g. a walk or run or c25k step on Monday, Wednesday & Saturday worked for me).


Active Member
Something I wish I’d done in the beginning was visit a physiotherapist as well. They will assess you and give you a range of strengthening exercises that will reduce injuries.


Regular Member
Have you thought about joining a local group?

For me the miles always pass easier on club nights.

My running club runs a few beginners courses through the year along the line of couch to 5k, the January one is always popular.


Regular Member
About three years ago I started to get fit. I couldn't run for a bus (well, not more than 50m). I bought an activity tracker (Garmin Vivosmart - others are available) and joined a FB group which i found exceptionally motivational. I set a target of 7500 steps a day. When i felt ready i started the couch to 5k program. I got there in the end. I also found the MyFitnessPal app very useful to keep control of the calorie intake. You can download an activity tracker/step counter app on your smart phone and take it from there.

Good luck and enjoy yourself!
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