Thoughts and brain dumps

Thoughts and brain dumps

By Andy Hawthorne. Words, photos, code and running…

18 Nov 2019

Run, fat boy, run

Reading time: 3 minute(s) - 600 words

Everyone has a trigger that sets them off on a path to losing some weight.

Call it what you like: shed some timber, burn the fat…

Many people I know (including me) started running because we’d put a lot of weight on. In my case I was doing a good job of impersonating a blimp.

So, can running help you lose weight? Damn right it can. Here’s the basics…

Running to lose weight requires two things:

  • Actually running
  • Managing your food intake

I’ll deal with the running bit in this post. The eating stuff will come later.

Here’s how it happened for me…

One day, I a photo was taken at a family event. I saw the photo a few days later at laughed at the fat twat on the edge of the picture.

Until I realised it was me.

I’m not going to try and convince you I wasn’t already aware of the problem.

Of course I was. Buying a new shirt (or trousers, ooh, buying trousers - nightmare) required clothing labels with XXL on them.

It was the summer of 2013. I went for a walk on a lovely sunny day.

I managed a mile before I was sweating and my body was complaining. I developed shin splints and lower back pain like you wouldn’t believe.

Being ex-army I understood the no pain, no gain mantra. So, I went the next day too. And the day after that.

A year later I was walking (or tabbing in army parlance) around 40 miles a week.

I’d lost about 3 stone and was much fitter.

It was a sunny Saturday morning and I was near the end of an 8-miler. My legs were hurting with the speed I was moving at so I decided to jog for a bit.

In the end, I jogged the rest of the way of home - then purchased running trainers the same day.

I stuck the coach to 5K app on my phone and off I went.

Or so I thought.

Couch to not very far…

Trying to follow the app was near impossible. I’d find myself finishing the session and wanting much more. So I’d do another fast walk for more miles to feel like I’d done a workout.

Yes, I was already fit, right? All the walking for a year, yes, I was fit…


I wasn’t running properly. What I was doing was a fat boy shuffle. A sort of run/walk hybrid that felt like running.

I didn’t realise this for months.

The wrong trainers

I also purchased the wrong trainers. I walked in and scooped up a pair of Nikes that were cheap enough. I didn’t check how my feet roll (I’m an over pronator) or any of that.

So, it wasn’t long after starting running that I was in agony with shin splints and a bunch of other ailments.

Getting the basics right

First, go to a running shop where they can check your gait (how you run). Then, you’ll know which type of trainers to buy. And spend as much money as you can afford on said trainers. you need them to look after you.

Next, join a local running club, run with someone who knows what they’re doing or read my blog a book. That way, you can learn about running properly.

These things are important.

Get the basics right and you’ll be up and running. I’ll be adding much more about this in coming posts.

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