/ running

Running: how to avoid the fat boy shuffle

Running is hard, especially when you are a big heavy person. But you still need to try and avoid the fat boy shuffle.

You are out running. Well, sort of. You are moving your body in a manner that suggests running.

You could be doing the fat boy shuffle.

That's the name I use to describe my own efforts at times. I get back home and think: "Pah! That was a fat boy shuffle today..."

Although it sounds like it, it's not a new dance craze. It's when you are running too slowly.

Yes, I know. There is a thing such as running too slow.

For running (like any other exercise) to be effective, it has to hurt sometimes.

You have to run like you mean it.

So, no fat boy shuffling. There are times when you can slip into the shuffle because it's all you've got.

Tiredness has kicked in and the shuffle is how you will make it home.

No.

Bad idea.

Walk if you must. And then run again. Walk/run is a better idea than shuffling along.

The shuffle you see, is infectious. Once you start doing it, every run becomes a shuffle. And that's no good for your fitness.

The way to avoid it, is to run tall. Don't slip into a knackered slouch. Run like you are full of energy and bounding along - even if that's the opposite of how you feel.

Keeping your body tidy (they call it running form I believe) is important for the success of the run.

The thing is: not every run has to be you attempting to impersonate Mo Farrah. But every run should mean something.

Have a plan. "Today, I going to run hard up every hill or incline..." Or: "Today I'm going to run easy, but finish fast..."

No fat boy shuffle there - because you have a plan. I know, it sounds daft, but it does make a difference.

I used to fall into it a lot. Tiredness from the previous day was often the reason.

Nowadays, I'd rather not run than run badly. If I feel knackered, I'll get the bike out - or go walking.

Sometimes, running when you're knackered is necessary. It helps boost your fitness. But stay alert for signs of the shuffle.


The fat boy shuffle is a name for the slow, plodding running style you might fall into when tiredness kicks in.

Stay focused and mix the pace up to avoid it. Walk for a bit if you have to, but don't shuffle - it'll end up being how you run all the time.