Temporary Treadmilling

25 Oct

Hi Ruth,

I just finished reading Run fat bitch run and I loved it. I am really motivated to get started, however I am extremely overweight 😦 Is there a recommended shorter version to start with and can it be followed using a treadmill ?

Than you for taking the time to take my mail and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Congrats on such a good book by the way 😉

Kind Regards,


Hi Mel,

Good on you for embracing Run Fat Bitch Run and harnessing your own inner bitch to get moving! It is a big deal just to acknowledge that you are very overweight and that you want to do something about it – even better. Despite not being a big fan of the dreadmill, I do occasionally use it, and, more importantly, I am always keen to pounce on any grain of motivation that you have and help turn it into something concrete. So on that basis, I am going to give you a few tips:

1) Set the treadmill at an incline of at least 1 otherwise it will be too easy (like running downhill), and getting used to this will make your transfer out into the big wide world unnecessarily gritty.

2) Listen to music or a story or something! If you do not have all the wonderful distractions provided by nature, don’t make yourself feel even more like a hamster on a wheel by obsessively checking the time/distance covered/calories burned/the conveyor belt/other people’s gym bods in the mirror. All of which are desperately boring and make time feel as though it is passing soooooooooo sloooooowly. Distract yourself and speed things up by plugging into something inspiring (there is a music playlist on this blog if you are stuck for ideas).

3) If it must be the treadmill – it is still A MASSIVE step up from the couch and if it is because you are at this stage embarrassed about venturing out in public, I applaud your courage. However…

4) Make sure the treadmill is a temporary measure.

5) Let running outdoors be the treat that awaits you when you feel ready mentally and physically ready to get out there – because trust me those runs outdoors are going to have you feeling a thousand times better than anything you experience on a treadmill.

As for being very overweight, my view (bearing in mind I am NOT an expert or a doctor) is that if you can walk to the bus stop and get to work, then you are able to begin step 1 as set out in Run Fat Bitch Run – which you can simply transfer to the treadmill. Just take things slowly: if you can’t increase your jogging by 5 minute increments each week, 1 or 2 minute increments are also fine. Use you common sense. It will get easier as the weight falls off and the great thing about being very overweight is that the weight really will fall off, just from walking fast and regularly. If you need further reassurance, there is no harm in taking your plans along to your GP for her seal of approval before you begin.

The Grit Doctor says:
Bravo and good luck


2 Responses to “Temporary Treadmilling”

  1. surfergrl October 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    I second running outdoors! It’s wonderful! Today it pissed it down on me and the mud meant I did a really, really slow time, but I saw a rainbow, the ocean, and three Red Kites having an aerial fight. Felt like a real achievement. You’re going to feel great once you get going… 

  2. liquoricet October 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    I’m very overweight but run outside. I used the zombies 5k app which started off with 30 secs running and after 9 weeks ran for 50 mins without stopping. It had a zombie apocalypse storyline and was silly enough to distract me.
    Having said that my running is v v slow. Mainly be prepared to be slow and go for it. 4 months later i really enjoy it.

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