1. Get the right gear
Although it's not necessary to spend lots of money on fancy running kit, it is important that you get the basics right. Make sure you buy proper trainers designed specifically for running that offer plenty of support and get your gait analysed to make sure you buy the right trainers, which will help you avoid any injuries too.
For the ladies, a sports bra is also a must buy, as the stretching caused by running unsupported can lead to irreparable damage and sagging.
2. Monitor your heart rate
Checking your pulse and monitoring your heart rate is a great way to track your progress and effort. You shouldn’t be getting too out of breath, so if you're feeling really uncomfortable then just take things slowly.
Overtraining can be easily spotted by checking your pulse. If it’s higher than your normal rate the day after exercise instead of lower, then you might need to ease off a little.
Regular pulse checking can also help you keep track of your progress. As you exercise more and more, your heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood through your body and working muscles as it gets stronger. Therefore, it will need fewer beats (than before) to perform the same amount of work for you. As a result, preferably early in the morning, count your heart beat per minute and see if you’re improving or heading in the wrong direction.
Recovery is essential. If you don’t give your body enough time to recover between runs it can negatively impact your effort and lead to decreased performance, you'll become slower, less motivated and could end up in real pain.
Don’t push yourself too hard, there's no rush, so follow a proper training plan that allows you a few days off.
No matter who you are or how much you weigh, there will always be those ignorant people who'll want to try and put you down or heckle you as you run by. We cannot stress enough how much you should ignore them. You are making a great change to your life so keep your head up and keep running.
Put some headphones in, and blast out your favourite songs, tune out the haters, and just remember, being large is nothing to be ashamed of.
5. Start slow
Heading out the door and trying to run from the start is just asking for trouble, so it might be best to go out for a few power walks, before trying a couch to 5K programme that involves walking for a few minutes, then running for a few minutes, gradually building up over a period of 6 weeks until you can run non stop for half an hour. Read this beginner's guide to running to help you get started.