Why every FAT person should run a Marathon

As you read this post I am somewhere along the route of a 26.2 mile race on the south coast of England, I am running a marathon. The Brighton Marathon.

However, I am not a marathon runner in the normal sense of the word. I do not have a running coach, or a sponsor or a team of physios. I do not have the body of a marathon runner either, my limbs are not long and my stomach is not flat…in fact most of the running kit out there designed for marathon runners does not fit me…even my feet are wide!!

Because I am FAT

I am a UK dress size 18, I weight more than 200lbs and have the kind of spare tyre around my middle that doctors worry about. I get out of breath if I run too fast, my cheeks burn red and my body wobbles as I plod along with aches and pains and problems with chaiffing increasing as the miles build up.

So why am I running a marathon you ask?

Because I can…and I already ran one in 2012 just to see if I could.

I may be overweight, obese if you believe in the BMI scale but you see I have the mind of a marathon runner. I am bloody minded, determined and self motivated. I don’t mind running by myself, in terrible weather or with aches and pains left over from my last training session.

And that is what makes me a marathon runner.

As I stand side by side with thousands of other runners at the start of this race of course I am nervous but I truly believe that I can run this marathon. I set myself the goal of running it months ago and have trained for it as best I can. Yes, I could have done more, could have dieted and lost some more weight in preparation…but it is what it is. I have no time for regrets or what ifs.

You could run a marathon too…yes YOU.

All you have to do is think BIG when setting your goals. Yes, by all means download a couch to 5k plan, and commit to running a 10K next year…but how about setting your sights on the ultimate test of body and mind, the marathon? What about setting yourself a Big Fat Goal of running a marathon this time next year?

Why not?

Running a marathon teaches you everything you need to know about what it is to be big in a world where it is frowned upon. Yes it’s hard, but anything worth having in life is. Fat runners finish marathons all the time, so you have as much chance as anyone else to go the distance, you just need to believe that you will do it and take a sensibe approach to training.

Getting to the start line is the hardest bit, but even that is reasonably straightforward you just need to

  1. Decide you want to run a marathon
  2. Sign up for one
  3. Follow a training plan
  4. Not give up
  5. Turn up on the day

And if you are anything like me, telling the world you are going to do it is another important step. Nobody likes to look silly by committing to things and not following them through, so tell everyone you know about your plans and embrace the support and admiration that comes with it.

The Shame Factor is a powerful motivator for me, the thing that prevents me from walking if I have an audience, the thing that makes me hold in my belly when a photo is being taken.

So as I huff and puff my way around the Brighton Marathon today I challenge you to really question whether you too could do what I do. I am nobody special. I don’t have any super powers or talents when it comes to running. I just set a goal, form a plan and  turn up on the day.

If you are motivated by what I am doing today please take 5 minutes to show your support by donating what you can to Mama Academy a small but amazing charity that supports new mums and midwifes, even the smallest amount can make a huge difference.

Once you have done that sign up to your own marathon…I dare you!!

18 Responses to “Why every FAT person should run a Marathon”
  1. junkride250 says:

    Hi Julie – Love your blogs. Hope your doing great after your marathon today. Been thinking about you, I’m sure you did great because YES you DO have the mind and heart of a marathoner.

    So I would love to read your books but I don’t own a kindle – do they come in hard/or soft cover books?

    Or perhaps PDF format?

    Just wondering.


    • fattymustrun says:

      Thank You. In a whole heap of pain today. You can download a FREE kindle app onto you phone, tablet, laptop or computer. If that’s still a problem I could probably arrange a PDF to be sent with payment via PayPal?

  2. Hi Julie thanks to you and some other bloggers I attempted my first 5k race/walk and I did it! I got the medal to proof it. http://myfuturepicture.wordpress.com/

    • fattymustrun says:

      That’s amazing, well done. So now what? Are you going to carry on running?

      • Hey I’m going to get into a better routine to ensure that by the next big 5K I will be able to run the distance.

        I am going in for an operation on the 28th and need to remain away from people for about 2 weeks so will try and get lots of exercise before then.

        I’m really excited about the road ahead.

  3. well done! inspiring me to get on with my training for my first marathon. thank you 🙂

  4. NO-BUTTS says:

    I followed your advice in your 10 k book on Kindle and I’ve done it!!! So thank you for inspiring me and giving me the boost to give it a try. I downloaded your training plan and went for it. I didn’t do the swimming as I had an ear infection but did most of the other exercises. Planks!!!! Waaaaagh
    I am not fat now though!!! I used to be a little fat lump but not anymore!! I hope that doesn’t bar me from your website. Reading your post about your marathons I’m inspired and have started training for a 16 k, having run the 10 k.

    I liked your no-nonsense, kick up the bum kind of words and that no excuses for not-running were acceptable. So with your words ringing in my ears I turned out for every run. I even fell asleep on my yoga mat. That was a low point. LOL

  5. Amy-Lauren says:

    Hi Julie

    After seeing you on Channel 4 this morning I decided to google your blog and I’d just like to say thank you. I am a size 16 lady and signed up to the Great North Run in January however lately I have been so unmotivated and uninspired by everything as I just felt too fat to run a half marathon. Finding your blog and specifically this post has refilled me with total motivation so thank you! I will feel proud to be the fat girl in the gym knowing that I’ll get there!

    You also did brilliantly at the Brighton Marathon! Congrats!
    Amy-Lauren xxx

    • fattymustrun says:

      Sometimes we just need to know we are not alone hey? You will be great, just keep at it xxx

    • lakesclaire says:

      I ran the GNR when very overweight (still am) – you will not be alone and although there are lots of good runners, there are loads of fun runners too – I wasn’t last, but I was slow. The atmosphere there is amazing and not to be underestimated – it was an absolutely fabulous day all round.

  6. Becky says:

    Julie, I was one of your fellow marathon runners at Brighton. I am so proud of all of us, and you are absolutely right, anyone can run. By becoming a runner will change so many part of your life. Running a marathon is life affirming, and as a fellow runner, I thank you for your enthusiasm and positivity to the running community x

  7. lakesclaire says:

    Hi, I ran the Great North Run a few years ago – was incredibly slow and really sore afterwards – now thinking about doing a marathon – how much advance notice do you think I need to give myself?

    • fattymustrun says:

      12 months is great, 8 months is good, 6 months if you just want to get round, any less than 4 months and you are pushing it

      • lakesclaire says:

        Just booked a hotel for next year’s London Marathon – people were saying YOLO; “what are you waiting for?” & “life’s too short” etc

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