Comments: 138 • Responses: 52  • Date: 

NicNoletree62 karma

How many more days do you think it will be before the law catches up with you?

ZSwatt56 karma

As long as I keep running, I hope they never catch up. haha

FlashHash29 karma

Do you genuinely enjoy running? Or did you do it just for the weight loss? Well done btw, takes perseverance that most people don’t have :)

ZSwatt64 karma

At first, I ran because I felt lost. I was 260+ lbs and going nowhere fast. As time went on, I came to love it. Runners always talk about "runner's high" and I didn't believe it until I ran 10.2 miles on Christmas morning.

And thank you. I appreciate the kind words. (:

jeremiah11197 karma

My first 10 mile was also my favorite run of them all where I really enjoyed the entire thing

ZSwatt4 karma

Absolutely. A feeling like no other. (:

thegayboynextdoor23 karma

When you first started how far did you go and at what speed? What would you recommend for people wanting to start running who are unfit?

ZSwatt36 karma

My first run that started this whole streak was a 4.1 mile run on Thanksgiving morning. My mile time was abysmal (21-minute average). When December came around, I challenged myself to run a 10K a day. Some days faster, some days slower. But always a 10K.

I suggest starting out slow. You have to start somewhere to get somewhere. Finding a healthy diet that works for you will help you shed those first few pounds to really help you start running. Focus on your breathing, take a walk break if you have to. Keep it consistent. And lastly, take it one day at a time.

anjlynch1018 karma

Don't you need a rest/recovery day? Even pro athletes do that.

ZSwatt30 karma

To keep my streak going, I made a compromise. I won't skimp out on my mileage, but I'll go at a much slower pace than usual on my "rest" days. I'm not fast by any means, but I can hold an easy 10-11 minute pace for a good while.

realsonder11 karma

What shoes do you run in? Do you get shin-splints? I do and they SUCK. But I must run.

ZSwatt15 karma

I run in 2 pairs as of the moment. Nike Winflo 4s and Nike 3.0 V5. I suggest going to a running store to get fitted and have your gait evaluated. That can really help you find the perfect shoe.

Yeah, I used to get them when I first started out. I had to ask a friend (life-long runner) what her solution was. She said, "Just keep running". She was right. I stopped getting shin-splints when I really got into the groove of things.

Easy-Target1 karma

Go to a podiatrist, not a running store imo. I was fitted incorrectly at those...

ZSwatt1 karma

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. Hope nothing serious happened!

Oax_Mike8 karma

Do you run before work? After?

How difficult is it to keep up the streak with other commitments in your life?

ZSwatt19 karma

I run before anything else (save for a cup of coffee before my run).

When I was doing freelance photography/videography, I had to really manage my time so that I could still run while keeping my clients happy. It's not easy to say the least.

My family has wholeheartedly supported me these last few months as I focus on getting into shape so that I could meet the Navy's physical standards. My success wouldn't be possible without their unwavering support.

purpleglitteralpaca7 karma

What made you choose running as your exercise of choice? What difficulties did you have in the beginning?

ZSwatt24 karma

There are a lot of reasons why I gravitated towards running. I like how pure and simple it is. You don't need a ton of equipment or an investment in a gym membership. No reps, no trainers, and nobody else but you and your thoughts.

I'd say fixing my diet and my sleep schedule was the most difficult when I started out. I had to give up a lot of good food in order to stay on track. Other difficulties include having to learn proper form and breathing while running.

CeleryDistraction4 karma

What did you do to fix your sleep cycle? How long did it take?

Also good fuckin job dude that's a lot of weight.

ZSwatt2 karma

It took about 2 weeks to really fix my sleep cycle. I made sure I ate right and drank a lot of water. It helped reboot my body so that I can sleep at the proper time.

Impervious_Rex2 karma

What did you do to help with proper form/breathing?

ZSwatt2 karma

Filming yourself and then comparing your form to the proper form. That worked for me.

Learning to inhale through your nose and exhaling out of your mouth was huge in my development.

tortellinitatas6 karma

How’d you get the self control to do this every day?

ZSwatt12 karma

I knew that if I didn't make a change soon, I was a goner. Seeing how far I've come, I owe it to myself to keep going.

It gets easier.

MattTheFriendlyGuy5 karma

Are you angry that the dude stole your progress pic?

ZSwatt41 karma

Nope. I don't care about the karma or the credit. It was just frustrating because I felt like my privacy was breached. Had I cared about any of that, I would've posted it myself. (r/Pics isn't even the place for progress pics..)

The silver lining? If my photo inspired even just one person, I'd take that as a win any day.

stuffaboutsomestuff5 karma

How old are you? Have you had any injuries or are you taking any steps to prevent injuries?

ZSwatt10 karma

I'm 19. Turning 20 real soon.

I've developed my fair share of aches and pains throughout the last 300 days. Runner's knee and achilles tendinitis to name a few. But post-run stretching and constant leg conditioning has undoubtedly helped a lot.

wfox02941 karma

I have developed achilies tendinitis, most annoying pain. How have you remedied it? I feel like I have shaken it and then it comes right back.

ZSwatt2 karma

I ran through the pain and it went away. I might've been lucky in that sense.

Sorry to hear that. Hope you find a way to shake it for good! (:

Canbot4 karma

Hi Zack! Do your knees hurt? My knees hurt just reading that.

ZSwatt3 karma

I have my share of Runner's Knee (PFPS). My youth might be a reason why my knee's aren't dust right now.

I hope they don't give out on me in my 30s. haha

grambell7891 karma

my knees gave out in my late 40s. giving up running was one of the biggest disappoints of my life.

ZSwatt1 karma

I'm so sorry to hear that. Here's to hoping modern medicine can fix that.

I hope you have a great day. (:

Hyliandeity4 karma


How far do you typically run in a day?

As a college distance runner who has had multiple stress fractures, how did you just start running so much and how do you keep yourself from gettong hurt?

ZSwatt2 karma

Thank you!

Nowadays, I always shoot for at least 7-7.5 miles a day, with the occasional long run. Always made sure I stretched. And I'm sure I have youth going for me.

I have an athletic background, so it wasn't like I never ran or did any physical activity in my life. I just hated how I felt and hated my body image in that point in my life that I went out there to change myself.

YuriTheRussianBot3 karma

What was wrong with your sleep and how did you fix it?

ZSwatt8 karma

I was very nocturnal. I found myself waking up and having wasted half the day. It felt brutal knowing that I was wasting all this daylight.

Fixing my diet and drinking a lot of water help me get into a respectable circadian rhythm. No more 3-4 AM bedtimes for this guy.

BaradeusRex3 karma

How do you map out your running route ? Do you have access to a track or do you go on the sidewalk?

ZSwatt12 karma

There's a bayou with sidewalk trails in my neighborhood. I've been running the exact same trails since Day 1. The surrounding neighborhood knows me as the kid that runs a lot. haha

It's made traveling a bit more fun because going somewhere new means a new place to run.

kasakka11 karma

I used to run a lot, usually 10 km per day almost every day. The worst thing was eventually having run the same routes way too many times. Started taking a bus further away and running home. About the same length but helps keep it interesting.

ZSwatt1 karma

Definitely! I started mixing up how many times I run specific route. Maybe run somewhere else for a few days, then go back. Keeping it interesting helps a lot!

JustHere4Memes2 karma

How do you not get bored of running? I dread cardio because it is so boring ? Great job and keep it up!

ZSwatt2 karma

I think I've ran enough where I developed a specific love for it. I dreaded it when I first started out, but over time I started looking forward to my runs.

Thank you for the kind words. (:

mikeasaurus_2 karma

what do you use as motivation to get up and run every day? (besides the obvious answers such as: weight loss, improved health, etc.)

ZSwatt8 karma

Progress was definitely a huge motivator.

But I think it's really two things: My acquired love for running and knowing that it makes my family proud. Despite having a diverse athletic background, I was always a big kid. My recent change has brought my family to tears knowing that I won't develop Type 2 Diabetes or die of heart attack at a young age. They're happy that I'll be here for the long haul.

SwissJAmes2 karma

Are you on/r/amileaday? Some of those people have been running every day for over 4 years!

ZSwatt3 karma

I've heard about that sub! But no, I'm not on there. Those guys are absolute legends. I hope to be on that level a few years from now.

JSK_142 karma

Would you say running on a treadmill is the same thing in order to lose weight? Also what is your diet like. I always plan to get Uber healthy but like after a week or so I just give up. Thank you!

ZSwatt5 karma

Running in general will help you make the change. The difference between road running and the treadmill is the resistance. The treadmill's belt helps you move, which is why a lot of runners use it for tempo runs as opposed to long distance.

When I started out, I had to watch my carbs and sugar intake. Keep yourself hydrated. Remember Calories In, Calories Out. I experimented with a Ketogenic diet for a little bit as well.

But keep in mind that what works for me may not necessarily work for you. And that you can never outwork a bad diet. Listen to your body. Best of luck. You can do it. (:

applesocks7892 karma

How do keep your mind engaged/entertained for so long, music? Thinking? Vivid imagination? Or do you just zone in and focus on the run?

ZSwatt4 karma

Depends on the day. Some days I listen to music. Some days I listen to podcasts. Some days I just really feel like running and not listening to anything at all.

Thinking and self-reflection is something I partake often, especially on my long runs.

Sbeaudette2 karma

Whats your secret?

I usually don't run unless someone is chasing me.

ZSwatt2 karma

A good podcast and a nice stretch of road. haha

Sbeaudette1 karma

Is it always a podcasts or do you switch to music sometimes?

And if so, what kind of music do you like to run to?

ZSwatt2 karma

Yeah! Music is also good.

Somedays I'll listen to rap/hip-hop. Somedays I'll listen classic rock. Somedays I bust out the ballads. It just depends on how I'm feeling that given day. (:

ahairshirtofpurpose1 karma

Do you do any sort of weight training to round out the running and to prevent injury?

ZSwatt1 karma

Lower body conditioning helps my joints. And I lift occasionally. No serious injuries so far. (:

Hitokix1 karma

Have you checked your legs with a doctor since you started? Running is not benevolent with knees and shin

ZSwatt1 karma

Yeah, doctors have advised on taking it easy. In an earlier response I mention that on my "rest" days, I just run at a significantly slower pace than usual. I can't not run. Gotta find a way to make it work.

WhoShotBugsBunny1 karma

What do you do when it's raining?

ZSwatt1 karma

Waterproof jacket with a hood. Or if the weather is just absolutely unbearable, I'll hit the treadmill.

Some of my best runs were in terrible weather.

MJ6Music1 karma

I’m just getting in to running and working out and struggle with my breathing. What are some tips for managing that well so I can run further?

ZSwatt1 karma

Try a form of HIIT. Look it up. That might help improve your stamina.

For breathing, just take good, deep breaths. Keep it consistent. You'll no doubt feel the burn. If you have to take a walk break, do so. It takes time and patience. You'll see improvement soon enough. Best of luck. (:

Unifiedxchaos1 karma

I recently started running to get into shape before I head to basic training. I never ran consistently before in my entire life. How'd you go about learning proper form and how to condition yourself? I can barely run 1/4th of a mile without needing to walk.

ZSwatt2 karma

Look up proper running form. Then take a video of yourself running. Compare the two, fix what you may be doing wrong, and hopefully you start seeing results!

Conditioning is just a matter of doing it consistently. Over time you'll develop stamina and learn to listen to your body. If you have to take a walk break, do it. We all have to start somewhere to get somewhere. Best of luck! (:

carfo1 karma

did you get some kind of gait analysis? what do you recommend for shoes?

ZSwatt1 karma

I've yet to get a gait analysis. Maybe if I get one, it could improve something that I've been overlooking.

I love the 2 pairs of Nikes I have, but what works for me may not necessarily work for you. Check out runrepeat for show reviews or go to a specialty running store! (:

okki21 karma

Will you keep running or will you transition into other sports. BJJ? Weightlifting?

ZSwatt1 karma

Actually, I'd say I transitioned into running. haha

Growing up, I played basketball and baseball. I fell in love with football in 7th grade. I guess running just became my next endeavor. (:

Hatchisyodaddy1 karma

What distances did you start running at? And what’s the longest you’ve run now? I remember when I started running I could barely do half a mile on day 1 lol To average 7 miles a day starting with that low you must put a ton of miles on in the past 100 or so days. Congrats btw!

ZSwatt2 karma

The first week of the streak was definitely on the low side. I remember running 4-5 miles a day for first few days. It was tough since I was 260+ lbs. I was slow, but I made sure I finished. I think my average distance levels out because I have the occasional long run.

Longest run I recall would be a 12-13 mile run this past Spring Break. I just felt like running and the weather was ace.

Thanks! (:

Hatchisyodaddy1 karma

Congrats again. Keep it up!

ZSwatt1 karma

Thank you! Will do!

jon20001 karma

Do you supplement your running with any weight training or are you planning to? I imagine you’d have great cardio, but muscle mass may drop slightly? Keep it up, you’re almost a year in and already made amazing progress, but now you will never be content and will always want to push yourself that little bit further!

ZSwatt1 karma

I lift occasionally and make an emphasis on conditioning my lower body. Strengthening/Conditioning helps prevent injury.

Muscle mass has definitely dropped, but that's a given since my goal is to get faster and running long distances.

Thank you for the encouraging words. (:

Drgnarswag1 karma

Way to go dude!

Any plans to train for a running race or other event?

What are your thoughts on cross training? Do you have another way of working out if you get injured or start getting bored of running? Though I hope neither of those things happen!

ZSwatt2 karma

Thank you!

I want to run a major marathon someday. But baby steps for now. Got focus on the present before I could look forward to the future.

Cross training is good. It prevents you and your body from being used to that one specific activity. I occasionally lift and condition my lower body in order to prevent injuries.

breadedcat1 karma

Heyo! Congrats on this amazing transformation! I love your smile - and I hope you're absolutely fawning over yourself because this is just amazing.

I just started running recently. And am wondering what people do when they get sick. I came down with a cold and my thoughts are to not run while I still have this cough but maybe I should go on some brisk walks? Do you think it matters?

ZSwatt1 karma

Walking is better than nothing. But if you have to rest, then do so.

Fortunately for me, I haven't been sick since I started running. A headache or stuffy nose here and there, but nothing too serious. One of the many benefits from my change of lifestyle.

Jenndarksoul1 karma

Are you pretty tired? Do you think you'll go home now?

ZSwatt1 karma

Hoping I could find my own Jenny someday.

theblacksterr1 karma

How did you manage the stamina? I wanna do this myself but my stamina sucks, any tips?

ZSwatt1 karma

Baby steps. Walk, jog, walk, run, walk. You have to build up to it. It takes a lot of patience, but over time you will see yourself improving. Best of luck. (:

UserInputNeeded1 karma

Okay, so I read in your comments that sometimes you run slow and that your first mile was a 21 minute mile. My question to you is: when you say you "ran" a 21 minute mile, what do you really mean by that? I can walk a 14 minute mile, so I'm curious what your definition of "run" is. Not a knock by any means, just always curious what people define running/jogging/walking as.

ZSwatt1 karma

Yeah, I understand the confusion. When I started out, it was a lot of Run-Walk-Run-Walk-Jog-Walk. At 260+ lbs, that was brutal. But I knew this was the only way I could improve.

All_Work_All_Play1 karma

What sorta climate do you have? Kicking out miles that consistently in the -10 degrees of the midwest seems... Well, do you ever run on a treadmill?

ZSwatt1 karma

I'm in Texas. Humidity is brutal at times. The heat is unforgiving. But I've made it work.

As a Texan, the winter isn't something we embrace. When it's too cold, I'll resort to the treadmill. haha

Cerebrate2051 karma

How are your knees? Any orthopedic problems at all? Just curious.

ZSwatt2 karma

Fair share of PFPS and aches & pains. But nothing too serious. I think it has a lot to do with my youth.

Thatguy11251 karma

What’s the diet like now?

ZSwatt1 karma

Nowadays, I have to fuel right. Eggs, bread, peanut butter, and bananas. Ground beef, chicken breast, mixed vegetables.

When I cheat, I go hard. Cheat days are the best.

Sparred4Life1 karma

Hi Zack, I'm Zach, nice to meet you. I'm impressed that you've achieved so much despite being afflicted with the "k" spelling. How would you say that affected your efforts? And how did you overcome it?

Cheers my brother! ;)

ZSwatt2 karma

Haha the K doesn't seem to have an affect on my performance, but I'll gladly switch if it means I run faster. (:

Thank you for the kind words!

Skiie1 karma

Was running hard on your joints at first? are you flat footed?

if yes how did you get over this?

how many miles a day?

ZSwatt1 karma

My joints have definitely taken beating. But nothing I couldn't ice or stretch out.

Fortunately, I'm not flat footed. (:

Nowadays, I'm shooting for a minimum of 7-7.5 miles a day.

littlenetch1 karma

Have you hit any weight plateaus? If so how did you get past them?

ZSwatt1 karma

Yes, I have! When I reached 225 lbs, I stayed at that weight for about a week and a half. Another plateau before I broke 200 lbs.

I just experimented with my diet. Some days I have to constantly snack to keep my metabolism up. That seemed to work.

WhiteKnight11501 karma

You mentioned the Navy in another response. What is their run standard? Are you planning on joining up, or you just decided that was a good goal? I'm Air Force, getting up to speed for my PT test next month, always hated running, even though it's just 1.5 mile.

ZSwatt1 karma

I think the Navy Bootcamp entrance standard is 1.5 miles in 16 minutes or less. I believe by the end of Basic, you're expected to run it in 11-12 minutes. I'm planning to enlist soon.

Best of luck on your PT test! (:

cole_vineyard1 karma

Hey Zack, I started running in June this year and did the C25K. I have a goal to do 5k every day but my knees are killing me despite good shoes. I’d love to run more, my heart and lungs are there but my knees keep me away. Any suggestions to help with runners knee?

ZSwatt1 karma

Hypocritical of me to suggest this, but rest if you really have to. Post-run stretching and icing my knees seems to be working out for me so far.

Remember, don't compare yourself to me or other runners. The only person you need to compete with is yourself. Best of luck. You can do it. (:

mosho13370 karma

Any knee issues from having to run when being overweight?

ZSwatt1 karma

Nothing too serious. PFPS and just minor aches and pains. I think it has something to do with my youth. Hopefully my knees don't give out on me in my mid 30s. haha