Running is one of the best exercises for weight loss and fat burning because it gets your muscles working while testing your cardio system to the max.
You can do it anywhere, vary your pace depending on your fitness and energy levels, and you need no specialist equipment to get started.
That said, what you do need is some knowledge of the basics so that you can start your training regime the right way. To make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve covered everything you need to know in just a couple of minutes…
Why is running good for weight loss?
The weight loss benefits of running are twofold. Firstly, you’re exerting a lot of energy which burns calories, which if your diet is right will then result in fat.
And secondly, running builds lean muscle throughout the body. The legs obviously take a real beating when you first start, but the core, back and upper arms are also getting a good workout.
Over time you’ll build lean muscle that needs a certain amount of calories even when you’re sitting still doing nothing. This means that keen runners will have metabolic rates that are higher than the average person, which in turn makes it easier and quicker for them to lose weight.
How do you build a running routine?
The most important thing is to build up gradually by avoiding running on consecutive days and keeping increases in your weekly mileage to 10% or less. These two little pointers will guide you and allow you to tailor your efforts so that you don’t damage your joints and tendons.
They get far less blood flow than your muscles which leaves them open to injury and lengthy recovery periods if you’re not careful.
Starting with a 30-minute session on grass will be kind to your joints and allow you to gauge your baseline fitness. Walk for 3 minutes, jog steadily for 3 minutes and repeat 5 times. And just remember, there’s no shame in starting slow because you’ll still be able to get fitter and faster later on.
Mistakes when running for weight loss
Make sure you don’t fall foul of any of these and you’ll be well on your way to success:
- Running Thirsty: If your pee goes yellow then you’ve missed out on water intake. Take a little bottle of water with you next time and you’ll be able to stop yourself getting thirsty and worn out
- Running Tired: Measure your resting heart rate before you get out of bed in the morning and only run if it’s within 6% of your baseline heart rate
- Running Too Far: We all love to go on an adventure, but if you’re struggling to walk down the stairs the next morning then you need to dial things back by 30% and rebuild after you’ve had a rest day
Is running hills better for weight loss?
The great thing about running hills is that the intensity increase promotes increased growth in lean muscle. This will boost your baseline metabolism and help you shed pounds that little bit quicker.
Just make sure you stretch out your achilles properly before and after you run to avoid over tightening your calves on the hills. This is the most common injury with hill running, and it’s one that’s easily avoided with the right prehab.
How regularly do you need to drink when running?
Every 15 minutes or 2 miles, whichever comes first, is a good guide. You want just a gentle sip rather than to down the entire bottle because that will slow you down and give you a stitch.
Many runners also look into isotonics and electrolyte drinks when they start to build up the distance so they can fuel themselves for longer without relying on fatty foods before they set off.
How do you lose weight as you get fitter?
Longer runs will require your body to burn more fuel, which might make you think that your rate of weight loss will go through the roof. The problem with this is that losing weight while you’re actually running only happens when you completely deplete your glycogen levels.
This change is something even elite marathon runners struggle with in the final quarter of the race at times. Why do you need to know this? Because running on an empty stomach is never a good idea.
Fuel yourself healthily before you set off and you’ll get home safe and sound, ready to burn the fat during your recovery period where your muscles don’t need to take you anywhere.
Now you know the key to running for weight loss, turn your attention to your running shoes and get out the front door. The moment you feel yourself gliding along, making progress with each run, you’ll get excited every time it’s time to go for a run. Ideal if you want to take the stress and monotony out of weight loss.
Our team at Barcelona Bootcamp can help you schedule a perfect routine for loosing weight.