Running is a great form of exercise, it has so many benefits and weight loss is just one. Losing weight running is easy BUT you need to learn some tips and tricks to fire up the burn…..
I started running 20 years ago – I was inspired after I watched the London Marathon on T.V. with my Father humming the theme tune over and over again in the background (it is VERY catchy).
I looked at the people nervously waiting to start and couldn’t even begin to imagine running round the block, let alone 26.2 miles.
When you see Elite athletes to do it, it looks so easy. When you lace up your trainers for the first time and set out…..you realise that it isn’t. My first run and I was puffing and panting and red in the face. Grim.
I built up slowly and soon I was running decent distances each week. The problem was I wasn’t getting smaller or lighter, I was getting fatter and heavier?
I mean how is that even possible? I thought back to those elite athletes and how lean and sinewy they were. Sinewy I was NOT.
Now let’s cut to last year – I had been away from running for years and I was DESPERATE to get back to running. I didn’t go out and buy lots of fancy new kit. I dug out my old running trainers and just ran round the block.
I have approached my running completely differently and in the last 4 months of structured training and nutrition I have dropped 5% body fat, 4 kilos and I feel AMAZING.
So I want to share with you the top 5 mistakes I noticed and my new solutions.
Top 5 running mistakes for weight loss
- Problem – Starting off too fast – When you start out running the temptation is to run too fast. It is both a problem of enthusiasm (and I don’t want to knock that out of you) and being self conscious. You need to slow right down and keep your pace slow enough that you could manage to have a light conversation with a friend. If you get out of breath at the beginning of your running training then add walk breaks. I PROMISE you this will make all the difference. Get your body used to running, you can go set Olympic records later but at the beginning you need to slow down to burn more.
- Problem – Eating to compensate – Many runners who rely on carbohydrates as a source of energy are often really hungry after a run and chow down on lots of bread, cake and sugary drinks and snacks. When you learn to run fat-adapted you will be AMAZED just how much body fat you lose. You can use a Keto diet and/or run in a fasted state.
- Problem – Not doing any strength training – More muscle = more body fat burn. Simple. You don’t need to bust your ass every day at the gym for hours. Just add a short 20-30 minute strength session twice a week working on the major muscles. I use You Tube and just pick random ones to try. Often it will be a kettlebell session as I love using ‘the bells’.
- Problem – Not mixing up your running sessions – If you just go out on every run and do the same distance loop every time you are not going to maximise your fat-burning. Your body will get used to it very quickly (think of it as your fat getting bored and switching off!). Join a local running club and enjoy the variety of training that they offer – hill reps, sprint repeats, HIIT sessions, timed miles etc. I was rubbish at doing speed work so I now run my local parkrun every Saturday (it is a timed 5k) and this pushes my pace every time!
- Problem – No cross training – When trainers used to mention cross training to me, I used to stifle a yawn. Now that I do it, I see huge benefit. Add one session a week when you do something else – maybe try something fun? I like Zumba. I get to dance like no-ones watching and it works lots of different muscles and burns fat. Double-win.
I am a very different runner in 2016 – I feel light, I am getting faster (at the same level of intensity) I have more energy and I don’t feel permanently starving. I will post more about this soon with added tips and tricks.
Let me know if you have any questions – if you are out running today then enjoy 🙂