So you want to lose weight by running? Many people start running because they want to lose weight, and many of those people do lose weight by running. Running for weight loss is extremely popular because it’s one of the simplest forms of cardiovascular exercises available. You don’t need a bunch of fancy running equipment – just a good pair of running shoes and your two feet!
Running can be one of the most intensive workouts available, which is why running to lose weight can be so effective. Running burns a high number of calories – about 100 calories per mile for the average 150 pound woman. Calories burned running will vary depending on how far and how fast you run.
Consistency is the key to success of any workout program, and that goes for running workouts as well. A good running training program would consist of 4-5 days of running each week, along with some strength training and core conditioning workouts on non-running days.
In particular, strength training routines that focus on the quads, glutes and calves will help increase your running strength. Be sure to include at least one upper body workout to keep your body in balance.
The faster you run, the more calories you burn and the quicker you finish your workout. Try to increase running speed every other week.
The best way to increase your overall running speeding is to increase your running speed for a short distance – say 200 meters – then bring it back to a jog for 200 meters, then again increase your speed for 200 meters.
Repeat the pattern above for a total of 10 times – it works well if you have access to a running track – and do that workout 1-2 times per week. After two weeks, try increasing your running speed for 300 meters, following that same pattern above. Continue on with that pattern for a few months, and you will greatly increase your overall running speed.
Using a heart rate monitor while you run lets you know exactly how hard you’re working throughout your entire run. With a heart rate monitor, running becomes less of a guessing game and more of a disciplined science. It becomes almost a game to see how fast you can run while still staying within your target heart rate zone.
The other key to running to lose weight is, of course, proper nutrition. Just because you are burning many more calories when running doesn’t mean you can eat many more calories! Keep your caloric intake at a reasonable level, and make sure that the calories you are consuming are a good mix of protein, fats and carbs.
If you’re new to running, be sure to read through Beginner Running Tips. Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. If you plan on purchasing a new pair of running sneakers, go to the Running Shoes page for tips on how to choose running shoes. And check out the best running clothes for your climate and environment.
Remember, it always good form to check with your doctor before you start any new exercise program. And if you experience running back pain or running knee pain, stop running, ice your back or your knee, and see your doctor.
The benefits of running go far beyond weight loss. Increased cardiovascular health, stronger bones, and a better night’s sleep are all benefits of running. The psychological benefits of running include improved moods, the ability to handle stress better, and increased confidence.
Whatever your reason for beginning a running program is – whether you’re running to burn fat, to increase your cardiovascular fitness, to improve your health, or if you simply want to lose weight by running – keep a consistent running schedule and you’ll start to see results and lose weight by running after a few weeks. Odds are, you’ll soon be hooked!