Running is an excellent way to achieve your weight loss goals. I can personally attest to this statement; I ran off 60 pounds in under one year, and kept it off. Running at a 10 minute pace for 30 minutes burns a total of 318 calories for the average person.
Achieving your running and weight loss goals requires commitment and dedication. If you are seeking to drop a few pounds and take your running to the next level, there are a few things you need to implement into your weekly workouts.
Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”
All of the great achievers in this world have been goal setters. If you want to make real progress in your physical fitness, you will need to set goals.
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.”Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland
Your fitness goals should be just as important as any other goal you set in your life. The form that goals take is up to you.
If you don’t have much of an active history, your goal may be walking for 15 minutes a day. If you’re an experienced runner, maybe it’s to improve your 5k time by 2 minutes.
Whatever your goals are, you need to make sure they are specific and that you write them down. Simply making a ‘mental commitment’ to do better is not good enough. Unless you take the time to really set goals, you can plan on making little progress in your pursuits.
Build Mileage Slowly
If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, such as more than 30 pounds, it is wise to build your mileage slowly. Building quickly will not give your body a chance to adjust to the impact on your joints and feet, which can cause injury.
I recommend building minutes before building miles. Once you have mastered running 30 minutes comfortably, go ahead and add 10 minutes to your next workout. Stay there for a week or even 2, and then add another 10 minutes to your workout.
At the age of 38 Mike suffered a heart attack. He had neglected his body for years, and it was finally catching up with him. It was after that life threatening event that Mike decided he needed to change. He set the goal to work his way up to running a 5k per day – every day. In talking about his progress he stated
“I started slowly. I would start out walking then try to run, but about 50 yards was all I could stand. Then I would resume my walking. This continued for 10 weeks until I could actually run 1 mile straight. I knew that if I gave up It would be that much harder to start over the next time. After 6 months I was seeing great gains and changes. I achieved my first 5 k run in March 2013.”
See his transformation below.
The idea of running for weight loss is not without criticism. There are those who say that it is not an ideal way to lose weight. This is largely because many runners actually gain a little weight during a training program. Muscle gain is the most common cause of weight gain during a training regimen.
Another common culprit is overeating while training. Many runners mistakenly believe that they can eat whatever they want because they will “run it off”. While this is true some of the time, if you are trying to lose weight then your diet should be somewhat conducive to your goals. For more advice on how to achieve your fitness goals, read training advice articles at runnersgoal.com.
Build Up Your Endurance
Running to lose weight begins with effort. It comes down to the faster you run the more calories you will burn. The key to getting a great calorie burn is pushing your anaerobic threshold to run faster for longer periods of time.
The added benefit to this type of workout is that it continues even during your rest periods. When you push your muscles into lactation, the repair effects continue to burn calories after your workout. This is the ideal way to transform your body from fluff to buff while reaching your goals as a runner.
Start A Running Program
If you are new to running, you may not know how to get started. Having a written out plan to follow can help you get started off on the right foot.
Even if you’ve been a runner for a long time, there is still value in having a training plan. This is especially important if you are training to run a new distance.
The biggest benefit to using a running plan is that it keeps you on schedule. It is easy to over exert yourself in the beginning by trying to increase your distance to fast. This increases the likelihood of injury and/or burnout.
With a running plan, you know exactly how much/far you will need to run every day to be prepared for your next distance.
Here is a list of some of the best running programs I have found for various distances and experience levels.
Register For A Race
This is applicable for all levels of runners whether you are just starting out running or wanting to train for your first half marathon.
By registering for a race, you are committing yourself to prepare for it. The idea behind this tactic is this – monetarily investing yourself into an endeavor greatly increases the likelihood that you will follow through.
For example, it is one thing to say you want to go to a popular music concert. It is another to actually go and buy the tickets. You are much more likely to make the concert a priority when you have spent your hard earned cash on tickets.
The principle is the same with running. When you register for the race and mark the day on your calendar, you will make preparing for that race a priority. This will help you stay committed to your new training program.
When Sam was 16 years old, he tipped the scales at 280 pounds. He was out of school, unemployed, and and gaining weight. That all changed one night when he decided to go for a run. He started out slow, running short distances. Some people would laugh at him as he ran. Undeterred, he ran on. After a while, he entered his first half marathon. Once he had conquered the half, he ran 2 full marathons. With those challenges behind him, he set his sights on a new goal. He decided to become the youngest person ever to run 7 marathons in 7 days.
“There’s no way I would have believed this journey when I first stated running a couple of years ago. I’ve gained so much confidence and lost so much weight, all from that single moment when I decided to go out for a run one evening. That moment changed my life forever.“
Get the rest of his story below.
Consistency and Calories
Consistent training will take you further in your weight loss goals than any crash diet or crazy workout plan.
Many runners complain that it is hard to lose weight while they are training. This is largely because they hit a plateau as their bodies adjust to the calorie burn of regular running. They get adjusted to their training programs and calorie intake to compensate for what is burned on their runs.
When you are running to lose weight, your caloric intake should balance with your weight loss and running goals.
Not eating enough can lead to injury, while eating too much can KO your weight loss goals. Finding the perfect balance between your workouts and your diet will help you drop pounds.
Get A Dog
Getting a dog is great way to get you motivated to achieve your weight loss and running goals.
Dogs, for the most part, are naturally active creatures. They love to run, walk, and play. Below is a story about a man who’s life was changed by his decision to adopt a shelter dog to help him take control of his life.
Eric & Peety
In 2010, Eric weighed 340 pounds, had high cholesterol and blood pressure, and had Type II Diabetes. His doctor at one point told him to buy a funeral plot because he would need one in the next 5 years. Eric decided that he needed to take control of his life. That’s when he met Peety. Peety was an obese shelter dog who had been left alone in a backyard. They started out by walking together everyday, and as they did, they both began to change. Walking became jogging. Jogging became running.
“Thanks to Peety, I wake up every day, wanting to be the best person that I can possibly be. He completely transformed me into a different person. When I think about it now, who rescued who? I mean did I rescue him or did he rescue me?”
Together, Eric and Peety lost 140 pounds and 25 pounds respectively. Watch their story below.
Not all dogs are made for running. Many smaller breeds simply don’t the body size necessary to keep up with a running human. If you’re not sure what to get, check out this post about what dog breeds are the best running companions.
If you’re thinking about getting a furry running companion, consider adopting a shelter animal. Look for a shelter in your area.
It’s no secret that too much running can adversely affect your body, particularly your joints. By doing the same exercises everyday, you will never unleash your body’s full potential.
If you really want to take your fitness goals to the next level, you should do some cross training.
Changing the exercises you do will give your running muscles a break and make you a more well rounded athlete. If all you ever did was go to the gym and do bicep curls, you would probably have huge biceps, but the rest of your body would suffer.
Perhaps look into training for a sprint triathlon in your area. Since triathlons include three different events, swimming, cycling, and running, it forces participants to cross train regularly to become proficient at each.
Other cross training activities include weight training, yoga, or really any other physical activity. You can even start participating in other sports like tennis or racquetball on your cross training days to mix things up.
Running is a great way to get fit and take control of your life. If you stick with it, your will be able to achieve your weight loss and running goals.
What has helped you in your running journey? Have any tips that we left out? Let us know down in the comments.