Trying to drop a few pounds, but your sweat sessions aren’t paying off? Mix it up with our 8-week program, guaranteed to deliver results.
Pounding the pavement and putting in the miles but not achieving the runner physique you pictured? This is very common. Many people start running as a way to lose weight, only to realize it isn’t working as well as they had hoped. Check out the crowd at the finish line of any endurance event, and you’ll see all different shapes and sizes. Why is this?
1. Our bodies constantly adapt to the demands we place on them in order to become more efficient. New runners often lose a few pounds, and then their weight loss plateaus. Run a mile today and burn 100 calories; run the same mile in a few months and only burn 80 calories. You feel like you’re putting in the same effort—but stepping on the scale can be disappointing.
2. You could be running off your muscle, which will decrease your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. Because running is more of an endurance sport than a strengthening exercise, you will start to burn off muscle if you don’t work to preserve it.
3. Increased appetite—running can make you hungrier. You may not realize it, but you’ll probably end up filling the calorie gap that you burned through during your run by eating more. Combat this by fueling up around your run: Have a healthy snack before and after so you don’t end up starving or overindulging later.
Run to Lose Program
This training program combats common obstacles by mixing up your routine so your body doesn’t acclimate to the activity. It also incorporates strength training to keep your metabolism burning. You’ll push your intensity during a sprint workout once a week, increase lean body mass by strength training twice a week and complete a timed run with the goal being to increase the distance you run each week in the same amount of time.
Sprint Session: Perform 10 minutes of easy jogging to warm up, followed by five to 10 rounds of 30-second sprint intervals with 90 seconds of jogging to recover in between. These sprints can be done as hill sprints or on a treadmill, but give an all-out effort for the work period.
Timed Run: (Weeks 1 through 4) Set the clock for 45 minutes and run as far as you can. Each week push yourself to go farther in the same amount of time by increasing your intensity. (Weeks 5 through 8) You’ll set the clock to 60 minutes instead and try to cover as much ground as you can in one hour.
Strength Program + Short Run: Perform a circuit of body-weight strength exercises to build and maintain your muscle. The workout below is one set when performed all the way through.
- Body-Weight Squat (12 reps)
- Body-Weight Pushup (12 reps)
- Body-Weight Reverse Lunge (12 reps each leg)
- Plank With Alternate Arm Lift (5 reps each arm)