By Divyanshu Thakur
Learning to love running, one of the simplest, most effective workouts of all time, takes patience and perseverance. Today we give you one of our best (and most doable!) workouts to begin running for weight loss.
We’ve all experienced that first attempt at a run.
Whether it was our first ever, or our first after 4 years off…it sucked.
So, why is that?
Unlike many other workouts, running challenges your aerobic abilities within seconds.
Learning to get past this initial panic takes focus on your form, your breathing and overall commitment to sticking with it.
And as many of us now know, once you get past this first point of struggle, the doors open and running becomes one big opportunity for joy, growth and peace.
Running for weight loss is a little more complicated than hitting the pavement and hoping the pounds melt away. There’s a strategy involved, and we can help. Here’s everything you should know about running for weight loss:
- Pay attention to your diet.
There are a billion benefits of running—including weight loss—but running isn’t a reason to ignore your diet, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. In fact, you could find yourself gaining weight if you over fuel your runs.
“Most people overestimate the calories they burn on a run,” says Angela Rubin, USAT Level I triathlon coach and studio manager of Precision Running Lab at Equinox in Boston. As a very general estimation, you burn about 100 calories per mile. So if you run two or three miles, you’ll burn about 200 to 300 calories—a solid workout.
Problem is, lots of people add a 400 calorie brownie or extra slice of pizza to their diet because they “earned it.” While we’re all for treating yourself, the reality is that you need to create an overall calorie deficit if you want to lose weight.
- Don’t forget to strength train.
Cross-training is important for a few reasons: First off, it makes you a stronger runner and reduces your risk of injury. “Running is only hard on your joints if you don’t have the muscle to support them,” Rubin says. Secondly, lifting will help you lose weight. “The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn at rest,” she says. That’s right, more muscle means more burned calories when you’re just sitting around.
- VARIETY IS KEY
If you want to lose weight, you need to avoid doing the same workouts every day. Sandra Gallagher-Mohler, CEO and run coach at iRunTons, explains that exclusively doing steady-state cardio won’t build the necessary muscle mass to fire up your metabolism. “A mix of very easy runs some days, faster tempo runs other days and intervals on days in between is the way to build muscle and burn calories,” she says.