Do you hate running? Are you one of those people who tried running once, really hated it, and have never, ever tried it again?
The new running shoes are gathering dust in the cupboard; the hi-viz running vest is still in its packaging, and the thought of running brings you out in a sweat. Well, we are asking you to give it another go. And here’s why…
Running is one of the best ways to lose weight, and you don’t have to run marathons or sprint up hills, just a little regular movement, at a pace that suits you will help you get fitter, slimmer and lighter.
Follow our guidelines and you’ll see how you can lose a few kilos almost without realizing it. Just this one change to your routine could make huge improvements to your life.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
- To burn fat the most important thing is that your body is put under stress. If you always do the same workout your body will get used to it so change your route, your distance, your speed. Certainly, for the first few runs just build your confidence, but after a few weeks, mix it up.
- When you have built up to three runs a week, add variety to each work out. Do one long run; make your second weekly session a speed session, by doing a series of short, faster runs; and maybe your third run could mix slow and fast running. By mixing the speeds, you will kick start your metabolism into burning calories at a higher rate.
- No matter how much you are enjoying it, do not fall into the trap of running every day. This will lead to exhaustion and injury. Add different activities to your weekly routine, such as cycling, skating or dancing. You will still burn the calories, but you will be using different muscle groups, improving your cardiovascular fitness and burning extra calories without overloading tendons and joints.
What are the benefits of running?
If it is weight loss you are seeking, then running is an excellent way of shifting the kilos. In the first few weeks of your running program you will lose weight quite rapidly, as long as you are controlling the calorie intake.
Later into the program, your weight will stabilise and the loss will be slower as you get nearer your ideal body weight, this is normal and any quicker loss at this stage would be unhealthy. How much you lose is also down to your physiological and psychological make-up. Your starting weight may be at or near your optimum, so weight loss will not be your aim.
If you are stressed then your body may be in ‘fight’ mode, and storing calories as fat due to the stress levels, but running can help counter that. And these are the other benefits to be gained from running. You will feel less stressed, you may find you are sleeping better and you will have a greater level of self-confidence. The adaptations that occur in you are very personal and depend upon many factors.
- As a guide, when you are running at a steady rate (at less than 80 per cent of your maximum effort), you should be able to talk while you run without a stressed, ‘choppy’ voice.
- In the short sprints (45 seconds or less), you will be working at a greater rate than 80% of your maximum heart rate. You will not be able to talk during these sprints
Here are two examples of varied speed sessions:
Session One: Warm up for 10 minutes with a power walk or light jog and then slowly introduce 25 speed changes – running faster for between 15-45 seconds with a jog in between. Finish with a 10 minute cool down, again a light jog or walk. A cool down will help you recover better.
Session Two: After your warm up, run for two minutes at a harder pace, followed by one minute at a gentler pace. Increase this to three minutes of hard running, one minute gentle; four minutes hard, one minute soft; and so on until you are running for seven minutes at a hard pace and one minute slowly. Do a five minute warm down at the end of this session.
Time to choose your running routes!