Want to know something really interesting? When I’m meeting with a potential client or I get emails from readers that are looking to lose weight, they will often say “but I don’t want to run for weight loss. I hate running.”
Although you don’t HAVE to run on your weight loss journey, it can be used as a great tool to get some good cardio in to burn a good amount of calories!
Here’s a fun fact for you, not all running is equal.
There are different types of runs such as tempo, interval, and fartlek (yep, totally a word).
To which you’re probably saying, who cares? How do I need to run to lose some weight??
I’m totally getting to that, so just hang with me.
The reason that the different runs are important is because different runs burn different amounts of calories based on whether your heart is in aerobic or anaerobic state.
Anaerobic state would be more for sprints (intervals) while aerobic is the steady state run (tempo).
The anaerobic basically means lack of oxygen. The easiest way to remember that is when you’re running intervals, you aren’t going to be able to breathe. Okay, you’ll be able to breathe, just not very well.
Hence, lack of oxygyen. Okay, enough science for today.
Why does this matter? Because for fat loss, you’re going to be wanting to run more interval style runs.
Let’s dive into this, shall we?
Run for Weight Loss- Why Intervals?
With intervals, you are able to push yourself past what you would normally be able to do in an aerobic state.
If you’re running distance, you know that you’re going to have to pace yourself. But if you know that you’re going to get a break at the end of this 200 meters, then you’re going to be able to push yourself a bit further.
Translation – higher heart rate, higher calorie burn, and more of it.
An example would be- run for 30 seconds as hard as you can. Rest for 30. Repeat.
Run for 60 and then rest for 30.
Run 200 meters then rest. Then run 200M again then rest.
You’re running for a set time and resting for a set time. This allows your body to recover and for you to be able to have a more intense workout.
Run for Weight Loss- Intervals Twice a Week
I am a HUGE advocate for lifting and weight training for weight loss. In fact, that is the majority of what I put in my client’s weight loss programs.
However, cardio is a piece of the puzzle that can’t be ignored.
Running intervals just twice a week can increase your rate of weight loss. Have you gotten to the point in your weight loss journey where your clothes are fitting better, but the scale isn’t moving?
It’s because you’re losing inches and fat while building muscle. This is why I personally hate the scale.
The point here is that intervals can increase your fat loss which is what you’re going for ultimately in this weight loss journey.
Run for Weight Loss – Less is more
See how I said that intervals should only be done twice per week? This is because you are expelling so much energy that any more than twice per week [in my opinion and experience] will have the same equivalent rate of fat loss as running tempo distance runs.
This is why you will want to incorporate weight training into your routine for the ultimate weight loss program.
Just like less is more in regards to number of days, the same applies to amount of time spent per session on intervals.
Depending on your endurance, the max you should be running intervals for fat loss is 30 minutes and this includes your rest time.
Example- you’re doing a 200M sprint with a 3 minute rest. Your time is up at 30 minutes or when your body tells you that you’re done.
How do you know when you’re done? When you feel like you cannot run another 200M effectively or you reach that max time of 30 minutes.
Do not make yourself ill.
That is not what this is about. That is why there is a 3 minute rest, mama. Your sprint should be solid. Fully regain your breath and get your heart rate down, then go again.
As your endurance and lunge capacity increases, your rest times will be able to be shorter.
There ya have it, running for weight loss.
While we know that ultimately being in a calorie deficit is what is rule #1 for weight loss, there are workouts and routines that can expedite the re-shaping of your body
Are there other weight loss programs to lose weight?
Sure, I customize them all the time for my clients. But for the gen pop mama who’s looking to lose weight? Mix up your running and your weight training and you’ll be well on your way to success.
Because, let’s face it. You don’t have time to workout for an hour 5 days a week.
You just don’t! So, run intervals twice per week with a max workout time of 30 minutes, then do 30 minutes of weight training 2-3 days per week. I recommend 3 days, but you know what? If you miss that third day every now and then, so what?
This is a lifestyle and some weeks you’ll workout 5 days, and other weeks you’ll workout 2. It’s called “Life happens”.
Small choices, everyday, lead up to big results. Hang in there mama. You’ve got this.