In this post, I’m going to answer these questions:
-why am I not losing weight from running?
-how can I lose weight from running?
DISCLAIMER: First of all, I have to say it LOUD and CLEAR: I do not like talking about weight loss and running.
I feel like it can cause a lot of negativity in runners and that is NOT something I want to do. Running is a sport where eating disorders are unfortunately present within it. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know that I always promote healthy body image and a strong body.
But. That being said…I have a lot of newer runners who ask me about running and weight loss, so I thought I would do a post on it. You would think the two of these things go hand in hand, but they don’t. I feel like I hear/read about two kinds of runners:
-Runners who are trying to PR in a certain running event
-those who are trying to lose weight from running
I have been each of these types of runners at different times. I’ve been both at the same time.. Sometimes, they can intersect: you can have a runner who desperately wants to PR along with cut weight before a “big race”, and it is a well known fact that losing some weight can make you go faster. (That isn’t the only key though and it’s important to me to tell you right now that I eat three meals a day along with one million snacks.)
I would be lying if I said that I don’t get caught up in the “weight loss” side of running. I do. But I have learned, over time, not to let it control me. I can usually tell how much I weigh just by “feel” and weighing myself isn’t something I do on the regular. I feel like if I am weighing myself all the time-then that is all that I will think about and will cloud my mind.
When I first became a runner, it was because I wanted to lose weight. I know from talking to a lot of other runners that that is the reason they also started running. New runners usually DO see a drop in weight: Why wouldn’t you? You’re doing a completely new-to-you activity for your body, and mixing it up! Eventually, your body gets used to the new activity and begins to recognize it, therefore burning LESS calories as when you started out.
I run upwards of 60 miles a week, and I can assume that most people think I eat “anything i want”, and while that IS true to an extent, I have to tell you that the majority of my meals are healthy. I do of course, have some fats in my diet, but they are the good kind. I don’t ever “skip out” on a meal, on purpose either to try to help me “lose” weight. As a serious athlete-I have to have a healthy relationship with what goes into my body. Not enough food will mean low blood sugar and I won’t run well. But, Too much food- I will become a couch potato, and again, won’t run well. Food is a balance. Maintaining a certain weight is a balance for me, too.
Over time, I’ve realized why I can have the occasional “indulgent weekend” and cut weight quickly the next week. The key is to mix up your workouts-even with running-to help you lose weight. Think about what a typical training plan looks like: You have a variation of different types of runs, right? Variety is not only the spice of life, it’s the key to helping you lose weight. When you mix up your training, you get the benefits of new to you workouts which will make you burn more calories.
These are my favorite tips:
Sprints/faster running: Once or twice a week, I try to do a “faster run” that normal. This might be a tempo run, or it be sprints the gym/treadmill. Think of being on a treadmill: If you ONLY run at 5.0 all the time, your body get used to that. Once a week, kick it up a notch. On the treadmill? Do intervals-5 minutes faster/2 minutes recovery, repeat for 40 minutes. Outside? Run as FAST as you can down your Or do sprints. Sprints kill me. The day after “sprint day”, I often feel like I got hit by a bus. I notice a change in my muscles/abs from the different exercise and I know that I am burning fat from the faster runs. SO do some faster running once a week!
Hills: I know. Not a lot of people love the hills. But I don’t live in a nice flat area…I run hills daily because often it’s the quickest way home, so I have no choice but to climb on up one. Hill repeats are a great way to burn a lot of calories. Find a challenging hill, and run up it at your 5k pace. Jog down for recovery. Repeats 5 times. Build on those 5 times next week. Boom. Stronger legs, and you’re burning more fat. And your butt looks good! 😉
Strength Training-I regularly mix strength into my running weeks. I try to do at least 30-40 minutes of various all over body conditioning a week, and I plank every single day. I’m not perfect-sometimes I slack…on those “down weeks” I don’t feel as awesome-I love the way weights make me “hurt so good.” It’s a different feeling that being sore from running. And the added strength makes me a better runner. Some of my favorite workout channels are on YouTube: PopFitSugar, Fitness Blend, and Beach Body to name a few.
Its not about the scale: I always remind myself that it isn’t about how much you weigh, its how you FEEL that really matters, am I right? I have STRONG legs because I do all of the above stuff on a weekly basis. I may be “slim” but I am STRONG. And that is the MOST important thing!!!
Happy Friday everybody!
Got any tips for us all?
Bloggers: Ever blog about a topic that you weren’t crazy about?