Personal Trainer in Dubai | Your Questions Answered

Running For Weight Loss | How To Start

Are you looking for a plan to start running for weight loss? In this blog, I’ll teach you how to start for the best results!

If you’re looking to start losing weight, running is one of the activities with the lowest barrier of entry. You literally just need to go outside and start running for as long as you can.

Right?

True! But there are ways to go about starting running for weight loss that will make you much more likely to enjoy the process and avoid injuries. It’s about getting into a routine where you push yourself to increase time and distance, but without pushing so hard that you get injured.

Can You Lose Weight By Running?

First of all: You can’t lose weight only by running. You will need to look at your nutrition and make sure you’re in a caloric deficit. Running for 30 minutes burns about 300 calories (for an average woman) so if you want to lose weight by running, you have to make sure you’re not eating more calories than you burn through your other daily activities.

Even with running for 30 minutes every day, you only burn around 2100 calories per week. To lose a kilo of body fat you need to burn roughly 7700 calories. Relying solely on running to lose weight will require you to run a lot. Another problem is, that running every day – especially if you’re an overweight a beginner – is likely to lead to injuries.

To achieve a safe and effective weight loss through running, I recommend eating about 500 calories below your maintenance level and adding in a run 3 times per week. Start slowly and increase your distance and intensity over time to avoid injuries while still enjoying the process.

If you want to exercise more than 3 days per week, I recommend doing resistance training and mobility training (or walking, biking or swimming) on your days off from running. To help you out, I’ve made a 10-minute strength program you can do at home. No equipment needed. You find that program below the running program.

Just make sure you have at least 1 full rest day from training every week to let your body recover.

4 Week Beginners Running For Weight Loss Program

Week 1:

Day 1:
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes
– 30 sec. run and 30 sec. walk x 10
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Day 2:

– Walk briskly for 10 minutes
– 30 sec. run and 30 sec. walk x 10
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Day 3:

– Walk briskly for 10 minutes
– 30 sec. run and 30 sec. walk x 10
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Week 2:

Day 1:
– Walk briskly for 8 minutes
– 30 sec. run and 30 sec. walk x 12
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Day 2:

– Walk briskly for 8 minutes
– 30 sec. run and 30 sec. walk x 12
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Day 3:

– Walk briskly for 8 minutes
– 30 sec. run and 30 sec. walk x 12
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Week 3:

Day 1:
– Walk briskly for 5 minutes
– 60 sec. run and 30 sec. walk x 7
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Day 2:

– Walk briskly for 5 minutes
– 60 sec. run and 30 sec. walk x 7
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Day 3:

– Walk briskly for 5 minutes
– 60 sec. run and 30 sec. walk x 7
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Week 4:

Day 1:
– Walk briskly for 5 minutes
– 45 sec. run and 45 sec. walk x 10
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Day 2:

– Walk briskly for 5 minutes
– 45 sec. run and 45 sec. walk x 10
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Day 3:

– Walk briskly for 5 minutes
– 45 sec. run and 45 sec. walk x 10
– Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

Important note: Don’t be tempted to run for longer intervals than prescribed in the running for weight loss program. You want to slowly add on more running so your muscles, bones and especially tendons can adapt. This program slowly increases the weekly amount of running and finishes with a small deload on the 4th week, giving your body a chance to recover fully. This is essential to avoid injuries when starting out!

What Should I Do After The 4 Weeks?

After you’ve done those initial 4 weeks (or you can start here, if you’re a little more experienced) I can recommend trying the C25K Running Plan.
The reason I recommend doing my program first if you’re a complete beginner is:

  1. The C25K program is a bit too fast in its progression if you’re a complete beginner.
  2. In my program you’re going to be running for time instead of distance, making sure you can finish the program no matter your initial fitness level.

10 Minute Strength Program For Running (No Equipment Needed)

3×15 Bodyweight Squats
3×20 Side lunges (alternating sides)
3×10 One-leg Glute Bridges
3×15 One-leg Heel Raises (each leg)
3×30 sec. Plank (or as long as possible)
3×20 Heel Drop w. Bent Knees (alternating sides)
3×40 sec. Kneeling Hip Stretch (both sides)

Complete this strength program 2-3 times per week in addition to following your running for weight loss plan 3 times per week. It will help you build the strength required to run faster and longer while avoiding injuries.

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