Kick Start Your Weight Loss
Kick start your weight loss with these 3 key running techniques and tips.
Do you run for fat-loss or weight management? If so, you need these 3 sneaky tricks which will stop you hitting any plateaus and keep the results coming!
Whether you started running to lose weight, use running training as a fat-loss tool, or run to keep your weight in check, it’s important to realise that you will hit plateaus along the way. Plateaus simply mean periods of time where you don’t lose weight, or perhaps see some weight creep on. Don’t panic! Here are 3 great – but simple – ways to challenge your body and get things moving again.
Do you do all your runs at the same pace? Have you been running the same route, in the same time, for weeks or months now? It’s time to inject some pace into your training by introducing speedwork. Pace runs, intervals and sprints will benefit your running. And they will also kickstart weight loss and give you an incredible tool for managing your weight without making any drastic changes to your diet. Try adding just one speedwork session to your weekly running training, and after 3-4 weeks take a rest and then add a second.
– pace run: pick up the pace for the middle section of your regular run and run at 5k or 10k pace (depending on the distance)
– fartlek intervals: pick a flat, clear path or section of pavement and perform fast intervals between markers such as lampposts. Intersperse the interval efforts with interval recoveries
– track work: if you have access to a running track, use it! Try running 400m repeats, with at least 400m jogging or walking in between.
Performing hill sprints or hill reps is a sure-fire way to ramp up your metabolism and kick start any flagging weight loss. Add one hill rep session a week to your existing running training, either as an additional session (if you run 2-3 times a week) or replacing a short run (if you run 4+ times per week):
– find a steep, safe hill, ideally traffic free
– warm up on flat ground with 5-10 minutes of running
– power up the hill for 400-800m, lifting your legs and using your arms to drive your speed
– recover by jogging or walking back down
– repeat 6 times, or more if you can!
– cool down well with a slow jog and stretches
Revisit Your Nutrition
If you’ve been running for a while, you may be eating more than you thought. This could be because of extra hunger due to running, or just little habits creeping into daily life. It’s time to stand back and reassess your nutrition, caloric intake, and daily eating habits. It’s so easy to overeat by just a few hundred calories every day, but that’s more than enough to undo the calorie deficit you created by running. Just a few tweaks can start the fat-loss off again.
– Keep a food diary for at least two days a week (ideally one week day and one weekend), preferably for an entire week. Record everything, even little snacks, nibbles and drinks. It all adds up
– Use a spreadsheet or website/app (far easier!) to calculate the caloric intake on those days
– Look at your meal timings, snacking habits and the triggers for eating and drinking.
Do you always get a large, milky coffee with syrup on the way to work? Has your weekly coffee and cake date with friends turned into twice-weekly? Do you stay up late and have one or two little snacks? Has one glass of wine turned into two or three?
– Aim to eat either 500 calories less than your daily needs (if you are overweight), or 20% less (if you are already quite light and small). Your daily needs are your BMR (basal metabolic rate) and your activity levels (your job, your lifestyle and your exercise).