Free to use running plans for weight loss are quite useful for runners. These plans can be followed by anyone and help in shedding pounds of fat very easily. Are you ready to get fit? Do you have the athletic ability and stamina to run back to back marathons at a moment’s notice? I know I don’t. But I still run, albeit not very well. Are the people that are born good runners the only ones who can work out? Is there any hope for the rest of us? There is definitely hope! With free running plans for weight loss, you can jog at your own pace, anywhere there is a patch of unoccupied sidewalk.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE RUNNING WORKOUTS FOR LOSING WEIGHT
Follow those 3 running workouts to help increase your calorie deficit and continue burning fat long after the workout is done!
Slow runs at a comfortable pace are good for boosting your metabolism, but they are not very effective at blasting fat. Intense workouts that produce a high training stimulus are better at burning calories. Plus, your muscles require a lot of energy post-workout for the recovery process. Through this “afterburn effect” your body continues to burn calories after your workout.
In today’s blog post, we will show you three effective running workouts to optimize your weight loss:
1. AEROBIC INTERVALS
In this type of interval training, the ratio between work and recovery is 1 to 2. The intense phase should last a maximum of 30 seconds. The work phase consists of a submaximal sprint and the recovery phase, a slow walk.
HOW TO DO IT:
The work phase lasts 20 seconds. You should run at a submaximal sprint (about 85-90% of your maximum sprint). Fast, but not full gas. This is followed by a recovery phase consisting of 40 seconds of slow walking. Repeat this cycle for 20 minutes, or in other words, a total of 20 intervals. It is important that you hold back a little during the first intervals. You will know that you have chosen the right pace when you can run the last sprint as fast as the first one.
2. INTERVALS AT YOUR 5K RACE PACE
In these intervals, the work and recovery periods are equal. You should run at the average pace of your 5k personal best. If you don’t know this, you can adjust the intensity according to your heart rate. Calculate the maximum heart rate for your age group (220 minus your age) and take 90-95% of that value.
Note: Running intervals based on your maximum heart rate is not very precise. At the beginning of the work phase, your heart rate will continue to climb and won’t level off until 1 ½ – 2 minutes into your run. Or in other words, it will take 1 ½ – 2 minutes for you to reach your calculated heart rate. That is also why it is better to run your intervals based on your race pace.
HOW TO DO IT:
The work phase lasts 4 minutes. You should run at the average pace of your 5k personal best. This is followed by a recovery phase consisting of 4 minutes of slow jogging. Repeat the cycle 4 times, or in other words, run for a total of 32 minutes, 16 minutes of it at a fast pace.
3. CONTINUOUS RUN AT YOUR 10K RACE PACE
In contrast to the intervals, you run at a constant pace throughout this training exercise. You should run at the average pace of your 10k personal best. If you don’t know your 10k personal best, you can adjust the intensity according to your heart rate. Calculate the maximum heart rate for your age group (220 minus your age) and take 85-90% of that value.
HOW TO DO IT:
The work phase lasts 40 minutes. You should run at the average pace of your 10k personal best.
Note: Make sure to give your body plenty of recovery time. Wait at least 48 hours before doing your next intense training session.
Don’t forget to warm up well before your running workouts by running at a moderate pace for 10-15 minutes. Follow this with 2-3 short accelerations (gradually increase your pace over a short distance of about 100 m until you almost reach a maximum sprint) to get your muscles ready for the intense workout coming up. After your workout, jog at a slow pace for at least 10 minutes to cool down.
Running for Weight Loss: 8-Week Training Plan!
What’s the best way to run for weight loss? Answering this question is trickier than you might think. The number of calories you burn through running is determined by how many miles you run. So it would stand to reason that the most effective way to slim down through running is to run a lot. However, when you run a lot your body also wants to eat a lot in order to avoid chronic fatigue or injury. . . and eating a lot is not conducive to weight loss.
In fact, while running may be a great weight-loss activity, it’s not the best overall method. Research has proven the most effective tool for shedding pounds is calorie restriction— that is, eating less. When you’re trying to lose weight you should aim to consume 300 to 500 fewer calories per day than your body uses. If you do this, you will lose weight steadily at a moderate rate—but you will also lack the energy to maintain a heavy running schedule.
The solution is to combine your calorie deficit with a training program designed to keep your metabolic fire burning. Such a program includes three different kinds of workouts. . .
#1 Fat-Burning Runs
Your body burns fat best when you run at a speed that corresponds to approximately 65 percent of your maximum heart rate. If you’re going by feel, this translates to a five out of 10 on the effort-level scale (10 being an all-out effort). The longer these runs last, the higher the rate of fat burning climbs, so push the duration instead of the pace in these workouts. Avoid taking sports drinks or energy gels during fat-burning runs because their carbohydrate content reduces the muscles’ reliance on body fat for fuel.
#2 Sprint Intervals
Fast running is an excellent tool for weight loss. Not only do you torch the most calories when you sprint, but your body also burns more fat for a longer period of time afterward. Uphill sprinting gets your heart rate soaring, and it’s easier on your joints and muscles than sprinting on flat ground. Our eight-week running for weight loss features sprint interval workouts that call for repeated 30-second uphill runs. These should be hard efforts, but not so hard that you find yourself slowing down before you complete the final interval.
#3 Strength Training
While running melts away excess body fat, strength training burns additional calories and preserves muscle mass. This is important, because when you’re eating 300 to 500 fewer calories than your body uses daily, you are likely to lose muscle along with fat. However, if you supplement your running with a couple of full-body strength workouts each week, all of your weight loss will in fact be fat loss. Strength training may be performed at a gym or in your living room. Focus on bodyweight as well as weight-lifting exercises, such as lunges, squats, deadlifts, pushups, shoulder presses and planks.
This eight-week training plan incorporates the three key workout types and adds an optional once-weekly easy run or cross-training session for those who are seeking faster results. The schedule is progressive, which means that the training load increases from week to week. The exceptions are weeks four and seven, when the training load is cut back to promote recovery.
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fi ts-all plan, so feel free to adjust this one as necessary. If the runs you see here are longer than those you’re used to performing, dial the distance back a bit. On the other hand, if your runs are already longer than 45 minutes (the longest run in week one), then add a little time to some or all of the runs on the schedule.
How many pounds can you expect to lose on this plan? That depends on many individual factors, including your diet and how close you are now to your optimal weight. But we can guarantee, you’ll be in better shape after week eight than you were before week one. Good luck and have fun!
FAT-BURNING RUN: Run for the time indicated at a pace that is 65 percent of your maximum heart rate (if using a monitor) or a fi ve out of 10 on the perceived effort scale, i.e., a comfortable pace.
STRENGTH TRAINING: Perform strength-training exercises, including squats, lunges, pushups, deadlifts, planks and overhead presses for the time indicated.
SPRINT INTERVALS: Perform all intervals on a steep hill or a treadmill set to a 6- to 8-percent incline. Run 10 minutes at an easy pace to warm up. Sprint up the hill for 30 seconds at a very challenging effot. Recover by jogging down the hill (or on a 0-percent incline for two minutes). Complete as many sprints as indicated. Finish the workout with another 10 minutes of easy running.
EASY RUN: Run at an easy pace for 20 to 45 minutes.
REST: Take the day off from exercise. Walk or perform a gentle workout like yoga if you wish.
Can you lose weight just by running?
Yes. In fact, running will give you the best bang for your weight loss buck. “If you have just 30 minutes to exercise—and with work and family commitments, that’s all a lot of people can fit in—running gives you the highest rate of calorie burn you can get in that time,” says Mackey, who points out that you don’t have to spend any of your precious workout minutes driving to a pool or tennis court. And the numbers don’t lie: According to the American Council on Exercise, running burns the most calories of any type of exercise. A 140-pound person, for example, will burn 13.2 calories per minute running; compare that with 9 calories per minute swimming 6.9 playing tennis, and 6.4 biking (use this tool to calculate how much you can burn per exercise session).
Can you lose belly fat by running?
You can’t target a specific area of the body when losing weight—but running will help you shed belly fat among other areas. “Because you’re essentially doing single leg plyometrics when you run, your core strength goes up, your hamstrings, glutes, and calves get strong, and you work your arms to counterbalance,” Mackey says. It’s a whole body workout!
How should I start running to lose weight?
Mackey points out that running is a particularly easy way to kick off your weight loss plan because it’s accessible to anyone at any time. You don’t need to join a gym, hire a trainer, or invest in equipment or videos. The only thing you need to get started is a pair of running shoes. (He recommends going to a store that specializes in running, where they will do a gait analysis and let you try on different brands and styles. “Your feet are the first contact with the ground, and if that is off because of your shoe, it can cause problems,” Mackey says.)
Can I start by jogging to lose weight instead of running at first?
Absolutely! A large recent study showed that for people who have a genetic disposition toward obesity, regular jogging was the most effective exercise for controlling BMI, percentage of body fat, and waist circumference.
Is running healthy for reasons other than weight loss?
You betcha. Running and jogging have been found to reduce risk of depression and cancer; one study of more than 55,000 adults from age 18 to 100 (!) showed that runners at all levels of speed and expertise had a greatly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and added roughly three years to their life expectancy.
To get started—and to keep the weight loss going—follow these tips:
Start slowly, then ramp it up.
If you try to go all out on your first day of running after months, years, or even a lifetime of couch-sitting, you not only risk getting injured, you’ll probably be so nauseous and miserable you’ll want to throw those new sneaks in a burning pile of trash. Instead, start slow and easy, knowing that every day you will do a little better. Here’s what Mackey suggests:
Week 1-2: Start by running or jogging for 1 minute; then walking for 1 minute. Alternate 8 times for a total of 16 minutes. Increase reps as you feel more comfortable, trying to fit in at least 3 runs per week.
Week 3: Bump up your running time to 2 minutes, alternating with 1 to 2 minutes of walking for a total of 30 minutes.
Week 4: Try 3 minutes running or jogging, followed by 1 minute walking.
Continue to extend your running time, adding in 1-minute walking breaks as needed, says Mackey. “Humans are actually really good at running, so in about a month you can start setting goals for time or distance, like running for 25 minutes or for 2 miles.”
Don’t use running as an excuse to eat sugary foods.
Remember that running is only half the equation when it comes to weight loss. You need to pay attention to the calories that are going in, as well—and studies have shown that when people exercise, they tend to overcompensate by consuming more food, especially sweets. “It’s very common when people start a new exercise regimen that they think they can have the extra dessert or reward themselves with a glass of wine,” says Olivia Brant, R.D., a registered dietitian in Washington, D.C., who is certified in sports nutrition. The truth is, unless you are in serious training, running more than 45 minutes a day, you probably don’t need to add more energy to your diet (and you certainly don’t need to “carbo-load” unless you’re running long distances).
If you need a little burst of energy before your run, Brant suggests fueling up with a snack higher in simple carbohydrates and lower in protein, fat, and fiber, which take longer to digest. “A small piece of fruit, a slice of toast, or a handful of pretzels or whole-wheat crackers are good options,” she says. (For a grab-and-go bite, Clif Bar BLOKS are a low-cal, chewy snack that provides carbs and electrolytes). If you like to run in the morning, before breakfast, Brant advises sticking with a protein-packed breakfast when you finish. “You can replenish with oatmeal topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and some slivered almonds or flaxseed, or avocado toast with an egg on top.”