A few effective strategies can take your running workout to the next level by adding intensity and variation. The key to losing weight, in its simplest form, is burning off more calories than you eat. By ramping up the number of calories burned per workout and keeping your diet in check, you can expect to lose weight at a healthy pace.
Running on an incline can significantly increase the number of calories you burn compared to running on a flat surface for the same amount of time. For example, a 30-year-old weighing 175-pounds burns about 394 calories running for 3 miles on a level surface, but the same person burns 492 calories running at a slight incline of just 5 percent. A 10-percent incline boosts the calories burned by an additional 100 calories. Steeper inclines equal tougher workouts. This can help you achieve your weight-loss goal faster than traditional steady-state running on a level surface, assuming you don't eat more to compensate for the extra work.
High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a type of interval training that alternates short bouts of all-out sprinting with comparatively longer intervals of rest or light-to-moderate exercise. The benefits of this running workout include shorter workout duration and possibly more excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. EPOC is the beneficial afterburn effect you get following a high-intensity workout. This means you’ll burn more calories even after the workout is complete. A 20- to 30-minute HIIT workout is all takes to reap these weight-loss benefits. Start with a 4.5-minute moderate jog followed by a 30 second all-out sprint; continue this cycle four to six times to complete the workout.
Long Distance Running
One quick and easy way to speed up your weight-loss initiative is to simply increase the duration of your running workout. You could add 10 minutes, or maybe an extra mile, to your normal running routine and that extra 10 minutes per workout could add up to 100 or more calories burned. These calories can add up before you know it. For example, someone that burns an extra 100 calories per day, five days per week would increase her calories burned by 2,150 calories per month – that’s equivalent to more than 1/2 pound of body fat.
Every person responds to workouts differently. Choose workouts that you’re comfortable doing to help increase the odds you stick with them. Also keep in mind that people burn calories at slightly different rates depending upon metabolism, body weight, age, cardio health and other factors. The key takeaway when trying to speed up your weight loss is to increase the intensity or duration of your running workouts, and you could notice your clothes starting to fit better within as little as four to six weeks.
Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and Huddle.net. He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog, PromoteHealth.info, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.