ADAPT RUNNING TRAINING TO ACHIEVE WEIGH LOSS Runtastic.com, asks, “How Often Should You Exercise per Week To Lose Weight?” The article's author, guest blogger Sven Friedrich, admits one of the most difficult aspects of being a personal trainer is to design a custom plan for each client; there’s no single correct answer to this question for everyone.
“The right number of sessions per week differs from individual to individual and largely depends on many factors relating to your body and your training”, he indicates. Fitness buffs already spending regular time working out will train more frequently than beginners. Some clients require more sessions running, cycling, swimming, or rowing indoors to improve cardio-respiratory capacity. All will benefit from strength-training workouts to build muscle, at least 3 per week he recommends, which burn more calories during exercise. His article contains GENERAL PRINCIPLES as well as hidden pearls of wisdom, which should prove helpful in devising a personal plan.
EARNED RUNS ADVICE: ADAPT your 8-12 week running training plan to a weight loss exercise plan. If you are currently training for a race you already have the foundation of a weight-loss exercise program. Most running plans schedule cardio-respiratory work as 3-4 RUN days/week that slowly build mileage and endurance or work to improve speed. For weight loss, additional calorie-consuming “cardio” activity might come from taking advantage of 1-2 optional CROSS-TRAINING sessions.
STRENGTH training is mostly scheduled on only 1-2 two days/week in race plans. On easy run days, when run duration is 30-40 minutes, an extra bodyweight strength training workout can be added to boost weight loss. All plans will have 1-2 full REST days/week. An additional body weight strength session, (or FREE WEIGHT session, as suggested in the article), can be added to that day.
Most running plans don’t put much emphasis on the specifics of strength training routines, in particular for muscle building. However, Friedrich says this is an important part of a weight loss exercise regimen. “MIX UP the intensity, duration and volume of your workouts by changing the distance, number of sets and repetitions. Vary the frequency of exercises, and work intervals into your cardio sessions”.
See (below) how you might convert each week of a running training plan to one that burns more calories without pounding out more miles on your legs/adding lower body stress. If you wish to lose weight, train SAFELY, and avoid injury, the key is keep expectations of fast weight loss in check and accept that the pounds will need to come off gradually. If you find your running is suffering from the added energy expenditure, back off the added sessions to head off injury.
WEEKLY RUNNING TRAINING PLAN ADAPTATION TO ACHIEVE WEIGHT LOSS
-RUNNING/ON LEGS (3-4 days):
1 Long run day; same easy pace entire distance (cardio)
1 Tempo run day; parts of the run are run faster than others (cardio, speed)
1 Interval run day; alternating fast running with recovery intervals, like TRACK days$
Option: 1 Easy run or cross train day
Weight loss option: on easy run/cross train day ADD upper bodyweight training$
NOT RUNNING/NOT ON LEGS (3 days)
1 Bodyweight strength-training day$
Weight loss option: make this a FREE WEIGHT strength-training day
2 Rest days
Weight loss option: on 1 rest day ADD upper bodyweight strength training$
DO THE MATH: If all the $ sign days are added, the option plan has 4 workouts that will increase calorie burn (intervals) or build muscle mass (strength training).
NEVER SKIP A REST DAY: Friedrich makes this very important point!
Nutrition and sleep are the two remaining “pllars”, Friedrich says, that form the basis of a sound weight loss plan.
Good luck, you’ve got this!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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