THE BLOG
08/21/2010 09:00 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Lose Weight Running

Reducing your caloric intake will help you lose weight. However, if you want to lose a lot of weight, running will help you achieve your ideal weight faster. According to Amby Burfoot of Runner's World magazine, running burns 50 percent more calories per mile than walking.

A 145-pound person can easily burn 300 calories during a 30-minute run. You can figure out how many calories you burn running by using an online calorie calculator. To maximize weight loss, run regularly and incorporate various types of training to build up your speed, endurance and mileage.

Step 1

If you've never run, first consult a physician, who can help determine whether you are fit enough to start running regularly. Once you have clearance to start running, buy some running shoes at a specialty running store. Ask a salesperson at the store to determine what type of running shoe is correct for your foot type: cushion, stability or motion control. An experienced salesperson can determine your foot type by wetting your feet and placing your footprint on a piece of paper. Also invest in some technical running clothes with moisture-wicking fabric designed to absorb sweat away from the body. This will help to keep you comfortable and cool.

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Step 2

Choose a running program that is tailored to your current fitness level and ability. Running programs available online range from beginners to intermediate to advanced. If you are a beginner, start with a walking program or a walk-and-run program that alternates between periods of walking and running. An example workout might include walking for 10 minutes and then alternating one minute of running with one minute of walking. Finish with 10 minutes of walking to cool down.

Step 3

Run regularly throughout the week, at least four to five times, for best results. The more you run, the more you burn calories and boost your metabolism. Studies suggest that a 40-minute run will keep you burning calories at a higher rate for no less than 19 hours after you have stopped running.

LIVESTRONG.COM: Quick Ways to Lose a Lot of Weight


Step 4

Alternate your program between easy runs, intense sessions that work on building speed, and long, slow distance runs that build endurance and mileage. Studies from the University of Texas and Laval University in Quebec show that intense runs help you burn more fat than running at the same pace over a longer period of time. Optimal speed of your intense runs should range between tempo speed and interval pace. Do these high-intensity runs only one or two times a week. Take a recovery day after an intense run or a long, slow run. Alternate run days with cross training such as swimming and cycling.

Step 5

Combine your running program with eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet. Choose whole grain carbohydrate sources, lean protein and unsaturated fats. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates helps to maintain your energy levels while running and restore depleted glycogen levels after you've finished.

LIVESTRONG.COM: Treadmill Running for Weight Loss

Tips and Warnings

  • Bring a carbohydrate sports drink with you on runs longer than one hour. Eat a meal that contains complex carbohydrates and protein two hours after a run.
  • Drink plenty of water or sports drink before, during and after a run so that you stay hydrated. Increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10 percent a week to avoid injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Running shoes
  • Running shirt
  • Running shorts
  • Sports watch
  • Calorie calculator

References

* Runner's World: How Many Calories Are You Really Burning?
* ShapeFit: Cardio Exercises to Burn Major Calories
* Changing Shape: Calories Burned Calculator
* Best Running Tips: Running for Weight Loss
* How to Lose Weight with Running

About this Author

Tess Zevenbergen

Based in Vancouver, B.C., Tess Zevenbergen has been writing professionally since 2000. Her work has appeared in "Working Mother" and her hometown newspaper the "Richmond Review." She currently works in public relations and writes a monthly health and fitness column for her company's employee newsletter. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from Simon Fraser University

Lose Weight Running
. Courtesy of LIVESTRONG.COM

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