This is a guest post from Running 101 sharing their best running workouts for weight loss.

When you think of running for weight loss, you don’t think of different running workouts… you just think of, well, running.

running feet

Why run for weight loss?

When it comes to weight loss, running is one of the best activities. We’ve all heard the miraculous stories of men and women faced with a health crisis cross-roads, saving their own lives by losing hundreds of pounds by lacing up a pair of running shoes and just running (Forrest Gump style). 

However, if your sole goal of running is weight loss, there are different running workouts you can do to speed up the process. In general, the higher your heart rate the more calories you’ll burn. That’s why HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is so popular – you’ll even burn calories hours after finishing exercise. 

This article will discuss various running workouts to help you lose weight, beginning with the dreaded, but highly-effective, interval training. 

Interval training 

First up, we have interval training. Interval training is not only a great way to get faster and run longer distances without getting tired, but it’s also excellent at burning calories. 

Interval training combines hard, fast efforts with slow jogs, walks or standing rest. The idea is to push the body during the hard portion, increasing your heart rate and lactic acid. Whereas during the rest part, you should focus on recovering to run the next interval at the speed as the last, if not faster.

A basic interval session for weight-loss you can try is as follows:

  • 5-minute warmup jog 
  • 2 mins hard running 
  • 2 mins rest 
  • Repeat x5 
  • 5-minute cooldown jog  

If you struggle to keep track of your intervals, consider investing in a GPS running watch. Depending on the watch, you can program in intervals, with notifications on when to run, rest, or even when you’re behind pace.

Trail running 

Although not technically a “running workout”, trail and/or fell running is great for burning calories. This is because this type of running is generally harder – you’re presented with different obstacles. Not to mention it’s more fun than standard road or treadmill running. 

The increase in elevation will raise your heart rate massively, forcing you to expend more energy and burn more calories. Consider adding a handful of trail runs per training month, the more, the better.

However, before you start, ensure you have a pair of trail running shoes, perhaps waterproof ones if you’re running during the winter months.  

Tempo runs 

Tempo runs are another useful form of training for boosting your lactic threshold and thus becoming a faster runner. However, as tempo runs are higher intensity than other runs, these will also burn more calories.

An example tempo run is as follows:

  • 5-minute warmup jog 
  • 20-minutes @ slightly slower than 5k race pace 
  • 5-minute cooldown jog 

There are also different tempo variations, some of which you may wish to include once you become a stronger runner, or perhaps a little bored of the regular kind. 

If this is you, another effective tempo run is as follows:

  • 5-minute cooldown jog
  • 15-minutes @ slightly slower than 5k pace
  • 5-minute recovery jog/walk
  • 15-minutes @slightly slower than 5k pace
  • 5-minute recovery jog/walk

If you’re struggling to find your “5k pace”, use this race calculator by Macmillan. 

Fartlek training 

The final running workout I have for you is fartlek training. The word “fartlek” means “speed play” in Swedish and is a popular training method for both elite and amateur runners alike. Fartlek training is basically interval training but less structured. Instead of following a set plan, it’s a little more unconventional and a little sporadic… 

For example, the most common method of fartlek training is to run between objects, e.g. running hard until you reach a parked car, and then jogging until you reach a lamppost. You pick these landmarks yourself on the fly, mixing up your run and providing various hard efforts and rest durations throughout.

Fartlek training, if done correctly, increases your heart rate and keeps you on your toes, quite literally. This form of training also burns more calories, and not to mention, is extremely fun. 

To conclude

If you’re running to lose weight, consider mixing up your training and incorporating a variety of workouts such as fartlek runs, interval training, trail running, and tempo runs. At max, include 1-2 hard runs per week, less if you’ve only just started running. This will reduce your risk of injury and ensure you can continue to training.

Good luck with the running, armed to the teeth with an array of new workouts, the pounds will quite literally fall off.

Other running articles you may find helpful

How to prepare for a marathon in 6 months

Running for weight loss

5 reasons to try parkrun this week

Exercise calorie calculator to work out how many calories you burn

Are you working out and gaining weight instead of losing it?

5 top tips for beginner runners so they can succeed

The best high weight capacity treadmills

10 tips when you want to start running

Pinterest pin running for weight loss with trainers stepping on pavement

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