I love running. The time I spend outside with my feet hitting the pavement is the highlight of my day. And if you are a runner like me, then you definitely know what I’m talking about.
My love story with running started when I made the decision to lose weight and get into a better shape roughly 8 years ago.
In fact, most people start running main reason: Losing weight and/or keeping it off for good. The other benefits, like improved endurance, cardiovascular health, good aesthetics, and other gains, are mainly bonuses.
The Two Keys To Weight Loss Running
Get this: To lose weight effectively with running, you need to
- follow a sound and healthy diet (not the subject of this post) and
- follow a running routine that’s specifically tailored to help you burn the maximum amount of calories in the shortest time possible (the subject of this post).
Therefore, if you are looking to burn off some serious calories on your next run, here are the 6 run workouts you should be doing.
The Best Fat-Burning Running Workouts
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last decade, intervals—the notorious short bursts of intense exercise mixed with periods of recovery—are by far, the most efficient way to burn calories on the run.
And here is why.
According to a study from the University of New South Wales, in Australia, opting for running intervals can burn up to three times as much calories as running at a comfortable and easy pace. That’s a lot of calories.
Other studies have come to similar conclusions.
According to ahttps://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/HIITvsCardio.html study in Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise, subjects who opted for an interval running method—running hard for two minutes followed by a three minutes recovery jog—burned more calories in the 24 hours following their workouts than those who opted for the slow, steady mileage.
Plus, according to the same research, the sprinters lost about 4 percent of their body fat while other group didn’t lose any.
I can go and on about the research, but that’s a topic for another day. With that said, if you are looking for nerdy data, then feel free to check out these links:
Starting Interval Run Workouts
The intensity and duration of each sprint depend , mostly, on your fitness level and training goals.
As a general guideline here is how to proceed with your next sprint session. Jump on the treadmill hit the track, or find a flat section of road and follow these speed training instructions.
Start the workout with a decent warm-up. Jog slowly for 5 minutes, followed by dynamic exercises to get your body and muscles ready for the hard efforts ahead.
Next, once you are properly warmed up, sprint for 20 seconds, jog for 30 seconds for recovery. Then sprint again.
Repeat the cycle six to eight times, then finish off the session with a cool down. Jog slowly for 5 minutes and stretch your whole body afterward.
2. Weighted Sprints
Add more intensity to your sprints by opting for the weighted intervals option.
A Weighted Vest gonna help you burn more calories. In fact, walkers who wore a vest that was roughly 20 percent of their body weight burned 14 percent more calories, according to an article published in the Fitness Magazine.
The weighted vest will only help you shed some mad calories, but it will also help you improve your performance. Runners using weighted vests for training drills often experience boosted performance once the weight is removed.
Follow the same sprint pattern above, but this time, strap on a weighted vest for more intensity and resistance.
Opt for only five to 10 pounds vest or keep your weighted vest between 5 and 10 percent of your total body weight. Strapping on too much weight will place too much stress on your knees and lower back, which can cause trouble.
3. Hill Runs
Hills are all about taking your sprint sessions to the next level. In fact, most fitness experts and training coaches consider hill sprints as the most intense form of exercise that there is.
Why Hills Are Superior?
The reasons why hills are so efficient are simple. Hills engage more muscles than flat terrains, leading to an increased calorie burn. They also strengthen lower body muscles, improving speed and explosiveness, and improving fitness levels.
For more on hill running, check my post here.
Starting Hill Interval Runs
Set your treadmill at a 5 percent incline, or better yet, find a gentle hill outside to do this.
After warming up on flat surface—5 minutes jogging along with some ballistic stretching—run up the hill at a hard but sustainable pace for 20 seconds.
Jog back to starting position, recover and run up the hill again.
Repeat six to eight times. Depending on your fitness level and training goals of course.
Finish off the session with a proper cool-down.
4. The Stairs
Stair running is next level of hill training. The stairs are simple, challenging and a universal gym all on their own. And what I really love about the stairs is that you can do all sorts of bodyweight exercises on them.
Exercises to add to your stair workouts include elevated push-ups, stair lunges, stair squat jumps and plank holds.
Find The Right Stairs
In almost any city, you can find many suitable outdoor steps to exercise on.
As a result, make sure to pick a flight of stairs that’s right for you, whether it’s in the school stadium, your office building, or in your house. As long as they are safe, you’re good to go.
Warm up properly by slowly walking up and down the stairs for at least five minutes. Next, sprint hard from the bottom of the stairs to the top as fast as possible. Jog or power walk down for recovery.
Repeat the cycle for at least 15 minutes. Finish off your session with a cool-down. Stretch afterward.
5. Tabata Protocol Runs
Tabata protocol runs are my favorite type of running of all times. They are powerful. They are intense.
A Tabata session is simple and straightforward. You explode at full effort for twenty seconds of maximum output, followed by ten seconds of rest, then repeat the cycle eight (or more) time without a pause.
With the Tabata protocol I’m sharing with you today, you will be adding bodyweight exercises to the mix. Doing so is perhaps the most rewarding—and physically challenging—way to carry on your next fat burning running workout.
The good thing is that almost any exercise can be incorporated within your Tabata sprints. Squats, pull-ups, lunges, you name it. There is nothing more challenging—yet very rewarding—than using your own body weight in combination with running to test your breaking points in terms of stamina and endurance.
Here is the routine. Keep in mind that the basic recipe for Tabata training is: 20 seconds of intense training (in other words maximum effort or maximum reps) with 10 seconds of rest for a total of 8 rounds.
After a decent warm-up (5-minute jog and some light stretching) do the following:
Exercise One: Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
Exercise Two: Tabata push-ups as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
Exercise Three: Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
Exercise Four: Tabata squats as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
Exercise Five: Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
Exercise Six : Tabata sit-ups as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
Exercise Seven : Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
Exercise Eight: Tabata burpees as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
Exercise Nine: Sprint full effort until you can’t do no more.
Finish off this powerful session with a proper cool down. Jog slowly for five minutes and stretch your whole body.
6. Go Long
Contrary to popular belief, long runs are NOT the best way to losing weight while running.
Of course, you will ALWAYS burn more calories with a 30-minute sprint workout than a 45-minute long easy run. But the long run should also be a part of your running program—regardless of your fitness goals and here is why.
Nonetheless, I still believe that you ought to add these long slow distance runs, or LSD for short, into your training program.
Benefits Of Running Long
Long runs improve your base fitness level, helping you reap more from the high-intensity workouts.
They also boost your heart rate capacity, strengthen your ligaments and improve your endurance, so you will eventually feel stronger during your sprints—and short—runs.
Long runs are also ideal for working on improving your running form and mechanics.
You only need to log in one long run session per week to the max calorie-torch benefits. Also, make sure to run all of your long runs at a conversational pace for no more than 45-minute, then build on that while abiding by the 10 percent rule.
Hopefully, you will try out some of these fat burning running workouts. In the meantime, feel free to leave your comments below, or send your questions and suggestions.
Thank you for reading my post.
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Image Credit – Flick through Gina Smith