Oh controversial I hear many of you say!
Well, listen up……
Many people choose running as their weapon of choice, especially in the New Year as a way to get fit and lose weight.
After all it’s free!
However, it has a lot of problems, and the long term one is you won’t lose fat, and you will probably ditch the idea after a few days or weeks, possibly due to injury, and here’s why;
1) A lot (and I’m not saying everyone!) of people are overweight when they start running. This puts hell of a lot of pressure on your ankles, knees, hips and back. Just how many steps/repetitions do you think you take in a 15minute run? Thousands. That’s 1000′s of impact steps jarring through the body, often via ill-supporting trainers over and over ago.
Wonder why knee or hip pains occur?! Also, many people, if not everyone have muscle imbalances through daily life. Sitting down at a desk or sofa places your thigh and hip flexor muscles in a short position which in turn tilt your pelvis forward – this is a big cause of back pain, and will also have a knock on effect when running.
Ok, enough there, move on……..!!
2) Getting into the calorie burning side of things – yep sure, you got out for a 15 minute lung burning run, or maybe more, and you’re gonna burn some calories. Hell, give it 2 weeks, and you’ll probably notice clothes are feeling a bit looser?!! Great! You’re losing some weight!
But then again who wouldn’t?! You’ve gone from doing nothing, to doing something, and burning a few calories, it makes logical sense that your body is now holding onto less calories than it did before.
But, and here comes the maths (Don’t worry, I’m crap at maths, it’s not going to be tough!)
Let’s say that 15minute run you burn 100kcal.
2 weeks on you’re feeling fitter, not as out of breath (the niggles might be there though) and you’re finishing your 15min run quicker than before…all good. But what this means is you’re becoming a bit fitter (good!) but fitter equates to burning less calories to do the same work. So your 15 min circuit run you’re body can now cope with so you’re only burning say 70kcal.
Oh….. that’s not so smart, you’re going to have to work harder….
Right, so, what are your choices?
Well, to keep the calorie burning machine going, you’re either gonna have to run that 15minute circuit like the wind, therefore burning more calories through “Intensity” (or effort level), or you’re going to have to run further.
Ooops, ok, let’s stretch out to 30mins!
This cycle is going to continue…..you run longer/faster, your body becomes more economical at burning calories, so you burn less. Therefore you keep upping the distance, I mean, running fast is REAL hard work! Eventually, and if your body is still holding up, you’re going to be running for quite some time to burn a measley 200-300kcals.
Once you started off running for 15mins, now you’re out the door for over 60mins! This might be some peoples idea of fun, but it’s not mine (what?! From a Personal Trainer?!)
Sure, if you enjoy running as a way to destress and relax, fine – pop in a run a week, just possibly get yourself checked out first for imbalances – and DEFINITELY if you start getting aches and pains….they are not natural and will not just disappear!
So, I’ve dissed running and put a downer on things……what should you do?!
Well, firstly sort your diet out – plenty of info on this blog, or check out my healthy eating book which WILL do the job, and get your body healthy and losing calories.
If you want to run…..run. Run intervals. Pick a marker like a tree or lampost and spring to it, recover with a jog or walk and go again. 15mins of this and you should be DONE! Plus you will have burnt some calories through the intensity level.
Run hills – go out for a warmup and then find some hills to run up. The gradient will add resistance work to your leg and glute muscles, and actually work the muscles. Sprint up, walk down. DO this 5-6 times and you’ll know you’ve had a workout!
Alternatively – mix up your running styles above, and put some bodyweight circuits or weight/resistance work into the blend each week, and you’ll be noticing a change in bodyshape.
Run if you enjoy it, but don’t run for fat loss results. It won’t happen