Running has always been a preferred choice for fat loss and endurance. You can burn around 8.5 to 11 calories per minute, depending upon your pace. That’s pretty much wonderful.
It is generally advised to do long, slow-paced cardio while staying in the ‘fat-burning’ zone. But, have you seen people spending countless hours over treadmill and never seem to get the results? Why is that ? The reason is that the body adapts really well and quickly.
That’s why after initial success with dropping few pounds you reach a plateau and get stuck. However, your endurance has increased, you’ll need to run much longer distance to observe the change. Wouldn’t it be great if one could cross that plateau, burn more fat and eventually get toned too? Here’s something that could be of help to you:
1. Fluctuate the Intensity
Always prefer intensity over distance for a weight loss goal. Here’s what to do: Jog at your normal pace for 60 secs and then increase the intensity for 30 secs. You need to level up the intensity to a point where you are out of your breath but still able to maintain the intensity for those 30 secs. Repeat this for 25 minutes.
2. Inclined Running
Inclined uphill running burn more calories as compared to the flat one. Usually with every degree of inclination you’ll burn 10 percent more calorie. So, a gentle hill would burn somewhere around 50 percent more calorie.
Here’s what to do: Run uphill for 30 secs, jog back down and take a 30 secs rest. Repeat this cycle for 8-10 times.
For treadmill you can set your treadmill to a 5 percent incline, then reset for the jog back.
3. Take the stairs
Stair running is one of the best overall conditioning exercise. Its simple: Just run up the stairs and then jog back slowly to recover. Repeat. You’ll have to be very careful while doing this exercise.
4. Start With Strength
Strength and resistance exercises give you more muscle. Interestingly, muscles burn fat even while you are resting. That’s right, you actually increase your metabolism.
Now, if you start with strength training you’ll use your glycogen stores (energy from carbs) which means if you run after that, your body will burn fat for energy. Here’s a tip: stick to compound exercises with free weights and do super slow reps. Slow reps can increase strength upto 50 percent.
4. Add Variety
Remember body adapts to exercises very quickly? So, the efficient way out is to disguise the body. Keep adding variety to your workouts. If you’ve been doing high intensity runs then switch to long slow-paced runs twice a week.
If you are following strength training program, then vary the exercises. Idea is to keep experimenting so
as to avoid body to adapt.
5. Pre Breakfast Runs
Studies have shown that running before breakfast helps you burn more fat. Running on empty stomach makes your body carbohydrate deficient and it starts to derive energy from stored fat thereby burning it. However, it is advisable only for smaller runs (typically 3-4 mile). For longer runs it is advised to have ___________ either mid-run or pre-run.
6. Break Your Exercise
Taking break between your exercise increases fat-loss. Instead of solid 60 minute exercise break it into two session of 30-minute each with an interval of 15-minutes in between. So, its better to start your workout with strength training first, followed by a 10-15 minute break and then hitting the road for high-intensity intervals.
Remember, the fundamental behind all of this is to prevent your body from adapting by doing experiments with your workout sessions. Also, remember you can never out-exercise a bad diet. So make sure you eat healthy, get adequate sleep and get time to relax.
PS: Based on the us air force civilian training plan “Running to success”.
Image credits Offutt Air Base.