Estimated read time: 9 minutes.
Running is one of the easiest and most recommended exercises to lose weight. However, it requires discipline and perseverance to achieve the best results. Many people looking for the best weight loss strategy often ask how long it can take for a person to get in shape by running.
The answer to this question depends on how much weight you wish to cut, your commitment, and the time you spend running. On average, a person burns around 100 calories per mile, but the amount may vary depending on the body weight. Slim people burn slightly slower than fat people.
Weight loss can be more complicated if you don’t observe proper nutrition and hydration. Achieving body shape requires you to combine exercise and healthy eating. A good running routine and diet should earn you results in 10 days or a few weeks. But all this depends on how your body responds to workouts.
If you want to run to lose weight, this comprehensive guide will provide all the information and tips to get you started.
How the Body Responds to Running
Beginner runners will experience different changes in their bodies in the first days of training. It takes time for the body’s muscles to adjust to intense exercises. So, here are common ways running for weight loss can impact your body:
Running exercise is good if you want to lose fat on your thighs. Running consistently will leave your legs with lean muscle mass to help them sustain pressure for a long time. The longer you run, the more calories you burn.
Running will make you hungry. If you don’t regulate your intake, you may gain weight instead of losing it. It is recommended to avoid refueling after the running routine. Make sure you don’t replace all the calories you just burned.
Terrific Feeling and Increased Sleep
Running does more to your body than physical fitness. You’ll feel good after running as it boosts your glycogen stores and increases your confidence. Also, running improves your mental health and social life. Most people who run enjoy a fit and healthy life.
Additionally, running improves your sleeping pattern. You will realize an increase in the amount of deep sleep. Running earlier in the day and avoiding intense activities before sleeping is recommended.
Envious Calf Muscles and Flat Tummy
One of the physical changes that will happen to your body is the development of the envious calf muscles. Most runners have nice shapely legs that get the attention of people. However, the downside is that you may never fit into your skinny jeans again.
In addition, running will get you a flat tummy as it helps burn body fat around the waist. Also, runners have well-built gluteal muscles that give them a good shape without going to the gym.
Shrunk Arms and Breasts
Running to lose weight involves intense exercises. The problem is that the muscles that are not involved will slim down. To avoid having a shrunken upper body, you should combine running and weight training or yoga.
Besides, most female runners lose fat on their chests, which makes them have fallen breasts. To avoid this problem, you can fit sports bras to protect the copper’s ligaments.
Better Cardio and Reduced Overthinking
One of the reasons to have running sessions is to improve your cardiovascular health. Being a runner reduces your chances of developing heart problems and high blood pressure.
Furthermore, the body releases endorphins that create a natural high to help you to stop overthinking. The more you run, the better you become.
Different Running Workouts and Their Benefits
The type and intensity of workouts you combine with running will determine how fast you’ll get in shape. Note that the heart rate, muscles, and nervous systems respond to training at different rates. So, here is how your body will benefit from your running training schedule:
- Speed Training: Speed development workouts help to improve communication between your brain and muscles. It will allow your brain to build enough muscle fibers. Most runners tend to believe that this training is about lung bursting intervals, but it involves short and full-speed repetitions on full recovery. The advantage of speed development is that you start seeing results after a few days because the nervous system has a high response to new changes and stimuli.
- Threshold Runs: Running fitness for weight loss involves threshold runs, tempos, marathons, and cross training. These exercises boost your body’s ability to reconvert lactate back into energy. Even though the training is intense, you reap results within 10 days
- VO2Max and Hill Run: Runners must do Vo2max and hill runs to build their aerobic capacity. You must train your body to withhold a sufficient amount of oxygen. The challenging part is that strength training may take longer because of the time it needs for fibers to recover. New runners may get results after 10 and 14 days, depending on the training plan and fitness level.
- Long Runs Training: Long run training is another vital exercise to improve your aerobic system. This is important if you are a half marathon runner as it gives you the ability to boost the content of your muscle fibers. The difficulty in long runs ranges between medium and hard, and you expect results within 4 to 6 weeks.
- Strength Training: Strength training is needed when running to keep fit. The benefit of including strength training in your running is to make you stronger and reduce the risk of injuring yourself. Additionally, weight lifting will help you to burn calories to remain with lean muscles.
Tips to Get Back to Running After a Long Break
While many people consider running a lifelong sport, it requires the ability to sustain passion and consistency. There are many eventualities along the way, like injuries, daily work, families, sickness, etc., that may interfere with your progress.
So, here are steps to follow if you are planning to get back to running exercise after a long time:
If you are a newbie runner or resuming after a long break, you should start running steadily with short distances before increasing to long distances. Do not be overwhelmed by your previous performances and head right into intense training. Your body needs time to absorb shock; it may take a week or more to get in shape.
Get a Running Companion
It’s pretty hard to be consistent when you run on your own. Having a team to join you during your exercise will keep you motivated and boost your running ability. Additionally, your social life is improved as you can have extra activities after your running sessions, such as coffee or lunch, depending on your exercise time.
Create a New Running Strategy
If your previous training plan didn’t work, don’t continue using it; otherwise, you will not improve. The best way to achieve results in your comeback is to have a simple workout strategy, like training for 2 to 3 weeks, then you increase to 4 to 8 weeks. The first training phase should take 5 to 20 minutes, and it should go for about 3 to 4 times a week.
Improve your Diet
To get the best results from running exercise, you determine what you consume daily. Know the best nutritious diet for before and after training. The first days of resuming your running activity are the best for shedding extra pounds; therefore, you shouldn’t be carbo-loading during this phase.
Incorporate Different Forms of Exercises
Adding different forms of exercise to your daily running routine will fasten the process of getting the desired shape. Do understand that your body can adjust to movements it’s used to doing, and this can help to build up your running performance.
Set Running Goals
If you are a newbie runner, you must first start by setting the goals you want to achieve. This will include the time you wish to achieve a slender body. Running experts recommend aiming for a loss of not more than 2 pounds per week.
Recommended Diet When Running to Lose Weight
As earlier mentioned, running alone cannot give you the body you desire. Improving your diet will help to fasten the process and boost your overall health.
The following diet should be observed when running for ultimate results:
You are going to require enough energy for your running exercise. Having a diet with well-balanced carbohydrates will do you good during training. Many runners choose rich-carb foods like potatoes, whole grains, rolled oats, rice bran, and pasta. Besides being rich in carbohydrates, these foods have enough fiber for muscle building.
Every runner must include proteins in their diets. Protein has rich macronutrients containing amino acids the body requires to build lean muscles. Moreover, high protein intake helps in enhancing a runner’s physical performance. The recommended protein intake for an adult is 0.8 to 1 gram per kilo of body weight. Some of the rich protein foods you can consume are eggs, lean beef, chicken, canned tuna, and vegetables.
Consider Dietary Fats
Including fats in your diet may sound awkward, but you really need it, especially if you are running to lose weight. Eating dietary fats is essential if you don’t want to cut some pounds as they offer better absorption. Most of the fats you consume should be from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, like nuts, fish, avocado, olive oil, and others.
Hydration is vital in any exercise you undertake. Any diet you choose for running should include enough water intake. Lowering your water intake will affect your running performance and overall health. It is recommended for runners to take at least one liter of water for 1000 calories they burn.
The Bottom Line
Running has always been the ultimate weight loss strategy for those who hate going to the gym. Besides helping you get the body shape you desire, it helps you stay healthy. However, the biggest roadblocks among many runners are mental fatigue. You can overcome this by remaining consistent with your training plans. Once you start running, you gain confidence to continue until you achieve your goals. Follow our guidelines and see excellent results in a few months.