The Runner’s Way to Lose One Pound

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: marathon training is NOT the best time to try and lose weight. However, running IS an excellent way to slim your waistline. First time runners often see dramatic weight loss when they pick up the sport…seasoned runners not so much.

So what’s a seasoned runner to do? We’re doing our 5-milers, our speed workouts, our hills–but no weight loss. Frustrating! Well, there are a few ways to switch up your workout routine without disrupting your training schedule and risking overuse injuries while also kicking ~100 extra calories per workout. If you’re burning ~100 extra calories a day, it works out to be almost an entire pound a month, so long as you aren’t also eating that 100 extra calories a day.

  • 1 pound = 3, 500 calories
  • 5 calories = 1 liter of oxygen consumed
  • 1 mile ~ 100 calories for women, 105 calories for men/per mile running

There are 3 easy ways you can burn off 100 extra calories in your daily workouts:

#1.  Weight lifting  *HOW: Try a strength training class at the gym or train for 25 minutes* Anaerobic training (strength training, sprinting, etc.) has been proven to burn more calories post-workout than aerobic training (slower cardio workouts) and weight lifting is a great way to get your anaerobic workout on. Just make sure you aren’t chatting too much with your buddies while your lifting, keep that heart rate up and blast it out.

#2.  Hike a mile *HOW: Jump on the treadmill and kick it up to a 10.0-15.0 incline, 2.7-3.5 pace and climb for a mile* If you’re a runner, walking a little bit won’t hurt you and hiking at an incline can burn some serious calories. Keep your pace consistent and vary your incline between 10.0 and 15.0 (or whatever incline you feel comfortable climbing for a mile) for one mile…or maybe for 20 minutes post-workout.

#3.  Warm up/Cool down mile *HOW: Add a slow, easy mile to the end of your runs or beginning of your gym workout* Most runners neglect to warm up before and cool down after their runs. Why not take that extra 8-10 minutes and do a warm up or cool down mile and kick those 100 extra calories?

Full disclosure, weight loss is 80% food and 20% exercise and that’s just the way it goes. It is impossible to outrun overeating and you could get rid of one pound a month just as easily if you cut out 100 calories of food a day. But if you’re looking to just kick it up a little bit via your workouts and slowly lose those extra pounds without going bananas, these are three easy ways to do it.

Now what are you waiting for?

Go out and run!


4 thoughts on “The Runner’s Way to Lose One Pound

  1. Love the ideas you listed. I wish more people knew this.

    I never lose weight when training for a marathon…I usually (unintentionally) gain what I call my “marathon five pounds” (yes that’s the medical term for it! Ha) And then I promptly lose it when I finish training. But I am all for switching up workouts and adding speed intervals/hills and strength training. I also love HIIT-I see the best results when combining it with running!

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