You're doing the same old...
We runners love routine. When we start out, the familiarity of running the same route at the same speed and at the same time, every time, helps us exercise consistently so we can continue building our fitness and work toward our weight-loss goals. But there’s a fine line between a routine that grounds you and a rut that grinds you down, leaving you stuck on a weight-loss plateau or, even worse, starting to gain weight instead of losing it, despite your diligence. Remember, your body will adapt to any new stress you put on it, so the key to continued weight loss is adding intensity to your running routine. Study after study proves that when you ratchet up the intensity, you torch more calories on the road and even after you’ve finished your run.
Adding tempo runs, interval sessions and hill runs will provide new stimulus and keep powering your weight loss, but this is not without its risks. As you ratchet up the intensity, the following steps will help you make the most of your valuable run time without developing an injury.
PACE YOURSELF Make sure you’re doing your harder workouts at the right pace for your fitness level. To find your 5K or 10K pace, plug a recent race time into our training calculator at runnersworld.co. uk/pacecalculator. Don’t have a recent race time? Do a time trial: warm up with one mile of easy running, then run one mile as fast as you can and plug your time into the training calculator to get your training paces.
DON’T CRAM People get hung up on running a certain number of miles per week and, if they miss a session, try to cram in the extra miles. That’s a recipe for injury. When life gets in the way – or you simply feel fatigued or sore – it’s OK to postpone or cancel the run. But if you try to cram in miles in too short a period, you could get sidelined by injury for weeks or months.
STAY WELL FUELLED When you’re running faster and going longer, make sure you’re well hydrated and fuelled before you go out. If you’re energised, you’ll run faster (and burn more calories).
DON’T DISCOUNT LIFE STRESS Studies have shown that workouts feel tougher for people who are stressed than for those who aren’t, even when they are working at the same effort level.