Run less to lose weight - Women's Running

Run less to lose weight

Read Time:   |  July 21, 2014

Choose the right mix of training for your health and fitness goal….

In the same way that you don’t need to eat like an elite marathon runner who runs up to 100 miles per week, neither do you need to try to emulate their training, particularly if your goal is pure weight-loss and musco-skeletal health. The key to success is getting the balance right.

“If you want to lose weight – run less,” says Dr John Berardi, PhD, founder of Precision Nutrition, the world’s largest online nutrition coaching company. (1) “Running doesn’t build or retain lean mass,” he explains. “And this is the most metabolically efficient tissue in your body. To lose weight, you need more lean muscle mass, so that your body burns fat more efficiently all the time,” he says.

“For weight-loss, you also need to work the anaerobic system with higher intensity interval training, so you produce lactic acid, and growth hormone – and the hormonal cascade that helps with weight-loss,” he explains.

“Of course, running and any endurance exercise has a big part to play when it comes to shifting the pounds. Running is great for sensitivity to insulin and glucose and for general calorie burning,” he adds. But for weight-loss the message is clear – run clever and make it a quality workout.

“To promote general health and weight-loss you need to combine all three in a balanced weekly workout: resistance work, anaerobic training, and endurance exercise,” concludes Dr Berardi.

Need to lose more than 2 stone: 

One longer run a week, one high intensity interval run a week, and two or three resistance training sessions a week.

Need to run a 5k:

One longer run a week, one or two high intensity interval runs a week, and two resistance training sessions a week.

Training for a 10k:

Two or three longer runs a week, one or two high intensity interval runs a week, and one resistance training session a week.

Half marathon and beyond: Run five times a week and include one to two resistance sessions. If you’re training for a marathon, you may only need one quality resistance session a week. You should include one to two interval runs a week, and keep the intensity high for your resistance work.


(1)  Read more about why:

Read UK Trainer Julia Buckley’s views on this subject here:


Check out our Running Specific Resistance Workouts.

What combination of training do you like the best? Do you change your training for different times of the year?

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