Running and losing weight at the same time is not an easy task, especially here in Singapore with all the wonderful local foods available. Even more so, the fact that we are in the middle of festive season doesn’t help at all!
This article is meant to encourage consistency, promote awareness and help you along the way achieving your goals.
TRY to eat healthily
Remember that you will only lose KG if you burn more calories more than you consume. (You may want to re-read the previous line.) To lose a KG, you have to burn about 3500 calories through exercise. So combining running with a healthy diet is very very important. Runners do have special nutrition need but the basic need for eating healthy still apply. TRY choosing smaller portions of high-fat and high-calorie foods. Eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
– As a runner, carbohydrates should make up about 60 – 65% of your total calories intake.
– Protein is used for some energy and to repair tissue damaged during training. Protein keeps you feeling full longer which helps if you are trying to lose weight.
TRY to follow a training schedule
Sticking to a schedule is a great way to stay motivated to run. You know exactly what you need to do every day and each run builds on the next. Following a schedule can also help you to avoid a running injuries by increasing your mileage too quickly. My advice, improve a little at a time. Do not rush. Consistency is key! Black toenails, blisters, chafing, muscle cramps, muscle strains, runner’s Knee, side stitches, shin splints are some common running injuries to avoid.
TRY to run regularly
Cannot follow a daily schedule? Some consistency with your running is needed. Buddies, you will not lose weight by running just once a week. Try to get some activities in every day OR try to run at least 3-4 times per week. Singaporeans are always busy. My advice, skip the lunch, go for a 40mins run! Or, skip the train or bus after work, try running home if it’s not too far.
TRY to keep it challenging
Incorporating interval training (running at a very fast speed for short intervals of time) into your running routine can also help your weight loss efforts. Interval training burns a great amount of calories in a short period of time. You will also increase your muscle mass and improve your resting metabolism thus causing you to burn more calories throughout the day and of course a better runner at the end of the day!
TRY eating the right thing at the right time
Running regularly and training for a middle / long distance event, proper nutrition is critical for your performance. Skipping meals does not allow you to train with adequately fuelled muscles. Eat wisely before and after your workouts. These are crucial times when nutrition is important to performance and recovery.
Before: When you begin a run, you should feel neither starved nor stuffed. You do not want to eat / drink immediately before running because it may lead to side stitch. But running on an empty stomach may cause you to run out of energy and leave you feeling lethargic during your runs. Likewise, your choice of pre-run meal is important, as eating the wrong foods could send you looking for the closest bathroom during your run.
After running, especially a long run, you want to replenish energy as quickly as possible. Muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen (stored glucose) stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise. If you eat soon after your workout, you can minimize muscle stiffness and soreness. You will want to consume primarily carbs but do not ignore protein. If you feel like you cannot stomach solid food immediately after a run, try drinking some chocolate milk.
Remember, no pain, no gain!
The above is based on personal experience only and does not constitute professional advice.