If I were to run at a relatively moderate pace for 20 minutes, I would burn about 250-300 calories, which is great. But that’s all I burn. The minute I stop running, is the minute my calorie burn ends. Sure, I may burn a little bit more while my body recovers, and my muscles rebuild from the run, but it won’t be a significant amount.
Yes, running is great for cardiovascular health and yes, it will help you lose weight, but, if you aren’t losing weight, or you aren’t getting faster, you should change your programming. And you can’t tell me that you don’t have the desire to get better, especially if you are already putting in the effort in to lace up, and push yourself to a sweat.
People get super complacent when it comes to running, and really, it’s a mental thing for most. Most people would rather go for a run than go through an hour long CrossFit class or personal training session. Why? Because they feel like they get more out of it. The sweat, the pounding of the pavement, the duration of the workout, the blast of endorphins post-run; all the good stuff. But why are you not losing weight or getting faster?
You don’t just show up to the office and produce the same work every day hoping that one day, you will become CEO. Don’t do this with your workouts either. You can’t do the same run every day and cross your fingers for a tight ass, and toned arms.
Structuring and programming your workouts will keep you accountable and motivated.
As a trainer, I hear the same complaints from my clients who run:
“Gravity’s a bitch; lift my butt up please”
“Why am I not getting faster?”
“I don’t understand why I’m not losing weight”
“I want to gain lean muscle and look toned”
“I can’t get rid of my pooch, is it the wine?”
By incorporating some vigorous functional fitness moves into your existing running regiment, you will fine-tune your body into a high performance, multi-functional machine. Lifting weights and doing calisthenics burns more fat than running. You are gaining lean muscle while in turn, increasing your resting metabolic rate.
When asked about the difference between cardio and weight training in regards to general conditioning, Lee Boyce, a strength coach based in Toronto, ON, simply states:
“Here’s the catch – only performing steady state cardio can be counterproductive – Too much steady state cardio per week can result in muscle loss. Having said that, seek alternate methods that involve a bit more explosive movement to utilize your strongest muscle fibers available. A half hour of sprints (or even better – hill sprints), intervals, or a solid round of basketball, tennis, or football can be just what the doctor ordered.”
So, for the runners who can’t get the mental block our of their head, that running is the only way to losing weight, here are 3 workouts that combine the metabolic structure and intensity of CrossFit with running; all body weight stuff for these workouts becuase I know most runners don’t take a barbell out to central park to bust out deadlifts during mile splits.
20 Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible)
>Run 400 Meters
>10 Air Squats
20 minute E2MOM (Every 2 Minutes On the Minute)
With this workout, every 2 minutes you will complete what is listed; the time you have remaining within that 2 minutes, after you complete the 2 tasks, is your rest time)
> 2 200 meter uphill sprints
> 4 pistols OR 10 Hollow Rocks
6 Rounds for Time (for you runners who need more):
>800 meter run
>10 Pause squats
>10 box jumps (use a bench or a ledge, they’re everywhere; how do you think people do parkour?”