Running is a popular mode of exercise that many chose but don’t fully understand. We have never had any client come to us asking to look like a long distance runner, but many chose long distance running as their only form of exercise.
Many people believe that the physical exertion and pain that comes from running must be good for burning calories and fat. That is why as soon as the weather has perked up, all the runners are out in an attempt to get their summer bodies ready for the beach.
If you enjoy going out for a run and it helps you think or clear your head, or you enjoy being outside and working up a sweat on a jog then that is great! We have many clients who do this. It can also be a great as a sense of accomplishment when completing a good run and a chance to be social in running clubs or with friends.
However, the problem comes when individuals take up running, and only running, at an attempt to improve body composition.
So let me divulge:
Running is a skill, and the way most people run (heal to toe) brings about a hell of a lot of pressure through your joints, just like I do! Every heard any runners complain about bad knees or achy joints? We sure have! I (Alex) run like an elephant which results in shin splints. If you are highly overweight or have poor running technique then running isn’t going to do you any favors long term. This is the same for jumping about like a silly bugger in gym classes! There are far more superior forms of exercise that you can and should be doing to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
If you are wanting to work on cardiovascular health and fitness then why not participate in some low impact exercises such as walking, swimming or cycling?
You will also not “tone” or build any muscle tissue just running. If you want a good physique, you will NEED muscle tissue. Take my long distance runners example: They have skinny, stringy physiques but are capable of incredible muscular endurance. You want to be working on building an aesthetic body by developing areas like your shoulders, glutes, legs, back etc. You will not get this from running.
Yes, you can lose fat if you are running as long as you are in a calorie deficit, but this should come second to a well thought out resistance based training program that accompanies other exercise modalities to get you the best results in the most effective manner.
Think about looking after your body. Build some muscle tissue to improve the way you look and move, be more active outside of the gym, eat adequate protein, watch your calorie intake and you will be well on your way to improving your body shape and feeling much more confident.
If you have any questions on the best way to program running into your training then fire us an email or message and we will be more than happy to help – contact us