Want to lose fat and stay fit? Running is one of the best ways to do it. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned runner, this guide helps you make the most out of your workouts and shed those extra pounds faster. To maximize your efforts, learn how to plan your pre- and post-run activities to get the results you want when you run.
Before Your Run
Before you hit the pavement, make sure you’re prepared with the right apparel and the proper snacks to fuel your performance. Also, don’t forget to warm up before you start your run.
- Apparel: Wear comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing that allows your body to breathe. Invest in quality running shoes to protect your feet and make your run more enjoyable.
- Snacks: For long runs, you may want to snack on something light before you start. Try to pick something that’s low in sugar and fat. And make sure to eat your snack at least 45 minutes prior to your run.
- Warm-up: Always warm up before you start your run. This helps increase your blood flow and get your muscles ready for exercise. Consider doing a light jog or some dynamic stretching for 10–15 minutes.
During Your Run
Once you’ve started your run, keep it up with the right form and keep your body fueled. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated.
- Form: Make sure you avoid common running form mistakes like slouching, running too fast, and heel striking. Aim for a neutral arm position and strike with your feet below your hips. Check out running resources to learn proper form.
- Fuel: If you plan to run longer than an hour, you should look into fuel options while running. Gels, bars and chews are designed to provide you with glucose and electrolytes to provide your body with energy and hydration.
- Hydration: Bring water with you on your run and make sure you’re drinking it regularly. Aim for about a cup every 20 minutes.
After Your Run
Once you’re finished with your run, focus on recovery and eating the right post-run snack. This helps refuel your body so it can continue to lose fat and stay healthy.
- Recovery: Finish your run with a cool-down walk and stretch session. Aim for a walk for about 5 minutes and stretch for about 10 minutes. This helps your body gradually reduce intensity and prevents injuries.
- Snack: Eat a lean protein and fiber-rich snack to re-energize and promote muscle growth. Look for something with complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats.
What should I eat before my run?
If you plan to run for more than an hour, have a snack before your run. Eat something light and low in sugar and fat about 45 minutes prior to your run. Consider a snack with complex carbs and some protein.
What should I do after my run?
After your run, cool-down with a walk and stretch session. For recovery and muscle growth, eat a lean protein and fiber-rich snack. Make sure to drink plenty of water to replace what you lost while running.
What types of running are most effective for losing fat quickly?Interval training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are both very effective and time-efficient methods for losing fat quickly. Interval training involves alternating bursts of high-intensity activity with recovery periods. HIIT is a more intense form of interval training that involves bouts of all-out effort followed by active rest. Both types of training burn more calories, even at rest, than traditional steady-state cardio.
How soon after running should a person eat or drink to replenish energy?It is recommended that a person eat or drink 15-30 minutes after exercise to replenish energy and hydrate. Eating a balanced meal with both carbohyrdates and protein within two hours is also recommended.
What are some tips for making running more enjoyable before and after a workout?
Before a workout:
- Set goals and track your progress – This helps provide structure and motivation to your running.
- Be prepared – Lay out your running clothes and shoes the night before, and make sure to stretch and warm up before your run.
- Listen to upbeat music – Put together a playlist of upbeat, inspiring music to get you moving before and during your runs.
- Run with friends – Partner up with friends or join a local running group to keep you motivated.
After a workout:
- Enjoy a nutritious snack – Having something nutritional to refuel your body with can help support muscle recovery and improve your next run.
- Stretch and roll out after your run – This helps reduce post-run soreness and improve flexibility.
- Reward yourself for a job well done – Treat yourself to something special after a particularly challenging run.
- Post your accomplishment – Let the world know about the distance and pace you achieved. A great way to do this is by adding pictures of your run to social media.