Not Losing Weight? Change Up the Routine

New runners often find the pounds peel away quickly in the first few months of jogging. This makes sense on several levels.

  1. You burn about 100 calories per mile or ten minutes with running. Think about it: if you've been eating the same caloric intake for years, then you add an exercise that burns several hundred calories each session several times a week, you're going to drop weight as long as you don't start eating more to compensate for the running.
  2. Any change up in routine will help change your body. If you do the same thing day in and day out when you hit the gym, eventually you'll stop seeing changes. This is why programs like Cross Fit work so well. They work you on different levels, and they work all of your body.

Runners with some miles under their soles often plateau. You can watch a new runner drop weight like a snake shedding skin and you know what is going to happen in four, five, six months - that weight loss is going to stall unless something changes.

It's this way for any exercise routine. If you do the same thing day after day when it comes to exercise, eventually you will stop seeing changes.

So then what do you do?

You kick it up a notch, of course.

This can be done in a number of ways. You add cycling to the mix. You train for a longer distance race than you are currently running. You try to improve your pace by adding fartleks and interval training to the mix. You weight train (which you should be doing anyway!). You start a Pilates class, which targets the core. Or you hop into the pool and do some laps a few times each week.

Although I'm not looking to lose weight, I have grown bored with my regular four mile runs four times per week. Today on the treadmill I decided to do a different workout. I added incline, up to 7.0 at one point. I did this by:

  1. Starting the workout at 5.5 and increasing to 6.0 in the first quarter to half mile.
  2. Running between 6.0 and 6.8 or so for another mile.
  3. Changing my speed to 3.3 for a minute so I could sip my water
  4. Increasing the incline from 1.0 to 4.0
  5. Increasing the speed after increasing the incline so I was running 6.0 at the higher incline
  6. Decreasing the incline to 1.0
  7. Increasing the speed for a faster but flatter run
  8. Decreasing again to 3.3 for a sip of water and another increase in incline

I did this for the entire 4 mile run.

I live in the southern flat lands, so I rarely get a chance to run hills. I thought this would be a great way to switch up my normal routine (though it did make it harder to find out who was the daddy on Maury!), and it kept me interested in the forty some minutes I spent on the human hamster wheel.

And the biggest bonus? This afternoon, when I bent to tie my shoe, I felt it in my glutes!

If you are bored with your running routine, or you aren't seeing pounds drop or the change in your body that you'd like to see, it's probably time to switch things up.

What do you do when it's time to make a switch?


Mama Marathoner



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