Is Running Effective When It Comes To Weight Loss?

My new YouTube video this week was titled “Stop Running For Weight Loss.”

It’s wasn’t STOP RUNNING.

It was simply, stop running for weight loss…

Sure the headline may be a little sensationalized but here is are my personal observations reasoning:

  1. The leanest I have ever been was when I was strength training more and running less. This doesn’t mean I didn’t run but my main focus was on either lifting heavy or HIIT workouts that combined strength and plyometric work.
  2. The few times I’ve really trained for races like marathons and half marathons, instead of losing weight, I’ve actually gained weight.
  3. When I run a lot, I’m starving. I’m not one to enjoy feeling hungry and limiting myself so this was always a challenging balance between feeling hungry, eating for satiety and balancing calories in/out.

Let’s clear up a few things though before you watch the video:

I still love to run. I only run about 3-4 miles a coupe times a week. With Tommy, it’s challenging to get in a strength training workout while he is awake because he wants me to pick him up, climb on me in a push up position or play weight the weights. To be able to put him in the stroller and go for a run is easy for me, and fun for him.

I use it as time for mental clarity, stress relief, endorphins, burn off the wine I had last night but not for weight loss. I use it as weight maintenance.

If I wanted to use it for weight loss, I would do intervals that really challenged my body which can be hard to do pushing a stroller. <- You can lose weight with running but I find that most people on their own do not do challenging intervals! Most people just do steady state at a comfortable pace which is what we call “junk miles.”

Junk miles are the ones you run that don’t produce a specific physiological benefit. It could be argued that tempo runs—middle-distance training runs at a “comfortably hard” pace—are junk miles.

Watch the video below to see why else I think you should stop running for weight loss.

** Again, I don’t think you need to stop running or even really stop running if you want to lose weight, I just think you should do strength training and do more of it if you really want to lose weight! **

Is Running Effective When It Comes To Weight Loss?

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3 Comments

  • Megan
    Reply

    Interesting post, I too gained a bit when I trained for a full marathon, now with a 19 month old I only have time for 5 and 10ks- hoping these shorter runs with lifting with help reduce body fat…

  • Jenny
    Reply

    Agreed! My favorite -- when I have time -- is to run 1- 2 miles before a HIIT class. (If living in the city, you can run to class!) Heart rate is elevated going in, and you get the strength + plyo benefits. Biggest calorie burner and awesome results! (Just sweaty partner work… 😉 )

  • Ray
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post Sarah! I often preach to people I know and workout with that I get my best results for cutting and getting shredded and I contribute it mostly to not doing long endurance exercises. Thanks for sharing the info really enjoed the read!

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