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Running Program Guide

Running for Fitness

Given the number of different ways of losing weight, running is considered an integral part of most of them in the effectiveness and the results that they can provide. Jogging is by far the complete and most effective body workout that not only helps to lose weight, but also increases stamina, muscle strength and overall health. It has been recorded that running a mile can help lose approximately 250 calories, if maintaining a constant speed. This means that you will lose ~1000 calories if you can run for an hour. This simply means that if running 5 km in an hour, one will be 1000 calories short. For those who think this is not possible, need to watch a motivational video because consistently running at a speed of 7 km / hour is not what a normal human being is easily able to do. Jogging is far by the most efficient way of burning a lot of fat.

Running for Weight Loss

If you want running for weight loss to be efficient, paying attention to your diet is essential. The number of calories one consumes has to be limited to usual levels and it doesn’t mean that calorie intake can be increased. Jogging for weight loss, like all other diets, requires consistency and discipline. As far as the diet is concerned, fatty and oily foods need to be avoided and should be replaced with fruits and vegetables. It’s not necessary to start running 5 km on the first of the running for weight loss diet, but rather taking it step by step. Gradually increase the distance you run, with increments made after at least a week. The purpose of this is to give the body a chance to get used to this new activity and build up the stamina. To prevent injury stretching is important both before and after the run and starting and finishing the run with a brisk walk. In addition, make sure that proper shoes and gear are worn.

Now let’s get to more concrete stuff.

Equipment: A pair of running shoes (proper size) and clothing appropriate for the weather are necessary. Feet have varied shapes as running shoes also have different shapes.

Variations in Running: Jogging for exercise: This can be part of a regular routine or a type of cross-training if your primary exercise activity is swimming, aerobics etc. Moderate Distance: This includes preparing or training for 4K and 8K runs.

Long Distance: This includes more ambitious distances such as half-marathons (13 km) and marathons (26 km). Cross Country: Running outdoors on varied terrain over varied distances. Aqua Running: A good low-impact alternative in which you run in a pool while wearing a flotation vest.

Short Distance: Generally varies from 100 meters to 2 km and requires faster speeds. For those seeking social interaction as part of their running activity, local running clubs/organizations offer weekly club runs. Camaraderie among recreational runners is legendary, take advantage of it!

Muscle Groups Involved in Jogging: Running involves the lower body (the ankles, knees, and hips). Specifically, running works the hip flexors, the quadriceps, the hamstrings, and the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.


Risks: Injury is always a possibility, especially in the area of the knee and foot. If you plan to begin a running program, ease into it gradually. Do not increase distance more than 10 percent per week. Pulled muscles and other related aches and pains can be avoided with a proper warm-up.

Safety: Take your runs in familiar neighborhoods close to home. Try to avoid busy streets and intersections – pedestrians rarely appear on automobile drivers’ radar screens. Running at dusk, dawn, or in darkness, when visibility is low, requires that you wear bright and reflective clothing.

Concerns: Do not increase distance or intensity too quickly.

Running Workouts/Programs

How would you classify your running?

Beginning – people who use running as a way to meet minimum aerobic fitness requirements. Little interest in pushing the limits of distance or speed.

Intermediate/Moderate – runners who run beyond minimum aerobic fitness requirements, occassionally pushing limits of distance and speed.

Competitive/Intense – runners who train intensely and often push limits (possibly in competition).

Beginner Program:

(no serious competition – possibly 1 to 2 races per year for fun)

Frequency: 3-4 days/week Intensity: 50-85% VO2 Max or HRR

Duration: 20-35 minutes per workout

Mode: continuous running (generally 3.5 km or less)

Distance: 12-24 km per week

Intermediate Program:

(including occassional competition)

Frequency: 3-5 days/week

Intensity: 60-85% VO2 Max or HRR

Duration: 20-45 minutes per workout

Distance: 22-40 km per week Mode: - continuous running (generally 4+ km per workout) - interval training 1-2 sessions per week (for racers)

Competitive Program:


Frequency: 4-6 days/week Intensity: 70-85% VO2 Max or HRR

Duration: 30-60 minutes

Distance: 46+ km/week Mode: - continuous running (up to marathon distance)

- interval running 1-2 sessions per week

Interval Training:

The purposes of interval training are to:

Improve anaerobic performance, hence speed

Adapt the body to racing conditions, including race pace and high levels of lactate in the muscles

Accomplish more overall work with less physiological strain in comparison with continuous running.

There are 3 types of interval training, all of which require the runner to run at or above race pace for a given time or distance. The first type, fartleks, are sustained bursts of speed during continuous running. The runner increases from a slower pace up to race pace for a predetermined distance and time.

After the time or distance has been reached, the runner slows back to the previous training pace. These are repeated at regular intervals through out the run. The second type of interval, repeats, are simply repeat runs at or above race pace for a given distance or time. These intervals vary in distance and speed and may even include hill work. The third type of interval, formal intervals, are run on the track at a given distance with a specific goal time. Go! Go! Go!


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