Want to mix up your training regime? Supplement your running training and burn fat fast with these workouts for runners…
By Emma Lewis
Wobbly bits beware! Running can help you increase your activity levels, giving you a better chance of burning more calories than you consume. Do this and your body will start to use your fat reserves to fuel itself.
Great stuff, but being in calorie deficit makes you feel hungry all the time, right? Not necessarily, says Dr Kelsie Johnson, Brooks Run Happy Team member and PT.
‘Hunger is actually reduced when you exercise at a moderate-to-high intensity, which can help stave off hungry phases throughout the day.’ Win-win!
Here are some top running workouts for intermediates and above (if you’re a beginner, concentrate on slow and steady runs at first) to help zap the fat and keep boredom at bay
8 best workouts to supplement your running
1. Workouts for runners: Intervals
Why do it? Upping the intensity once a week will burn calories faster as you’ll be working your body harder. It’ll also help boost your general running speed.
How to do it: ‘Jog for five minutes, run fast for one minute, then jog for five minutes. Repeat several times. Make it harder by reducing the “rest” time, increasing the speed or doing more rounds,’ says Tim Benjamin, WithU co-founder, trainer and former Olympian.
2. Supplement your training: Tabata
Why do it? It’s short and (very!) sharp, but your body will continue to burn calories for hours after you’ve finished, thanks to the EPOC effect (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).
How to do it: ‘Do 20 seconds of sprinting at 100 percent effort, then 10 seconds at a slow jog or walk, repeated for eight rounds.
‘Although it lasts a teeny four minutes, give it your all and you’ll see results,’ says Alex Parren, PT, nutritionist and running coach who works with Meglio fitness and physio equipment.
3. Up your training intensity: Hills
Why do it? Adding a gradient ups the intensity, so you’ll burn calories faster. You’ll also improve your leg strength.
How to do it: ‘Power up the hill, with your core engaged, and in an upright posture,’ says Sean Lerwill, Maximuscle fitness expert. ‘Walk or jog down and repeat several times.
4. Workouts for runners: Ladders
Why do it? It keeps the intensity up for longer periods as there’s no recovery during the ladder.
How to do it: ‘Run for two minutes at 10km/h, then two minutes at 12km/h, then two minutes at 14km/h until you reach a speed you can’t maintain for two minutes.
‘Slow down for a few minutes to an easy pace to recover, then start the ladder again,’ says Dean Hodgkin, health and fitness consultant to leading wellness resort Ragdale Hall Spa.
5. Work on your speed: Fartlek
Why do it? It means ‘speed play’ and is a less structured type of interval training that keeps boredom at bay and your body guessing.
How to do it: ‘Make it up as you go along [try using landmarks in the park to vary effort between], or try something like this: run at 80 per cent effort for 20 seconds, easy jog for 45 seconds, run at 75 per cent effort for 30 seconds, walk for 60 seconds, then sprint at 100 per cent effort for 10 seconds and easy jog for 90 seconds,’ says Parre.
6. Explosive power workouts: Stairs
Why do it? Short and steep, running up stairs boosts leg strength and explosive power and recruits more muscles to keep you stable.
How to do it: ‘Run up any steps on your running route or use your stairs at home at the end of your run,’ says PT Ruth Stone, who works with sweatband.com. Repeat for a total of 10 minutes, walking down in between ascents.
7. Workouts for runners: Turnarounds
Why do it? It keeps training efficiency (and calorie burn) high as your rest is always in proportion to your effort.
How to do it: ‘Pick a set distance and a time to run it in, for example run out for 400m, then turn and run back within five minutes,’ says Hodgkin.
‘You choose the pace but your run and rest combined must add up to the five minutes. So you can run fast and have a longer rest, or run slowly and have less rest before the next repetition. Vary the times and distances to keep it interesting.’
8. For advanced runners: weighted runs
Why do it? If done correctly, the extra weight you’re carrying will force you to use more energy. You’ll also build strength.
How to do it: This one’s strictly for advanced runners with good technique and strength, as there’s an increased injury risk.
Start with minimal extra weight and slowly build up to 10 percent of your body weight. ‘You can hold dumbbells, wear ankle/wrist weights or get a weighted vest,’ says Jason Bone, head of strength at FLEX Chelsea.
‘Start with a shorter distance than normal and go slower to begin with.’ You could also try running with a loaded backpack.