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Cross Training For Runners

6 Fat-Burning Running Workouts to Torch Calories and Boost Fitness

11 Mins read

Are you ready to unlock the secrets of fat-burning running workouts? Well, you’ve stumbled upon the perfect place to do just that!

Let me tell you, my friend, I have a deep love affair with running. The exhilaration of pounding the pavement, the wind in my hair, and the rhythm of my feet—it’s pure magic. And if you’re a fellow runner, you know exactly what I mean, don’t you?

My own journey with running began about 8 years ago when I made the life-changing decision to shed those extra pounds and get into tip-top shape. And let me tell you, weight loss is often the driving force behind many people’s decision to lace up their running shoes. It’s a common goal—to shed the weight and keep it off for good.

But here’s the thing, my friend. To truly maximize your weight loss potential with running, there are two key factors at play.

First, you must follow a sound and healthy diet (but that’s a topic for another time).

Second, and the star of today’s discussion, is the running routine itself—a carefully crafted plan designed to torch those calories in the most efficient way possible.

So, if you’re eager to supercharge your calorie burn on your next run, you’re in for a treat. I’ve got six incredible run workouts that will take your fat-burning potential to new heights. These workouts are specifically tailored to help you achieve maximum results in the shortest time possible.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the heart-pounding, sweat-inducing world of fat-burning run workouts. Trust me, your body will thank you for it!

Fat Burning Running Workout 1. Intervals

If you haven’t heard of intervals, you’ve been missing out on the ultimate calorie-burning secret in the running world. These short bursts of intense exercise paired with recovery periods are like dynamite for torching those extra calories.

Let’s dive into the science, shall we? A study conducted at the University of New South Wales in Australia revealed some eye-opening findings. Running intervals can burn up to three times as many calories as running at a comfortable, easy pace. That’s right, three times the calorie burn! Talk about maximizing your efforts.

And hold on tight, because there’s more research to back it up. Another study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise showed that individuals who incorporated interval running into their workouts burned more calories in the 24 hours following their exercise session than those who stuck to slow, steady mileage.

But that’s not all.

The interval runners also experienced a significant decrease in body fat, around 4 percent, while the other group saw no changes. Now that’s what I call a fat-burning victory!

I could go on and on about the benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for runners, but we’ll save that for another day. Trust me, it’s a topic worth exploring.

Getting Started

Now, let’s talk about getting started with your interval run workouts. The intensity and duration of each sprint will depend on your fitness level and training goals. So, here’s a general guideline to get you on the right track:

First things first, warm-up is key. Spend a good 5 minutes jogging slowly to get your body primed and ready for action. Follow it up with dynamic exercises that engage your muscles and prepare them for the hard efforts ahead.

Once you’re properly warmed up, it’s time to kick it into high gear. Sprint for a glorious 20 seconds, giving it your all. Feel the wind in your hair, the power in your legs, and push yourself to the limit. Then, take a breather and jog for a well-deserved 30-second recovery period.

But we’re not done yet, my friend. Repeat this exhilarating cycle six to eight times, pushing yourself to new heights with each sprint. And when you’ve completed your final sprint, don’t forget to cool down. Jog slowly for another 5 minutes to gradually bring your heart rate back to normal, and make sure to stretch your entire body afterwards to keep those muscles happy and healthy.

Oh, and one last thing—don’t forget your trusty stopwatch. It’s your best friend for keeping track of your run intervals, ensuring you stay on top of your game.

Additional resource – Here’s how to reduce body fat.

Fat Burning Running Workout 2. Weighted Sprints

Are you ready to take your sprint game to the next level? Then it’s time to introduce the secret weapon: the weighted vest. Picture yourself strapping on this vest of power, adding a whole new dimension of intensity and calorie-burning fire to your sprints.

But hold on, it’s not just about the extra weight. There’s science behind it. According to a fascinating article published in Fitness Magazine, walkers who wore a weighted vest equivalent to roughly 20 percent of their body weight burned a whopping 14 percent more calories. That’s like turning up the heat on your calorie-burning furnace!

But here’s the icing on the cake: the benefits go beyond just torching calories. Runners who incorporate weighted vests into their training drills often experience a significant boost in performance once the weight is removed. It’s like training in a higher gravity environment, preparing your body to perform at its peak when the vest comes off. Talk about leveling up your running game!

Now, let’s talk about how to incorporate the weighted vest into your sprint routine. Stick to the same sprint pattern we discussed earlier, but this time, amp up the intensity and resistance by strapping on that vest. Start with a weight that feels comfortable, around five to ten pounds, or aim for a vest that’s about 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight.

Fat Burning Running Workout 3. Hill Runs

Are you ready to conquer the hills and take your sprint sessions to new heights? Get ready for the ultimate challenge because we’re about to dive into the world of hill sprints. Brace yourself, my friend, because when it comes to intensity, hill sprints reign supreme.

Imagine this: hills are like the mighty dragons of the running world. They demand respect, but they also offer great rewards for those brave enough to conquer them. Fitness experts and training coaches consider hill sprints to be the pinnacle of running workouts. They are the crucible where champions are forged and limits are shattered.

So, what makes hills so superior? It’s simple, really.

When you tackle a hill, you’re engaging a whole army of muscles that would otherwise be taking a leisurely stroll on flat terrain. The increased effort and resistance of running uphill translate into a higher calorie burn and a killer full-body workout. It’s like unleashing the forces of nature within your own body.

But that’s not all. Hill sprints also work their magic by strengthening your lower body muscles, transforming you into a speed demon with explosive power. You’ll feel your fitness levels skyrocket as you conquer those inclines like a true champion.

If you’re itching to dive deeper into the world of hill running, make sure to check out my post dedicated to this epic topic. You’ll find even more tips and insights to help you conquer those hills like a seasoned warrior.

Now, let’s talk about how to get started with hill interval runs. If you have access to a treadmill, set it at a 5 percent incline to mimic the challenge of a hill. But if you’re feeling adventurous and crave the real deal, venture outside and find a gentle hill to conquer.

Before you charge up that hill, make sure you warm up properly. Spend around 5 minutes jogging on a flat surface, preparing your body for the battle ahead. And don’t forget some ballistic stretching to awaken those muscles and get them ready to tackle the incline.

Once you’re warmed up and primed for action, it’s time to face the hill. Dig deep, my friend, and run up that hill at a hard but sustainable pace for 20 seconds. Feel the burn, embrace the challenge, and conquer that hill with all your might. Then, jog back to the starting position, take a moment to recover, and prepare for your next ascent.

Repeat this epic cycle of conquering the hill six to eight times, adjusting the number of repetitions based on your fitness level and training goals. And when you’ve conquered that final hill, it’s time for a proper cool-down. Slowly jog back to your starting point, allowing your body to recover and soak in the glory of your triumph.

Running VS. Strength Training

Fat Burning Running Workout 4. The Stairs

Imagine stairs as the stairway to fitness heaven, a simple yet challenging path that leads to greatness. And the best part? Stairs are like a universal gym, offering endless opportunities for bodyweight exercises that will sculpt your muscles and push your limits.

When you step onto those stairs, you’re entering a realm of fitness possibilities. It’s like having a secret training ground right at your feet, waiting for you to unlock its full potential. With every step, you’re not just conquering the stairs, you’re conquering your own limitations and pushing yourself to new heights.

What I love most about stair workouts is the versatility they offer. You can incorporate a variety of bodyweight exercises into your stair routine, turning each step into an opportunity for strength and endurance. Elevate your push-ups by placing your hands on a step, feel the burn in your legs with stair lunges, defy gravity with explosive stair squat jumps, and challenge your core with plank holds. The stairs become your playground, and your body becomes a masterpiece in the making.

Finding the right stairs for your workout is easier than you might think. In almost any city, you can discover a multitude of suitable outdoor steps just waiting to be conquered. Whether it’s the grand staircase at the local school stadium, the stairs in your office building, or even the stairs in your own home, there’s a perfect flight of stairs out there for you. Just make sure they’re safe and ready to unleash your potential.

Now, let’s dive into the workout itself. But first, don’t forget to warm up properly. Take a leisurely stroll up and down the stairs, allowing your body to awaken and prepare for the intense challenge ahead. Give yourself at least five minutes to get those muscles primed and ready for action.

Once you’re warmed up, it’s time to unleash your inner stair sprinter. Picture this: you’re at the bottom of the stairs, a fiery determination burning in your eyes. With a burst of energy, you sprint hard from the bottom to the top as fast as humanly possible. Feel the rush of adrenaline, the power of your legs propelling you upward. And as you reach the top, take a moment to soak in your accomplishment before gently jogging or power walking back down for recovery.

Repeat this cycle of stair sprints and recovery for at least 15 minutes. Challenge yourself, push your limits, and let the stairs become your training partner, pushing you to give it your all. And when you’ve conquered your final sprint, it’s time to bring your session to a close with a proper cool-down. Take a moment to slowly descend the stairs, allowing your heart rate to gradually return to normal. And don’t forget to stretch afterward, giving your hardworking muscles the love and care they deserve.

Additional resource – How to measure body fat percentage

Fat Burning Running Workout 5 Tabata Protocol Runs

Get ready to unleash the beast within with my all-time favorite running workout: the Tabata protocol. It’s like tapping into a hidden well of power and intensity that will leave you breathless and exhilarated. The Tabata session is a straightforward and no-nonsense approach to pushing your limits and taking your fitness to new heights.

Here’s how it works: for twenty seconds, you become a force of nature, giving it your all with maximum effort and output. And just when you think you can’t go any further, a brief ten-second rest allows you to catch your breath and prepare for the next explosive round. You repeat this cycle eight times, unleashing your inner warrior with every repetition.

But wait, there’s more! With the Tabata protocol I’m about to share with you, we’re taking things up a notch by incorporating bodyweight exercises into the mix. It’s like adding fuel to the fire, intensifying the challenge and maximizing the fat-burning potential of your workout.

This combination of Tabata sprints and bodyweight exercises will push your physical limits and leave you with a sense of accomplishment like no other.

The beauty of Tabata is that almost any exercise can be integrated into your sprints. Think squats, pull-ups, lunges—the options are endless. By using your own body weight in conjunction with running, you’re not only testing your stamina and endurance, but also building functional strength that translates to real-life movements. It’s a holistic approach to fitness that challenges both your mind and body.

Now, let’s dive into the routine. Remember, the basic recipe for Tabata training is twenty seconds of intense effort, followed by ten seconds of rest, repeated for a total of eight rounds. Brace yourself for the ultimate test of willpower and determination.

First, start with a dynamic warm-up to prepare your body for the intensity ahead. Engage in some light jogging, dynamic stretches, and mobilize your joints to get the blood flowing and your muscles primed for action.

Once you’re warmed up, it’s time to unleash the fury. Choose an exercise—let’s say squats—and give it your all for twenty seconds. Feel the burn, feel your muscles working, and give it everything you’ve got. Then, take a well-deserved ten-second breather to recover and prepare for the next round.

Repeat this cycle for eight rounds, pushing yourself to new limits with each repetition. Embrace the burn, embrace the challenge, and tap into your inner strength. Remember, it’s not just about the physical exertion—it’s about pushing past your mental barriers and realizing your true potential.

When you’ve completed the Tabata sprints with squats, it’s time to move on to the next bodyweight exercise. Whether it’s pull-ups, lunges, or any other exercise of your choice, the same rules apply: twenty seconds of maximum effort, ten seconds of rest, and eight rounds of pure determination.

As you reach the end of your Tabata protocol, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve conquered the challenge, you’ve pushed yourself beyond your limits, and you’ve proven that you are capable of extraordinary things. Take a moment to cool down with some light jogging or walking, allowing your heart rate to gradually return to normal. And don’t forget to stretch those hardworking muscles, showing them some love and promoting recovery.

After a decent warm-up (5-minute jog and some light stretching) do the following:

  • Exercise One: Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Two: Tabata push-ups as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Three: Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Four: Tabata squats as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Five: Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Six : Tabata sit-ups as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Seven : Sprint 200 meters, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Eight: Tabata burpees as many as possible in 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.
  • Exercise Nine: Sprint full effort until you can’t do no more.

Finish off this powerful session with a proper cool down.

Jog slowly for five minutes and stretch your whole body.

Additional resource – How to eat less sugar

Fat Burning Running Workout 6.. Go Long

Forget what you’ve heard about long runs being the ultimate solution for weight loss while running.

While it’s true that a 30-minute sprint workout will torch more calories than a leisurely 45-minute jog, long runs still have their rightful place in your training program—no matter your fitness goals. Let me break it down for you and reveal why incorporating long, slow distance runs (LSD) into your routine can be a game-changer.

First and foremost, long runs are not just about burning calories in the moment. They serve a greater purpose by improving your overall fitness foundation, setting the stage for more effective high-intensity workouts. Think of them as the sturdy pillars supporting the structure of your running performance.

But that’s not all. Long runs work wonders for enhancing your cardiovascular capacity and strengthening your ligaments, making you more resilient and capable during intense sprints and shorter runs.

And let’s not forget about form and mechanics. Long runs provide the perfect opportunity to fine-tune your running technique. With each stride, you can focus on maintaining proper posture, engaging the right muscles, and optimizing your efficiency.

Now, before you lace up those shoes and hit the pavement for an epic long run, let me clarify a few important details. One session per week is sufficient to reap the maximum calorie-torching benefits. Keep the pace conversational, allowing yourself to comfortably hold a conversation while running. Aim for a duration of no more than 45 minutes, gradually increasing the time while adhering to the golden 10 percent rule: avoid increasing your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent to prevent overuse injuries.

So, there you have it—a balanced approach that combines the power of high-intensity workouts with the endurance-building benefits of long runs. It’s a recipe for success in your weight loss and fitness journey.

Give these fat-burning running workouts a try, and don’t hesitate to share your thoughts or questions in the comments below. If you’re hungry for more strategies on losing belly fat while running, be sure to check out my comprehensive article on the topic.

Thank you for joining me on this running adventure. Keep pushing your limits, celebrating your progress, and embracing the joy of the run.

Additional resource  – Trx for runners


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