How to run to lose weight? Tips from a sports coach

It’s decided: you want to refine yourself and to achieve this, you have run.

Good idea ! But be careful: just taking a few strides now and then is not enough to lose weight thanks to running. Discover the advice of a sports coach.

13.5 million. This is the number of French people who run regularly.

Because running allows you to stay in shape, because it is a free sport accessible to all, it appeals to the greatest number of people.

But these are not its only strengths: some also practiced running to lose weight .

To achieve this goal, however, it is not enough to put on your trainers and take a few strides. How to run to lose weight? The explanations of Romain Palis, sports coach.


Find your rhythm. This is the watchword when you decide to run ! To do this, it is advisable to start slowly, before running at medium intensity.

Perfect for burning calories ? Be between 65 to 75% of your maximum heart rate (HRM). To find her, just do the following calculation: “220 – her age”.

The result corresponds to the number of beats per minute that should be got during a running session.

Please note: this calculation is not 100% reliable and does not apply to people with health problems such as breathing difficulties.

The idea is then to change your running rhythm gradually, while remaining in the same proportions of heart rate.

This allows everyone to progress, to continue to burn as many calories as possible.


The weight loss caused by running can be a loss of fat, but also a loss of other energy substrates.

For a better proportion of fat loss , it is advisable to run at medium intensity for at least 30 minutes.

It is therefore this duration that beginners should ideally reach. Runners with an intermediate level can do sessions ranging from 30 to 45 minutes.

The most experienced athletes can run 45 minutes, or even more.

Focus on interval training to burn as many calories as possible.


The interval training, is the interval training, is a method of varying intensity during the same session and alternating phases of work and recovery phases.

This is also the principle of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) , a technique known to burn a lot of calories in a short time.

The idea? Running 5 minutes at a certain intensity, then 5 minutes at another intensity, for example.

This method makes it possible to increase the basic metabolism the number of calories spent without exerting physical effort.

And for good reason: the more you work in intervals , the more the body needs to recover.

It is this recovery that makes it possible to increase the basal metabolism, because thanks to the interval training, we continue to burn calories after training.

This is called “the after burn”.

Please note: I do not recommend interval training for beginners. As for runners with an intermediate or confirmed level, they should never do more interval training than a classic race during the same session.


Do you want to lose weight ? Running once in a while is not enough. For optimum results, I advise beginners to do two to three workouts per week.

Do you have an intermediate level? Instead, take three to four weekly sessions. And if you are an experienced runner, you can also do three to four sessions per week, including interval training.

Muscle strengthening alongside running


To promote weight loss , it is advisable to build muscle besides running. And for good reason: the more muscular we are, the faster our basal metabolism is, and they facilitate the more fat loss.

These strengthening exercises can be done at home without equipment or at the gym with weight machines.

Besides helping us burn calories, this activity helps strengthen the joints, which limits the risk of injury when we run.


If running is a real ally in weight loss, so is diet. An unbalanced or unsuitable diet should not offset the energy expenditure allowed by running!

Starches , vegetables and proteins are therefore the winning combination for losing weight while taking care of your muscles!

What about training on an empty stomach? If it can promote weight loss, I do not recommend this method for beginners because it can cause hypoglycemia .

Runners with an intermediate or advanced level can run on an empty stomach, but only at low or medium intensity.


How long does it take to see the results? If we integrated all the previously mentioned factors into the sports and nutritional routine, novice runners can expect to see results from the first month, with a weight loss of between 2 and 4 kilos.


Forget about the notion of pleasure. A running session should be a moment of relaxation before it is a means of losing weight.

This is the reason it is advisable to aim for a health goal rather than focusing on an aesthetic goal, which can create frustrations.

Obsessed with the scale. It’s no secret that running builds muscle. However, muscle weighs more than fat, so the weight displayed on the scale can be misleading.

Therefore, we should not rely solely on this tool to see a physical change.

Over-training. Multiplying your running sessions more than you need to do is not recommended for weight loss.

And for good reason: when the body does not have time to recover, it causes an increase in cortisol , which is none other than the stress hormone.

A phenomenon that limits weight loss!

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