Have you been increasing calories but your weight is stuck? Well. you're not alone. Check out our client question below!
Client Question: I used to run 3 miles at a time, and have recently increased to 6 miles most days. I
am surprised that I am not dropping weight and that I still have ‘problem
areas’ that are flabby. What is going on? I can’t possibly increase my mileage
is a great tool for body recomposition because it burns more calories than just
about any cardiovascular activity—but it does have its limitations.
of all, realize that the body is an amazing adaptive machine. Whatever you do
on a habitual basis, your body will adapt to and accommodate by becoming more
efficient at that activity. Your body will become more efficient at running and
your times will improve to help with the goal of running is to improve your time.
However, becoming more efficient at running means you burn fewer calories doing
it, which will not help you if your
goal is to burn body fat. Sure, you can run farther now, but you will burn
fewer calories with each mile. Also, when you run a lot your body will begin to
shed muscle because muscle is extra weight that slows down your running, which
is bad for your appearance and for your metabolism.
Running 6 miles will always burn more calories than running 3 miles, but will not burn double the calories. There are
some things you need to do to keep your body from adapting. When you are
running a lot, you need to make more sure than ever you consume at least 1 gram
per lb. of body weight. Also, you need a solid weight training program and you
need to occasionally choose other types of cardio so that you body doesn’t
The best strategy
is to include speed work as part of your weekly running in addition to your
weight training, your longer cardio runs, and your interval work. Your
nutrition also needs to be appropriate for your goals.
**Mentioning nutrition - some people increase their food consumption when they exercise more or harder--whether it be consciously because they tell themselves they've 'earned' it, or subconsciously because they just get hungrier. Watch for this.**
The benefit of
running is that it’s great to train your body to become more efficient and
cardiovascularly fit in the least amount of time. I recommend doing 2 days per
week of a longer run, and those days should be high protein and lower carb days.
You can either
perform weight-training 2 days per week or half-body weight training 4 days per
week in order to keep your muscle mass. On those days you can also incorporate
speed work. I recommend one day per week of repeated bouts of sprints and one or
two days per week or relatively short, easy runs with a sprint at the end, or
of an alternate cardio workout such as complexes or an aerobics class.
This way you will
have the best of all worlds—the large calorie burn and cardiovascular
conditioning of the longer runs, plus the metabolic stimulation of the speed
work and other types of cardio to keep it fresh.