Strength training is important at this junction because you will soon want to move to running-only (no walking) workouts. But before you do, you need to make sure that all of the bones, tendons and ligaments can handle not only more minutes running, but also some minutes of faster running.
This is a great time to work with a personal trainer. If you're strapped for cash, no worries, you'll only need this person for a few weeks, and you can continue to do their workouts once you enter the next phase of your training.
More: How to Choose the Right Personal Trainer
As you've probably guessed, another great thing about this phase is that between the run/walk and general strength, you're spending more time working out each week than you did before.
Tip 5: How to Continue Losing Weight
If you want to continue losing weight on a running program, then you need to keep increasing the volume, or how far or long you run. The body is very cautious about fat loss. While those first few pounds may have come off easily, eventually, a 20-minute run isn't going to keep you losing weight at the rate it once did.
More: Why Is It So Hard to Lose Weight?
But, now you're ready for more running. And it's a great time to sign up for a 5K or even a 10K, and follow a training program. You're fit from the run/walk program, and you're strong from the general strength and mobility program.
More: How Runners Can Begin a Strength-Training Program
Tip 6: Be Smart About Progression
The one problem with this phase in your training is the desire to run faster. No doubt you're thinking, "If I run harder or faster, won't I burn more calories?"
The answer is yes, but the problem is that your risk of injury goes up when you attempt to run faster. This is why I think it's important to work with a coach (or a personal trainer, if they have a sound foundation in running training methodology). A coach can help you find that fine line between running a controlled, challenging pace in a workout, but not crossing the line into an area that will lead to injury.
More: 7 Secrets to Finding a Running Coach
The same thing is true about making big jumps in mileage. You might think, "If I'm losing a pound a week at 30 miles a week, then I should try to run 45 miles a week and maybe I'd drop two pounds a week."
You need to be cautious when bumping up your mileage. Can you handle one week at a new level? Probably. But can you handle two weeks, plus faster workouts? Probably not. Again, a coach can walk you through the correct next steps in your training, and prevent you from taking the wrong next steps.
More: Quiz: Do You Need a Running Coach?
Bottom line is that running is a great way to lose weight. All you need to do is be patient, knowing this is a journey of weeks and months. If you're patient, you'll see good results from your running efforts.
More: A Runner's Guide to Weight Loss
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