Run to lose

Keen to shift those extra pounds? You can slim down by training for any race distance - as long as you're smart about it. So what are you waiting for? Sign up to lose.

Almost every runner has wanted to lose weight at some point. The promise of getting lean is part of what lures many of us to sign up and train for a race. And for good reason: committing to a goal can give you the motivation you need to exercise regularly and burn more calories. Physiologically, losing weight through a combination of diet and exercise is more effective than diet alone, with your runs maintaining or increasing lean muscle mass, which keeps your metabolism firing. Psychologically, even if your prime goal is dropping pounds, setting running goals in tandem will keep you motivated. Races give you the structure of a training plan and push you to progress as a runner. All of which feeds back in a virtuous circle of weight loss.

Becoming a ‘racer’ can boost your self-esteem, changing the way you see yourself and your capacity to take control of your life, which in turn can have a profound effect on your ability to control your weight. There’s no guarantee that your race photo will feature your slimmer self, though. Yes, clocking more training miles means more calories burned, but some runners – hungry from increased activity – eat more than they need to.

To ensure you lose weight, you need to pick the right race distance for your situation and pair your training with the right nutrition plan. Over the following pages, we’ll show you how to do both – so when you cross the finish line, the only extra weight you’ll be carrying will be that shiny medal round your neck.

Run to lose shopping list. 

Previous article
Runner's recipes with Sarah
Next page
5K or 10K


Discuss this article

Why is a running magazine publishing incorrect information and fueling a myth? MUSCLE does NOT weigh more than FAT!! A lb of muscle and a lb of fat is a POUND!! Surely some people can remember their school days - weighing a pound of feathers against a pound of something else!! I'm disappointed!! see this article on weight watchers website:

Ask the Personal Trainer: Does Muscle Weigh More Than Fat? We resolve the controversy once and for all. Article By: William R. Sukala, MS, CS 'Muscle does not weigh more than fat, any more than lead weighs more than feathers. A pound is a pound is a pound. Where the misunderstanding often comes in is that muscle is much more dense than fat, so that, by volume, it seems to weigh more. That is, a pound of muscle occupies less space than a pound of fat. In addition, because a pound of muscle burns more fat than a pound of fat, even at rest, by increasing your lean muscle tissue mass, you're helping your body burn more calories.' Please RW check your facts before publishing rubbish!
Posted: 05/06/2013 at 07:56

Most people are smart enough to know what people mean when they say 'muscle weighs more than fat'. 

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 09:48

I think I knew what they meant. It isn't worth worrying about.

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 09:48

It is fairly obvious they mean in terms of volume!

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 09:50


The statement that muscle weighs more than fat is grammatically incorrect - though the idea is the same it's more correct to say is that muscle is denser than fat.

Back to your school days you'll remember that a cubic cm of lead weighs more than a cubic cm of feathers.

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 09:55

What's grammar got to do with it?

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 09:57

I knew what he meant. He made a good point. 

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:01

Nikki, WHERE exactly does this article state that 'muscle weighs more than fat'??  And anyway, obviously 1lb of anything weighs the same as 1lb of something else (!), but the fact that muscle tissue is denser than fat, meaning that the volume is less, is a fair enough explanation as to why you may look slimmer but weigh the same. the 'muscle ways more than fat' line is just a simple way of referring to this - calm down and don't get so caught up in semantics dear!!

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:52

Its about 5 pages in. I had to look to see.
Posted: 05/06/2013 at 11:50

Nikki - do you write letters to Viz magazine?

Well, you could knock me down with a feather - because a ton of feathers weighs the same as a ton of bricks. If I'm following your logic correctly.

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 13:24

(scratches head)
Posted: 05/06/2013 at 13:27

It's like the thing with tea having more caffeine than coffee. Gram for gram it does, but in the same size cup coffee has a bigger dose. Or something.

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 14:08

Beats the shit out of me what he's on about

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 14:08

I understood what he meant SR.

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 15:11

Get a grip large blob of fat weighing a 1lb is much larger than a 1lb of muscle, so if you had a piece of muscle the size of the 1lb fat it is much bigger ! That's all x 

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 17:09

Good article!  I'm pretty experienced with 5k-10k races, and I've recently signed up to a half marathon - so I found some useful sounding tips which should help adjust my trainig (and eating!!). 

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 20:35

Trivial point. You might as well say nothing weighs more than anything else if the initial quantity is determined by weight.

Posted: 08/06/2013 at 13:38

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.