Run 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.