Good Run Guide

RUNNING AND Weight management

Advice on how running can help with weight control and weight loss.


Keep Track

We know that maintaining a healthy weight and body fat percentage is an important priority for the majority of runners which is why we've included a Weight Tracker as one of the training tools available to you. 

Keeping track of your weight helps you to stay at a weight you are happy with.

If you are a seasoned runner you will know how much easier it is to maintain a healthy weight when you run without having to go on those crash diets!  Keeping track of your weight helps you to stay at a weight you are happy with and if you already have a weight/fat history this can be easily entered into the Weight Tracker enabling you to produce all sorts of interesting graphs (including comparing your weight and distance run through our training Log Book).


Recording your Weight

Body weight and fat percentage can vary by a surprising amount during the day, so in order to make a meaningful comparison over time, take your measurements at the same time each day, preferably on a typical day (e.g. not after a night out!) .  Also, do not weigh yourself after running and allow a few hours after a meal.  In the morning, as soon as you get up, is a good time, as is the early evening before eating.


Losing Weight

Running is one of the best activities for burning Calories. Approximately 100 Calories are burned for each mile you run, depending on your starting weight.

If you need to lose weight, just remember weight loss and maintenance is mostly a simple matter of 'Calories in' versus 'Calories out'.  1lb of weight is roughly equivalent to 3500 Calories. So, if you wish to lose 1lb in a week, it is necessary to take in 3500 Calories less over the week.  However, this is psychologically hard to maintain by diet alone and more importantly can lead to protein and muscle mass loss.  Studies conclude that the best way to lose (or maintain weight) is with a combination of calorie deficit and energy burn through exercise. It's best not to try to lose more than 2lb a week as this can actually be very unhealthy and certainly won’t help your running.  If you are training for a long distance race make sure you re-fuel within an hour with a high carbohydrate meal/snack after each hard session or you won’t be doing yourself any favours.

Running is one of the best activities for burning Calories. Approximately 100 Calories are burned for each mile you run, although this will depend on your starting weight, the effort intensity and the gradient of the run.  Our training Log Book includes a Calorie Calculator to estimate how many Calories you have burned and all our recommened training routes include Calorie estimates.   As a guide, the following table compares the approximate number of Calories burned by a 10 stone man exercising for 45 minutes for different activities.

Activity (45 minutes) Calories Burned *
Running (9 mins/mile) 525
Cycling (light/moderate effort) 381
Swimming (breaststroke) 476
Walking (3 mph) 167
* Estimate based on a body weight of 10 stone


It is important to remember that muscle mass weighs more than fat.

Many people start jogging in an attempt to lose weight but become disillusioned when the pounds do not seem to shift even if calorie intake has not increased.  However, it is important to remember that muscle mass weighs more than fat and also an increase in aerobic activity leads to an increase in blood volume so that, although it is not shown on the scales, body fat is actually being lost although weight may stay the same.  That is why we also include fat percentage and waist measurements on our Weight Tracker.  A pair of scales which also records fat percentage is a good investment and will allow you to keep track of your body fat rather than concentrating on weight alone, which is not always representative of progress. Waist measurement is also a good indicator of health.


Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify underweight, overweight and obesity in adults. It approximates what percentage of your body weight is Fat based on your weight and height. It is calculated in the same way for both men and women.

We calculate your BMI for you each time you record your weight in the Good Run Guide Weight Tracker. You can also calculate your BMI at any time using our BMI Calculator below.

Metric Imperial
  Height feet inches    
  Weight stone lb  
  Height metres    
  Weight kg  

The World Health Organisation classifies BMI into the following ranges:

Underweight < 18.50%
Normal 18.50% - 24.99%
Overweight 25.00% - 29.99%
Obese > 30.00%

NOTE: BMI is a useful health indicator but you should be aware that it is not always representative for people such as runners who do a lot of exercise.  So, although this is a rough guide to a healthy weight, it is best to use your own fat percentage scales and waist measurement if possible.


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