You probably haven’t been “taught” how to run. You just do it the way you’ve always done it – right? Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. Did you start running as a way to lose some weight – but you’re gaining weight?! It turns out there are a few downfalls to running – and we’re here to set you on the right path.


Nothing can be more frustrating than to log a lot of running miles during a week and then step on the scale to find a weight gain – rather than a loss. There are many reasons why this could happen. Here are a few:

  • Calories in – calories out. If you burned 1500 calories in a day, but ingested 2000, you’re up a net 500 calories. This is a common mistake. People eat to reward themselves after a long run. Or treat themselves to a high-caloric or high-sugar food. Stick to the good stuff and skip the treats.
  • Increase your miles. Research shows that for weight loss, a person needs to burn approximately 2,800 calories per week through exercise. That is equivalent to about 28 miles per week for the average runner. Remember to have rest/recovery days in your schedule. To hit 28 miles, you could run: 7 – skip a day – 7 – skip a day – 10 – skip a day – 4 on the last day. 
  • Don’t drink your calories. Unless you’re running for more than 90 minutes, or training for a marathon, you don’t need to drink a sports drink during or after your runs. They add calories without generating a full feeling. Stick to water for hydration and real food for calories.
  • Add variety. Just like other areas of your fitness regime, variety is the spice for your running life. Mix it up. Run varying distances and varying speeds. Sprint for a bit – then jog. If you always run the same distance and the same pace your body may adjust and the weight loss will plateau. 
  • Avoid injury. Remember to stretch before and after EVERY run. Invest in quality, good-fitting shoes. Make sure you add strength training to your weekly routine.


      Are you running for fitness – and then you have to stop for some medical or comfort reason? This is not unusual. Running on a regular basis can result in
      a variety of mildly distressing conditions. Have these happened to you?

      • Black toenails. These are caused by constant rubbing of your toe against the front of your shoe. A blood blister forms under the toenail and the blister can’t breathe, so it takes a long time to heal. The toenail frequently falls off. Solution: Wear shoes about ½ size larger than your regular size. Wear wicking socks – not cotton. Avoid the hot day runs. Be patient. The toenail will fall off and regrow.
      • Leaky bladder. Have you been running and discover that your shorts are wet – and it isn’t sweat? A leaking bladder is more common for women than for men. Solution: Kegels. It’s a great exercise for many reasons.
      • Diarrhea. Runner’s trots are more common for beginning runners. People get a cramping sensation and need to find a restroom. Solution: Avoid high-fiber foods (fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains) and coffee or tea before working out. Drink water – or a sports drink with electrolytes. Choose food that is naturally constipating, such as bananas, plain bagels, rice, oatmeal and pasta.
      • Acne breakouts. Runners can experience an acne breakout on the face, back or chest due to a mixture of sunscreen, sweat and road dirt which can clog the pores which then rub against clothing. Solution: Change out of sweaty exercise clothes after running and shower as soon as possible.
      • Itchy legs or hives. This could be either broken capillaries or cholinergic urticarial which is a type of reaction caused by the increase in body temperature that occurs while running, most often during hot weather. Solution: If the capillaries are broken, this should stop occurring when a person becomes more fit and the circulation is better. The small hives (cholinergic urticarial) can be prevented with antihistamines. If that doesn’t work, avoid running on hot or humid days.
      • Sore or bloody nipples. This usually isn’t a problem for women who wear tight fitting sports bras that eliminate rubbing. Solution: Men can protect their nipples with Vaseline or BodyGlide or a Band-Aid.

      These are a few runners’ concerns. Don’t let them scare you away because the benefits far outweigh (weigh less?) the few concerns we’ve mentioned here.


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