Stuck in a Runner's Rut? 4 Ways to Bust That Plateau

Get the scale moving again with these little tweaks to your running routine.


cross-train-burn-fat
Get the scale moving again with these little tweaks to your running routine.

Running the same distance at the same pace month after month can keep you from losing weight—and even cause you to gain, if you keep eating the same amount. Thats because your body adapts to the workout, making it less effective. In other words, you burn fewer calories doing it. Luckily, you can get (and keep) the scale moving in the right direction by mixing things up a bit. Try one of these tricks.

Run faster
Speed up your run once a week, aiming to cover your usual distance in less time. After warming up, alternate 2 minutes of hard effort with 2 minutes of easy running; repeat for 2 miles. Cool down at an easy pace.

Go farther
Once a week, add a half-mile to your normal route; increase every 2 weeks until you reach 6 miles—the ideal distance for burning calories and building endurance.

Get stronger
Add 20 minutes of full-body strength training (lunges, push-ups, squats, etc.) 2 to 3 times per week to build lean muscle tissue, trim inches, and boost metabolism.

Cross-train
Once or twice a week, replace your running routine with a different activity, such as cycling, stair-climbing, or swimming. Your body wont know whats coming next and will have to work extra hard. Every 4 to 6 weeks, switch to a new cross-training activity.
Jenny Hadfield
Last Updated: July 08, 2009

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