Ask a trainer

Kevin Bryce

Question of the Week:

I’m willing to start running to lose weight and get fit. What is an effective running routine for the normal Joe and Jane Shmoe, a routine that keeps me fit but doesn’t demand all of my time? Is three days a week effective? How long should I run in each session? Is it easier to measure by distance or time? What times of day are best? Should I eat food before or after? What is a good food to eat to coincide with running? Overall, I’m not looking to compete but merely looking to stay fit by running. What can you recommend?

UMKC weight trainer Jeanne Rankin responds:

If you are not doing much cardio now, then any type of conditioning should help you lose weight (assuming you are also eating healthy). To start, go three times a week for 20 minutes; within a couple months, try going four-five times a week for 30-40 minutes each session. Challenge yourself…try to run faster every week.

Trails with mile markers are a great way to figure out if you are running faster or if you need to pick up the pace. If you get bored by running the same speed, then try a Fartlek run such as 30-second jog-30-second sprint-30-second jog-30-second walk, three-minute fast jog-one-minute walk or 10-minute jog-one-minite sprint-one-minute walk.

A great way to kick-start your metabolism every day is with a morning run. Make sure to have something small (like a granola bar) about 30 minutes before your morning run. A cup of chocolate milk within 30 minutes post-workout will help the recovery process, and you always need a well-balanced meal within two hours.

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