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How to Lose Weight by Training for a 5K

author image Pam Murphy
Pam Murphy is a writer specializing in fitness, childcare and business-related topics. She is a member of the National Association for Family Child Care and contributes to various websites. Murphy is a licensed childcare professional and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Georgia.
How to Lose Weight by Training for a 5K
Sign up for a race to help you stick with your training. Photo Credit 5k image by Byron Moore from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Most 5K training plans include three to four days of walking and/or running and two to three days of cross-training each week. If you follow a novice training plan, you should be race ready in six to eight weeks. Since training for a 5K typically requires up to six days of aerobic exercise per week, it can help you lose weight, especially if you combine your new exercise regime with healthy eating. If you consistently burn more calories than you consume, the pounds will fall off.

Step 1

Choose a 5K training program. Author and trainer Hal Higdon offers free 5K training programs for novice, intermediate and advanced runners on his website. Other free training schedules available online include the one provided by Health magazine and one developed by marathon runner Jeff Galloway. Once you've chosen a training program, pick your start date and get moving.

Step 2

Eat balanced, properly portioned meals. Good nutrition will help you stay energized for your weekly workouts. You can run, cross-train and lose weight without any special diets. Carb-loading or additional protein is not necessary for you to meet your goals, and could sabotage your efforts. Instead, aim for a healthful balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins to achieve sustainable weight loss, advises the American Dietetic Association.

Step 3

Make two of your cross-training workouts resistance training. Adding muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week promotes weight loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC. The CDC recommends that you incorporate exercises that target major muscle groups including your shoulders, arms, legs, chest, abdomen and back.

Step 4

Add intervals to your training runs. Even if your training schedule doesn't specify interval training, you can use it to help you meet your weight loss goals. When running intervals, switch between short bursts of sprinting and slower running. Either time your intervals or choose a landmark on the track or road where you will change speeds.

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