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The Best Running Pace for Weight Loss

author image Jay Donelson
Jay Donelson began writing fitness and nutrition articles for LIVESTRONG.COM in 2011. Jay has a Bachelor of Arts in English from West Virginia University and a Master of Arts in adult education from the University of Rhode Island. He is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist (CFNS).
The Best Running Pace for Weight Loss
Find your fat-burning heart rate zone to lose weight.

One way to determine the best running pace for weight loss is to monitor your heart rate. Elevating your heart rate so that it is in the optimum zone for losing weight can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. The key is determining the right zone for you individually and then monitoring your heart rate during exercise to ensure you are in that zone.

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Resting Heart Rate

Your resting heart is an effective measure of your current physical condition. To measure your resting heart rate, take your heart rate soon after waking over the course of three to four days. Feel your radial or carotid pulse for one minute and count the number of beats. The average of those measurements is your resting rate. If your resting heart rate is over 90, see a doctor before starting a running regimen.

Maximum Heart Rate

Your maximum heart rate represents the most times that your heart can beat in a minute before health-related problems can occur. To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. As you exercise, monitor your heart using a heart rate monitor. You can buy a strapless monitor to wear during your runs. If your heart rate approaches your maximum, slow down or stop entirely and let your heart rate return to its resting rate before continuing.

Burning Fat

According to Brian Mac Sports Coach, the optimum zone for burning fat during exercise is 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Multiply your maximum heart rate by 0.6 and 0.7 to determine your fat-burning zone. As you run, focus on setting your pace fast enough to get your heart rate up into this zone for at least 30 minutes and up to 60 minutes per training session.

The Fat-Burning Zone

There are many ways to run to elevate your heart rate into the fat-burning zone. One way is to find a steady pace that gets your heart rate into this zone. Another way is to include inclines, or hills, and sprints followed by steadier, slower jogging. When you run regularly, your body adjust to your exercise and it becomes harder to reach the necessary zone. Continually modifying your runs to increase the challenge can help you lose the weight.

Burning Calories

While a steady pace burns calories, your running speed makes a significant difference in the total number of calories burned. An easy 30 minute jog burns 180 calories if you weigh 125 pounds and 266 calories at 185 pounds. Pick up the pace to a 6 mph run and you'll burn between 300 and 444 calories in 30 minutes. Runners who can maintain a 10 mph pace burn between 495 and 733 for that same one-half hour run. Changing your running speed can make a difference in the amount of calories burned and weight lost per week.

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