Couch to 5K
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Fat Burning Run-Walk Plan

I've mentioned this plan elsewhere and said I would post a link for anyone who is interested.

I've been reading Jeff Galloway's "Women's Complete Guide to Running" and there are a couple of chapters about fat burning. He says that slow, aerobic running is one of the best ways to burn fat. Oxygen is needed to burn fat, therefore running at an easy pace should keep you in the aerobic or "fat burning" zone. Jeff Galloway has a good reputation so I'm relying on what he says in the book and passing on some of the information - I'm not an expert.

He explains that glycogen is the quick access fuel used during the first 15 minutes of exercise. It produces a high amount of waste product, mainly lactic acid, but if you keep your pace slow you should avoid a significant build up of this waste product. Between 15-45 minutes you should move into fat burning to fuel your exercise - fat is a more efficient fuel and produces less waste product. After 45 minutes you will mainly be burning fat, if your muscles are trained to do so.

The purpose of the fat burning training program is to gradually build up to:

- one long run (or run-walk) a week of 90 minutes or more

- two runs (run-walks) of 45 minutes or more

- 2 or 3 alternative weekly exercise sessions of 45 minutes or more

You should also try and ensure that you take at least 10,000 steps every day.

Now, he goes into more detail on weeks 1-4 and I haven't attempted to include them in my spreadsheet as they are more than covered by the c25k program. The spreadsheet starts at week 5 - even then, many of you will probably already be doing more than the times shown in the early weeks. He strongly advocates taking walk breaks at all levels so you will probably find the walk/run ratio in the plan sounds easier than the C25K and prefer to stick to the intervals in the C25K program and worry/think about fat burning afterwards.

I'm seeing it more as a guideline than something I'm going to follow rigidly. Although I want to burn fat, it's not the only reason I run. I also want to get quicker and I really enjoyed my 10k so I want to do more. I'm planning to do the hill and speeds sessions at running club twice a week. At the weekends I'm going to do a long slow run which I hope will be good for the fat burning as well as being part of my half-marathon training. I'd like to try and fit in the extra walks in between running days.

Anyway, make of it what you will ! :-) I do recommend his books though, very good reading and some interesting ideas. One of his priorities is to help people to stay injury free and that has to be a good thing.

Here's my spreadsheet summary of the plan:

8 Replies

Thanks for the summary. I have been reading his 'Run until you are 100' where he outlines the same theory about fat loss. I think it is very interesting that his approach is very conservative - I want do longer runs when I graduate but I am wary because it appears that many people end up getting injured without Laura! I think it will be walk / run for me after 5K!


Thank you for this, it looks really interesting - especially as I am very interested in fat-burning :-)


Galloway's Book on Running was my bible when I started running (when the earth was still cooling). If he says I can run 'til I'm 100, I'm there. Thanks for posting this info, sfb350, I bookmarked his blog immediately.


You're welcome !


Thanks so much I have printed these off and aim to burn some of my flab :)


Good luck ! I recommend the book too :-)


Thank you Hazel. Inspired me to do a sllllow run for an hour and 10 minutes yesterday. I did Laura's week 9 podcast religiously (walk 5 min - run non-stop for 30 min - cool down for 5 min) and did a run/walk for the remaining 30 minutes. Like the last time I ran for an hour, I felt I had enough oxygen and wasn't all that sweaty either..


Just found your blog and will start fat burning immediately thank you ;)


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