How Many Miles and How Much Cardio?

by Fiona

Hi there. My question is basically Im starting back on my treadmill after a lapse from it. I started to do a cardio dvd which I was finding very good. My muscles were in agony after the first few days but I was finding it good.

My question is though I have to lose a stone weight. I am starting to watch my diet but how much cardio and how many miles should I do in the week.

Should I do both the same day.

I often find after the cardio work out which is forty mins using weights and circuits that I am a bit tired but not too bad.

I am confused as to know how much of what to do.

I would really appreciate your help on this as I really want to shift the stone before the summer and I don't mind putting in the hard work but i want to do it properly.

I was running up to 2.5 miles a day as I had a lapse for a few months so I am back starting again on the treadmill.

Thanks so much for your help and advice

running tipsAnswer by Dominique:

Hi Fiona,
Great to hear from you again. Now a stone is, if I remember my conversions well, about 6.5kg.

When you want to achieve weight loss, running is a good choice. And extra cardio work will help as well.

It's very hard to comment on exactly how much cardio you should do and how much running. But I'll give you an idea of the elements and calculations involved.

Hopefully enough for you to work out what to do.

When you want to achieve weight loss, you need to burn more calories than you consume.

The average number of calories a woman should take in, doing normal activities under normal circumstances, is about 2,000 calories a day. That is, to maintain your weight.

When you do more activities (i.e. running / cardio) then you will burn more calories.

However, when you eat more, you will take in more calories.

So, when working on weight loss goals your diet and your exercise are both absolutely critical elements in the equation.

Burning off 1 kg of fat is about the equivalent of 3,500 - 4,000 calories. If you weigh 80kg now, then you'd have to run about 45 - 50km to burn that. See my Calories Burned Calculator for the calculation. Quite a lot, so let's break it down in parts.

Let's say you want to lose 1 kg per week. So, each week you have to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 - 4,000 calories.

Now, instead of 2,000 calories per day you restrain yourself to 1,800 calories per day, 200 calories deficit per day.

That's 7 x 200 = 1,400 calories.

Then your exercise still needs to cover off 2,100 - 2,600 calories. You could do that by running about 25-30km weekly or 4km per day (see the calculator).

That's very doable for you, but 1,800 calories is quite limited. Eat more and you'll have to exercise more to still create that calorie deficit of 3,500 - 4,000 calories.

As for the mix between running and your cardio DVD: I have got no idea how many calories the DVD makes you burn and I don't know your diet, so can't tell you how much to do of each.

The cardio DVD sounds like a good workout though and it works your upper body, so I'd definitely keep doing it.

You could do the DVD with a little bit of running one day, then the next day dedicate to running only, etc to alternate and give both upper and lower body sufficient rest in between.

Hope this provides you with sufficient information.
Kind regards,

P.S. Other useful pages are:

Runner's Diet

Running for Weight Loss

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