This myth stems from when we see runners, they are in-fact very, very lean.
However, its not because they run that makes then lean.
They make themselves lean, to be a better runner.
Lean does not equal Thin.
Being lean means you have a very low Body Fat Ratio.
Thin just means a smaller dress size and lighter on the scale.
This is an average range of having a "Good" body fat ratio, give or take a % here and there.
- Guys - 6-13%
- Girls - 12-20%
Running is great cardio, it builds a stronger heart, and increases basal metabolic rate.
Not to say Running won't help you lose weight, it will, but to be really lean, you need focus on diet and nutrition.
Reduce fats, oils and sugar (not all, you still need fat and sugar to give you energy). Amp up the Protein and Iron
But make sure your body has plenty of Iron, Protein and enough Carbs and Fats to build a stronger body and to sustain the run.
Of times, people just cut calories, to lose weight, which doesn't necessarily lead to a better body.
Common Scenario 1: A person will give up a steak dinner and replace it with a salad.
While a day or 2 a week of drastically lowering your caloric consumption is great for weight loss, you need to remember your body is now Lacking Iron and Protein, 2 sources of building muscle.
So what happens to your body when you start working out and your muscles have 0 fuel? (what happens when you drive a car without Gas?)
- Your muscles Break Down and can't repair themselves leading to your body to have more and more and MORE FLAB!!! The muscle actually starts Eating away at itself, causing you to lose what little muscle mass you originally had. That is why you see really skinny people at a Size 0, but they have 28% Body fat ratio.
- BALDING - your body will start drawing Iron away form your Hair, leading your hair to Fall Out! That's not a pretty picture ladies and gents. Flab and balding.. gasp!
Common Scenario 2: (this is my challenge) When we run, our bodies are burning A LOT of fuel.... so what do we do after the run? REPLENISH like crazy! What's the purpose of working out if you can't enjoy that extra slice of cheesecake right?! Well, we (especially I) love replenishing it a little too much.. Even if we burn off 1000 calories we end up eating 900 calories... So we're really not burning as much as we "think" we are.
- A good way to curb from over gorging yourself - Drink a protein shake or eat a protein bar after your run. You will feel Famished after a 4 hour run, having some food in you before you eat will stop you from eating that 2nd or 3rd serving of food.
Common Scenario 3: Its not Just about the Run.
Runners can't only 'just' run, they need to build the rest of their body as well. Don't forgo lean resistance/strength training, cross training, and core strengthening. Throw in some Yoga once or twice a week to keep your joints fluid. Strength training is what builds your muslces and keeps them from turning into more flab.
More muscles = more calorires burned.