Training How Many Calories Does Running Burn?

How Many Calories Does Running Burn?

We can all agree that running is one of the easiest calorie-burning exercises. Everyone knows how to run, it requires no particular skill and can be extremely rewarding. What is it exactly about running that makes us feel so good? How does it affect our body and how big an impact does it have on our health? More specifically, how many calories you burn while running?

Everybody knows that burning calories is essential to losing weight. But how exactly do you go about doing that? Running is a high-intensity exercise that does the job rather well. All you need to know is how to do it properly to maximize efficiency.

I crafted this info guide to tackle this vast topic in the most comprehensive and simple way.

I often hear people complain about how running hasn’t helped them get fit. Are you one of those who keep on running every morning without any weight-loss results? Even though you maintain a balanced diet, it is possible you might be skipping a few essential steps.

Do you enjoy running?

Do you want to burn calories while doing so?

Then keep on reading! This article is packed with quite a bit of info that will help you step-up your running game.

Does Running Burn A Significant Amount Of Calories?

There are many variables, which we’ll talk about in more details, that affect how your body reacts to running. The general rule is that cardio exercises like running do indeed, burn many calories.

Let’s consider two scenarios for comparison purposes.

Try to hold a simple yoga position for 5 minutes. Now try jogging for 5 minutes. Guess which exercise is more efficient in terms of calories burned? Jogging of course! It’s actually not even close, running is indeed 3 times more efficient in this case.

Now picture yourself running up a hill, jump roping, or star running. These variations also have a big impact and allow you to burn many calories at a faster pace.

Studies have shown that running is one of the most efficient calorie-burning exercises. It notably outranks swimming, cycling, and weight-lifting. Impressive, right?

How Many Calories Are Burned While Running?

The general estimate by most experts is that you burn 100 calories for each mile you run. This number can be misleading as it mostly depends on each individual. Your body weight is the most important factor to take into consideration. By using this data, I will give you the proper method to estimate how many calories you burn by running.

How To Calculate Calories Burned During Exercise?

Like I mentioned before, people are not all created equal when it comes to burning calories. The rule is simple: the more you weight, the more calories you’ll burn. It’s rather logical; when you weigh more, your body works harder and burns more fuel to carry your weight.

As an example, a 120 pounds person will lose on average 11 calories per running minute. Meanwhile, if you weighed 180 pounds, you would be losing 17 calories per minute.

While there are no definitive answers, there are many tools one can use to track how many calories you burn during a run. I use a fitness tracker for this purpose and am very happy with it. 

A more precise calculation would involve an in-depth analysis of many factors.

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Other Factors To Take Into Account

There are several factors besides your weight that affect your caloric expenditure. Here, is a breakdown of the most important ones you should know of.

Gender

Although talking about gender differences is frowned upon, the truth remains. Researches have proven that caloric expenditure is different for men and women. Pound for pound, while producing the same amount of effort, men have more calories burned than women.

Speed

A person weighing 160-pounds and running at a 5 miles per hour pace for 30 minutes would burn 290 calories. The same individual, running at a six miles per hour pace would burn 363 calories in the same amount of time. That’s a whopping 25% increase!

It’s a rather simple mechanism to understand. When you run faster, you are putting more effort into your exercise. Your body needs more fuel and as a result, is burning more calories.

It is a concept that deserves attention, however, it isn’t always true. It can be somewhat misleading when you compare how many calories are burnt by two individuals running at the same pace.

For instance, a professional runner and an amateur are running together. Can you guess what’s going to happen? That’s right! Accomplished runners tend to burn significantly fewer calories than your average person.

Incline

By using a treadmill, or an elliptical machine, you can track your spent energy, and your calories burned. If you still want to leave the house and figure out how many calories you burn, there are some solutions. You can either use a fitness tracker or an online calculator (way less reliable in terms of results).

You should also know that downhill running burns fewer calories than running on a flat surface. Although you’ll burn more calories going up, you shouldn’t expect the same thing to happen when you are going down.

Running Surface

If you’ve ever been to the beach you probably noticed that walking on the sand is somewhat more demanding.

The same principle applies to different types of walking and running surfaces. The surface you’re running upon does indeed influence the amount of calories you burn.

The most effective running surfaces for burning calories are muddy, rocky trails, and running in the sand.

When running on rocky or rooty trails you need to maintain balance to stay upright and avoid injuries.

Weather Conditions

Running in windy conditions forces your body to increase the effort intensity. Especially when you try to maintain your speed.

Some researchers say that running in extreme temperatures helps your body increase calories burned.

While running in the cold, your body is shivering and trying to maintain its temperature. These two effects increase the calorie burning rate.

On the other hand, running under a shining sun makes your body work harder to produce sweat that maintains your core temperature.

Running under extreme weather conditions isn’t something I would recommend if you are a novice runner. Your body goes through a rough time and you need to be in prime condition to even try that.

Which Fitness Tech Is The Most Accurate For Calories Burned?

Living in the digital era has brought many benefits to our world. Easy and instant access to information is certainly the most important one. Thanks to modern technology, you can get data on almost anything. There are amazing tech tools on the market that allow us to measure the calories burned. Here are some that we can recommend.

Calorie Burning Apps

How easy is it to install apps on our smartphones nowadays? There are some great options out there that can give you a pretty accurate calorie count for food and activities. You should know that these apps aren’t correct at all times and only provide estimate numbers.

Usually, they take into consideration only a few of the factors we mentioned above – your weight, your pace, and the duration of your workout. They also require you to have your phone with you during your workouts.

Fitness Trackers

Many brands provide great fitness trackers for running – they come in the forms of smartwatches and wristbands. They are incredibly exercise-friendly and accurate. After messing around with the settings, you get to the calories burned in real-time.

These updates are great for those who need extra motivation as they can help you track how far off you are from reaching your goals.

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Treadmills

All treadmills are equipped with calorie-burning calculators. If it has an incline function, it’s particularly accurate when calculating the amount spent during your workout.

If you’re using a treadmill at the gym, you may not be able to enter relevant data such as your weight. Thus making the calculation rather incorrect.

A Couple Tips For Your Running Sessions

If you want to increase your running efficiency, here are some tips that will come in pretty handy. If you think you can do more but simply don’t know how to, here is where you can start.

Bring A Running Gel With You

Although running gels can be quite pricey, believe me when I say they are worth it! They are designed to replenish carbohydrate stores that are depleted when running. What’s tricky about them is that not all gels will work with your body and muscles, especially if you are a beginner.

This is because carbohydrates are stored in the liver and in the muscles. And, your performance relies on using the glycogen in your muscle. If you want to use a gel efficiently, you should also work on changing your eating habits by adding glycogen food to your diet.

These gels will wake your muscles up and give them more energy. They help replenish the glycogen and calories burned when running with high intensity.

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Some Snacks Are Able To Give You A Second Wind (Like Dried Fruits)

If you tend to go for long runs, you want to be efficient for as long as possible. It is important to give your body some fuel to keep going. Beginners can become exhausted after only a few minutes of running which generates frustration. Your body doesn’t know how to manage energy properly yet. This is why it is smart to give it a healthy boost mid-session.

Find a bench somewhere in the park, take a short break, and eat some nuts or dried fruits. You’ll feel more energized and you’ll be able to get that second wind.

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Drink Water

Water is essential for any exercise, especially running. As a rule of thumb, bring a mini bottle for an hour of running. Make sure to not overdrink water either.

By drinking a larger quantity of water you don’t get more efficient. You’ll just get bloated and you won’t have a good running experience. In fact, you might even experience stomach pain so be careful!

Optimally, you want to drink 2 to 3 sips each 10 minutes. This is the way to prevent dehydration while staying energized.

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Running For Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight through running, you should want to burn more calories than you eat. For instance, if your goal is to lose 1 pound on a weekly basis, you should create a 500-calorie deficit per day. This way, you’ll burn 3500 calories on a weekly basis if you run every day.

You can start by figuring out the number of calories you need to keep your current weight. After you’ve done this, subtract 500 calories to know how many calories you should have at the end of the day. I recommend keeping a journal to keep track of what you eat. This makes it easier to calculate your calories burned and intake.

Final Thoughts

Knowing exactly calories burnt while running is a somewhat demanding task. It is however not impossible to do. With a bit of method, technology, and patience, you’ll find your groove.

Running is a high-intensity exercise that not only helps you lose weight, but also lowers your blood pressure, cholesterol, risk of heart disease, and can even help you cope with depression.

Kyla Clark
Kyla Clark
Kyla Clark writes about healthy living and fitness. She holds a Master's Degree in Physical Activity for Health which she obtained at the University of Edinburgh. Kyla has been working as a freelance writer for three years.

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