Calories burned when running?

I have been playing around with running shoes this week - so I have run a simple 3.8klm course 3 times over. According to my Runkeeper App, my first of these 3 runs was at a pace of 7 minutes 41 seconds per Klm and the last of the three was faster at 6 minutes 54 seconds per Klm. That 45 seconds per Klm is quite a difference - and I felt it. The third run definitely took more out of me than the first -- BUT Runkeeper tells me that the calories burned for the first was 284 and 285 for the last run. Now, the last run took sufficient out of me that it would have been a fast 5K pace for me and I don't think I could maintain it for a longer run - whereas the first pace was easy for me and I could have maintained that for a much longer time and distance.

So what is this telling me?? -- to burn up lots of calories (and lose weight!!!) , run at an easy pace for longer!!!!!!!!! :)


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28 Replies

  • I learned that my NIKE running shoes (Free5.0's) are good for running but not so for walking -- so as I will be doing a run/walk strategy for this funrun, I need a new (better) pair of shoes that are good for both running and walking :) Actually I already had them - NIKE Revolution 2's. They were a bit tight though - but OK now that I have changed the lacing around.

  • He he, MapMyRun told me I burnt 2272 calories last week on my 25 min shuffle - if only!

  • What! You mean you didn't actually burn 2k+ cals? Dagnammit!!

  • My Garmin seems to base the measurement more or less on distance at about 90 calories or so per km, regardless of the effort, conditions or terrain.

    Basically, it's clueless!

  • PMSL

  • Actually, that is exactly right in a funny kind of way! You burn approximately 100 calories for every mile you travel and that holds true whether you are running or walking. But if you can keep going for longer because you are running more slowly, if you eventually cover more ground, you will burn more calories. Also, training at a lower level of intensity means your body uses fat for fuel instead of the more easily replaced carbohydrates. Having said that, it's a very complex thing and a HR monitor will never be totally accurate.

  • Oops! A properly reasoned scientific explanation. Now

    I feel a tad stupid for posting a flippant answer lol :)

  • :) Sorry about that! Got a bit carried away, it's a particular interest of mine plus I have a medical background in a previous life...

  • Runkeeper is just messing with your head, either ignore it or get your own back by doing the same route on rollerskates! That'll teach it a lesson? ;)

  • Hi, I seem to remember years ago when I used to go to the gym, that I was told it is how far you go that is important and that actually walking a mile used the same calories as running a mile. It is all about how many steps you take, not how quickly you do it. So, if you run for 5 minutes you will run more than walking 5 minutes, but only because you cover more distance. Hope his helps, but I have no knowledge other than that.

  • If you think about it - that is correct , because to move a body of a certain mass a certain distance it requires a certain amount of energy - it doesn't really matter if that energy is expended quickly or slowly :) -- it just takes the same amount of energy . :)

  • So.......exactly why did I start this C25K thing? You mean when Laura said it's time to run again. I could have ignored her and walked for 10 minutes? That woman made me do all that running and all the time she knew!!

  • As P.T BARNUM said : "There's a sucker born every minute!!!" :)

  • Hi, I seem to remember years ago when I used to go to the gym, that I was told it is how far you go that is important and that actually walking a mile used the same calories as running a mile. It is all about how many steps you take, not how quickly you do it. So, if you run for 5 minutes you will run more than walking 5 minutes, but only because you cover more distance. Hope his helps, but I have no knowledge other than that.

  • :))) Just thought it would be a good point of discussion. I don't really know whether the numbers quoted by Runkeeper are accurate or even in the right ballpark . My own "common sense" tells me that a faster run would burn up more calories - but a faster run is also completed more quickly which means less calories burnt . :) So the question is a bit like - when do you get wettest in the rain - when you run quickly or when you run slowly :)

    Anyway - I still do believe that time is the answer to losing weight - run slowly for longer !! :)

  • I am pretty sure my Garmin uses the same calories estimate as the treadmill which seems to be done on distance. My old Polar HRM uses heart rate so the higher the heart rate the more calories are burnt. I know my 6 miles with Garmin was about 700 calories whereas with the Polar it was over 1000.

  • If you use a HR monitor, the Garmin will be calculating calories burnt on your HR information. But because of the rule thumb of 100 calories per mile regardless, it will always look as though it is measuring by distance if that makes sense!

  • I really lost weight on long runs.. About 1,700 at best and silky Steve says you only burn fat after 1.5 hours but short speedy bursts must do alot too as its so full on!!!

  • I addressed this issue in my blog last month. My conclusion after doing the research - running is slightly better than walking. annasjuneathonjourney.blogs...

  • I didn't know that 100 calories per mile rule regardless of pace, interesting. Would like to add that running improves muscle tone in a way that walking that mile wouldn't, so whatever your pace it's all good. :-)

  • I don't think it's true you burn the same calories per mile irrelevant of pace. Despite travelling the same distance running works your muscles harder and so must use more energy. According to this article running burns around 25% more calories than walking

    I had the same query last week about hills, my Garmin displayed the same calories for 30 minutes running up hills as for 30 minutes running on the flat. When I looked into it I found that my Garmin (FR10) calculates calories based on a very simple equation using distance travelled and your weight, hills and pace will impact on calories but the Garmin doesn't account for it.

  • Basic rules of physics!! :) Two identical cars drive from point A to Point B - one does it fast and the other does it slowly - which uses the most amount of petrol?? :)

  • 'Tis funny I appeared to burn the same calories in a 7 km run as for a 2 hour walk - which included 20 minutes running!

  • I always thought that your body continued to burn calories after exercise? Does that mean when I come home and stuff myself I'm not burning them off! Lol j/k

  • As I said before, it is immensely complicated and all kinds of other things will come into play including your own body weight, what you eat, the temperature and how efficient your body is at using energy (which is something that improves as you get fitter). I think the point is that although running is great for weight loss if you also watch what you eat, it's not necessarily the answer on it's own. The main benefit it has over walking is that it is time efficient - you can fit a 3 mile run in before work but not a 3 mile walk!

  • Depends how early you get up!

    And what time you need to be at work.......

  • The algorithm used to calculate how many calories are burnt running seems to be a simple one of distance. There has to be other factors such as inclination, temperature, age, weight, fitness, running style, running surface, injury.

    Some days runs are easy and relaxed while others you really need to push yourself because you feel stiff and not up to it, i'm sure you burn up more calories while doing the same time and distance.

    If you run a distance in 30 minutes using up 300 calories and then run the same distance in 15 minutes using up the 300 calories you will burn up further calories in the 15 minutes when you are not running so you do burn up more calories. Or you could sit on the couch for 2 hours and still burn up the same amount of calories. Try wearing your garmin when you are driving, its amazing how many calories you burn up.

  • OK, just to throw another into the mix. I wear my FR10 when I walk the dog.

    When I run it approximates to the 100 cals per mile, give or take (usually it takes them away from me), so my 6.5 mile run Wednesday morning was 631 cals, my 4 mile run yesterday was 396 cals (41 mins) (the same run a couple of weeks ago was 389 (43 mins), on Sunday this week was also 389 (39 mins)).

    But when walking, with the same Garmin, Wednesday's 2 mile walk was 118 calories, today's almost 10 mile walk was 607 calories.

    So it would appear that speed is also taken into account (or maybe total time out there), about 100 cals per mile at a run and 60 cals per mile walking.

    I did read an article a few months ago that suggested that if you ran slowly you'd burn LESS calories than if you walked fast. Not the article I read but this RW page does sum up why nicely..... (and page 2).

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