Calorie count

One for Rig I think. At a typical Parkrun - at least ours - the first runner takes 17 minutes or so to complete the course, while the tail runners (neglecting walkers and similar) take around 40 minutes. Both feel that they have put a lot of energy into their run, though those in the lead are working at a greater rate and the slow runners are working less hard but for much longer. How do their calorie counts compare? (and the figures at all reliable?).


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7 Replies

  • its basic physics, it will use the same amount of calories for the same size of person to move over the same distance whether walking or sprinting, obviously calories per hour will be different, and affect on fitness will be different. If the slower person happens to be heavier, then they should burn more calories over the same distance as there is more of them to move and vise versa

  • Blimey. This looks like one of the questions from my daughter's SATs test.

    In general terms, what HH says is correct. The energy required to move a body ox X weight over Y distance is the same whetehr you do it quickly for a short period of time or slowly over longer time.

    In practice there are several other factors which skew this:

    Efficiency of movement for starters: if you travel at a slow jog you are moving more efficiently than if you walk at top speed, and thus you can be burning fewer calories per metre travelled jogging, even though you are moving faster. Plus there is the breath issue - we burn about 5 calories per breath we expend. So the better your aerobic conditioning the fewer gulps of air per minute/m and the fewer calories you burn. So if you are struggling along, flailing your limbs about, with terrible form and puffing like a grampus, take heart, you are losing more weight more quickly than those nimble gazelles who streak past you chatting at conversational pace.

    On the other hand there is the afterburn effect: the higher the intensity of your exercise, the longer afterwards your body continues to burn extra calories over the base rate. This is the principle on which all these HIIT fitness things work.

    The other thing to bear in mind is the difference between the total calories burnt and the Net calories burnt. We burn approx bodyweight in kg/km in calories while running. I weigh 83kg so if I run 1km, that's 83cals burnt. I run 10k, that's 830 calories burnt.. whoop whoop! Hooray for me!

    But wait! It took me an hour to run that 10k, and given that I have a Base Metabolic rate of 3350 calories a day, I would have burnt 140 of those calories just by lying on the floor, so the running has really only contribute 690 caloires.

    So, um, what was the question?

  • Ha ha ! Its like one of those mad questions at school, if I have 5 apples, and Bob has 7 apples  and gives one to Fred who already had 2 apples , who has the banana ? :-D

    Sorry Austen , that is a really interesting question, of which I haven't a clue what the answer is :-)

    Errrrr... What Rig said :-) xxxx

  • Ha ha! That's one for the chaser! The team would surely win then, and Bradley would be laughing like a drain!..😂

  • I also burn extra calories by heat transfer to the air around my face...probably equivalent to a 100 watt fireglow bulb....

  • I concur...............................................................

  • Do you get more or less wet when you run in the rain compared to walking the same distance in the same rain??? The answer is -- running in the rain makes you more wet ( but only because you cant carry an umbrella while running) :)

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