Are Treadmill Calorie Calculators Accurate? - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
108,193 members139,392 posts

Are Treadmill Calorie Calculators Accurate?


Hello all!

I completed the program two days ago, and today I actually ran for 35 minutes straight! I always run on treadmills, and I run consistently at 5 mph, so my question for you all: are treadmill calories burned calculators accurate?

I used this one for example:

So for example, I ran 35 minutes today at 5 mph with no incline, and I weigh 177 pounds. I typed that information in, and it said I burned 377 calories. Myfitnesspal also gave me a similar number (375). I also did a warm-up and cool-down brisk walk, but I don't calculate those calories because I feel it's pretty negligible.

The reason I ask this is that I've heard from a few people that you don't really burn that many calories running unless you're running for a long time. But 377 seems like a lot to me!

Thank you! :)

13 Replies

Dr Google comes up with lots of varying yes and no articles....

But of course as human beings we are all different, so I think use it as a guide and don't get concerned about it at as an absolute measure. You ran for 35 minutes at indicated 5mph, that's a great run in anyone's book👍👟

mnw15Graduate in reply to Jancanrun

Thank you for your response! I always figured the calculators on the actual treadmill machines were pretty inaccurate, but thought the ones where you can input your weight and everything were a lot better! It ultimately doesn't affect what I do, anyway! Thanks again!

Jancanrun in reply to mnw15

Machines have to be calibrated at a set of mean values. I've never yet met a standard human!

Oops I omitted to say well done on graduating.....🥂🍾🎓👟🏅😇

mnw15Graduate in reply to Jancanrun

Thank you!! :D


Yes, well done on graduation and make sure you get your badge!

Basically as Jancanrun says but it'll be ballpark right.

mnw15Graduate in reply to Sweatyfaced

Thank you so much! How do I go about getting my badge? :P

RebeccaSKGraduate in reply to mnw15

If you search (top right hand corner) on something like August 2017 graduation there will be a post where you leave your name and user name and then "graduate" will suddenly appear after your name! Congratulations!

mnw15Graduate in reply to RebeccaSK

Great, I will do that! Thank you again!!

No. Not even remotely. Nor are the heart rate monitors on them

mnw15Graduate in reply to Rignold

So, are you saying that the calorie counter on the actual treadmill machine is inaccurate, or the calculators you can find online like the one I posted where you can input your weight, speed, time, etc? Or both? If so, what is a good means of calculating the number of calories burnt on the treadmill?

Rignold in reply to mnw15

the counters on the machines are inaccurate.

The online calculator to which you linked is probably a reasonable ballpark figure. I generally reckon on 300 calories for half an hour running. Obviously basal metabolic rate accounts for some of those.

The thing about 'not burning many calories running' is a bit misleading. Yes you do burn extra calories, and if you run regularly those calories add up, and will contribute to a weight loss programme. However lots of people expect to see significant weight loss just from the running. There are frequent posts along the lones of "I've been doing this for 4 weeks and haven't lost weight..."

Burning 300 calories 3 times a week tots up to 1000 calories, roughly 1/3lb of fat. Equally many people 'reward' themselves for their run with extra food and the 300 calories burned are soon regained.

mnw15Graduate in reply to Rignold

Thank you for your reply! That makes sense. I always knew you didn't get very much from those early runs, but hopefully now that I'm consistently running 30 and adding on more minutes each week, the calories burned will start to get bigger. It ultimately doesn't have a huge impact on my I do diet wise anymore, but it's still nice to have a somewhat near figure to go off of! I didn't want to think I was burning 400 and it turns out I only burned 200 haha. Thanks again!

You may also like...