How Many Calories Does Running Burn?

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Someone running is the typical image when people hear the words weight loss. Find out how many calories it burns.

Some rough estimations are that the average person burns around 133-229 calories while running at 5.2 mph for 15 minutes.

One of the first things that influence the actual amounts a lot is your body weight.

For example, the estimation of burning 133 calories per 15 minutes of running is for a 125-pound (56 kg) person.

On the other end of this range, the 229-calorie estimation of the same running workout is for a 215-pound (97 kg).

Additionally, even two people of the exact same weight can burn different amounts of calories with running due to differences in details like body composition and hormone levels.

That being said, the estimations can still give you some idea of what you can expect from running in this area.

This article will also go over more detailed estimations for different factors, calories burned with running for certain distances, how much your speed influences the estimations, and more.

Biggest factors in calories burned with running

As you may be able to conclude from the intro, how many calories you burn with running is hard to predict correctly. This can be inconvenient if you want to balance this number with food intake.

That being said, even if your predictions will still not be perfect, just learning about what factors influence this number for running can help you approach your training in a smarter way.

Additionally, this could also make your estimations more accurate.

Here are some of the details that influence how many calories running burns:

  • Weight: Your body needs energy to keep your body alive and move it around. Generally, the more you weigh, the more calories your body needs for these things.
  • Body composition: Body composition comes down to how much of your weight comes from what types of tissue, for example fat vs muscle. This influences how many calories running burns because muscle tends to require more energy than the same weight in fat.
  • Intensity: Another thing that influences how much energy certain movements require is how fast they are. Running faster will generally result in burning more calories.
  • Slope: The angle of your running also influences how much energy you need to influence your movements. Especially running uphill will be a lot more challenging.
  • Running surface: As trail runners can testify, running 5 miles per hour in the woods will be more challenging than running at the same speed on asphalt. In turn, you will burn more calories.

Hidden calorie burning from running

Something that makes the estimations even farther removed from your actual results is that calorie-burning effects from running can sometimes go on after the workout.

In the case of intense cardiovascular workouts like running, something called “afterburn” is the main thing to keep in mind.

This comes down to having an increase in metabolism for a while (typically not more than 72 hours) after you stop running. To get this, you do need to train intensely enough.

The calorie-burning estimations for running and other exercises are generally for during the workout.

This afterburn will not be too crazy but you may be able to get slightly more results than the numbers imply at first.

Man running on hill to burn more calories

Charts of running calorie-burning estimations

A cheat sheet from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention keeps it simple and notes that you can burn more than 7 calories per minute by running (1).

Luckily, you can also use other methods like MET formulas to get more specific estimations for different running speeds, body weights, and durations.

An MET value is a prediction (or measurement if there are studies) of how intense a certain activity is. In turn, you can use this MET in formulas like the one below to estimate how many calories you burn.

Formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute

Different sources can vary but in one of these, the estimations for METs while running vary from 8 at running 5 mph (12 min/mile) to 18 at running 10.9 mph (5.5 min/mile) (2).

The first chart below will show you different calorie-burning estimations for running at 5.2 mph which can be considered to be a moderate pace.

After that, you can also find charts with estimations for running certain distances, how long you need to run to burn certain amounts, and running at certain speeds.

It is important to note again that these are very rough estimations. The MET formula does not include a variety of details that do influence how much energy you use while running.

Besides that, knowing that 100 grams of boiled potatoes contain about 87 calories can also help you put the numbers into perspective (3).

Calories burned with running per time interval

Many people will prefer to look at how many calories they burn with running per time interval.

Keep in mind that these estimations are for running at 5.2 mph (8.4 kmh). As you will see, exact speed can influence these a lot.

Time
Weight Person
1 Minute15 Minutes30 Minutes45 Minutes60 Minutes
125 Pounds (56 kg)9 calories133 calories266 calories399 calories532 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)11 calories165 calories330 calories494 calories659 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)13 calories197 calories393 calories590 calories787 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)15 calories229 calories457 calories686 calories914 calories
Chart of calories burned per time interval with running at 5.2 mph

Calories burned with running per distance

There are also situations where you have the option to run a certain distance in a race or on a track.

At the same time, even if you run the same distance, your running speed can change the numbers.

Distance
Weight Person
1 Mile
(1.6 Km)
2 Miles
(3.2 Km)
3 Miles
(4.8 Km)
4 Miles
(6.4 Km)
5 Miles
(8.1 Km)
125 Pounds (56 kg)102 calories204 calories307 calories409 calories511 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)127 calories254 calories380 calories507 calories634 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)151 calories303 calories454 calories605 calories756 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)176 calories352 calories527 calories703 calories879 calories
Chart of calories burned per distance with running at 5.2 mph

How long to run for burning calorie amounts

While calories in calories out is not the complete story, you might find it motivating to learn how long you would have to run to burn the number of calories in that one tempting cookie.

Calories
Weight Person
100 Calories500 Calories1000 Calories2000 Calories3500 Calories
125 Pounds (56 kg)11 minutes56 minutes113 minutes226 minutes395 minutes
155 Pounds (70 kg)9 minutes46 minutes91 minutes182 minutes319 minutes
185 Pounds (83 kg)8 minutes38 minutes76 minutes153 minutes267 minutes
215 Pounds (97 kg)7 minutes33 minutes66 minutes131 minutes230 minutes
Chart of how long to run at 5.2 mph to burn certain calorie amounts

Calories burned with running per speed

Lastly, you can see how the estimations change by running at different speeds for 30 minutes.

As mentioned above, these amounts of calories do not include any afterburn effects.

Speed
Weight Person
Running
(5 mph/8.1 kmh)
Running
(6 mph/9.7 kmh)
Running
(7 mph/11.3 kmh)
125 Pounds (56 kg)236 calories295 calories340 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)293 calories366 calories421 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)350 calories437 calories503 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)406 calories508 calories584 calories
Chart of calories burned per 30 minutes of running at different speeds

Ways to burn more calories while running

From all the precise numbers above, you may get the impression that how many calories you burn while running is relatively static.

However, this is not actually the case. There are a few ways you can increase the amount of energy you use in your running workouts.

Since you likely have a busy schedule, burning more calories per minute of running is something you want.

The first way to achieve this is running at faster speeds (as long as your body can deal with it). At some point, the mentioned afterburn effect could kick in.

Secondly, you could consider running with weights.

By wearing a heavy backpack or weighted vest or even better building some extra muscle mass, running at the same speed will burn more calories.

The third way is to run on a more challenging surface. For example by running uphill.

An estimation for the MET of walking 3.5 mph on a flat surface is 4 vs the estimated MET of walking 3.5 mph uphill at 6 (there are no similar MET estimations for running)(2).

People preparing to run fast

How long does it take to see results from running?

With all of the calorie burning going on, you likely know that running can help weight loss.

Something to note is that exactly what fat loss results you will see from running will also depend a lot on lifestyle habits like your diet.

That being said, if you assume there is a 155-pound (70 kg) person who has a routine that keeps them at the same weight but only implements running, you can get some interesting numbers.

The 155-pound (70 kg) person could burn an extra 1650 calories by running at 5.2 mph for 15 minutes a day for 10 days. This comes down to about 0.47 pounds (0.21 kg) of body fat.

If this person keeps up the same running routine for 30 days, they could burn an extra 4950 calories which comes down to about 1.41 pounds (0.62 kg).

Should you do running for calorie burning?

Burning a lot of calories is definitely one of the benefits of running. In that sense, running can be a great choice.

At the same time, you do want to keep in mind that there are other things that matter too in the context of something like losing weight.

For example, people who are new to exercising likely don’t want to go straight to a high-impact workout like running. This can lead to injuries in a variety of areas.

If you are in a situation like that, you want to start with softer alternatives to running first. This will get your muscles, including your heart muscle, back into decent shape first.

Additionally, enjoying the exercise you do can help you stay more consistent. This can help you burn more calories in the long term.

Next, if you want to burn a lot of calories by running, it can be smart to implement some muscle-building exercises too. This extra mass will increase your energy usage throughout the day and your running workouts.

Lastly, keep in mind that while burning calories is nice, how much energy is coming in will influence your results a lot too.

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Author:

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.