How many calories do you burn Running?

Running burns an average of 943 calories per hour for someone who weighs 180 pounds. Calorie burn also depends on the type and intensity of your activity, as well as your body weight.

Running is one of the most common forms of exercise done around the world today. Running in short bursts or over a long period of time can help you burn a significant amount of calories and keep you in shape at a healthy weight.

Running is a very versatile type of exercise, as there are many forms of running and many sports that involve some type of running in order to play the game at a high level.

Those that are faster runners in their respective sports are typically better, as being a fast runner will give you plenty of advantages while playing sports such as track and field, football, soccer, baseball, and much more.

We all know running is a great exercise that can help you to stay in shape and lose weight, but does running burn as many calories as you may think?

Use our Calorie Calculator below to determine how many calories you burn with Running or other activities.

Calories burned with Running (weight: 180 lbs)

MET 15 mins. 30 mins. 45 mins. 60 mins.
Running 11 236 472 707 943
Running – 10 mph 14.5 311 622 932 1243
Running – 5 mph 8.3 178 356 534 712
Running – 6 mph 9.8 210 420 630 840
Running – 7 mph 11 236 472 707 943
Running – 8 mph 11.8 253 506 759 1012
Running – 9 mph 12.8 274 549 823 1097
Running – Cross-Country 9.4 201 403 604 806

How To Use The Calculator

Using the calculator to determine how many calories you’ll burn while running is very straightforward. First, input your weight in the respective unit of measurements, such as pounds or kilograms.

How do we calculate how many calories Running burns?

For the calorie burn calculation, the MET value (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) of Running is used.

Running has a MET of 11.

We multiply the MET value with your bodyweight in KGs. The result is multiplied by 0.0175 and the duration of the activity you performed in minutes.

For example:

  • Your body weighs: 180 lbs
  • Durition: 60 minutes
  • MET value of Running: 11

Here’s how to calculate the calories burned during 60 minutes of Step Aerobic:
(180 / 2.20462) * 11 * 0.0175 * 60 minutes = 943

MET

MET stands for metabolic equivalent, and the MET value allows us to give you an estimated expenditure of energy for many different activities, such as running.

The MET value is a ratio between the working metabolic rate and the resting metabolic rate [1], which is the rate of energy that is used relative to the duration of time spent doing the activity.

In fact, many common activities have MET values assigned to them. For example, there are MET values assigned to other similar activities like walking, sprinting, and power walking.

A MET value of 1 is the equivalent of the amount of energy you expend while at rest, and a MET value of 7, for example, is expending 7 times as much energy compared to being at rest.

Each different form of running and its corresponding intensity will have different MET values assigned to it. For example, running at a slower pace of 4 miles per hour will have a drastically different MET value and rate of calories burned than running at an extremely fast pace, like at 10 miles per hour.

Formula

The formula that our running calculator uses to determine the number of calories burned per minute is (MET  x  bodyweight in Kg  x  3.5) ÷ 200.

Examples

A person weighing 175 pounds will burn approximately 690 calories per hour while running at 5 miles per hour, which is a pace of 12 minutes per mile. Running at 5 miles per hour has a MET of 8.3, which means that it burns over 8 times as many calories as your resting metabolic rate.

This is what the formula for calculating the calories burned while running will look like for a 175-pound individual with a MET value of 8.3:

  • Calories burned (per minute) = (body weight in kg x   MET   x   5) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = ( 79.4 x   3   x   3.5 ) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = 5 calories x   60
  • Calories burned (per hour) = 690 calories per hour

That same person weighing 175 pounds will burn approximately 984 calories per hour while running at 8 miles per hour, which is a pace of 7.5 minutes per mile. Running at 8 miles per hour has a MET value of 11.8.

  • Calories burned (per minute) = (body weight in kg x   MET   x   5) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = ( 79.4 x   8   x   3.5 ) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = 4 calories x   60
  • Calories burned (per hour) = 984 calories per hour

What about running at a very intense pace, such as a 5-minute mile? At this pace, there is a MET value of 19, which is very high and hard to sustain for long periods of time. See below for the formula for the same 175-pound person running a 5-minute mile pace.

  • Calories burned (per minute) = (body weight in kg x   MET   x   5) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = ( 79.4 x   19   x   5 ) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = 4 calories x   60
  • Calories burned (per hour) = 1,584 calories per hour

What is Running?

Running is one of the oldest forms of exercise that humans have been doing for thousands of years. It was also a necessity when humans were evolving in ancient times to survive.

Humans were often put in situations where they were forced to run away from predators while hunting for food. Other situations that early humans needed to be physically fit enough to survive were in the cases of floods and other natural disasters.

In today’s world, running has evolved into many different forms and is used in many different types of sports. There are also running competitions like 5k’s and marathons that many people enjoy participating in. Furthermore, there are plenty of Olympic-level running events such as the 100-meter dash, the long jump, and hurdles.

In order to be a good runner, you need to practice running often. The good thing about running is that there are plenty of opportunities to get a good run in whenever you want. You can run outside in many different weather conditions, or you can hop on the treadmill at the gym for a quick workout.

One important thing to know about running is that it’s a relatively high-impact activity, meaning that running puts strain on the muscles and body parts that are being used, namely the lower body. That’s why it’s important to pace yourself while running and not to run for long distances every day.

What Muscles Does Running Use?

Running is most definitely a full-body workout, but the primary muscles that you use while running are your core and lower body.

The main muscles that are worked while running include:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Glutes
  • Core muscles

In order to keep these muscles strong, you need to work them when you’re not practicing running. Exercises that you can do to improve your running ability include squats, lunges, calf raises, leg extensions, and much more.

Working your core muscles by doing exercises such as sit-ups, planks, and Russian twists will also help to improve your running ability and allow you to run for longer periods of time.

Benefits of Running

The benefits of running are vast and well documented.

On a large scale, research shows that running more frequently would lead to a substantial improvement in the health and longevity of the population as a whole [2]. It was also found that any type of running, no matter how often you do it, will lead to greater health benefits and an increase in lifespan.

Another study by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that running just 5 to 10 minutes per day is associated with reduced risks of death from all causes and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases [3].

The benefits of running also go beyond just the physical effects. Running also has a positive impact on your mental health as well.

A study conducted in 2020 found that ordinary nonprofessional runners that started a running program to improve their health also reported an improved self-image, stress relief, and a better overall mood [4].

Equipment

One of the best things about running is that there is almost no specialized equipment that is needed to participate in the sport to get all the health benefits that come with it.

The only equipment that is absolutely necessary is a pair of shoes, and purchasing a high-quality shoe that is designed for running will be the best option for those that are looking to start running regularly to reduce the risk of injury.

Other types of equipment that many runners will use but are not required include headphones or earbuds, sweatbands, heart rate monitors, step trackers, thermal clothing, sunglasses, hats, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Is it ok to run every day?

Running every day is typically not recommended. The reason for this is that running puts stress on your lower body, and doing it every day will increase the chances that you’ll develop injuries like shin splints, pulled hamstrings, and stress fractures.

What’s the difference between jogging and running?

The main difference between going for a jog and going for a run is the pace. Jogging is generally considered a 10-minute mile pace or above, while running would be considered below a 10-minute mile pace.

How many calories does a 5k run burn?

Depending on the speed that you run and your height and weight, a 5k race will burn approximately 300 to 400 calories. If you want to burn more calories while running a 5k race, you will have to increase your pace at a sustainable rate.

How do I start a running program?

Starting a running program doesn’t have to be intimidating. It’s important to ease into your running routine, as going too hard too fast will likely lead to burnout or injury. Simply start by jogging for 10 minutes per day, increasing your distance and pace each week.

The Bottom Line

Running is one of the most complete exercises that you can do, as it works many different muscle groups with an emphasis on the lower body and core muscles.

Running is also one of the easiest sports that beginners can get involved in, as there is very little specialized equipment needed and running can be done all year round, either outside or on a treadmill at the gym.

Getting started with a running program is simple to do, and may be even more fun if you have a partner to hold you accountable. It’s also important to remember not to run every day, as doing so can put stress on your lower body and lead to injury.

References:

  • Jetté, M., Sidney, K., & Blümchen, G. (1990). Metabolic equivalents (METS) in exercise testing, exercise prescription, and evaluation of functional capacity. Clinical cardiology, 13(8), 555–565. https://doi.org/10.1002/clc.4960130809
  • Pedisic, Z., Shrestha, N., Kovalchik, S., Stamatakis, E., Liangruenrom, N., Grgic, J., Titze, S., Biddle, S. J., Bauman, A. E., & Oja, P. (2020). Is running associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and is the more the better? A systematic review and meta-analysis. British journal of sports medicine, 54(15), 898–905. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2018-100493
  • Lee, D. C., Pate, R. R., Lavie, C. J., Sui, X., Church, T. S., & Blair, S. N. (2014). Leisure-time running reduces all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 64(5), 472–481. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2014.04.058
  • Markotić, V., Pokrajčić, V., Babić, M., Radančević, D., Grle, M., Miljko, M., Kosović, V., Jurić, I., & Karlović Vidaković, M. (2020). The Positive Effects of Running on Mental Health. Psychiatria Danubina, 32(Suppl 2), 233–235.
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