Going the (mile) distance

September 29th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Sometimes clients ask me how many calories a workout burned.  It’s a weird question to ask, I think, since calorie burn depends on so many factors and almost none of them are visual factors.  But I usually give them a ballpark response, since they’re asking.  I factor in how physically big they are, how much cardio activity the workout called for, and how much effort I saw them put in through the course of the workout.

My guesses are not science, but there is some science in the answer.

If your specific calorie burn matters to you for each workout, you need to know that if you weigh 139 pounds, running a mile will burn 100 calories.  Runner’s World says that to calculate your burn per mile, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.72. 

So that means if you run fast or slow you’re still burning the same number of calories—it may just take you less time to do so if you run faster.

But (there is always a “but”!) that’s just your gross burn.  If you didn’t run a step, you’d still burn some number of calories just sitting around because of your basal metabolic rate (BMR).  (Hey… basal!!  Yep.  Same basal.)

Runner’s World also published a handy chart to see this concept in action.  Makes me want to run faster!

Activity for 150-lb person Gross calories burned per MILE Net calories burned per MINUTE
Running 5 mph (12:00 pace) 108 7.87
Running 10 mph (6:00 pace) 108 16.87
Walking 3 mph (20:00 pace) 85 3.12
Cycling 16 mph 18.57 3.82
Cycling 23 mph 36.2 13.35
Swimming 2.56 mph (1.46 min/100) 330 12.95
Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply