Maybe you're running for weight loss, or maybe me, you're a little geeky, and you'd to know all the numbers about things. Either way, you started to wonder yourself, how long will it take to actually burn 1000 calories if you're running?
If you're just joining me here on this channel, I'm Jesse funk, and this is a show I call Runner's High. When we talk about everything running, anything from training to how many calories you're going to burn in a mile, or how long it takes to get to 1000 calories, however you want to phrase it.
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Now, let's get on to the matter at hand, you want to know how long it takes to burn 1000 calories? Well, the trick here is first, don't just go try to burn 1000 calories, that would be a terrible idea and probably leave you injured because the answer is roughly 10 miles.
Now, this is going to depend on a lot of different things. But when you look at the literature, when you look at the studies that have tried to figure out how many calories you burn in a mile, depending on the speed net speed, it often comes back to this good guideline of 100 calories per mile, regardless of speed. So it's going to take roughly 10 miles before you can burn 1000 calories.
Now, if I take you back to high school physics, maybe you took a physics class in college. Either way, even if you didn't take physics, I'm going to take you back, I promise this won't get too mathy. But I want to go take you back because this actually makes a lot of sense.
So we go back to physics, we remember the equation for work,
Now work in this case is calories or kilocalories if you're anywhere besides the US, work is often expressed in joules when we're talking about physics, and then you can convert that to calories. But for our purposes, work is in calories, the amount of energy expended by the force applied over a certain distance.
Now, this is where we can see that everything isn't exactly equal, when we're talking about 100 calories per mile, because it depends on a few things. If we want to talk about 100 calories a mile, we're typically going to be talking about somebody have average build, and of average train, which means flat.
So there are a couple of exceptions here. When you think about this, if we were going uphill do we know we're going to burn more calories per mile, than if we're on the flat or possibly downhill, but I want to test that one because there's different forces at play when you're going downhill depending on your form and how efficient you are. So I'm not ready to quite say that one. But for sure, if you're going uphill, you have to apply more force to cover the same distance, meaning that we do more work, we burn more calories.
So if you're running a mile uphill, you're going to work and you're going to burn more calories than if you're simply running a mile on the flat. Again, time doesn't matter here, time is nowhere in this work equation. It's all about that distance and the force applied.
Now we think about this, the force applied depends on how strong we are. Depends on how much pressure or pushing force our legs have. So for stronger, we can apply more force that makes us go faster. But it doesn't change the amount of work that has to be done, you're simply more efficient at doing more work in a shorter period of time.
But that doesn't change it over that mile, the number stays roughly the same. Now the other factor here is weight, of course, because if you're lighter, it takes less force to move you the same amount of distance as if you are heavier.
So weight does play a factor; we're talking about how many calories you're going to burn. But again, that 100 calories a mile is a pretty good guideline.
Now, if we think about this, it makes sense. If we take the equation into consideration; if we think about the physics of it, if we think about just the intuitiveness of it, it makes sense that the very, very fast runners are often not always, but often going to be very light lean individuals because it takes more force to move a heavier object if you can apply that same amount of force to a lighter object, then it goes faster.
This is actually why in triathlon it becomes more of a thought of the power to weight ratio. Because that's the thing that's important is how much power can you produce per amount of weight. So all things being equal, if you and I are the same weight, and I can produce more force, I'm going to go faster. But when you change weights, it's relative.
So if you can produce the same amount of power per the weight that each of you has, say, I'm making these numbers up. But say I can produce one pound of force for every one pound of body weight I have, and you can produce one-pound force for every one pound of body weight you have. Most likely, we're going to move at a very similar rate.
So all things considered, that all makes sense. Hopefully, you stuck with me through that whole thing. But again, if you want to ignore all my physics lessons here, just know that it's going to be roughly 100 calories per mile regardless of speed. One last caveat though, walking does not burn as many calories per mile as running does, it actually is roughly, on average, going to be about half that 50 and 55 calories per mile.
Because, again, this is intuitive, we think about it, running is a series of one leg jumps over and over and over, where at some point in time, this is how running is defined biomechanically, we have both feet off of the ground, whereas walking, one foot always remains on the ground.
So you can imagine the amount of force, the amount of effort it takes to move both feet off the ground at the same time is going to be more than if you can always have one-foot plant on the ground.
Again, it's pretty intuitive if you've ever lived in a body, but we can think about it and know that hey, our intuition makes sense when we look at it when we break it down in all those things.
So what questions do you have for me about running. You haven't seen answered anywhere else or you'd answered more thoroughly, leave them down in the comments below as always. Hit that subscribe button so you'll be able to see that video in the future, and I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner's High.