Which burns more calories?


I was thinking about something during my run today. Between starting your run at a hard pace and then slowing down and starting slow and picking it up at the end, which burns more calories. I am not talking about the physiological training benefits, I was purely thinking about it in terms of calories burned.


Same energy different output :wink:


If you finish in the same amount of time, with the same amount of hills climbed etc., then you’ve done the same amount of work which means equal calories.


Yup. Same amount of calories are burned, just different proportions of fat vs. carbs burned based on the intensity of your workout.


Calories burned is decided by the total amount of distance covered regardless of pace or effort. Learned in Physics last year.


No, that’s false, you burn way more calories running a mile at your race pace than walking a 15 minute mile


I wasn’t sure if the level of fatigue you had during points in a run or the amount of effort at a certain time had an effect or not.

Thanks for the answers.


Yes, if you know physics, generally speaking, work=force*distance. You apply way more force running fast.
The distance covered thing only works if you are converting potential energy into kinetic (and likewise in reverse).


The difference between 8 minute pace and 6 minute pace is about 15-20 calories a mile, and even that difference might be due to some hills. When I run a my recovery runs, theres not a huge difference in calories burned between that and my tempo run, 30 tops. However, there is a higher after burn and a ramped up metabolism after faster stuff.


The force for that equation is your weight/mass.

“The number of calories used in a workout is based primarily on how far you go, not how fast you get there. In fact, there’s only a marginal difference in the number of calories burned by walking versus running the same distance. If you run primarily for weight control, in other words, you’ll find that running slow and long burns more calories than running short and fast.”


I’ll avg. 4 lb. weight loss during an 8 mile run. When running 400m intervals and totaling 8 miles counting w/u, recov. jog between 400’s & c/d, weight loss avg’s. 6 lbs. Intensity=more calories burned.


That’s not all calories burned though, mostly just sweat lost.

One pound equals 3500 calories. Burning one pound of energy in a single run is actually really hard, however losing 6 to 10 pounds of fluids isn’t tough.

But yes, higher intensity does mean more calories burned.


you do realize that the weight loss you are measuring is almost entirely fluids and therefore does not accurately reflect caloric expenditure, right?

edit: beat to it


Isn’t the opposite? I thought running was much more efficient than walking, hence fewer calories for the same distance.


No, walking is more efficient in the sense that it takes less energy to do the same distance.

  1. different paces definitely correlate to different caliorie burning speeds. The earlier physics arguments dealing with work are not justified. They deal with conservative forces, i.e. work is not path dependent, only pt A and pt B matter. In a non-ideal frame of motion, these equations become more complicated. Frictional and resistance forces are no longer negligible. One thing that I am surprised was not mentioned is the actual work done by displacing a persons blood. When your heart beats, it forces blood through the body and is resisted (sheared) by the capillary walls. Therefore, elevated heart rate causes more work to be done hence more calories burned.

  2. The initial question, starting faster will cause more calories to be burned. This is because of the initial spike in heart rate which will in turn cause the heart to beat more times over the course of the run. Once the heart rate spikes, it will not fall quickly enough over the easier run time to even out the amount of energy burned.



One would loose more weight on a run in hot, humid conditions than a run in cool conditions given the same distance, regardless of effort. True or false?


True because of the weight you would lose due to loss of fluids.


burn more calories starting out fast. As weight decreases over time with loss of fluids. technically distance is all that matters but, in the real world, that is not really true as in running you are “jumping up” while in walking you are not. Thus more calories. Plus form is generally more efficient with walking then running. However these differences are tiny.


Bah…this is no fun. Earlier this summer I would go for a run, get can ice cream after, and still be lighter than when I started. Now that it hasn’t been hot out I barely drop a pound from an eight miler.