Hey Ladies! I’m so glad that we all survived the heat wave this past week – it was beyond oppressive! My NYC crew braved the blazing sun and humidity Saturday and met for our weekly run. About five of us in the group are training for races so we decided to run 10 miles around Central Park. Naturally after the run, I was beyond starving. But before I ate, I logged my miles on my Calorie Counter app and realized that I was at a 1,000 calorie deficit for the day. Of course I cut that deficit in half with my lunch, but I started to think, “Do people know how many calories they burn when they run?”
The reason that this question is so important is because I think that running and working out in general can give you a false sense of calorie security. Sometimes we think that just because we are working out, we have more flexibility with what we eat or that we can reward ourselves. We've addressed this issue in the past in our series, "Runner's Entitlement." However, that way of thinking can really blow your diet, and it may be the reason you aren’t seeing the results you want.
Although I burned 1,000 calories on my long run Saturday, that’s not how many calories I typically burn during a run. It’s usually around 200-300. The rule of thumb is that you burn 75-100 calories a mile, and this number fluctuates depending on your weight. With that being said, if you run 2 miles, although you are getting a good workout, it’s really easy to “un-do” your run with one soft drink or a couple of Oreos.
If you aren’t sure how many calories you are burning during your workouts, I recommend that you start taking notice. If you are using Nike Plus or running with a Garmin, you should have some idea of how many calories you burn during every run. If you don't have a sports watch, here is a good calculator to help you - http://www.caloriesperhour.com/. Also, if you are interested in keeping track of your workouts and calories on your smart phone, I recommend the Calorie Counter app or the Spark People tracker.