The general formula for calories burned while running is as follows: Minutes spent running * (MET*3.5*weight in kg)/200.
If you do not know what your MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) is, use this formula to derive it: MET=[(0.2*Speed)+(0.9*Speed*%Grade)+3.5].
So if you ever want an extremely precise number of calories burned, then plug your numbers into that formula. When trying to do the calculations manually, remember to follow basic mathematical order of operations, PEMDAS (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction).
If you want to save yourself time, instead of calculating it manually, use a treadmill calorie calculator. It uses the exactly the same formula to derive the number of calories burned. When trying to figure out how many calories you’ve ran on the treadmill, you will need four distinct variables: the grade (incline), how much time it took you to run the distance, your pace, and your weight. Let us discuss the four distinct variables one by one and talk about how they affect the amount of calories burned.
Grade: A lot of people are quite confused by this number and often input in the wrong number. The grade, or gradient, is most often referred to as the incline on the treadmill. Grade is simply the measure of degrees inclined from its gravitational level—or simply the flat surface. If the grade (incline) is set at 0 on the treadmill, it means you are essentially running on a perfectly flat surface. But if your incline is set to 15 (often the max on a treadmill), that means your treadmill is inclined to 15 degrees above the flat surface. So when entering in the grade in a treadmill calorie calculator, the number entered should be anywhere from 0 to 15. Very rarely should a treadmill have an incline level above 15. Usually, people run on the treadmill with a grade of anywhere between 0 and 4. A grade of 15 would mean a 15 percent incline—and would be extremely tiresome over the long run, no matter the speed. Make sure this number is right because inputting the wrong number (even by a few grades) will give you drastically different results. For instance, if a 150 pound person is running 10 minutes a mile for 40 minutes at a grade of 5, the person will burn 537 calories. However, if you kept the numbers the same and changed the grade to 8, the same person will burn approximately 600 calories in the same amount of time.
Time: Time spent running is positively correlated with increased calories burned. That means the more time you spend on the treadmill, the more calories you will burn.
Your Pace: The pace is the ratio of minutes per miles. Thus, the pace is ultimately how long it takes you to run each mile (or whatever unit the treadmill is set to). The pace is a factor in calculating your calories burned because it indicates how fast your heart is working. Obviously running 10 minutes per mile is going to burn more calories than running 15 minutes per mile.
Your Weight: Your weight heavily determines how many calories you burn. A 250 pound man will burn many more calories than a 150 pound man running the same distance (with all other things equal). How much does a 100 pound difference make? Well a 150 pound man will burn 657 calories running a pace of 6 miles an hour, at 60 minutes (and assuming a zero grade incline). However, keeping all factors the same but replace the 150 pounds with a man that is 250 pounds and you get 1,095 calories burned. Almost twice as much.
Tips For Finding Out Exact Calories Burned On Treadmill
Outside of using a $300 Bodybugg armband to track your calories, inputting precise numbers when running on a treadmill is essential to figuring out an accurate number of calories burned. This includes everything from your age to your weight—especially your weight. After inputting the precise numbers before running, memorize the total miles ran, time spent running, and your pace. The grade/gradient will be a little harder to figure out if it oscillates (as it typically does). If you are a high intensity treadmill runner like me, you will not have one set grade in which you run at. You will switch off between two grades (a high grade and a low grade). In situations like this, it will be best to take an average your grade. So if you ran 40 minutes and spent 20 minutes running at a grade of 2 and 20 minutes running at a grade of 4, then your average grade for the run will be 3. Once you have those numbers, input it into the treadmill calories burned calculator to figure out your precise calories burned.
I know most treadmill machines have a calorie counter on them. Although most of these calorie counters are approximately correct with how many calories you burn running on the treadmill, you are never assured if the numbers are over-exaggerated or not. Because the precise formula treadmill companies use to calculate calories burned are not known, it is best to take the numbers and plug it into a treadmill calorie calculator. By doing this, you will get a more accurate amount of calories burned on the treadmill.
Caveat To Total Calories Burned
Although the number the calorie calculator will give you is accurate, you need to realize the difference between gross calories burned and net calories burned. Let’s say that you ran for an hour on the treadmill and you used the calculator to figure out that you burned 700 calories in that hour you ran. However, you need to realize that had you not ran that whole hour, you probably would’ve burned about 80 to 100 calories doing everyday sedentary activities. So while you really did burn 700 calories in that hour, the net calories burned from running is actually closer to 600 calories. So when you hear people say that they burned an X amount of calories running, know that the number they are referring to is the gross number of calories burned from running, and not the net number. The net calories burned doing any physically arduous activity will always be at least 80 calories less—because your body naturally burns about 80 calories per hour to even survive.