A 5K run is a great place to start with if you are new to running, especially as it’s such an easily attainable distance for all fitness levels. Training for and completing your first 5K is also a great way to start a weight loss journey and challenge your fitness levels.
Watching the number of calories you consume and burn is going to play a big part in your fitness goals. Before you go and grab that chocolate bar as a reward for your 3.1 mile run, you’ll probably want to find out just how many calories you can offset by running a 5K – especially if your goal is to lose weight!
On average a 5K run will burn between 300 and 400 calories (around 100 calories per mile), but if you are looking to work out the rate that you personally burn calories when running a 5K, you will need to take a few factors into consideration.
Calculating your calorie burn
The number of calories a person burns by running a 5K will depend mainly on two factors; your current body weight and your running speed. As a general rule, the faster you run the more calories you will burn over a set distance (in this case 3.1 miles), similarly someone with a larger body mass will generally burn more calories whilst running than someone with a smaller build.
You can use a calorie burn calculator to get an accurate number for the amount of calories you burn whilst running, based on your body weight, running time and distance. If you are looking to increase your calorie burn over the 5K distance, running on a varied terrain or steeper incline will give you a more intense workout, additionally working on your speed and running faster will up your calorie burn.
Burn more calories during your run
The good news about running is that it is a very efficient way to burn calories. Running at a comfortable pace can burn around 8 calories per minute, but how can you increase the efficiency of your calorie burn while running?
Use intervals to break through that plateau
If you’ve been running to help lose weight, you may have found that as you’ve become more comfortable with running at a continuous pace, the amount of weight that you’re shifting seems to have slowed down. The reason for this is that your body becomes more efficient and starts to burn fewer calories while you are running. All hope is not lost however! By introducing interval training into your training, adding burst of speed followed by rest periods at a slower or more comfortable pace, these burst of high intensity running make your muscles work harder and cause a higher calorie burn.
Head for the hills
Another way to get your muscles working harder is to start adding steeper inclines into your runs. For every degree increase in the incline you are running on, you will burn roughly 10% more calories than you would running on a flat.
Add strength training into your routine
So we’ve already talked about adding more speed into your routine, but adding some strength training in will help you to build up those leg muscles in order to run raster too. Try to add a couple of strength and resistance sessions in between your runs each week.
If you are looking for your next 5k run, take a look at our event listings to find the perfect event for you - 5k Run Listings