Calories burnt running a Marathon

Marathons are popular events amongst runners of all abilities, especially as a way to raise money for a good cause, and additionally as a fitness challenge. Whilst few people sign up to a marathon purely to lose weight, it can’t be denied that running a marathon (all 26.2 miles!) is a sure way to blast through the calories. Not only does the race itself demand a lot of energy, but the training in the weeks up to race day will also add to your total calorie burn

So, you are probably wondering – how many calories does running a marathon burn? If we consider that we burn an average of 100 calories per mile whilst running, over the distance of a marathon (26.2 miles) that is an average of over 2600 calories – that’s more than the recommended daily calorie intake for adults (both men and women), so you can treat yourself post-race without feeling guilty!

Calculating your calorie burn

In order to get a more accurate figure for the number of calories you will burn running a marathon you need to take a few factors, including your weight and running intensity. As a general rule, the more you weight and the higher the intensity of your run, the more calories you will burn per mile. There will also be differences between the calorie burn between men and women, with men generally burning more calories per mile. 

calorie burn calculator is a useful tool that will give you an accurate estimate of the amount of calories you burn whilst running, based on your body weight, running time and distance. If you have a weight loss goal in mind there are also a number of fitness apps that can help you log and track your calorie intake and expenditure. 

Another great way to calculate the number of calories you burn is by using a fitness tracker. Apple Watch and Fitbit Charge are two great options, however, Garmin watches are more tailored towards running and have some great features

How can I burn more calories while running?

If you want to really maximise the number of calories you’re burning during your training, there are a few ways that you can adapt your programme to do so. Running at a faster pace requires more energy, therefore burning more calories. Whilst we wouldn’t suggest trying to run an entire marathon at maximum effort, you could try incorporating some intervals into your shorter training runs. Intervals involve mixing in short bursts of higher intensity running in between running at your usual comfortable pace. This is a great way to work on your speed too.

Doing more hill training will increase your calorie burn too! Incorporating some inclines into your route will be more physically demanding on your muscles and in turn burn calories at a higher rate. If you’re running outdoors try changing up your usual route to something a little steeper, and if you’re on the treadmill adjust your incline enough to make your run more challenging.


If you are looking for your next marathon, take a look at our event listings to find the perfect event for you - Marathon Listings

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