Half Marathon Calorie Burn: How Many Calories You Can Expect to Burn 2024

Running 13.1 miles is a challenge, and it’s natural to want to know how much energy you’re expending. Whether you’re training for a race or running for fitness, understanding your half marathon calorie burn can help you reach your goals.

The number of your half marathon calorie burn depends on factors like your weight, pace, and terrain. According to a study by Harvard Health Publishing, a 155-pound runner who completes a half marathon at a 10-minute mile pace can expect to burn around 1,300 calories. However, a runner of the same weight who runs at a faster pace of 8 minutes per mile can burn up to 1,500 calories. That’s a significant difference!

If you want to learn more about how to calculate your half marathon calorie burn and maximize your energy expenditure, keep reading.

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05/21/2024 08:26 pm GMT

Understanding Calorie Burn

To calculate your half marathon calorie burn, you can use the metabolic equivalent of a task (MET) formula. This formula takes into account your weight, the intensity of the activity, and the duration of the activity. The formula is expressed as METs x weight (in kilograms) x time (in hours) = calories burned.

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) also plays a role in calorie burn. BMR is the amount of energy your body needs to perform basic functions like breathing and circulating blood. The higher your BMR, the more calories your body burns at rest.

BMR (in calories per day) = 10 x weight (in kilograms) + 6.25 x height (in centimeters) – 5 x age (in years) + 5 (for females) or -161 (for males)

Interval training can help maximize half marathon calorie burn during training. This involves alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. This type of training can increase your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories both during and after your workout.

The Role of Weight and Age

half marathon calorie burn Group Running
by Pinterest

When it comes to half marathon calorie burn, weight and age play a crucial role. As we all know, the more we weigh, the more energy we need to move our bodies over a distance. Therefore, it’s not surprising that heavier individuals tend to burn more calories than those who weigh less.

Weight and Age: Crucial Factors for Half Marathon Calorie Burn

👉 Heavier individuals tend to burn more calories than those who weigh less

👉 Metabolic rate decreases as we age, resulting in fewer calories burned during physical activity

👉 Over 40? You may burn fewer calories during a half marathon than someone in their 20s or 30s

Body Weight and Body Fat Percentage

👉 Excess body fat can lead to burning more calories during a half marathon

👉 Losing weight solely for burning more calories during a race is not recommended

👉 Gaining weight to improve performance is also not advisable

👉 Maintaining a healthy body weight and fat percentage is essential for optimizing calorie burn

Table Showing Half Marathon Calorie Burn by Age Group

Here I have made table for you that show how each age group runs an average half marathon and how many calories are burned. Take a look at the half marathon calorie burn.

Half Marathon Calorie Burn Table,  depending on age and mph

Impact of Running Pace and Intensity

half marathon calorie burn Fast Running Group
by Pinterest

When it comes to half marathon calorie burn, running pace and intensity play a significant role. The faster and more intense you run, the more calories you burn. However, it’s important to find the right balance between pushing yourself and avoiding injury or burnout.

Running at a faster pace isn’t always the best option. If you push yourself too hard, you risk injury or burnout, which can set back your training and ultimately hinder your progress. It’s important to find a pace that challenges you without putting your body at risk.

Half Marathon Calorie Burn Table,  depending on weight and mph

Another factor to consider is running intensity. Exercise intensity is measured in different ways, including heart rate and perceived exertion. The more intense the exercise, the greater the number of calories burned. However, high-intensity exercise can be challenging, especially for those new to running or with underlying health conditions.

5 Points about Nutrition and Calorie Burn

half marathon calorie burn Woman Standing in Running Clothes
by Pinterest

As we train for a half marathon, we need to fuel our bodies with the right nutrition to support our training and calorie burn. A balanced diet is key to achieving optimal performance and recovery. Here are some tips to help you fuel your body for half marathon calorie burn.

  1. 🍞 Carbohydrates and Protein
  2. 🍽️ Calorie Intake
  3. 🏃 Eating Before and After Runs
  4. 🥦 Fiber and Veggies
  5. 🔥 Formula for Calorie Burn

1. 🍞 Carbohydrates and Protein

Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for our bodies during exercise. Consuming complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, provides a steady release of energy during our runs. Protein is also important for muscle repair and recovery. Aim to consume a balanced ratio of carbohydrates and protein to support your training.

2. 🍽️ Calorie Intake

It’s important to consume enough calories to support your training and calorie burn. Use a calorie calculator, such as the one found here, to determine your estimated calorie burn during a half marathon. Plan your nutrition accordingly to ensure you are consuming enough calories to fuel your runs.

3. 🏃 Eating Before and After Runs

Eating a balanced breakfast before a run can provide the energy you need to power through your workout. Aim to consume a meal that is high in complex carbohydrates and contains some protein. After your run, focus on replenishing your body with protein and veggies to aid in muscle recovery.

4. 🥦 Fiber and Veggies

Incorporating fiber and veggies into your diet can help keep you feeling full and satisfied while also providing important nutrients. Leafy greens, such as lettuce, are a great source of fiber and vitamins. Try adding them to your meals to help balance your diet.

5. 🔥 Formula for Calorie Burn

Dennis Heinrich Mallorca Marathon 24.10.2023

Hi I´m Dennis from runfitjourney. Let me tell you that the formula for your half marathon calorie burn is 13.1 miles x runner’s weight x 0.63.

By following these tips and consuming a balanced diet, we can support our training and achieve optimal half marathon calorie burn.

Half Marathon Calorie Burn and Recovery

One of the most important things you can do is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after the race will help your body flush out toxins and prevent dehydration.

In addition to staying hydrated, it’s also important to get enough sleep. Your body needs time to rest and recover, and getting enough sleep will help your muscles repair themselves. You should aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night in the days following the race.

To aid in muscle recovery, you can also try foam rolling or stretching. This can help reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility. Additionally, eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of protein can help your muscles repair themselves.

Finally, it’s important to listen to your body and take it easy in the days following the race. While it’s tempting to jump back into your regular exercise routine, your body needs time to recover. Taking a few days off from running can help prevent injury and ensure that you’re ready for your next race.

Estimating Calorie Burn

half marathon calorie burn Man Training Run
by Pinterest

👉 Calorie calculators can provide a good starting point for estimating half marathon calorie burn.

👉 To use a calorie calculator, you typically need to input your weight, distance, and average pace

👉 Actual calorie burn may vary depending on factors such as age, gender, and fitness level

👉 Using a heart rate monitor can provide a more accurate estimate of calorie burn during a half marathon

👉 Calorie burn is just one factor to consider when training for a half marathon

👉 Proper nutrition and hydration are equally important for fueling your body and supporting your training.

Energy Intake and Output

For half marathon training, it’s important to ensure that we are consuming enough calories to fuel our runs, but not so many that we gain weight. The exact number of calories needed will depend on our weight, height, age, and activity level, but a general guideline is to consume 200-300 calories per hour of running.

In addition to calorie intake, it’s important to consider the quality of the calories we are consuming. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins provide the nutrients and energy we need to perform at our best, while processed foods and sugary drinks can lead to energy crashes and poor performance.

It’s important to note that half marathon calorie burn is just one aspect of energy output. Strength training, cross-training, and other forms of physical activity can also contribute to overall energy expenditure and help improve half marathon performance.

Additional Factors Affecting Calorie Burn

When it comes to half marathon calorie burn, there are several factors that can affect the number of calories you burn during the race. Here are some additional factors that can impact your half marathon calorie burn:

  1. 🌡️ Temperature
  2. 🏔️ Terrain
  3. ❤️‍🔥 Heart Rate
  4. 🏃‍♂️ Peak Performance

1. 🌡️ Temperature

The temperature can have a significant impact on your half marathon calorie burn. Running in hot weather can cause your body to work harder to regulate your core temperature, which can increase your half marathon calorie burn. On the other hand, running in cold weather can cause your body to burn more calories to keep you warm.

2. 🏔️ Terrain

The terrain you’re running on can also affect your calorie burn. Running on a flat surface is generally easier than running uphill or downhill, which can require more effort and therefore burn more calories.

3. ❤️‍🔥 Heart Rate

Your heart rate is a good indicator of how hard your body is working during a half marathon. The higher your heart rate, the more calories you’re likely to burn. You can use a heart rate monitor to track your heart rate during the race and make adjustments to your pace to maximize your half marathon calorie burn.

4. 🏃‍♂️ Peak Performance

Your peak performance level can also impact your half marathon calorie burn. If you’re in great shape and have trained well for the race, you’re likely to burn more calories than someone who is less fit.

Role of Sports Drinks

half marathon calorie burn Woman Break During Training
by Pinterest

When it comes to running a half marathon, staying hydrated is crucialSports drinks can be a great way to replenish electrolytes and fluids lost during the race. However, it’s important to note that sports drinks are not a magic solution for improving performance or burning more calories.

Sports drinks typically contain carbohydrates, electrolytes, and sometimes protein. The carbohydrates in sports drinks can provide a quick source of energy during the race, but it’s important to choose a sports drink that contains the right amount of carbohydrates for your needs. Too much can cause stomach upset, while too little may not provide enough energy.

Energy gels are another popular option for providing a quick source of carbohydrates during a half marathon. These gels are easy to carry and can be consumed quickly during the race. However, it’s important to practice using energy gels before the race to avoid any stomach issues.

While sports drinks and energy gels can be helpful during a half marathon, it’s important to remember that they are not necessary for every runner. Some runners may prefer to stick with water and whole foods during the race.

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

👉 Regular physical activity is important to maintain fitness and reduce the risk of heart disease

👉 Running a half marathon is a great way to get our heart rate up and burn calories, but we also need to incorporate other forms of exercise into our routine

👉 Eating a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help us maintain a healthy weight and reduce our risk of heart disease

Hi I´m Sebastian from runfitjourney.

“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential for everyone, especially for those who enjoy running half marathons”

Sebastian Gradl Training 24.10.2023

👉 Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day is important

👉 Everyone is different and factors such as age, weight, and fitness level can impact the half marathon calorie burn

👉 Running a half marathon can burn anywhere from 1000 to 2500 calories on average

👉 Consulting with a nutritionist or dietician can help us develop a meal plan tailored to our individual needs and goals.

Our Summary on Half Marathon Calorie Burn

According to our findings, the number of calories burned during a half marathon depends on several factors, including your weight, your pace, and the terrain you’re running on.

On average, a person weighing 150 pounds can expect to burn about 1,238 calories running a half marathon at a pace of 10 minutes per mile. However, this number can vary greatly depending on individual factors. To maximize your calorie burn during a half marathon, it’s important to properly prepare with training and nutrition.

It is recommended to consume 19-21 calories per pound of body weight 1.5 hours before and during race day. For longer training sessions, such as For example, for 2-3 hour long runs, you should aim for 22-24 calories per pound of body weight. It’s also worth noting that mountain running can greatly impact your calorie burn.

In my opinion, the half marathon calorie burn is a nice side effect. The focus is still on the event, the fun of running and the challenge of completing the half marathon.


How many calories do you burn running a half marathon?

The average person burns around 1,000 calories running a half marathon, but this can vary based on factors such as weight and fitness level. 

How many calories should you consume during a half marathon?

It’s recommended to consume 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour during a half marathon to maintain energy levels and prevent fatigue. 

How can you maximize calorie burn during a half marathon?

To maximize calorie burn, focus on maintaining a steady pace throughout the race and incorporate interval training and strength training into your overall training regimen.

What do you think about half marathon calorie burn? I would love to hear your option in the comments. I am sure you are also interested in our Marathon Checklist or the Information How many Steps in a Marathon.

Sebastian Gradl 26.09.2023
Sebastian Gradl

Nice to meet you, I´m Sebastian Gradl!

I write the articles on runfitjourney.com.

I hope I can awaken your passion for running too and would be happy to take you on the runfitjourney!

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