How Many Calories Do You Burn Running For 20 Minutes

Are you looking for an effective way to burn calories and get fit? Running is a great exercise that can help you achieve your fitness goals. But have you ever wondered how many calories you burn running for just 20 minutes? 

In this blog post, we’ll break down the numbers and give you all the information you need to know to maximize your workout. So, lace up your running shoes, and let’s get started!

How Many Calories Do You Burn Running For 20 Minutes?

Generally speaking, a 20-minute run can torch 100 to 150 calories.

But what if we swap the pavement for a trail run or add a jogging stroller to our routine? 

Suddenly, that calorie count goes up significantly! A rough and uneven terrain causes your body to work harder, leading a 125-pound person to burn about 180 calories in just twenty minutes on the trail.

Speed also affects your calorie-burn rates considerably; faster runners tend to incinerate more energy as they blaze through their miles.

Understanding Calorie Burn

Calorie burn is a complex process that involves numerous variables. Essentially, it’s all about energy expenditure: how your body uses the fuel you provide through food and drink to power its activities.

Scientifically, energy output during running is quantified in metabolic equivalents or METs. One MET equals the number of calories burned at rest, so when you’re engaged in a vigorous activity like running, this figure multiplies depending on intensity and duration.

For instance, running at 6 MPH equates to roughly nine METs.

Let’s put these numbers into context with an example scenario from our [IMPORTANT FACTS].

In essence, “Understanding Calorie Burn” goes well beyond the simplicity of just tracking workout time and distance; it’s about recognizing what makes each run uniquely challenging and rewarding in terms of fitness gains and weight management goals.

Factors Impacting Calories Burned While Running

Body Weight

Body weight significantly influences the number of calories you burn during a run. Individuals with heavier body weights expend more energy and thus torch more calories in a 20-minute run than those who weigh less.

Let’s draw from the well-known Mayo Clinic research as an example. According to them, a person weighing around 160 pounds (72 kilograms) burns roughly 314 calories in an average-speed 20-minute run.

In contrast, someone carrying around 200 pounds (90 kilograms) can expect to combust approximately 392 calories during the same workout pace and duration. Even when running at moderate intensity, these differences are significant between different body weights due mainly to varying metabolic rates: higher for heavier people and lower for lighter ones.


Gender plays a significant role in determining the calories burned while running. On average, men tend to burn more calories than women during physical activities, including running.

This is primarily due to differences in body composition and metabolism.

However, it’s important to note that gender alone isn’t the only factor influencing caloric expenditure during running. Weight, speed, and distance also contribute to the overall calorie burn.

Women must consider their individual caloric needs based on their specific caloric expenditure while running. This means adjusting their calorie intake and exercise intensity accordingly.


The speed at which you run significantly affects the number of calories burned during a 20-minute run. The faster you go, the more energy your body needs to fuel your muscles and propel you forward.

Running at a higher speed increases your heart rate and engages more muscle fibers, resulting in more significant calorie burn. For example, running at an average pace of 6 miles per hour can help someone weighing around 154 pounds burn approximately 229 calories in just 20 minutes.

Pushing yourself to maintain a brisk pace throughout your run can have several benefits beyond calorie burn alone. It can improve cardiovascular health and endurance while helping build lean muscle mass.

Incorporating high-intensity intervals into your runs is another effective way to boost calorie burn and enhance overall fitness.

So remember, whether it’s increasing speed gradually over time or incorporating interval training into your routine, adjusting the intensity of your runs can make a noticeable difference in maximizing calorie burn and achieving weight loss goals.


Incorporating incline into your running routine can significantly impact the number of calories burned in a 20-minute run. When you run uphill, your muscles must work harder against gravity, increasing energy expenditure.

For example, running at a moderate pace on a flat surface may burn around 200 calories in 20 minutes for someone weighing around 154 pounds (70 kilograms). However, adding an incline to your run can increase that calorie burn even further.

So next time you head out for your run or hop on the treadmill, consider incorporating some hills or adjusting the incline setting.

Running Surface

The running surface you choose can significantly impact the number of calories burned during a 20-minute run. Running on different surfaces requires varying effort levels, directly affecting calorie expenditure.

For example, running on uneven terrain trails requires more muscles and excellent balance than running on a flat track or pavement.

Changing your running surface can also challenge your body in different ways, stimulating additional calorie burn, for instance, running uphill or against resistance forces like sand or snow results in more energy expenditure due to the increased effort required to overcome these obstacles.

Remember that regardless of the surface you choose, maintaining good form and proper stride mechanics will help optimize your calorie-burning potential while minimizing the risk of injuries.

Weather Conditions

The weather conditions can impact the number of calories burned during a 20-minute run. Running in extreme heat or cold requires your body to work harder to regulate its temperature, increasing calorie expenditure.

For example, running in hot and humid conditions can produce more sweat and a higher heart rate, which can help burn extra calories.

Additionally, running against strong wind resistance can provide an added challenge and increase calorie burn.

It’s important to note that while weather conditions contribute to overall energy expenditure, they are not the sole determinants of calorie burn during a run. Factors like speed, incline, and body weight significantly determine how many calories you will burn.

Weather conditions affect the number of calories burned during a 20-minute run. When running under extreme heat or cold forces, your body must work harder by regulating its temperature, effectively increasing calorie expenditure (ACE Fitness).

Furthermore, challenging wind resistance increases caloric output too; having such obstacles makes people need to push forward to faceless aerodynamic masses, to make hearts pump faster, raising intensities and consequently elevating overall caloric burns (Cleveland Clinic).

While weather impacts energy spent considerably, players should remember that alone does not necessarily attribute singularly significantly towards one’s objective, i.e., losing weight, but rather coherently is built into overall running (Harvard Health Publishing).

Comparing Calories Burned: Running Vs. Other Workouts

Regarding calorie burn, running is one of many effective workouts. Let’s compare the calories burned in running with other everyday activities in a 20-minute session.

ExerciseCalories Burned (Average)
RunningApproximately 200-300
WalkingApproximately 70-100
SwimmingApproximately 150-220
CyclingApproximately 180-250
YogaApproximately 80-130
WeightliftingApproximately 100-180

Remember, these are rough averages, and the calories burned depend on various factors such as intensity, individual weight, and fitness level. 

With higher intensity, running generally burns more calories than less intensive workouts like walking or yoga. 

However, even swimming and cycling can provide a decent calorie burn. For robust calorie burning, incorporating different forms of exercise in your routine could be beneficial.

Maximizing Calorie Burn: Running Techniques And Tips

To maximize calorie burn while running, try incorporating these techniques and tips into your routine;

  • Run on a treadmill to increase intensity and control variables such as speed and incline
  • Gradually increase your running speed to challenge yourself and elevate your heart rate
  • Add an incline to simulate uphill running for a more vigorous workout
  • Experimenting with different running surfaces, like grass or sand, can engage different muscles and intensify calorie burn.

Running On A Treadmill

Running on a treadmill offers several advantages for maximizing calorie burn and improving cardiovascular health. Here are some essential tips and techniques to consider when running on a treadmill:

  • Vary the incline: Adjusting the incline on the treadmill can simulate outdoor running conditions and engage different muscle groups. Running at an incline can increase the intensity of your workout, leading to a higher calorie burn.
  • Increase speed: Gradually increasing your running speed on the treadmill can help elevate your heart rate and boost calorie expenditure. However, starting at a comfortable pace and gradually building up to faster speeds to avoid injuries is essential.
  • Use interval training: Incorporating high-intensity intervals into your treadmill workout can enhance calorie burn. Alternating between intense sprints or faster running and active recovery periods helps increase post-exercise calorie expenditure and promotes fat loss.
  • Monitor heart rate: Utilizing a heart rate monitor while running on the treadmill can help gauge your intensity level. Maintaining an elevated heart rate within your target zone ensures you work appropriately for optimal calorie burn.
  • Focus on form: Pay attention to your running form while using the treadmill. Maintain an upright posture, relax your shoulders, and land softly with each stride. Proper form reduces the risk of injury and allows for more efficient movement, leading to increased calorie expenditure.
  • Customize workouts: Many treadmills offer customizable workouts that allow you to set specific goals such as distance, time, or calorie burn. Take advantage of these features to tailor your workouts to your fitness goals and desired calorie expenditure.

By following these tips and incorporating them into your treadmill workouts, you can maximize calorie burn, improve cardiovascular health, and work towards achieving your weight loss goals efficiently.

Increasing Speed

Increasing your running speed can significantly impact the number of calories burned during a 20-minute run. Here are some ways you can increase your speed:

  • Incorporate interval training: Interval training involves alternating between high-intensity running and slower jogging or walking recovery periods. You can improve your overall speed and calorie burn by pushing yourself to run at a higher intensity for short bursts.
  • Focus on form and technique: Running with proper form can help increase your speed while reducing the risk of injury. Engage your core, maintain an upright posture, and focus on landing mid-foot to maximize efficiency.
  • Gradual progression: Increasing your running speed over time is critical to avoiding injuries and building endurance. Start by incorporating short bursts of faster running into your regular runs, gradually increasing the duration and intensity as you become more comfortable.
  • Hill training: Besides boosting leg strength, running hills also helps improve speed and endurance. Incorporate uphill sprints or longer hill repeats into your training routine to challenge yourself and burn more calories.
  • Tempo runs: Tempo runs involve sustained efforts at a comfortably hard pace, typically around 80-90% of your maximum effort. You can increase calorie burn by maintaining this challenging pace for an extended period during your 20-minute run.

Remember that increasing speed should be done gradually and on your fitness level. Always listen to your body and adjust accordingly to prevent overexertion or injury.

Adding Incline

Consider adding an incline to your workout to maximize calorie burn during a 20-minute run. Running on an incline increases your run’s intensity and engages different muscle groups, resulting in more calories burned. Here are some key benefits of adding incline:

  • Increased calorie burn: Running uphill requires more muscle effort, leading to higher calorie expenditure. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), running on a 5% incline can increase calorie burn by approximately 50%.
  • Muscle activation: Inclines target your glutes, hamstrings, and calves more effectively than flat-ground running. This helps strengthen and tone these muscles while also burning additional calories.
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness: Running uphill elevates your heart rate and challenges your cardiovascular system, improving endurance and overall fitness levels.
  • Simulating outdoor terrain: If you’re training for outdoor races or events that involve hills or trails, running on an incline can help prepare you for the varying terrains you might encounter.
  • Injury prevention: Running on an incline reduces the impact on your joints compared to running downhill or flat surfaces. This can benefit individuals with joint problems or those looking to minimize strain on their knees and ankles.

Start gradually incorporating incline into your run to avoid overexertion or injury. Begin with small increments of elevation and gradually increase over time as you build strength and stamina.

Adjust the speed when running uphill to maintain a comfortable and sustainable pace. Challenge yourself but listen to your body’s signals to prevent excessive fatigue or strain.

By adding an incline to your 20-minute run, you can not only increase calorie burn but also enhance muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, and overall performance. So find some hills or adjust the settings on your treadmill for a more challenging workout that will yield more excellent results in less time!

FAQs on How Many Calories Do You Burn Running for 20 Minutes

How many calories can I burn running for 20 minutes?

The number of calories burned while running for 20 minutes depends on factors such as body weight, pace, and intensity. On average, a person weighing around 150 pounds can burn approximately 200-300 calories during a 20-minute run.

Does the speed of my run affect the number of calories burned in 20 minutes?

Yes, the speed or intensity you run affects the calories burned. Running faster or incorporating interval training into your workout can increase calorie expenditure during those 20 minutes.

Can I use an app or fitness tracker to calculate the calories burned while running for 20 minutes?

If available, fitness apps and trackers can estimate the calories burned based on your inputs, such as weight, time spent running, and heart rate. While they may not be entirely accurate, they can give you a rough idea about your calorie expenditure.

Do other factors influence how many calories I’ll burn running for 20 minutes?

Apart from body weight and pace, other factors like age, gender, muscle mass, terrain (e.g., severe vs. flat surface), weather conditions (e.g., wind resistance), and even genetics can influence the number of calories burnt during a run. However, these variables play a relatively more minor role compared to the overall effort exerted during exercise.

Final Take

Running for just 20 minutes can burn many calories and help you achieve your fitness goals. Understanding the numbers and tracking your progress can maximize your workout and see actual results. So, whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting, keep pushing yourself and remember that every step counts towards a healthier, happier you!