How Many Miles Do I Have to Run to “Earn” My Pumpkin Pie?

Photo by Laura/flickr

Photo by Laura/flickr

I will be volunteering at a local race for the first time on Thanksgiving, but I will still be partaking in the feast of food with my family later in the afternoon.

I might have to squeeze in a run or a really long walk somewhere in the day to contend with the abundance of calories. Many of the nation’s Thanksgiving Day turkey trots are 5Ks which would earn a 150-pound racer running 10:00 minute miles exactly one serving of stuffing.


Food preparation, serving size, and family favorites will all influence the final calorie intake on Thanksgiving Day, but it’s safe to say that most runners will be eating far more than they will be burning.

A four-hour marathoner weighing 200 pounds might have a chance of burning off the estimated 4500 calories some reports claim we eat on Thanksgiving.

If you are planning to race or go for a training run on the holiday, here’s a little food motivation to keep you moving.

  • A 130-pound runner can run 1.5 miles at a 6:00 minute mile pace for ¼ cup of cranberry sauce
  • A 160-pound runner can run for 10 minutes at an 8:00 minute mile pace for ½ cup of creamed spinach
  • One cup each of sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes will cost a 150-pound runner an 8K (5 miles) at a 9:00 minute mile pace.
  • Turkey and gravy can be earned by a 170-pound runner who completes 3.5 miles at a 12:00 minute mile pace.
  • A 120-pound runner will have to run nearly four miles at a 10:00 minute mile pace for one cup of green bean casserole.
  • Those two pieces of pumpkin pie? A 190-pound runner will have to clock 7:30 minute mile pace for close to five miles.

Pass the whipped cream?

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