Short Sprints vs Long And Steady Jogs
As long as we are out there running we are making progress towards our fitness goals. But there tend to be two types of runners: those who sprint it out for fast, short miles vs those who can go on forever with a slower but steady jog.
But which is really better?
When comparing sprints vs jogs, there are pros and cons to both.
It really comes down to the ultimate goal of the individual. Jogging is best for being able to build endurance for those long runs. But sprinting is great for fat burning.
Pros Of Sprinting
There are lots of benefits of incorporating sprints into a runner’s workout routine.
Sprints help to sculpt lean muscles faster than jogging. It takes lots more work for the muscles but is worth it in terms of results.
Since it is a high-intensity exercise, it is great for weight loss thanks to much more calories being burned.
Here is where a little science comes into play. Sprinting is an anaerobic exercise.
Anaerobic exercises are those like HIIT (high-intensity interval training), weightlifting or sprints where glucose is broken down without the use of oxygen.
This type of exercises uses only glucose as its source of fuel compared to aerobic exercises like jogging that can use with glucose or fat.
Despite aiding in weight loss, short sprints are great for building muscle. It shapes lean muscles, especially in the quads and hamstrings.
It also increases the release of endorphins, which means more of feeling good and less stress.
While jogging also releases endorphins, its release is much slower during the long and steady workout.
The Cons Of Those Short Sprints
Short sprints have many benefits. Especially for those who are short on time and still want a great workout. Think high intensity, but short In length.
So this makes it perfect for those who don’t enjoy running long distance.
But there are some cons to sprinting.
For one, it’s much easier to reach muscle fatigue. This means it’s much more likely the runner will burn out, which is why sprints should be a short run.
Too much sprinting can lead to an injury caused as a result of exhausted muscles.
One study found that high-intensity workouts resulted in a drop of cell’s ability to consume oxygen and fight off free radicals during sprints. As a result, inflammation issues may occur as well as other degenerative diseases.
The Pros Of Jogging
Jogging is essentially running just at a slower pace. Many consider jogging as running a pace that is less than 6 mph.
Those who jog get all the health and fitness benefits the activity as to offer.
This includes burning calories, maintaining a healthy weight or aiding in weight loss, boosting metabolism, increasing self-esteem, improving fitness, strengthening muscles, and releasing of feel-good hormones and so on.
However, keep in mind that these benefits are smaller and take longer when compared to running faster.
Still, jogging is a great way to stay active. It also is a great stress reliever.
It allows runners to run longer because they aren’t burning out. This means being able to run long distance.
A long, steady jog builds endurance and increases lung capacity since more oxygen is needed. All that extra oxygen also is great for the skin, resulting in anti-aging benefits.
Along with boosting respiratory function, it also helps to prevent infections like the flu and common cold thanks to the production of white blood cells that help with immunity.
The Cons Of A Long, Slow Jog
Running for longer mileage isn’t easy to do, even when not pushing the pace.
With that said, jogging isn’t ideal for those who are looking for a specific time goal when finishing a half or full marathon.
It’s best to add some sprint work, hills and cross training to get faster.
Jogging is a full body workout, which has all the health and fitness benefits listed above. But that also means it is a high impact workout so could be a lot on muscles, joints, and ligaments.
It can be very stressful on the body when the athlete isn’t recovering in-between workouts.
Don’t expect to lose weight and build muscle when comparing a jog vs a sprint workout.
So Which Is Really Better, Sprints or Jogging?
The answer is they are both good.
Which is better depends on goals, but it’s best to incorporate both.
Start off with sprints around a track or go for an interval run around the neighborhood sprinting to different landmarks. Do this one to two workouts per week.
Make the long run a slow and steady one, focusing on a good jog rather than picking up the pace too much. Then increase the pace a little over time to get faster and faster when jogging.
A combination of the two helps to mold a well-rounded runner.
- Sprinting vs Jogging: Which Is Better For Your Health?, Health Blog ,
- What You Need to Know About Anaerobic Exercise, Health Website ,
- The Downside to High-Intensity Sprint Training, Health Website ,