Shorter. Faster. Better?
Sprinting is a re-emerging fitness trend that’s catching up with the popularity of long distance running. The difference is that sprinting involves shorter and higher intensity running intervals with rest periods in between. Sprinting is definitely more time efficient as well as a huge calorie burner. This raises a good question: should you be running harder and shorter instead of longer and more consistent?
The answer really depends on your fitness goals. Sprinting will increase your speed and help you move past a frustrating weight-loss plateau. Here’s how it works… The high intensity nature of sprinting shocks your body, burns tons of calories and allows for more visible changes in your body type. Your body will continue to burn calories hours after you’ve finished your workout. As amazing as that sounds, the negative side is that sprinting will surely fatigue you. Remember that before you go on a sprinting binge, especially if you’re heading to work afterwards.
If high intensity is not your bag, then to hell with sprinting. Go for a long run. Long distance running can be very gratifying. You’ll experience a nice endorphin release and when you run at a comfortable page you can actually think about stuff. You won’t see drastic results as you would with sprinting because the calorie burn happens in a more gradual manner and there’s less of an afterburn effect. The upside is that you’ll be a lot less fatigued post workout.
As much as I’d love to tell you which running option is better, you should ask yourself if running bores you. If it does, don’t feel bad because you’re part of a very large club. Sprints are over before you know it and you’ll be a lot more engaged in your workout than if you forced yourself to run 5 miles. If you love running (like really really love it), sprinting will never be as therapeutic as your long runs. Don’t be afraid, try them both. Who knows…maybe you’ll swing both ways.
Photo courtesy of photographer, Koh Sze Kiat. His collection of outstanding photography can be viewed at eyeamseeingthings.com.