When it comes to running, there are generally two ways to work out. You can either run short distances at high speeds, pushing your body to the limit and then resting in between, or you can run at a steady pace for long-distance working on your long-term endurance. Of course, both exercise methods have their pros and cons, but which one is better? To answer that question, we’ll have to break things down a bit more.
Interval training is a great way to boost your cardiac output and push your body to the limit. When running intervals or sprinting, you constantly change between running as fast as you can and resting. Thanks to these rapid fluctuations, your body doesn’t have a chance to adapt to your pacing, meaning it has to tap into more of your internal energy reserves, glucose, and fat. This means that sprinting does a better job of burning fat and calories than continuous running since your body adjusts to your pacing and can mitigate your energy expenditure. Thanks to the rapid changes in speed and effort, sprinting also does wonders when trying to build up your fast-twitch muscles.
Steady Continuous Running
While sprinting is a great way to build muscle and burn fat, that isn’t to say that jogging doesn’t have benefits of its own. Since jogging is more of an aerobic workout, it does a better job than sprinting at building cardiopulmonary output and building up your long-term endurance. This prolonged activity also releases endorphins which help relax you and put you in an almost euphoric state. This is essentially what people refer to as a runner’s high. If you’re looking to get into a steady workout routine, jogging and continuous running is a great way to build up your general endurance.
Which is Better?
At the end of the day, it depends on what you’re looking to get out of your workout. If you are looking to work on your endurance and cardiopulmonary capacity, continuous running might be more your speed. On the other hand, if your goal is weight loss and building muscle, interval training is the better fit. The beauty of it, though, is that you don’t even have to choose one or the other. You can easily insert a few sprints into the mix during your continuous running and get the best of both worlds.