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Sprinting vs. Jogging: What Are the Differences, and Which Is Better?
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Sprinting vs. Jogging: What Are the Differences, and Which Is Better?

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on August 17, 2022
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8 min

Consistent exercising offers a plethora of health benefits. So today, we will be looking at a common argument – sprinting vs. jogging in hopes of unveiling the truth. As such, we will be discussing the existing differences and which of them offers more benefits. So get comfortable, as this surely will be a long run.

sprinting vs jogging

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Running is the cheapest form of logging in your training time when it comes to cardio. From being a great way to lose weight to helping you stay lean, running has a long list of health benefits, and you might just be thinking about getting started.

However, the first thing to note is that there are different layers to it, and each of them has its own purpose. Although they offer similar benefits, knowing what works best for you is as important as engaging in the exercise.

In today’s article, we will be looking at two common modalities associated with running – sprinting and jogging. We aim to unravel just how different both exercises are from each other and the perks of engaging in either one.

Granted, engaging in either exercise depends greatly on your level of fitness, health, and general preference. By breaking down both layers, we shall be able to see what makes each of them stand out and which option fits perfectly into your training routine.

Sprinting vs. Jogging

Three primary differences separate sprinting from jogging. The first is pace; sprinting involves running short distances at full bursts, using explosive power to propel you over a short distance and period. On the other hand, jogging involves going at a steady pace, typically over long distances.

The second difference is in terms of application, seeing as most runners incorporate either exercise according to their training requirements. For example, long-distance runners use long-distance jogs to prepare for a long run, while track and field athletes use sprint exercises to get them to peak form.

Lastly is intensity. Jogging is a low-intensity workout compared to sprinting, which is a higher intensity workout. Jogging centers on stamina and endurance, while sprinting demands more energy, power, heart, and lung capacity. This is why you have an increased heartbeat per minute, having completed a sprint instead of a jog.

Sprinting

When it comes to sprinting, quite a few workouts fall under this class. However, it is important to note the technicalities behind these workouts, as, even though they all fall under sprinting workouts, their intensity level varies.

Yes, some workouts, which we will be providing, rank as pure sprints. On the other hand, others are somewhat of high-intensity interval training.

Fartlek: In Swedish, fartlek translates to “speed play.” This unconventional training routine involves a continuous run that revolves around mixing fast-paced and slow-paced races over a certain period.

10-20-30 training: This training method consists of a repeated sequence that involves running at a slow pace for 30 seconds, then running at an average pace for 20 seconds, and then running at a fast pace for 10 seconds.

Pyramid training incorporates short and long sprints into one wholesome routine. That and a side dish of recovery jogs to increase its efficiency.

400’s: Talking about pure sprint workout, this involves running at full speed across a 400-meter distance. The 400-meter sprint is actually an iconic run in all of track and field.

Jogging

Quite a few workouts fall under this category.

In addition, if you are keen on re-establishing dominance in either workout, some tools are readily available for you to incorporate into your workout routines. The Joggo app is a fantastic workout regimen built to cater to the needs of every runner. It offers you personalized training programs, expert insiders, and motivational excerpts to help you achieve your goal.

The app allows users to benefit from features that include varying exercises, structured meal plans, diverse workout modes, fitness tips, and training adjustments.

Overall, when it comes to incorporating sprinting workouts or any high-intensity exercise into your existing running routine, the Joggo app is the ultimate tool.

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Which Running Form Burns More Calories?

When it comes down to running in order to sweat more calories, the clear-cut option for you is sprinting. Although jogging as an aerobic workout is great for burning considerable amounts of calories, sprinting will result in more calories burned.

According to research done by Harvard Medical School, a person weighing 125 pounds burns about 180 calories while jogging for 30 minutes. On the other hand, if the same person were to increase their speed, running at 10mph throughout the 30-minute period, which is equivalent to 6min/mile, they would burn 453 calories.

As a side note, most sprint workouts that span over great distances typically integrate recovery runs in order to prevent excessive fatigue and injury.

Lastly, which happens to be an integral advantage gotten from sprinting, is EPOC. EPOC stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, an aftereffect that increases metabolism, directly translating to a higher calorie-burning rate.

This simply means that your body continues to burn calories after completing your sprinting workout.

Which Is Better for Fat Loss?

Whether you engage in any aerobic exercise or anaerobic exercise, burning more fat results from continuous training.

Let us put this into perspective. When you want to reduce body fat, your first point of the target would be to burn more calories than you consume. This typically includes everything from workout programs to meal preparation and intake.

However, when it comes down to sprinting vs. jogging, there is no concrete evidence that proves that one exercise supersedes the other in terms of fat loss. Yes, research showed that neither exercise burned more fat than the other.

Additionally, a meta-analysis carried out to ascertain the disparity in total body fat percentage between high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training showed that the difference was negligible.

This thesis’s conclusion highlighted that both exercises are good ways to burn fat, and neither was significantly better than the other. 

Which Exercise Is More Injury-Free?

A straightforward answer would be that jogging is more injury-free than sprinting. However, certain factors are key to risking injury from any exercise, be it anaerobic or aerobic.

Similarly, there are many injuries that exist between both exercises, such as the runner’s knee, Achilles tendinitis, tibial stress syndrome, and a host of others.

However, the bottom line is that sprinting exerts more stress on your body, which increases your chances of being injured.

Jogging is the perfect way of getting your body accustomed to running before including speed work. Beginner runners need to build their stamina, endurance, and general fitness level, allowing their body composition to adapt to the level of stress that comes with fast pace running.

Similarly, jogging allows those currently suffering from injuries to work their way back into their running workouts. The app helps runners return their muscles and bones to perfect working conditions without increasing pressure, overall sustaining their cardiovascular fitness level.

Nonetheless, there are several tricks to lessen your injury risk if your workout program demands more sprint workouts.

You should include warm-up and cool-down exercises in your routine since they help take the stress off your joints and loosen your muscles.

Secondly, figure out a sprinting routine that works for you, even if it means cutting down your high-intensity exercises to 20% of your total workout. This stops you from overworking yourself, which does not end well for anybody.

Lastly, you must learn to listen to your body’s demands. For example, if you begin to experience pain while sprinting, it is probably time to stop and examine your body; otherwise, incurring injury becomes inevitable.

Overall, taking proper care of your body puts you in a position to improve on your training.

Which Is Better for Toning Muscles?

Jogging and sprinting both make use of the same muscle groups, with the majority of them found in the lower body. This includes the quads, hamstrings, calves, gluteus maximus, hip flexors, and core muscles.

However, the difference between both exercises is the way the muscle groups are used. When jogging, you trigger the slow-twitch muscle fibers, while sprinting uses the fast-twitch muscle fibers.

The slow-twitch (Type I) muscle fibers are generally small, accounting for lower force production. They are typically slow to fatigue, with their primary function being endurance and stabilization.

On the other hand, the fast-twitch (Type II) muscle fibers are bigger and account for more force production. This force production amplifies power, improves strength, builds muscle mass, and, unfortunately, hastens fatigue.

What Are the Benefits of Sprinting and Jogging?

Running hosts a ton of benefits, which is why our next point of discussion in this article would be about the health and fitness benefits associated with sprinting and jogging.

Helps to avoid cardiovascular diseases

Sprinting and jogging are great ways of improving your heart health. They help greatly lower blood pressure, improve brachial artery function, and cater to other cardiovascular diseases.

For jogging, the pace makes it possible to complete longer training sessions with little breaks, boosting blood flow and heart rate. In the same vein, sprinting is an efficient way of increasing your VO2 max.

A good practice that allows you to gain from both exercises is to alternate between them during your workout routine.

Improves cognitive performance

Yes, both exercises are good for physical well-being, but their influence on mental well-being is also top tier.

Research suggests that consistent exercising positively affects mood and cognitive function throughout one’s lifespan. In addition, this research showed that exercise slows down the decline of the hippocampus because of aging. Similarly, it reduces the risk of anxiety and depression.

Promotes weight loss

You cannot lose weight without being active, which is why sprinting and jogging are great additions to your weight loss journey since they help you burn tons of calories.

Opting for jogging instead of sprinting when struggling with being overweight is not counterintuitive, as it allows you to burn calories without fear of injury. Afterward, you can introduce sprinting to your routine.

Again, it is worth noting that workouts alone will not guarantee weight loss. Your diet plays a huge role in getting you to your dream size. If you are unable to sustain a calorie deficit, dropping a couple of pounds might be harder than gaining them.

Which Is More Beginner-Friendly?

For the most part, jogging should be your go-to exercise instead of sprinting, especially if you are new to running. This is because jogging serves as a good foundation for building endurance and stamina.

Furthermore, you can condition your body, strengthening your joints, muscles, and ligaments, drastically reducing the risk of injuries.

Final Verdict

Sprinting and jogging are good workout plans to help you achieve your fitness goals. They offer many benefits and are great ways of exercising for cheap.

When it comes to sprinting vs. jogging, it really depends on what you wish to achieve; hence, choosing between them comes to personal preference. Nonetheless, your choice should be something sustainable.

A Word From Our Coach

Many things go into running aside from the ones we have mentioned. One important aspect of this exercise that might not appear obvious is running form. Regardless of your program, getting the best form is vital as it accounts for fewer injuries and increased running efficiency.

Another key thing is to include a variety of workout patterns into your routine. For example, your training should include a splash of bodyweight exercises or resistance training, as these will help improve body composition, strength, and general fitness levels.

Lastly, getting a personal trainer is as essential as getting the right routine. Trainers have years of experience under their belts and can offer you expert advice at any point in time. This ultimately makes achieving your goal easy.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, it is obvious that both exercises hold considerable differences from each other. For example, while sprinting involves moving at a fast pace, jogging revolves around a moderate pace.

Despite these differences, both exercises offer tons of benefits. As such, if you are looking for cardiovascular health benefits, increased muscular strength, reduced stress, and weight loss, either option is available for you.

If you choose sprinting, jogging, or both, well, you would not be wrong. Although the starting periods might seem too challenging, the results are always worth it. Coupled with the fact that you always have help available, you should start running today!

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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