As there are many different types of exercise that exist within the world, it seems that there are some that out perform all others. Of course, while some of the exercises depend on hidden variables, such as intensity, weight, and repetition, others completely ignore these variables and simply are what they are.
Which brings us to running. Having been a shoe salesmen at one point in my life, it is amazing how many people come into the store looking for the perfect running shoe. Of course I ask them. “What kind of running will you be doing?” 9 times out of 10, their answer is distance running. In the politest way possible, and not to purposefully defer sales, I ask them honestly, “Why? What made you want to do distance running?” Again, I’ll receive another unanimously generic answer, which is, because it’s healthy. Now, in the store I simply nod my head and go about “selling”, but on here, I can speak to educate, not sell buy lsd.
For people who already know about the differences between long distance running and sprinting and wish to continue this process regardless, then more power to you. However, don’t try to justify that it is healthy for you. Now if you reply with, “It’s better than sitting on the couch,” then you got me there. However, for brevity sake, let’s explore three common reasons why Jogging simply cannot hold up to sprinting.
A: Damage to knees and other joints
When contrasted to sprinting, light jogging and LSD (long slow distance) runs generate tremendous impact on the knees, joints, and lower back. There are many websites out there telling you that this simply is not true, and that people either go about distance running the wrong way or lack the correct running shoe technology. I’ve seen blogs that insist on studies favoring distance running, yet most often the link to the studies are either broken, or they don’t send you to the study in general but an entire health site. Guess what, they want you to buy their product. I can do sprints barefoot and suffer no damage, except running through the occasional sticker patch.
B: Heart and lung capacity
When doing sprints, one catalysts his or heart rate into a rapid increase of beats, causing it to pump nutrient rich blood rapidly throughout the body before declining again. In long distance running, the heart rate of a runner will only increase to a “constant” before remaining at that point for the rest of the run. How is this making your heart stronger if it never has to work any harder past a certain point? Sprinting ramps up your heart beat, and then lets it decline, only to ramp it up again on your next sprint. It is here where true vascular power is developed.
Lung capacity depletes as a person continues to do long distance running. I know, it may not make sense to hear that up front, but consider this. On a long distance run, the body begins to take short, choppy breaths. However, during sprints, especially after three or four 75 yard hill sprints, one will be heaving for breath, taking large gulps of air, and with the help of a rapidly increased heart rate, will begin to spread the oxygen rich blood quickly throughout the body. This is the pinnacle of cardiovascular health. To push the body to quick ups and downs, rather than prolong unnecessary stress on the joints, lungs, and heart.