The Difference Between Sprinting, Running And Jogging

Sprinting Vs Running

Sprinting, running and jogging are vigorous-intensity exercises. The difference lies in speed while they all use the same muscle groups.

Sprinting, running and jogging offer a wide range of health benefits. (1) Every cardiovascular activity can help you lose weight, improve your cardiac health and increase your mood.(2)

What’s The Difference Between Sprinting, Running and Jogging?


Sprinting involves running a rate for a short distance as quickly as possible. Usually, most sprinters train by running for stretches of 100-to 200 meters. These athletes have like a bodybuilder’s chiselled, highly muscular physics. Sprinting is an anaerobic activity that involves short, intense exercise bursts followed by periods of rest.


Running is a type of cardiovascular exercise performed to be considered aerobic for at least 10 minutes, using oxygen mainly to fuel your muscle cells. Although there is no speed determined to classify a run, you typically run at a pace that makes you breathe heavier and break a sweat. Popular running races include the 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon during the competition.


Jogging is an aerobic activity of low intensity and long duration. This is a steady-state exercise, which means that throughout the use the rate of intensity remains the same. Joggers put less stress on their bodies and can exercise compared to sprinters for more extended periods. Harvard Medical School notes that a 5 mph 185-pound jogger can burn up to 355 calories in 30 minutes, doing a calorie-burning exercise that can help shed fat.

Sprinting Vs Running Vs Jogging: Which is better?

If you’re struggling to choose between the three, consider your goal first (losing weight, muscle development, stress reduction, etc.) before making your choice.

Which Burns Fat Better?

Sprinting Burns More Fat

Sprinting is a form of anaerobic exercise as a high-intensity exercise, meaning that the body does not depend on oxygen to fuel your workout, but on the fat in your muscles and the glycogen stored — a type of glucose that your body stores as an energy reserve. Therefore, during and even after an anaerobic exercise, more calories are efficiently burned in the muscles, which leads directly to weight loss. It also helps to improve athletes ‘ endurance and fitness. (3)

In fact, with sprint interval training (SIT), you can burn as many as 200 calories in as little as 2.5 minutes, where you perform a short high-intensity running session and then recover with easy exercises for a more extended period.

On the other hand, jogging and running is an aerobic exercise and relies on oxygen to fuel your workout without extracting the body’s extra energy. You’re burning fewer calories, of course.

And Burns It Faster

With less training time compared to running and jogging, sprinting helps you lose fat at a faster rate. Studies say that people who engage in anaerobic high-intensity interval programs— including a high-intensity exercise followed by a low-intensity exercise — can lose more fat in 20 minutes (three days a week) than those who choose 40 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. (4)

If you don’t have time to lose kilos or inches, high-intensity sprinting, and more specifically, sprint interval training (SIT) will be your best bet instead of jogging.

Do They Aid In Muscle Growth?

It doesn’t mean muscle loss when we say weight loss. In fact, high-intensity workouts such as sprinting help you build lean muscle mass (fatless) and develop powerful muscles.

A study found that people who participated in regular aerobic exercise showed little or no muscle mass gain, while people who exercised hard resistance over months showed significant muscle mass gain. An anaerobic exercise such as sprinting also causes your body to release more growth hormone, which is essential for fat burning, tissue restoration and muscle building. (5)

Another study found that the anabolic effect was much more pronounced in women than in men (6) great news if you are a woman because “tone-up” your lower body (tone-up is key word for reduced fat and more muscular definition) will significantly increase your sex appeal and sprinting will do just that for you.

The front thigh muscles (quadriceps), back thigh (hamstring), hips (glutes and iliopsoas) and calves undergo a continuous cycle of rapid contractions when you are sprinting. This places repeated stress on the tissues and causes trauma. This trauma, in turn, triggers the muscle-repair system of the body, which increases the muscles.

While you’re also jogging, these same muscles are involved, but the effect may not be as pronounced. Of course, other factors such as your age and sex also influence the amount of muscle development.

Which Destroys Stress Better?

Sprinting Fights The Effects Of The Stress Hormone Better

Your body releases the hormone cortisol when you’re under stress. You could say that your body’s cortisol level is an indicator of your stress level. During or shortly after any exercise, especially during high-intensity exercises, your cortisol levels remain high. (7) This would indicate that, because it produces less cortisol, jogging is better than running and sprinting.

But while intensive training such as sprinting increases cortisol levels, it also increases hormone production such as growth hormone and testosterone that counteracts the adverse effects of cortisol, i.e. muscle breakdown and fat storage.(8 9 ) The reason is sprinting raises the testosterone/cortisol ratio, which means testosterone has a more pronounced body-building effect than cortisol’s muscle-wasting effect. (10)

And It Releases Happiness Hormones Faster

A high-intensity anaerobic exercise like sprinting causes your body to release endorphins often referred to as happiness hormones, which raise your mood and give you a sense of relaxation. Jogging also releases these, but producing this effect takes longer. (11 12) This is because the changes in blood hormone levels rely more on the exercise intensity than the entire length of the exercise. (13) You now know why doctors recommend running for anxious and depressed patients.

Which Improves Metabolism Best?

Any correctly performed exercise would enhance your metabolism. The question is: how quickly? For even 3 minutes, a high-intensity workout works well on your metabolism. And such intense sessions every two days can reduce your risk of diabetes by increasing your body’s insulin sensitivity and faster blood clearing of glucose. (14) Also, sprint interval training even when your body is at rest increases fat burning and burns carbohydrates when the body is fasting. It even decreases the arteries ‘ blood pressure. (15) Sprinting is a clear winner in this regard.

Sprinting, running Or Jogging: Which Should You Choose?

Although you know sprinting is better than the three, sprinting is not recommended for everyone. Sprinting can result in further damage if you have an existing heart condition, high blood pressure, or breathing problems. In such cases, it is always safer to consult a healthcare professional before starting any exhausting activity like sprinting or jogging.

Although high-intensity sprints are now useful, they can increase your chances of osteoarthritis in the longer term (16) Or other harmful bone conditions, especially if you’re a woman, because your hormones make you susceptible to osteoporosis. The key is to get the right nutrition to prevent the depletion of your bone density.

Over three days a week, you shouldn’t sprint. This is a high-impact exercise, and a lot of strength must be sustained by your body. You need rest and time to repair your muscles. There is no such restriction on jogging, though. Every time, anywhere, you can break into a jog.

The easiest and most effective way to ensure that your workout plan is smart is to put it into the hands of a trusted Personal Trainer or In home Personal Trainer.

Call or email today to get started on an ingenious exercise plan that will transform your body in ways that you’ve only dreamed of.

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