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Should You Run Fast or Run Far If You Want to Lose Weight?

Nak Tee
By: Nak Tee
On : January 7, 2023
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As a matter of fact, there are no "right" or "wrong" strategies to lose weight. If you plan to lose weight, you absolutely need to burn more calories than you consume. Of course, there are many ways of burning calories from building your own healthy diet plan to a variety of physical exercises. In particular, you can consider practicing high-intensity interval training or steady-state cardio. You have a wide variety of choice in your hands, but what matters is to choose the one that suits your body. Remember that, it is about your health and weight management, so it is your call. 

One of the most popular weight-loss strategies is running, but running without a plan or specific routine does not bring satisfactory outcomes. When it comes to running for weight loss, people often argue over the efficiency of running fast and running far. 

What You Get from Running Fast

Like any other trainer or long-distance runner, as you force yourself to move harder, you will be losing calories at even higher rates. Your body is doing a similar effort internally to pick up the slack by creating more proteins to produce more cells and more energy. In detail, it is digging through its fat reserves to provide this energy. If you are running, which assumes you are traveling at an increasing speed, the calories you consume each time you run would rise versus the distance you cover.

Moving harder often raises the amount of lean muscle mass that you have, and will result in increases in your total metabolism (the body's capacity to consume energy). When the body produces the “active tissue” that makes up muscle, it can remain active and take up the same number of calories it does in any other operation. 

What percent of your energy comes from fat? When asked to explain the mechanism of fat metabolism in the body, the response is that the body burns 100 percent fat while standing still during a jog, strength exercise, or another high-intensity effort. When you sprint, just about 70 percent of the energy comes from fat. During a long-distance sprint, it is around half of it. Merely walk at mile speed and faster and you can use 100% carbs for energy. 

Indeed, shorter runs might be simpler to fit into busy days. You could do the quick, hard exercise over the lengthy, less intense workout. Furthermore, high-intensity exercise helps you achieve the desired "after-burn effect." In general, the after-burn is the amount of oxygen required to return the body to its pre-exercise state. This means that you will keep burning calories even after exercise has ended.

What You Get from Running Far


Initially, running far helps burn tons of calories with less effort. As an illustration, imagine you are going for an hour-long run at a pace of 10 minutes per mile (6 mph). By doing this, the calculation of the average amount of calories burned is 714 calories if the runner is a 150-pound woman. 

Secondly, running far is highly suitable for people who train for a marathon or half-marathon as it improves long-distance endurance. "Long-distance runs are great for building up your endurance and improving your overall cardiovascular health," says Chris Coggins, who teaches professional athletes. If you are practicing for a marathon or other run that is typically in the hour period, much of the training can be performed at a slow rate. You can burn fewer calories per minute, but more of those calories are heading into building up your strength and health. You're still running for more minutes between the workouts, so this will really add up.” He also notes that this form of exercise is safer for your joints, so that can be an added benefit.”

As Coggins mentioned, another good point of running far is that it improves overall cardiovascular health. If you’re running long distances, you’re likely performing steady-state cardio, which is a lower intensity exercise that can be performed for a long time. In this case, your heart rate stays in a moderate work zone, not experiencing the intense highs and lows it would during, for example, sprint training.

Obviously, there are plenty of health benefits of going on a long slow distance run. Hence, it is quite important to switch them up with your sprints. By completing these forms of runs, you are conditioning the body and mind to function at a larger distance.

And though you do not realize this, running for more than 15 minutes consumes more calories than faster jogs. Additionally, by adapting your muscles, joints, and bones, you are training your body for high-intensity training.

Which one brings the most satisfactory result?

Building a running routine with both speed and distance switching between days might bring you an incredible result. When you're just running a handful of days a week, speeding is going to bring you more value for your buck in terms of health benefits – as long as you allow your body time to rest in between.

You can tell from your question and research that there are different benefits to running both faster and longer. The best way to run will probably depend on the type of runners you are, what your goals are, and the form of the running activities you perform. If you are training to compete in a race, for example, leaving behind a big gap is a key to success. However, if you are looking to lose weight, then a longer run might be the best choice for you.

But as runners, it is probably a good idea for us to be mixing up our running routines to ensure that we are going both faster and farther at regular intervals. In the same way that it provides a chance to increase speed, summer sprints can provide a chance to improve speed, just as you can also make speed improvements by running longer distances and mixing up your speed training.

Apparently, when you run five to six days a week, you need a nice and steady run to help your body heal. "When you go harder, you hit all the metabolic levels and intensities," says Mackey, a professional American runner. "Our body is not built with switches; there's no on or off. And if you're going hard, you're using everything. But the consequence is that you have to recover from it, or you're going to get hurt." If you're running for only three days a week, those off days will serve as your recovery.

Whether or not you are an elite athlete is not decided by how often you practice. It is important to realize that though you are doing a lot of running on a daily basis, a regular workout program, which requires more volume, is not a bad choice. "If you're going easy all the time, you're really limiting all the other intensity levels needed to get the full benefit of exercise," says Mackey. "It's better than not exercising for sure, but it's definitely not the only thing you want to do. It's not great for body composition and for fat storage."

Can Science Prove Which Choice Is Better?

Even if you do just a long and simple run, there are still a bunch of reasons this may not be sufficient. When one is moving slowly, the energy demands are smaller, and one's body can rely more on fat to produce energy, regardless of one's current weight. "We do not really use carbohydrates for easy runs because we do not need the energy that quickly. You use carbs when you go at harder intensities because getting energy from carbohydrates is a quicker process. If you are going more intense, the energy demands are going to spike up a little bit, and your body is going to start using fat and carbs."

While moving at an easier rate, you would be using fewer muscle fibers, which would engage less of your nervous system. Mackey notes that 80% versus 60% of the nervous system would be activated by exercising at a higher intensity. All of it, and it needs a lot of physical work to crack the current speed record because of the weight of the vehicle. This is the optimistic kind of stress that allows the body to adjust and get stronger in spite of the unavoidable obstacles.

You burn more calories per mile traveling from point A to point B, even though it means you are running a shorter path in that moment, in order to make up for it.

Some of this knowledge may make you want to lace up your running shoes and go sprinting around the field. But hang on for a second! And when you go full out, you cannot go all out. When Mackey teaches his athletes, he states that it is not unusual for them to work out twice a day, three days a week. If you go through the calories you are consuming, you could start accumulating calories. Also, you could not sleep as much and consume more every day. If you get stressed out, you might start storing calories and becoming nutrient deficient, have a drop in your health, and become poorer.

Running with Doing Diet for An Incredible Result

healthy diet

According to the majority of runners, no matter how far or fast you have run, your diet plays an important role in your weight-loss plan. Josh said, "In order to lose weight, one must have a caloric deficit and expel more calories than consumed." Recorded dietitian, Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD, LDN, director of nutrition with the Pritikin Longevity Center, agreed, and told POPSUGAR in a previous interview, "You've got to burn more calories than you eat. Create a calorie deficit, keep at it, and you will lose excess fat, wherever it is on your body." Just be sure not to dip below 1,200 calories, registered dietitian and ACSM-certified personal trainer Jim White, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, shared in a previous interview.

Follow a diet plan perfectly tailored for your current weight and desires, because even though you take a run per day, consuming so many will lead to fatty deposits in your body, clarified Seattle-based registered dietitian, nutritionist, and Arivale coach Ginger Hultin, MS, CSO. Decide your regular calorie needs either by contacting a dietitian or this formula. To track your food intake, you can measure and weigh your food and track it by writing it down in a food journal or by using an app such as MyFitnessPal. If you eat a diet rich in whole foods, including balanced macros and limited alcohol, processed foods, and sugar, you'll lose weight and be healthy.


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