Is it Better to Run Faster or for Longer? Pros/Cons of Both

Written By: Jeremy N

As annoying as it sounds, it depends on your goals. If you are training for a marathon, you will need to focus on running for longer periods of time at a slower pace.

However, if you are trying to improve your shorter distance speed, you will need to focus on running shorter distances at a faster pace.

Ultimately, the best way to improve your running performance is to vary your training and include both fast and slow runs. This will help you build both endurance and speed, and you'll be able to better adapt to the demands of race day.

Is it Better to Run Faster or for Longer?

Is it Better to Run Faster or for Longer?

How Running Fast Helps Burn Calories

Running at a higher speed will help you burn more calories in the same amount of time. This is because you are expending more energy when you run faster. In order to sustain this higher level of energy expenditure, your body has to work harder, which means that it is burning more calories.

A 155-pound person will burn approximately 12 calories per minute when running at a pace of 6 miles per hour. If that same person were to increase their speed to 8 miles per hour, they would burn about 15 calories per minute.

So, if you are looking to burn more calories in the same amount of time, you should focus on running faster.

How Running Longer Helps Build Endurance

If you are training for a long-distance race, you will need to focus on building your endurance by running for longer periods of time. This is because endurance is the ability to sustain a certain level of effort over an extended period of time.

The best way to build endurance is to gradually increase the distance of your runs over time. For example, if you are currently able to run 3 miles without stopping, you can gradually increase the distance of your runs until you are able to comfortably run 5 or 6 miles.

By slowly increasing the distance of your runs, you will give your body the time it needs to adapt and become more efficient at running long distances. Once you have built up your endurance, you will be better prepared to tackle a long-distance running race.

In the end, the best way to improve your running is to vary your training volume and do both fast and long runs. By doing this, you will build both speed and endurance, which will help you perform your best on race day.

How Running Longer Helps Build Endurance

So, is it better to run faster or for longer?

The answer depends on your goals and training needs. If you are trying to improve your speed, you should focus on running shorter distances at a faster pace.

On the other hand, if you are training for a long-distance event, you will need to focus on building up your endurance by running for longer periods of time at a slower pace.

Ultimately, the best way to improve your overall running performance is to vary your training and include both fast, interval training, and slow runs in your routine. This will help you build both speed and endurance, and better prepare you for race day.

Running Faster vs. Running - Cardio, Longer, & Fitness Benefits

Running faster and running longer can both provide great physical benefits, but which one is best for your fitness goals? The answer depends on the type of exercise you are looking to do. Running faster provides a great cardiovascular workout, burning more calories in less time. It also helps build up speed and endurance over time, making it easier to sustain an intense pace for a long run. On the other hand, running longer distances helps to strengthen your muscles and improve your cardiovascular system as well. It also allows you to build up endurance over time, allowing you to run for longer durations.

No matter which type of running you choose, both can provide great physical benefits such as improved lung capacity and increased caloric burn. Additionally, they can help reduce stress levels and improve overall mental health. Regular running can also help to strengthen the heart and lungs, as well as provide an excellent source of cardiovascular exercise.

When choosing between running faster or longer distances, it is important to find a balance that works for you. If you are new to running, it is best to start with shorter runs at a slow pace and gradually increase the speed and distance.

Doing so will help you improve your endurance while avoiding excessive fatigue or injury. On the other hand, if you are more experienced with running, it may be beneficial to start with longer runs at a slower pace before gradually increasing the intensity of your workout.

Ultimately, choosing between running faster and running longer will depend on your individual goals and fitness level. However, no matter what type of running you choose, there are many physical and mental benefits to be gained from regular exercise. So why not get out there and start running today?

For those who are looking for an extra challenge, interval training can help to bring a new level of intensity to any workout routine. Interval training involves alternating between intense bursts of speed and slower, recovery periods.

This type of training is great for building both speed and endurance, while also helping to increase caloric burn. Additionally, it can help break up the monotony of regular running by adding variety to your workouts.

Running Longer Requires Less Recovery

The biggest difference between running faster and running longer is the amount of recovery time needed. Although both types of exercise can help to improve aerobic capacity, running longer distances requires less downtime in between runs.

This is because your body has more time to adapt to the increased strain associated with long-distance runs. Meanwhile, shorter, faster runs put more strain on your muscles and joints, making it important to take more rest days in between workouts.

No matter which type of running you choose, make sure to listen to your body and give yourself plenty of time to recover.

Doing so will help ensure that you stay healthy and keep pushing yourself towards achieving your fitness goals. With the right approach, running faster or longer distances can both provide great physical and mental benefits. So why not give each type of running a try and see which one works best for you?

Distance vs. Speed for New Runners

For new runners, the choice between running faster or longer can be a difficult one. If you are just starting out, it may be wise to focus on building up distance before attempting to increase speed. This will help ensure that your muscles and joints are able to handle the added strain associated with running faster.

Additionally, running longer distances will provide more time for your body to adjust and grow stronger. By gradually increasing the distance over time, you can build up both speed and endurance while also avoiding injury.

However, if you are looking for an extra challenge or want to add more variety to your running routine, it may be beneficial to incorporate some faster-paced runs into your workout as well. Doing so can help improve overall aerobic fitness and calorie burn. Just make sure to take breaks when needed and listen to your body, as running too fast or too far can lead to fatigue and injury.

No matter which type of running you choose, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the journey! With regular exercise, you can look forward to improved physical and mental health in no time. So get out there and start running today!

Staying Motivated for Longer & Faster Runs

Running faster or longer distances can be challenging, but staying motivated is key to achieving your fitness goals. One way to stay motivated is by setting a goal that you can work towards.

Whether it's completing a 5K, running a certain time, or running a certain distance, having an achievable goal can help keep you focused and on track. 

Additionally, having good running form and tracking your progress can help to reinforce the improvements that you are making and ultimately provide motivation to keep going.

It can also be helpful to find someone to run with, as having a partner by your side can make running more enjoyable and motivate you to push yourself harder. Additionally, if you find yourself getting bored or lacking motivation, experimenting with different routes and terrains can help to make running a more interesting experience.

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to run; do whatever works best for you!

Whether it's running faster or longer, as long as you keep challenging yourself and having fun, you will be well on your way towards achieving your fitness goals. 

Use a Run/Walk Strategy

For beginner runners, here is a great way to help increase motivation and endurance is by using a run/walk strategy. This involves alternating between periods of running and walking in order to keep up your momentum without getting too fatigued.

Typically, beginners should start off with a ratio of 1 minute running and 1 minute walking, gradually increasing the running time as they become more accustomed to running. This strategy can help increase your endurance without overworking yourself, while also making longer runs more enjoyable. Additionally, if you find yourself lacking motivation or getting bored with your workout routine, using a run/walk strategy can provide enough variety to keep things interesting.

By gradually increasing the running time and experimenting with different routes and terrains, you can keep pushing yourself towards achieving your fitness goals. So why not give this strategy a try and see if it helps to make your running routine more enjoyable? 

How Often Should You Focus on Running Fast vs Running Longer?

The frequency with which you focus on running fast vs running longer will depend on your goals.

If you are training for a specific event, such as a marathon, you will need to slowly increase the distance of your long runs over time.

During the last few weeks before the race, you should focus on tapering your mileage and running at an easy pace so that you can recover from all the hard training you've done and be fresh for race day. This means any strength training that you have been doing, you should slow down on that too. 

On the other hand, if you are not training for a specific event and are just looking to improve your overall fitness, you can include both fast and slow runs in your weekly routine. Slow runs are at a conversational pace, slow enough where you don't get out of breathe when holding a conversation. 

For example, you could do a long run at an easy pace once per week, and do one or two shorter runs at a faster pace. This process of switch back and forth can help reduce the risk of injury. 

Ultimately, the best way to determine how often you should focus on running fast vs running longer is to listen to your body and see what works best for you. If you are feeling tired and burned out, take a few days off or cut back on the intensity of your training.

Conversely, if you are feeling fresh and energized, increase the distance of your long runs or add some speed work or interval training to your routine. By varies your training and listening to your body, you will be able to find the perfect balance for you and improve your overall running performance.

How Often Should You Focus on Running Fast vs Running Longer?

What's the Benefits of a Well-Balanced Training Plan?

There are many benefits to having a well-balanced training plan. Having strong mental strength is one in particular that helps you. 

For one, it will help you avoid risk of injury by preventing you from overtraining. When you overtrain, your body becomes fatigued and is more susceptible to injury.

A well-balanced training plan will also help you improve both your speed and endurance. As mentioned earlier, the best way to become a better runner is to vary your training including your strength training and include both fast and slow runs in your routine.

By doing this, you will challenge your body in different ways and make sure that you are prepared for anything on race day and you are ready for your race pace. 

Finally, a well-balance training plan will keep you motivated and help you stay on track with your goals. When you have a variety of different workouts to choose from, it will be easier to stay consistent and avoid boredom or burnout.

So, if you are looking to improve your running performance, the best thing you can do is follow a well-balanced training plan with a steady schedule of training runs that includes both speed work and long runs. With time and dedication, you will see great results and become a faster, stronger runner!

Wrap-Up:

Overall, there are many benefits to incorporating both faster speeds and slow runs into your training routine, just make sure to keep an eye on your heart rate. 

These varied workouts can help build both speed and endurance and help get you to a mental space where you feel confident, which will make you a better runner overall. Whether you are training for a specific event or just looking for general fitness improvements, following a well-balanced training program is key to seeing success.

So, don't be afraid to mix things up and include both fast and slow runs in your program. By doing so, you will become a faster, stronger runner in no time!

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Jeremy. 

I have run over 250 races including the California International Marathon, Clarksburg Country Run, and various other 5K & 10K races throughout the United States. I am a former Athletics department employee at University of the Pacific and Shoe Consultant with Dicks Sporting Goods

Become a Train For a 5K Insider