whats the difference between running and sprinting?

aha i got as far as sprinting is faster than running.

lol i was just wondering because when you sprint you do the movements quicker so wouldn't that theirfor mean that you would proberly have a different posture or way of moving.



  • Yes sprinting and running is totally different. Your body reacts differently in the long term too, like sprinters may have good vo2 max but when they do distance runs their bodys can't hack it. Also all to do with muscle twitch fibres... if you've got slow twitch fibres you'll never be a sprinter but more of a long distance runner, if you've got fast twitch fibres than your more of a sprinter than a distance runner.

    seeing as your a veggie i'd say your neither though, but instead a jogger.

    jog on

  • I think a sprint is when you run flat out for the entire race distance.

    Running is where you pace yourself, so I'd guess that 800m and above are running and less is sprinting.

  • Yes sprinting events are up to 400m, then anything above that starting at 800m is a run.

  • energy systems, the way the body uses energy to power the muscles

    the anearobic energy system is used in sprinting and earobic in "running"

  • WombleWomble ✭✭✭

    "earobic in "running""

    Presumably if you're wearing an iplod?

  • in addition to the different energy systems that are used: The way your body moves is a quite different also.  Your legs come much higher at the front when sprinting and almost drag the ground beneath them (sprinters usually have spikes on of course) - arms involved much more with hands coming all the way up at the front and driving back, whole body engaged - not much of the body relaxed at all (v different from distance running where you really need to relax shoulders etc if you can) and feet hit the ground in a different way. You drive your legs forward much more when sprinting.  

  • v different posture too - you will often see sprinters with quite an upright body (somwhat arched back almost), head up - whole body powered up.  Distance runners - relaxed and floaty light, controlled falling( I wish).
  • My son does athletics training each Monday at the Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

    I watch the other groups doing their training (sprinters and middle distance) and there is a huge difference in the preparation and execution of their running disciplines.

    Tthe sprinters spend a much larger amount of their total time preparing and conditioning before even attempting any sprints, and often they focus on start technique (often finishing after 30 metres) before doing a short series of 60/100/150 sprints.  The middle distance group do a warm up which would be more familiar with most runners before doing intervals of distances up to 400m with 60 second rests.

  • image Prawnsarnie

     Just because im a vegetarian it doesnt mean i cant run or sprint

    The worlds best runner was a vegetarian


    and when it comes to the olympics u will be blind by the sparks of my spikes

  • 'Speed is a skill' and you can develop it, although a bias to fast-twitch muscles will help.  Sprinter is on ball of his foot (heel never touches the ground) and arms drive powerfully because they must produce equal opposite forces to those of the legs.  Agree sprinters feet 'claw' the ground and they have high knee lift (albeit direction is forwards not upwards); don't agree about relaxation - this is one of the keys to sprinting distances over 100m as straining/tensing is kiss of death (need max speed/min effort).  The lines between sprinters and distance runners blur a bit nowadays - Bekele in a 5k track race will suddenly put in a really fast 400m and when he does he is shifting.  On the other hand some sprinters say if they run more than 400m at a time they require oxygen!!
  • Not a sprinter by the way - as I am sure you gathered. Fair point on the relaxation - maybe that's where I am going wrong  image More difficult todescribe something that is so easy to show visually.
  • On the visual theme, Youtube has some excellent clips of sprinters (eg Asafa Powell) - often what's striking is leg speed; forget the 180 steps a minute for distance runners, stride rate is over 4 steps per second when sprinting and on stride length Bolt only needed 41 steps to run 100m (most elite sprinters would need about 45).  Sanya Richards shows great relaxation as she comes in on 400ms - shoulders back, running with grace and speed and overtaking the runners straining to hit the line before her.

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