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Strides Vs. Sprints: Explaining The Differences

Running enthusiasts are usually familiar with many different terms when it comes to their passion for running. However, there might be some confusion when it comes to the difference between strides and sprints.

Why these two terms may be confusing for some people because they appear to be performed in a very similar way.

Luckily, there are some identifiable differences between these two terms which make them easier to explain and differentiate one from the other.

Key Takeaways

  • Strides are usually performed for shorter periods of time in comparison to sprints which are known to be performed on long distances.
  • The amount of effort put into strides is lower than the maximum level involved in performing sprints.
  • Sprints require fast running from start to finish, whereas strides can be started slowly with the speed increasing gradually toward the end.
  • Strides and sprints involve the use of different techniques in order to prepare the body and the muscles for fast running.
  • These two techniques are highly beneficial for people whose main goal in life is to maintain their healthy body and lean physique.

Strides vs. Sprints – How Do They Differ?

When it comes to acquiring the necessary knowledge of these two terms that are connected to running, it is important to be aware of the differences between them.

Strides and sprints involve different levels of effort in order to efficiently and successfully perform these techniques which may not be well-known by most people.

Additionally, strides and sprints can provide different benefits for runners, regardless of whether they are beginners or professionals in regard to running long distances.

Strides & Sprints: Level of Effort

The amount of effort that is put into these two techniques is what makes them different in the first place. You will frequently notice that people do not give all of their strength when it comes to performing strides.

Strides can be considered as forms of sprints that are performed for short periods of time with high, but by no means maximum effort.

In comparison, sprints are runs that are performed with the highest possible level of effort on the part of the runners and they are usually considered to last longer than strides.

In addition, strides are used during regular and daily practice in order to train the muscles of the legs so that you have enough strength for running on long distances.

Sprinting is a technique of running that is very special and specific because people who are known to be sprinters, can join competitions connected to running.

Strides & Sprints: Technique

In order to fully understand what differs strides from sprints is to be aware of the techniques that have to be mastered in order to succeed in running fast and for long periods of time.

The technique that is involved into performing strides usually includes the runner going from short to long distances. The speed in regards to strides has to be increased gradually and runners often take their time mastering this specific technique.

When it comes to sprinting, before a person starts running, they have to pay attention to their body form. Mastering the technique of sprinting involves the practice of proper posture, arm placement as well as avoiding tilting or leaning in any direction.

Apart from keeping your body in the right position, high levels of speed are essential for performing sprints. Unlike strides, sprints involve keeping the fast pace of running on long distances at all times.

The awareness of the utilization of different techniques in strides and sprints will eventually lead to their proper performance and high efficiency.

Benefits – Comparison of Strides and Sprints

These two techniques can provide many different benefits for runners. It is important to know how you can benefit by performing these complex techniques in order to get motivated and become an even better runner.

Improvement of Speed

Practicing the technique that is involved into performing strides can highly help you improve your running speed. This exercise is used in the training programs of many professional runners and sprinters because its efficiency has been proven on multiple occasions when it comes to increasing of speed.

Focusing on posture

Because of the reason that the performance of strides usually lasts only a couple of seconds, you can focus more closely on your body posture which will prepare you for more intense runs. The form and placement of your limbs before you start sprinting is highly important in order to ensure that you give your maximum effort and acquired speed.


Strides are very commonly used as a method of leg stretching before performing sprints. These types of exercises help the muscles get ready for the intensity and speed that is usually involved into sprinting without your legs feeling tense and sore.

Muscle Strength

Apart from speed and proper posture, the next most important factor when it comes to sprinting is muscle strength. You need to have immense strength in your muscles to be able to endure long distance sprints at an extremely fast pace. Strides can also build strength in muscles and prepare the legs for their sprinting adventure.

Lean Physique

Certain people praise sprinting because, with enough practice and dedication, this technique can result in a happy and lean body. Sprinters usually have very low body fat because excessive calorie intake can weigh them down and cause a decrease in speed. Fast running that is closely connected with strides and sprints can surely help you form shredded muscles.

Final Verdict

Whereas strides are most commonly used for practice and training in order to become an even better runner in the future, sprints are intense running performances that involve the usage of specific techniques.

Although there are some differences between these two terms that are connected with fast running, either on short or long distances, they both provide benefits for runners.

A healthy and lean body has a lot to do with running fast and in an efficient manner, such as making use of sprints and strides, and the feeling that you get after practicing these techniques is incomparably empowering.