Runners, listen up: If your body is telling you that your pace feels a little too fast or a little too slow, it may be right.
A new study, published online March 18 in the Journal of Human Evolution, shows that the efficiency of human running varies with speed and that each individual has an optimal pace at which he or she can cover the greatest distance with the least effort.
The result debunks the long-standing view that running has the same metabolic cost per unit of time no matter the speed — in other words, that the energy needed to run a given distance is the same whether sprinting or jogging. Though sprinting feels more demanding in the short term, the longer time and continued exertion required to cover a set distance at a slower pace were thought to balance out the difference in metabolic cost, says Karen Steudel, a zoology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Pretty interesting even from a non-prehistorical perspective. I guess that means running slowly should indeed burn more calories.