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There are two different types of muscle fibers which are beneficial to short distance runners or 'sprinters' and long distance runners - fast and slow twitch fibres.

Short distance runners benefit from fast twitch fibers which contract the muscles more quickly enabling them to run at speed. These muscles can be speed up with training (weights). They also train to run without oxygen in their muscles or anaerobically - 100m runners run the distance with one breath of air!

Long distance running is really about endurance and developing stamina. This requires long training runs because the muscles need to be able to develop a long term and more efficient way of converting energy for the body whereas the sprinter needs to develop the quick release of 'explosive' energy - imagine throwing alcohol on one fire to release the energy in it and then putting charcoal on it. They will both burn and release energy but at different rates.

Training can condition this but people are generally suited physically to one or another.

To answer your question specifically - generally speaking not as effectively, e.g. when Seb Coe, an 800m/1500m Olympic champion and World record holder ran a marathon he recorded a time of around 2hr 50min.

Emil Zatopek won the 5000m, 10000m and the marathon in the same Olympics but al these races are medium - long distance.

Incredibly, typically, a 100m runner can run the 200m but struggles with the 400m!!!

An 800m runner can run the 1500m - Ovett, Coe, Cram etc. but struggles with 3000m.

It depends whether you are in competition or not.

So in short I'd say that for events in the following categories concentrate on one area:

1. 100m-400m

2. 800m-3000m

3. 5000m - Marathon.

Whichever you do have fun - that's what it's all about!

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13y ago
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12y ago

I am a long distance runner here are 3 tips you should follow hope it helps:

1. Run 1 to 2 miles a day(for marathon practice-5k-run 3 miles everyday)

2. Get pleanty of rest(sleep)

3. Eat healthy food and drinks( NO JUNK FOOD and drink water)

-Red Mist 13

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13y ago

3 miles or 5

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Q: Can a short distance runner become a long distance runner?
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