Speeding up may actually be better for your body than taking things slow.

By Priscilla Ward
Updated May 22, 2015
Credit: Getty Images

The faster you run, the faster you're done! Well, duh. But speeding up may also be good for your body: Running at a quicker pace could lessen overall stress on your knees by 30 percent, versus a slower pace, according to a new study in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy.

Researchers looked at recreational runners between the ages of 22 and 42 who logged 1,000 meters at 5.1, 7.3, and 9.8 miles per hour. They found that as the runners ran faster, they put more pressure on their knees. However, they took fewer strides to travel the same distance. As a result, the speediest runners put less stress on their knees overall.

“The optimal way of running produces the least cumulative load, and increasing running speed seems to lower the cumulative load at the knee joint,” study lead Jesper Petersen, a researcher at Aarthus University, confirmed to Health via email.

So consider throwing some speed sessions into your running mix—not only will it help you become a better runner overall, but it may also keep your joints protected and pain-free.