Is Gliding Faster Than Running? (Find OUT)

Running and gliding are both forms of locomotion, and both are used for various purposes. 

While running is a more common form of locomotion than gliding, it’s good to know how these two compare to each other in terms of speed and efficiency. 

In this article, we’ll go over the basics of gliding and then compare it with running so that you can determine which one makes more sense for your needs.

Is gliding in Genshin Impact really faster? – YouTube
Gliding can be faster than running in certain situations.
The speed and efficiency of gliding versus running depend on various factors such as terrain, elevation, and obstacles.
Gliding can provide a unique and exhilarating experience, especially in activities like paragliding or hang gliding.
Games like Genshin Impact feature gliding mechanics that offer an alternative mode of transportation.
Understanding the differences between gliding and running can help individuals make informed decisions in various contexts.

Your speed

Gliding at high speeds is pretty fast. A cheetah can hit 70 mph, for example. For a human, that’s about 6 miles an hour. 

If you run at a much higher speed let’s say 12 mph that means it would take nearly three times longer to cross the same distance (28 minutes).

However, gliding is only one component of what makes animals fast runners. There are other factors to consider when comparing their top speeds:

If you’re running on your hind legs, your stride length increases by adding more steps per second. 

For example, if you’re running at 6 miles an hour with a stride length of 2 ft/step and then increase your step rate to 4 ft/s, then your speed will go up by 50%. This applies both for quadrupeds or bipeds (like humans).

With speed comes bigger muscles which generate force faster than smaller ones; this means that large animals generally have an advantage over smaller ones when it comes to accelerating quickly from rest or maintaining high speeds over long distances (like birds who fly thousands of miles from Antarctica back home during winter). 

That’s why they only need small wings while smaller creatures need much larger wingspan in order not stall out during flight!

Are you worried that running might kill your leg gains? Our comprehensive guide on does running kill your leg gains will provide you with valuable insights and debunk common misconceptions about the impact of running on muscle growth.

The Type Of Terrain

When you’re running, the terrain you are on matters. Some surfaces are easier to run on than others, so they can help or hinder your progress.

Running downhill is harder than running uphill because it takes more energy to move your body forward through an incline. 

Likewise, running uphill is easier than running downhill because gravity helps pull you along with less effort. If a surface is perfectly flat and smooth, this is ideal for running since there will be no resistance from either direction (and therefore no extra effort needed).

Terrain TypeCharacteristics
MountainousSteep slopes, rugged terrain, rocky surfaces
ForestedDense vegetation, trees, uneven ground
CoastalSandy beaches, dunes, proximity to water
UrbanCity landscapes, paved surfaces, buildings
DesertArid, sandy, sparse vegetation
GrasslandOpen fields, grassy landscapes
WetlandMarshes, swamps, waterlogged areas
HillyRolling hills, moderate slopes
TundraCold, barren, permafrost ground
CaveUnderground, dark, complex passages


Clothing is another factor that can affect how fast you glide. If you’re wearing loose clothing, it might get caught in your wheels and slow you down. 

This means the exact same thing if you are wearing tight clothing and have to make sudden movements, like when dodging a charging rhino or outrunning an angry mob of villagers.

The best clothing for gliding is something that allows for full range of motion without getting caught on anything or restricting movement too much. 

The ideal balance between flexibility and durability might be different for everyone depending on their body type and personal preference, but whatever choice you make should let your gliding prowess shine through!

Curious about the incredible speed of greyhounds? Discover firsthand experiences and fascinating facts about how fast can a greyhound run in our informative article that explores the amazing capabilities of these agile canines.


You can’t run a marathon and expect to win if you’re wearing flip-flops. The same goes for gliding. But what kind of shoe should you wear?

The best shoes for gliding are those that are lightweight, flexible, and comfortable and they should fit well. If your toes feel cramped or if your heels slip up and down in your running shoes, you’ll find it difficult to glide gracefully (and safely).

Shoes designed specifically for gliding will be made from synthetic materials such as nylon or polyurethane, which allow air to flow freely through them so there’s less drag on the foot while running down hills. 

They’ll also have an open mesh design (rather than one with multiple layers), since these thinner materials create less friction than more tightly woven fabrics do when they rub against each other while moving at high speeds across soft surfaces like sand or grassy fields.

Muscles And Muscle Pain While Running Vs Gliding

When you run, your muscles are working in an aerobic capacity. The body uses oxygen more efficiently and produces more energy for the exercise, which means that it doesn’t take much time for them to get tired. 

However, when you glide on a treadmill, your muscles are working at a higher intensity than normal walking speed would allow. This means that they can be worked out more intensely when gliding than running.

However, if your goal is to burn calories or lose weight, running might still be better for you because it’s a low impact exercise that allows you to go further and faster than gliding does without putting as much stress on your joints (although many people like the idea of being able to walk into class instead of having to drive). 

For example: suppose we take an average person weighing 150 lbs who wants to lose 20 pounds over one year but doesn’t want his knees exploding while doing so; if he decides upon jogging as his preferred method then he’ll burn around 400 calories per mile while only using up 6 calories per mile while gliding!

Fitness Levels

The fitness level of the glider is a key factor in determining whether they will glide faster than run. Fitness levels can vary over time, and they can be improved by training. However, if you don’t train, your fitness levels will decrease over time.

Fitness LevelDescription
SedentaryMinimal physical activity, low fitness
BeginnerStarting fitness journey, moderate activity
IntermediateRegular exercise routine, moderate fitness
AdvancedHigh fitness level, intense workouts
ElitePeak physical condition, exceptional performance

Injuries And Pains

Gliding and running both come with their own sets of injuries. Running, for example, is known to cause knee pain after prolonged use. 

Gliding can also cause back pain because as you glide from place-to-place you’re often hunched over and looking down at the ground.

There are ways to avoid these kinds of aches and pains: for instance, if you want to be able to run long distances without much pain then don’t sprint too much or too far; keep your stride short when gliding in order not to strain yourself unnecessarily

Remember that even though this might seem like an easy way out of working out at the gym it’s still important to build up endurance through practice so as not to hurt yourself further (or worse).

Are you unsure about when to replace your running shoes? Find out the answer and learn about important factors in our article on how often should running shoes be changed. Ensure optimal comfort and support for your runs by staying informed.


Weight is also a factor in speed. Heavier people will be slower than lighter people, but it’s not as simple as just being overweight or underweight. 

The amount of muscle mass you have can have an impact on the effectiveness of your gliding technique, which means that if you’re stronger and more muscular than someone else who has the same height but weighs less, then they will be able to glide faster than you.

If you are heavier and want to be able to glide farther than everyone else around you, then there are some things that need to change:

Your centre of gravity needs to be lower so that it’s easier for air currents to lift up your body (and keep it up). If this isn’t possible due to bone structure etc., then maybe try some different muscles exercises instead?


When it comes to gender, men are typically faster runners than women. In general, men have more muscle mass and less body fat than women. 

This makes them better suited for short-distance running they can run faster and longer before tiring out.

On the other hand, women tend to be more comfortable in water due to their natural buoyancy (and because they float better). So if you’re a woman who wants to glide around underwater instead of run on land, gliding is definitely an option!


Age is a factor that affects your ability to glide. As you get older, your muscles and joints will become less flexible and the body can’t recover from injuries as well as it did when you were younger. 

If you have aches and pains, it will be harder for you to run than for a younger person who doesn’t experience those issues.

Body Type

The first factor to consider when deciding whether gliding is faster than running is your body type. Your height and weight are big factors in how fast you can move, and they’re not the only ones. 

The shape of your body will also play an important role. Taller people with longer lower limbs tend to glide faster than shorter people, but similarly-sized people with different shaped bodies might glide at different speeds based on their proportions.

For example, if someone with a long torso (like a long “hollow” between their hips) had shorter legs than another person who was exactly the same height as them but had short hollows instead, then even though both were the same height overall.

The person with short hollows would probably glide faster because their center of gravity would be closer to ground level than it would be on someone who has long hollows under their arms and legs.

Looking to improve your running stride? Check out our easy tip guide on how to lengthen your stride when running to learn practical techniques and exercises that can help you increase efficiency and enhance your overall running performance.

Weather Conditions

There are different weather conditions to consider when choosing whether to glide or run.

If you’re in a windy place, gliding will be faster than running. Wind is essentially a headwind for the runner and tailwind for the glider. 

The wind increases drag on the runner and decreases it on the glider. A gust of wind can also change direction while you’re running or gliding, so it’s important to keep track of changes in wind speed and direction as well as overall speed (which will also depend on whether your goal is to go farther or faster).

It may be tempting to think that warm weather would favor running over gliding because there’s less resistance from air molecules hitting your body at higher speeds but this isn’t always true! 

In fact, if it’s humid out (meaning there’s more water vapor in moist air), then any increase in temperature would actually decrease friction between molecules… which means less resistance against them going fast! 

This means better results for runners who need more traction beneath their feet rather than those trying hard not fall down while moving quickly through wet mud puddles with little traction themselves.

Weather ConditionDescription
SunnyClear skies, abundant sunshine
CloudyPartially or mostly covered skies, limited sunlight
RainyPrecipitation in the form of rain
SnowyPrecipitation in the form of snow
WindyStrong and gusty winds
StormyThunderstorms, heavy rain, lightning, strong winds
FoggyDense fog, reduced visibility
HotHigh temperatures, heat and humidity
ColdLow temperatures, chilly conditions
HumidHigh moisture content in the air, muggy and sticky sensation

Your Motivation Level For Running Or Gliding

Another key factor to consider is your motivation level for running or gliding. You need to be motivated enough to get started, which can be challenging if you aren’t interested in the activity by nature. 

If you aren’t motivated, it will probably be hard to get going and maintain your interest in the long term.

You can find ways to motivate yourself by setting goals and having fun with friends (more on this below). However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone; what works for one person might not work as well for another. It’s important that you find a way that works best for YOU!

Gliding Vs Running On An Incline Vs Decline

However, there are some important caveats to consider.

First off, running on an incline is more challenging than running on a flat surface. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult things you can do as an avid runner: 

Your leg muscles have to work as much as twice as hard just to keep your body moving forward! This means that if you’re trying to burn calories by adding hills into your workout routine, be prepared for some serious soreness the next day especially if you’re new at it and haven’t built up those muscles yet.

On the other hand, running downhills is easier than going uphill because gravity works against us instead of with us (the same way it does when we’re riding bikes or skiing). 

Because our bodies naturally want to head downhill as quickly as possible (so they don’t crash), it takes less energy for them do so while still maintaining good form. 

That said… if we were able make ourselves stand up straight during our descent instead of leaning forward slightly like a slalom skier would? Then this wouldn’t really be much different than running on flat terrain at all!

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We hope this article has helped you decide whether gliding or running is better for your fitness goals. If you are still unsure, we would recommend trying both activities and seeing which one works best for you. 

Also, keep in mind that there are many other factors that can influence the outcome of an activity these 12 factors were just some of the most common ones we came across while researching this topic!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources you might find interesting:


Here are some frequently asked questions related to the topic:

  • Q: How does gliding compare to running in terms of speed and efficiency?
    • A: Gliding can provide faster travel in certain scenarios, especially when there are elevation advantages or obstacles to overcome.
  • Q: Can gliding be used as a viable alternative to sprinting in certain video games?
    • A: Yes, some video games offer gliding mechanics that can be utilized to cover distances more quickly or navigate difficult terrain.
  • Q: Are there any specific techniques or strategies to maximize speed while gliding?
    • A: Yes, optimizing your gliding technique, such as maintaining proper aerodynamics or utilizing air currents, can help increase your speed and efficiency.
  • Q: Does gliding have any limitations or restrictions compared to running?
    • A: Gliding typically requires certain conditions, such as elevated positions or specific equipment, and may not be available in all environments or games.
  • Q: Are there any games or sports where gliding is an integral part of the gameplay?
    • A: Yes, games like Genshin Impact and some sports like hang gliding or paragliding incorporate gliding mechanics as a core element of their gameplay or activities.