Are you a beginner who wants to know the difference between jogging vs running? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, this is one of the most common questions for newbies. They wonder whether they’re a runner or jogger, and what in the world is the difference?
We hear the terms get flung around among our peers but rarely ever stop and consider what the words truly mean.
Whether you are tying up a pair of running shoes for the first time, or have a few races under your belt, we will compare the two now. If you’re ready to distinguish between jogging vs running, let’s start by considering the following questions…
- How fast do I need to be in order to become a runner? (Or how slow to be a jogger)
- Does completing a race make me a runner? (Or not completing a race make me a jogger)
And although most use one of these questions as a benchmark, the truth is that both are correct. In other words, it’s based on your opinion.
Here’s the thing, it’s not critical whether you consider yourself a runner or jogger, what’s most important is that you use the differences in a way to reach your goals. For example, which one allows you to lose weight the quickest or which one helps you cross the finish line.
Let’s find out. Keep reading as we discuss jogging vs running. Eventually, you will be out jogging and/or running with confidence.
Difference Between Jogging & Running
Whether you are running or jogging, we can all agree on one thing: both are better than sitting around. Studies have shown time and time again, the laundry list of benefits they deliver. Benefits like lower blood pressure, weight regulation, and stronger bones, not to mention adding extra years to your life.
In fact, a recent study conducted by the Department of Kinesiology at the College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, highlights the enormous benefits that running has on cardiovascular disease.
They concluded that “running, even 5-10 minutes per day and slow speeds <6 mph, is associated with markedly reduced risks of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease.”
And although it can not be standardized, here’s how you can differentiate between jogging vs running: the cut off is a 10-minute mile or 6mph. Run slower and you are jogging, faster and you are running.
Yes, we could argue about different body sizes, heart rates, and philosophical reasoning, but let’s not. Because the truth is whether you “jog” or “run,” you are, in fact, a “runner.” As you may know already, we throw these terms around loosely in the running community.
Now that we have a point of reference, let’s compare jogging (slow and easy running) to running (fast and edgy running). Keep reading as we dig deeper into the differences between jogging vs running and offer a quick and easy chart for reference.
Jogging vs. Running Comparison Chart
|Definition||Trotting at slow pace.||Moving fast on foot.|
|Pace||> 10 min mile||<10 min mile|
|Time||Best in the morning||Best in the afternoon/evening|
|Form||Relaxed, shorter strides, upper body straight, arms loose.||Long strides, forward lean, midfoot strike.|
|Intensity||easy/slow pace||hard/fast pace|
|Benefit||Increase endurance and cardiac health.||Burn fat and gain lean muscle mass, social recognition, connect with other runners.|
|Harmful||Become unaware and unfocused.||Stress on the cardiovascular system, injury.|
|Gear||Running shoes, shirt, and shorts.||Running shoes, compression and/or activewear, and hydration bottle.|
|Common Injuries||Shin splints, knee pain.||Runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, and ITBS.|
What came first, the chicken or the egg? Did running come before jogging? Or did jogging come before running? The answer: running. Yes, running came first.
In fact, history tells us that running officially became a sport in 776 B.C.E. It was the first sport of the Olympics held in ancient Greece.
Jogging didn’t present itself until many, MANY years after. If the records are correct then it wasn’t until 1962 when jogging actually became a thing. Legend has it that jogging was initially created by former athletes who decided to infuse fitness and socializing.
So although we can be sure people were technically “jogging” before 1962, it was just considered running slow. In other words, people weren’t morning jogging on the weekends in a pair of New Balances and sweats. They either ran…or they didn’t.
Regardless of the history, it’s a good idea to define the difference for yourself. This way, you can make the right choices to serve you in reaching your goals. For this, I will provide a definition of both.
“Running is the activity of moving fast on foot, especially as a sport.” (Collinsdictionary.com)
“Jogging is the practice of trotting at a slow, steady pace for some distance as a form of exercise.” (Yourdictionary.com)
As you can see, jogging is done at a “slow” pace. So what’s slow exactly? Well, as mentioned earlier, the industry tells us the cut off is a 10-minute mile or 6mph. Simply put, you perform jogging at a slow and easy pace while running at a fast and hard pace.
In that sense, because of caloric requirements, jogging is better done in the morning while running is more suitable for the afternoon or night. This is not written in stone, but it’s a guideline to start with.
By taking the right precautions, you can discover many exceptional benefits from jogging and running. For example, jogging increases your endurance and cardiac health. Running is best for burning fat and gaining lean muscle mass.
But I urge you to be careful. I say this because running is beneficial for the body. Still, like anything in life, too much of a good thing at one time can have negative consequences. For instance, too much strenuous exercise is known to place additional stress on the cardiovascular system. Remember…that’s your heart. Yet at the same time, running and/or jogging at a slow pace will strengthen the heart.
So if you’re new to running, take it easy and progress slowly. In fact, start by jogging until you feel comfortable, only then pick up the pace. This way, you prevent many of the common running injuries like runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints. These injuries are likely due to the high impact of running and rushing into a fast pace before your body is ready.
There are precautions to take when jogging as well. For instance, try to stay alert. When moving at a leisurely pace, it’s easy to lose focus. And if running out on the road, you’ll become more vulnerable to cars and other moving objects. So be careful. To help stay alert, focus on your form. This will not only allow you to run longer and faster, but it will reduce your chance of injury.
When jogging, your form is much more relaxed. You keep your torso closely in-line with your hips while loosening your arms. As long as you have the right shoes, you can develop your own technique. You’ll likely bounce off the ground, lift your feet, and run with much less force compared to running.
Regarding running, you’ll likely take longer strides and apply more force. Instead of bouncing off the ground, most runners lean forward and land with a midfoot strike. The pace is quicker and on edge.
For more on proper form, find a coach to help with technique. Coaching will compress years of knowledge into a few sessions. As an alternative, if you are more self-motivated and disciplined—as most runners are – watch a YouTube video on the subject. Check out the video below to get you started.
Please note, when learning proper form, avoid practicing every new movement at once. If not, you put yourself at a higher risk of injury because it’s easier to make a mistake. Instead, learn one or two moves, practice them, and when you feel ready, move onto the next. Eventually, you will be running and jogging like a pro. Until then, take it one step at a time…literally.
Jogging vs. Running: Which Will Help You Lose Weight Faster?
So that brings us to the BIG question. The one every new runner wants to know. The question is this: when it comes to jogging vs running, which will help you lose weight faster?
For the answer, let’s ask the US National Library of Medicine who narrows it down with one simple formula…
Reference: Exercise and activity for weight loss
Calories used in exercise > calories eaten = weight loss.
They go on to tell us…
“This means that to lose weight, the number of calories you burn by exercising needs to be greater than the number of calories from the foods you eat and drink. Even if you work out a lot, if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.”
So, as luck would have it, you can lose weight from either jogging or running. However, since running is a relatively faster form of movement, you could conclude that running is the shortest path to weight loss.
But before you go, we must answer one more question. That is, which one will keep the weight off longer? Well, the answer is short and simple: whichever one you can turn into a habit for a lifetime. To find out, ask yourself which one motivates you more.
If you enjoy clubs, training, and racing, then choose running. Likewise, if you prefer leisurely morning jogs a few times per week, then select jogging. Or, if you’d like to perform both, as I do, then practice both.
Here’s the bottom line: when choosing between jogging vs running, pick the one you enjoy and motivates you. By doing so, the weight doesn’t just come off, it stays off, and you enjoy a new level of health, vitality, and an admirable physique for a lifetime. Don’t make it an exercise, make it a lifestyle.
[su_spoiler title=”Q: Is running or jogging better for beginners?” open=”yes”]
A: Although you may choose either, to start, try jogging. When you first start jogging and running, it’s best to take it slow. Your body needs time to breakdown, rebuild, and grow. Jogging allows you to catch issues early on before becoming problematic. For example, wearing the wrong shoes or improper running form.
[su_spoiler title=”Q: If I choose to race, can I jog?“]
A: Absolutely. You can even walk. Most understand that race day is not about running against others, it’s about racing against yourself. As professional ultramarathon Dean Karnazes tells us, “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”
[su_spoiler title=”Q: I want to join a running club, does it matter which one I join?“]
A: No. Different running clubs are designed for different types of runners. Some are designed to become a better runner on race day, while others are for hanging out and socializing. Most clubs have runners of all different skill levels, so you’ll likely find others who run at your pace. If you have any questions, contact the organizer of the club.
[su_spoiler title=”Q: If I decide to run and jog, how do I use them interchangeably?“]
A: There are many ways to go about it. Personally, I’ve found a weekend long jog, with a few quick runs during the week to work best. Sooner or later, you’ll reach the point where your so-called “jog” is faster than your old “run.” At this point, you’ll be an expert, and it won’t matter if you call it jogging, running, or the hokey pokey.
[su_spoiler title=”Q: I heard I should buy running shoes, how do I decide?“]
A: Our feet are all different shapes and sizes. That’s true for how we strike the ground also. Because of our differences, I highly recommend visiting your local running store. They will run a few tests, ask a few questions, and recommend the best running shoe for you. If you can’t make it to a real running store, use the Brooks Running shoe finder tool online here
We can consider running and jogging the same thing. Although, if we base it on speed, they are very different. So what’s the conclusion?
If you are looking for higher performance, a shredded physique, and a way to stay competitive, then running is the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re looking for better overall health and socializing, try jogging. And if you are looking for a little of both–as most people do–then you jog, run, and race… carefully…and progress a bit more every day.