Difference Between Jogging and Running

The difference between jogging and running is clear to any runner. They are running! The mere mention of a runner’s activity as jogging is frequently met with indignation. Like you offended them personally with fitness jogging.

This is so true for me. When anyone would ask me if I enjoyed my jog, I felt offended. Couldn’t they tell the difference? After all I was working way too hard for it to be jogging.

Jogging and running get used interchangeably in articles, media and conversation. Therefore, it is understandable that there is confusion with jogging vs running.

Dictionary.com defines jogging as, “to run at a leisurely, slow pace, especially as an outdoor exercise.”

Dr. George Sheehan, a running inspiration of the 1970’s, writes:

“The goal of the runner is not health. His objective is the fitness necessary for maximal performance. Health is something the runner goes through on his way to fitness.” Running & Being, 1978

Long Slow Distance Training

Modern day jogging has its roots in the training method of Arthur Lydiard. The method of Long, Slow, Distance (LSD) was part of the Lydiard’s system.

Lydiard’s athletes attained new world records. Then in 1968 he toured the US. This was the start of the popularity of jogging for fitness*. His enthusiasm was infectious.

Long distance runners use varying tempos to increase endurance and speed. Jogging light is a method used instead of walking for recovery between intensive intervals. The athlete's recovery jogging pace could be at a 7 to 8 minute mile pace. Now I would be running flat out to achieve that pace.

Jogging Speed

Mike Antoniades, speed coach at BBC, refers to a cut off speed for running as slower than 6 mph. Slower than that and you are jogging.

That definition puts my long slow distance marathon training miles into the exercise jogging pace. That cannot be right. I worked too hard. I was not just prodding along jogging for health. I worked it in preparation for my marathon race.

Look back at the definition of jogging and take the purpose. Then eliminate the time criteria. We end up with the difference.

The difference between jogging and running is the purpose and intensity.

You work hard. You are running. You just want health and fitness. You are jogging.

You are training for a 5k race or half marathon. You are running. Your purpose has expanded from mere fitness to performance. You have set a goal and a target. This makes the difference between jogging and running the purpose or goal.


Spino, Mike. Beyond Jogging The Inner Spaces of Running, Berkley Publishing Corporation; Fifth Printing March 1977. SBN 425-03733-9

Leave Difference Between Jogging and Running and go to Benefits of Jogging


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