What are The Main Differences Between Running and Jogging?

Group of friends jogging during the morning exercise in the park near the lake

Is there a difference between running and jogging?

Can we use the terms exchangeable?

Does it really matter?

If you’re looking for answers to these questions, then know, my friend, you have come to the right place.

When it comes down to it, there’s not much much difference between jogging and running.

After all, you’re simply putting one foot in front of the other at a pace faster than walking but slower than sprinting.

But, if we dig a little bit deeper, there are actually many clear-and-cut differences between jogging and running.

In today’s article, I’ll delve into some of the main differences (as well as the similarities) between running and jogging to help you better understand which is which.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started

The Similarities Between Running & Jogging

Whether you see yourself as a runner or jogger, both provide plenty of amazing benefits to your body.

Let’s start by sharing what running and jogging have in common.

Although most people may use the terms running and jogging interchangeably, the main common denominator is that they’re forms of cardiovascular training.

Here’s where they overlap:

  • Burning calories
  • Aiding in weight loss
  • Strengthening muscles
  • Improving confidence
  • Reducing stress
  • Building stronger bones
  • Outdoor workout gear

Now that we go the similarities out of the way, let’s delve into what sets running and jogging apart.

Running Vs. Jogging – The Pace

Ask the average person on the street about the difference between running and jogging, and they’d likely say that jogging is a slow form of running.

This is, in fact, the main difference.

Jogging, as defined in the running community, is going at a pace of slower than 5 miles per hour or a pace of 1 mile in 12 minutes.

When you jog, you troll along at a more comfortable pace that’s easy enough for you to keep a conversation—or recite the pledge of allegiance—without panting for air.

In fact, you could practically jog for hours as long as you keep your pace under control.

On the other hand, running refers to anything faster than 6 miles per hour.

Running Vs. Jogging – Running Is Harder

Although this might be subjective, there’s a reason why jogging “feels” less demanding than running, and it’s because you’ll likely expend more energy on a run than on a jog.

Thanks to the faster pace, running is a more intense form of aerobic training than jogging and therefore takes more effort than jogging.

That’s actually the reason runners tend to be generally fitter than joggers, especially when it comes to cardio endurance and fitness. You can debate me on this another time.

Research out of the journal Scientific Reports revealed that the faster you move, the more energy you expend.

For example, if you run a 7-minute per mile pace, it’ll take you roughly 20 minutes to finish a 5K race. A 10K race with the same pace will you over 40 minutes to complete.

Surveys show that the average running pace for men is 9:03 per mile and the average running pace for women is 10:21 per mile.

So if you’re short on time and looking to get the most out of your workout, you’re better off running hard for 20 minutes instead of an easy jog for the same duration.

Running Vs. Jogging – Calorie Burn

It doesn’t matter whether you jog or run, you’ll be burning calories, but all in all, running burns more per minute than jogging.

That’s, as explained earlier, due to the energy expenditure increase when you pick up the pace. The faster you run, the harder your body works, and the more calories you burn.

For example,

In fact, a 160-pound person will shed about 300 calories jogging at a pace of five miles per hour for 30 minutes.

Up the speed to eight mph, and the same person will burn over 430 calories during the same period of time.

Young people jogging and exercising in nature, Back view

What’s more?

Research shows that sprinting, which is a form of interval training, is far more superior when it comes to burning calories and reducing body fat.

Of course, don’t take my word for it. Research out of the International Journal of Obesity has revealed that high-intensity workouts, such as sprinting, shed a more drastic amount of total body mass than steady-state, low-intensity exercises such as jogging.

That’s not the whole story.

Running, especially interval running, produces a more significant workout after-burn or excess post-oxygen consumption—what’s usually referred to as the after-burn.

The more you push your body out of its comfort zone, the more you deplete its fuel stores, and the harder it has to work to restore them—hence the after-burn. This calls for energy and results in continued calorie burn up to 48 hours following the workout.

Running Vs. Jogging – The Mindset

The differences between jogging and running extend beyond the physical.

For starters, as far as I can tell, runners tend to be more goal-oriented that love to set goals and go after them. However, joggers adopt a more casual approach. In fact, they might prefer to stick to an easy pace without trying to break any personal record or work on their speed.

This is actually one of the main reasons runners don’t like to call joggers. It’s like telling, “bro, you’re not serious enough about the craft.” That’s the biggest insult to a runner.

Running Vs. Jogging – The Form

Although proper running form is similar, there are a few things that sets jogging from running when it comes to technique.

For starters, jogging comprises more bouncy movements, while running requires a steady rhythm and involves faster arm swings and longer strides.

Runners are also more likely to land the forefoot, keep the knees aligned with your toes, and pump the arms back and forth to generate enough momentum to sustain your speed over a longer distance. The knees may come up more, coupled with a stronger arm swing.

But there’s less action while jogging since you’re going at a slower pace. You won’t need to produce and generate.

While running, you’re also taking a deeper breathe to ensure the delivery of oxygen into your muscles to meet the high demands being placed on your body while running.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, both jogging and running have a lot to offer. They both provide immense positive results for your overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being, as well as protect your body from a plethora of chronic diseases.

Whether you decide to choose to run or jog, remember to always start your workouts with a 5-10 minute warm-up to get your body ready for training. Here’s the sequence I recommend.

Then, end the session with a 5-minute cool-down, either as a slow jog or walk, to slowly bring your body back to the pre-workout state.

If you’re a complete beginner and planning to start jogging or running, make sure to first consult your doctor, especially if you have any chronic conditions or a history of athletic injury. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.