The Runner’s Dilemma: Key Differences Between Jogging and Running Explained

Published :

Cross Training For Runners
Photo of author

Written by :

David Dack

Ever found yourself pondering the age-old question: What sets running apart from jogging? Are they truly interchangeable terms, or is there more to it? And, most importantly, does it even matter?

Well, you’ve landed in the right spot to unravel these mysteries!

At first glance, it might seem like running and jogging are two peas in a pod – both involve putting one foot in front of the other at a pace quicker than a stroll but not quite as speedy as a Usain Bolt sprint.

But if we scratch beneath the surface, you’ll discover that there’s more to this running vs. jogging conundrum than meets the eye.

In today’s exploration, we’re going to dig deep, uncovering the nuances that distinguish running from jogging while also celebrating the common ground they share. So, fasten your shoelaces and let’s embark on this fitness journey!

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’ve got the similarities out of the way, let’s delve into what sets running and jogging apart.

Running Vs. Jogging – The Pace

Ask most runners (and joggers) about these terms, and they’ll probably tell you that jogging is just a slower version of running. But let’s break it down further.

Jogging, as we define it in the running community, is all about maintaining a pace slower than 5 miles per hour. To put it simply, it’s covering a mile in 12 minutes or more. When you’re jogging, you’re moving at a comfortable, easy-breezy pace. It’s that sweet spot where you can chat away with your running buddy, discuss your weekend plans, or even recite the pledge of allegiance without gasping for air.

In fact, you could practically jog for hours on end as long as you keep your pace under control. It’s a low-intensity, leisurely activity that’s perfect for those days when you want to enjoy a gentle workout without pushing your limits.

Now, let’s switch gears to running. Running means picking up the pace, clocking in at speeds faster than 6 miles per hour. This is where things get exciting and intense. You’ll notice that running demands more effort and focus. Holding a conversation becomes a bit tricky, and you might find yourself gasping for breath if you try to recite the pledge of allegiance while sprinting.

Running opens up a world of possibilities for your fitness journey. It’s a dynamic activity where you can challenge yourself with various speeds, terrain, and distances. Whether you’re training for a 5K race or simply aiming to boost your cardiovascular fitness, running allows you to push your limits and set new goals.

And here’s the fascinating part: both jogging and running offer incredible health benefits. Studies have shown that regular jogging, with its lower intensity, can improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and help with weight management. On the other hand, running, with its higher intensity, can enhance cardiovascular endurance, build stronger muscles, and even lead to greater calorie burn.

Running Vs. Jogging – Running Is Harder

The key lies in the pace – running demands a faster pace than jogging. This elevated intensity makes running a more robust form of aerobic training. It’s no walk in the park, that’s for sure! This is precisely why runners are often perceived as being in better shape than joggers, especially when it comes to cardio endurance and overall fitness. But hey, you can always challenge me on this topic later.

Science has our back on this one. Research published in the journal Scientific Reports confirms that as your speed increases, so does the energy you expend. Let’s break it down with a practical example: imagine you’re running a 7-minute mile pace. It’ll take you roughly 20 minutes to complete a 5K race at this speed. Now, if you decide to tackle a 10K race at the same pace, expect over 40 minutes of continuous effort.

Surveys have even shown us the average running pace for men (about 9:03 per mile) and women (approximately 10:21 per mile). So, if you’re tight on time and aiming to maximize the benefits of your workout, opting for an intense 20-minute run might just do the trick. It’ll give you more bang for your buck compared to a leisurely jog for the same duration.

Running Vs. Jogging – Calorie Burn

When it comes to calorie burn, both jogging and running are winners, but there’s a noticeable difference in the rate at which they torch those calories.

As a rule, energy expenditure escalates as you crank up your speed. Running, being the speedier sibling, makes your body work harder and consequently burns more calories per minute. Picture it like this—a faster pace equals more calories incinerated.

Let’s dive into some numbers. If you weigh around 160 pounds and go for a leisurely jog at a pace of five miles per hour for half an hour, you’ll bid farewell to approximately 300 calories. But here’s where it gets interesting. Crank up the speed to eight miles per hour, and that same person will sizzle over 430 calories during the same 30 minutes of exercise.

Now, brace yourself for this: research has spotlighted the supremacy of sprinting in the calorie-burning and body fat-reducing game. Sprinting, a form of interval training, trumps steady-state, low-intensity exercises like jogging. The International Journal of Obesity backs this up, revealing that high-intensity workouts, such as sprinting, lead to more significant total body mass reduction.

But wait, there’s more! Running, especially interval running, unlocks a fantastic bonus—the after-burn effect, scientifically known as excess post-oxygen consumption. When you push your body beyond its comfort zone, it exhausts its fuel reserves, and that means it needs to work extra hard to replenish them.

This post-workout calorie burn continues for up to 48 hours. So, the more you challenge yourself, the longer your body keeps the calorie furnace roaring.

Additional link – How to perform running strides for beginners

female runner doing Tabata Workout routine

Running Vs. Jogging – The Mindset

Let’s delve deeper into the distinctions between jogging and running; it’s not just about the physical aspect but also the mindset.

Runners, well, they’re like the go-getters of the fitness world. They thrive on setting goals, chasing them down, and reveling in the satisfaction of achievement. For them, it’s all about pushing boundaries, whether it’s breaking a personal record or working on that speed. The relentless pursuit of excellence fuels their passion.

Joggers, on the other hand, take a more laid-back approach. They’re all about enjoying the journey at a comfortable pace without the intense drive to set new records. For joggers, it’s about savoring the moment and the simple pleasure of moving. No need for speed demons here!

Now, here’s the kicker—calling a runner a jogger is akin to a slap in the face (metaphorically, of course). It’s like saying, “Hey, buddy, you’re not taking this seriously enough.” And trust me, that’s the ultimate insult in a runner’s book!

Running Vs. Jogging – The Form

Let’s talk about the nuances of form when it comes to running versus jogging. While the basics of proper form are quite similar, there are some key distinctions.

Jogging has a certain bounce to it. It’s a relaxed, comfortable movement. Your strides are shorter, and you’re not in a hurry. Your arms move casually, almost like a gentle sway.

Running, on the other hand, is all about precision. It demands a steady rhythm, faster arm swings, and longer strides. When you’re running, you want to land on the forefoot, ensuring your knees stay aligned with your toes. Your arms become powerful engines, pumping back and forth to generate the momentum needed for sustained speed over longer distances. You’ll notice your knees come up higher, and your arm swing is stronger.

Now, let’s talk about breathing. When you’re running, you’re taking deeper breaths. Your body craves more oxygen to fuel the high demands placed on it during those faster paces.

So whether you’re running or jogging, remember, it’s not just about the speed—it’s also about the way you move and breathe.

Training vs. Leisure

Often, people choose running over jogging when training for specific goals, such as races, marathons, or personal best timings. The structured approach, involving speed workouts, hill repetitions, and long runs, underscores the seriousness attached to running.

On the other hand, jogging is more frequently chosen as a leisure activity—a way to stay active, soak in the environment, or even engage in light-hearted conversation with a friend.

Recovery and Health

Interestingly, jogging is often recommended as a recovery or “easy” day for seasoned runners. I’ve already explained the ins and outs of this practice in this article. Easy jogging offers a way to keep the legs moving without exerting undue stress on the body. Moreover, those recovering from injuries or health concerns might opt for jogging as it tends to be gentler on the joints and muscles.

The Main Differences Between Jogging and Running – The 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.

Recommended :