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Beginner

Jogging vs. running: Are they different?

Side view of a runner on a city sidewalk.

Ever thought about the difference between jogging vs. running? Many newer runners prefer the former as it has a slower, more casual connotation. But you don't need to be blazing fast to earn the title of "runner." And there's no graduation ceremony from being a jogger to a runner when you qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Jogging vs. running; tomayto vs. tomahto

Here's the truth: At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what you name it, as long as you're getting out there and sticking to a consistent exercise routine that works for you. Sure, jogging might indicate a slower, more casual experience than running, but they are effectively interchangeable, and there are benefits of both slow and fast runs, even for the most elite runners out there.

I worked at a running store and coached our running groups for five years. It was a regular occurrence for a customer to come to the store or a runner to show up to the group run, lower their head, and make sure I knew they "aren't a runner" because they're slower and only run a couple of times a week. I corrected everyone that shared the sentiment to let them know that if you run at all, you're a runner! The jogging vs. running debate has been long-standing, but it really just comes down to personal preference.

Benefits of combining slow and fast runs

While running fast can be fun and help to increase your aerobic and anaerobic fitness, running slow is definitely key to the longevity of any runner's career. Slow runs can help build a foundation for the rest of your more taxing runs. As you introduce faster runs and more workouts to your routine, it's important to keep slower runs in your training schedule to help build mileage as well as help your body recover.

Some people find greater health benefits when mixing in light jogs with strength training, while others might feel better running hard and fast every week. But no matter how fast or how far you may run or whether you identify as a jogger or a runner, remember to give yourself some credit and take pride in what you've accomplished. After all, a mile run at a seven-minute pace or 10-minute pace is still a mile.

Our writer's advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition, or fitness routines.

Written By
Tim Kelly

Marathon Runner & Coach

Tim Running

Ohio native that loves travel, gardening, and helping people do more with their running than they thought possible. 8+ years as a running coach. 12 years as a runner and cyclist.