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Jogging vs Running: The key differences

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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: what are the differences?

So, what's the real difference between running and jogging? Let's take a detailed look!


Most people would say that the main difference between running and jogging is the pace at which they're done.

There's no rules set in stone about how fast a jogging pace is compared to a running pace, but it's often thought that the line falls somewhere around the 10 minute mile mark. So if you complete a 10K run (6.2 miles) in an hour or less, you're running – if you take longer than that to finish 10K, or run fewer miles in an hour, then it could be said that you're jogging.

But what about if you're running a hilly 10K? Your pace could be much slower than that, even if you run a faster 10K on flat ground. Or how about trail running? Running over rough terrain typically takes longer than running on road, so your times could be slower. Age plays a factor too, as people typically slow down as they get older. And that's not to mention weather conditions – you might run a fast 10K on a mild, sunny day, and then struggle to keep to the same pace on another day with driving wind and rain in your face. But does that suddenly mean you've become a jogger, rather than a runner?

So while pace could certainly be a factor in the jogging or running debate, it certainly isn't the be all and end all. What else do we need to take into account?

Does form make a difference?

You might be able to determine whether you're running or jogging based on your form. In jogging, your arms might not swing quite as much, and your knees probably won't come up as high – because you don't need the extra drive these movements provide, helping to propel you along at a faster pace.

Physical exertion

The other factor when it comes to jogging vs running is the amount of physical exertion. That's not to say the amount of effort you're putting in – you could be working very hard indeed at a jogging pace, but it's not as tough on your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, meaning you can keep going for longer.

Jogging is a low to moderate intensity level exercise, which helps to build stamina and endurance. It works your aerobic energy system – that's your body's ability to produce energy with oxygen.

Running is more of a moderate to higher intensity exercise. You might find it harder to talk while running compared to jogging, and your muscles will generally be working harder. Running works both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems – your body's ability to produce energy without oxygen.

What are the benefits of jogging vs running?

Running at pace can make you a faster and stronger runner, while increasing your metabolic rate and working your anaerobic system. But jogging and running both have their place in any good training regime – even if you're a faster runner.

Mix up the pace

Ever heard the phrase “run your easy runs easy”? Well, that's exactly where jogging comes into play, helping your body to recover in between harder efforts.

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.

Injury recovery

There are also lots of other reasons to incorporate jogging into your routine. If you've been suffering from an injury and are ready to start building back up to regular running, then jogging is the answer. Running too hard and too fast too soon is a surefire way to re-injure yourself, while jogging allows you to check in with how your body is responding to moving again, without doing any damage.

Breaking in new shoes: The difference between running and jogging

Jogging is also a great way to break in running shoes! When you get a brand new pair of shoes, it can be tempting to take them for a fast spin and show them off to the world (maybe along with your favourite running clothing too!). But going for an easy jog is a much better way of testing whether they're the right running shoes for you, giving your body time to adjust to the new fit and feel.

Beginner runners

If you're brand new to running, or are returning to it after a long break, jogging is key to getting out there – or getting back out there – and ensuring you actually enjoy it. Starting out slowly will help you to build up endurance and eventually increase your pace to a faster jog or a run – if you want to, that is! After all, there's nothing wrong with jogging, and both forms of exercise bring brilliant benefits for both your body and mind. Check out our beginner running tips for more ways to start your journey towards running happy.

Jogging vs running, tomayto vs tomahto

So, is jogging running? Here's the truth: at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what you call it, as long as you're getting out there and sticking to a consistent routine that works for you.

Sure, jogging might indicate a slower, more casual experience than running, but they're effectively interchangeable, and there are benefits of both slow and fast runs, even for elite runners! When it comes to jogging vs running, do whatever works for you.

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 7-minute pace or 10-minute pace is still a mile.

Whether you're jogging or running, one thing's for sure – Brooks shoes will ensure you run (or jog, or walk!) happy.