Running vs Jogging – What Is The Difference?

Last updated: September 14, 2021

Running Blog / Running vs Jogging – What Is The Difference?

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Running is the most popular sport in the world. The great thing about running is the fact that just about everybody can give it a try. Unlike other sports, you do not need to spend a lot of money in order to go for a run. More so, you can do it on your own, at any time and in any place. 

Because of this, running is the go-to sport for many people. With that being said, most runners do not take the sport seriously, meaning that they simply run in order to stay fit and healthy, lose weight or have fun. 

Contrary to popular belief, there are different types of running. Based on your ultimate goal in the sport, you may set out on your run with a different mentality from others. This is where pace/speed comes into play. 

In this article, we will be discussing the main differences between jogging and running. More so, we will mention when you should be doing each type of running and a few similarities between the two. 

The Obvious Difference

When it comes to running and jogging, there are a few major differences to take note of. The biggest and most obvious difference would be the pace reached during each type of run. In simple terms, jogging involves a much slower pace when compared to running. However, it becomes much more complicated than this. 

It is important to note that all serious runners also jog. Running slowly is an essential part of training, making it vital that runners know the difference between going for a jog and a run. In fact, most serious runners who are looking to get faster only run hard about two times a week. All of their other runs are considered ‘easy’, meaning that they are essentially ‘jogging’ in their own right. 

With that being said, not all recreational joggers will actually go for a run. This is due to the fact that running quickly in training is not essential unless the jogger wishes to get faster. For people who simply train to stay fit or for fun, getting faster is not a priority, meaning that all of their ‘runs’ will be at a slower, jogging pace. 

It is also worth noting that we cannot set a specific pace range that describes jogging or running. This is because everybody’s running ability is different. While running a 6:00 min/km pace may be easy for one runner, it could also be considered a tempo run for someone else. For the best runners in the world, 4:30 min/km would be an easy jog. However, for above-average runners, this is a hard run. 

Understanding Your Capabilities

If you consider yourself a serious runner, it is very important that you go about understanding your capabilities. Instead of comparing yourself to others, you need to understand exactly what a ‘jog’ and ‘run’ mean for you. 

Go for a run and keep it very easy. This pace should be considered your jogging pace. If you want to get faster, you can incorporate some faster running sessions into your week of training. Running does not necessarily mean that you have to be moving as fast as you can. Anything above an easy effort can be considered a run. 

Resulting Differences

As we have already mentioned, the biggest difference when it comes to running and jogging is the pace. With that being said, there are a number of additional differences that are also worth taking note of. 

Muscles

Since you push harder when you go for a run, your muscles will do more work. During a faster run, your feet spend less time on the floor. This slight difference enables your muscles to be used in a different way. 

Your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves will be activated in a different way when jogging. This difference becomes apparent when you look at the physique of long-distance runners and sprinters. Sprinters have much more developed muscles because of the fact that they are activated more during training sessions. On the other hand, long-distance runners have smaller frames and less developed muscles. 

Calories

The faster you run, the more calories you burn. For this reason, running is a much better workout when compared to jogging. 

If you take a 150-pound person, they will burn roughly 90 calories when jogging at a speed of 5 mph for 10 minutes. That same person will burn roughly 120 calories when running at 6 mph for the same time period. 

After-Burn

As we have already mentioned, your muscles do more work when running. Because of this, the after-burn that you feel once your run is completed will be more intense than the after-burn associated with jogging. 

When running, your muscles consume more oxygen. For this reason, they produce more lactic acid, leading to a burning feeling post-run. If you go for an easy jog, your body will produce less lactic acid.

Similarities 

There are also a few similarities between running and jogging that all athletes should take note of. 

Both Improve Your Fitness

Even though running is a much better workout, going for a jog a few times a week can have a massive impact on your overall fitness and health. Even though you are running slower, your body still burns a decent amount of calories. More so, your lung capacity will increase dramatically, improving your stamina.

Both Increase Muscle Strength

As we have already mentioned, running activates your muscles more than jogging does. With that being said, you will be able to jog for longer than you are able to run. If you would like to improve your overall muscle strength by jogging, try heading out for longer sessions at a slower pace. 

The more time you spend on your legs, the stronger you will get. In fact, having this type of endurance will prevent a number of injuries. For this reason, many sporting experts recommend that athletes jog in order to improve their capabilities. 

Both Help With Weight Loss

Since both running and jogging get your heart rate up, both forms of exercise will help with weight loss. If you want to start training to lose weight, jogging should definitely be considered. 

Going for a more strenuous run while being overweight could increase your chances of developing a severe injury. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you start out with a slower run in order to get your body used to the training first. If you jog often enough, you should lose weight very quickly.

When Should I Jog And When Should I Run?

It is very important that you know when to run and when to jog. We already know that all runners should go for jogs as part of their training schedule. Running hard all of the time can lead to a number of serious injuries and burnout, which will affect your running ability in the long run. 

However, it is also worth noting that joggers do not have to go for fast runs. If you are simply training to stay fit and do not care too much about your speed, there is nothing wrong with keeping it easy all of the time. 

In general, running experts suggest that runners do not incorporate more than 2 hard running sessions into their weekly program. More so, in order to prevent a number of injuries, serious runners should go for at least 2 easy runs per week. 

If you are recovering from a sickness or injury, be sure to keep all your runs easy and at a jogging pace. If you are just starting to run, it is essential that you keep it easy for at least a few months before incorporating any faster runs. 

Sprinting

We already know that the main difference between jogging and running is speed. The next discipline on the speed spectrum is sprinting. 

In short, sprinting is considered max effort for the athlete. This means that they will not be able to hold sprinting pace for a very long period of time. More so, most runners do not incorporate sprint training into their weekly workouts, as it is a very specialized type of running. 

As we have already mentioned, sprinters often have very bulky physiques due to the fact that they activate more muscles during their training sessions. They also don’t need a lot of endurance, as sprinters generally only run for a couple of seconds. 

Some Tips On Improving Your Jog Or Run

  • Invest in the right set of running shoes. Depending on your gait and foot type, having the right shoe will help you stay consistent, and consistency is only done through injury prevention. A good shoe will help prevent injuries.

  • Measure your progress with a GPS Watch. the wristwatches of today, specifically the smartwatches with GPS will help you. measure your speed, distance, steps, altitude and more. Having a benchmark to go by will aid you in furthering your progress.

  • Incorporating hill runs in your run or jog will help boost your running economy and VO2 Max which will ultimately help your cardiovascular endurance reach new heights and help you go that extra distance.

  • Stay consistent. Nothing happens overnight, however as you continue running or jogging you will notice the increased health benefits as well as helping you shed off a bit of those extra pounds.

Summary

There are a few differences to take note of when comparing running and jogging. The main difference between the two is pace/speed. Running is considered to be faster than jogging. For this reason, the athlete will be able to hold a jogging pace for much longer than a running pace. 

It is important to note that there is no set pace that runners consider jogging and running, as every athlete has different capabilities. In other words, your jogging pace may be another athlete’s running pace and vice versa.

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