Running vs. Jogging: What are the Key Differences Between Them?

“I'm just popping out for a run”.

“I'm just going for a jog”.

While that might sound like two different ways of saying the same thing, there are some important differences between running and jogging when it comes to your pace and the level of physical exertion.

So, when you're out pounding the pavements, what exactly are you doing - running or jogging? Let's find out.

Running vs. jogging - pace

If you asked 100 people what the difference between running and jogging is, most of them would probably tell you that jogging is just a slow run. And to a certain extent, they'd be right.

Although there are no hard and fast rules for jogging vs. running pace, most sources put the cutoff point at around 6 miles per hour. So, if you cover the equivalent of 6 miles or more in an hour (10-minute per mile pace or 30 minutes for a 5K race), then you're running; if you cover less than that, you're jogging.

However, most people run at different speeds depending on the distance they're covering, their age and the terrain. It would be wrong to say that someone who completes a 10-mile trail run in muddy conditions in 1 hour 40 minutes has been out for a jog. That's why a distinction based on pace alone is too simplistic.

Running vs. jogging - form

In terms of your form, the main difference between running and jogging is that when you're jogging, your knees may not come up as far and your arms will not swing quite as much. That's because you do not need the extra momentum provided by the arm swing to run at a faster pace. The reduced amount of movement means that you'll conserve more energy and be able to jog for longer periods.

Running vs. jogging - physical exertion

Jogging is a low to moderate-intensity exercise. The speed is generally slow but can last for a significant amount of time. That means that jogging is more of a stamina building exercise that focuses on the aerobic energy system (the body's ability to produce energy with oxygen) and is a good way to build baseline endurance.

Running, on the other hand, is a moderate to high-intensity exercise. The speed is relatively high and the power output is greater. That forces the muscles to work harder, which brings the lactic threshold into play. It trains aerobic and anaerobic energy systems (the body's ability to produce energy without oxygen), with workouts tending to last between 25 and 60 minutes.

Running vs. jogging - the health benefits

Jogging engages the same muscles as running. That includes the muscles in the lower body, such as the hip flexors, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. To a lesser extent, it also engages the upper body and the core. That makes jogging an effective full-body exercise.

There are many health benefits associated with jogging, including:

  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Stronger bones and joints
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced risk factors for chronic diseases

While running engages the same muscles as jogging, it demands a bit more from them. The heart, lungs and muscles have to work harder and the upper body is more engaged. Those demands mean that running requires a higher level of overall fitness than jogging.

The health benefits of running are similar to those associated with jogging. However, that extra workload does also bring some additional benefits. Running increases your metabolic rate by more than jogging, which burns more calories and helps with weight loss. One study also shows that running at a higher intensity is associated with a decreased risk of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes.

The bottom line

In our view, whether you call yourself a jogger or a runner is down to personal preference. Yes, there are some differences in terms of pace and physical exertion, but as long as you're happy, healthy and enjoying your exercise, then that's the most important thing.

Whatever you call yourself, we make running shoesto support you every step of the way. Take a look at the ASICS range of high-performance running shoes or use the ASICS Shoe Finder to find your perfect shoe.