Guest Writer: Caloy Bautista, Professional Runner
(as posted on his blog for newbie runners, Starting to Run)
A friend who was starting off on a walk-to-run program asked me once, “What’s the difference between jogging and running?”
Both running and jogging are considered as forms of aerobic exercise. Diffen.com notes that both help the body to lose weight and make over-all improvements in one’s health. At the same time it distinguishes the two activities from each other based on intensity and effort required. “Running requires more effort than jogging. It is more intense than jogging’” it states. “Running is defined as the fastest means to move on foot. It is an intense form of jogging and requires the runner to be athletic.”
Jogging101.com makes a similar distinction. It states:
“Jogging is considered a form of trotting or running at a slow or leisurely pace. Its main intention is to increase fitness with less stress on the body than from faster running.
There is a distinct difference between jogging and running. One is performed at a more comfortable, relaxed pace and primarily for cardiovascular fitness and weight loss. While, running, on the other hand, is generally done at a considerably faster pace where a mile is typically completed in 8 minutes or less.
Running is considered a competitive sport with finishers receiving medals and purses with the best times.”
This distinction vividly reminds one of this quote from Dr. George Sheehan: “The difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry blank.”
In The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jogging and Running, Bill Rodgers notes that “The debates about who’s a jogger and who’s a runner are endless and fierce” and adds, “Usually, the distinction is made in a condescending way, with running taken to be superior to jogging.”
Indeed, while it may not be a big question for some, there are those who put alot of importance on being called one or the other. Some runners detest being called a jogger and calling what they are doing jogging instead of running has the same effect. For them, it indicates inferiority.
But is there really a difference? If we say that a runner is faster than a jogger, then most of us would be joggers compared to the elite. “We’re all slower than someone else,” says Rodgers. “So let’s scratch pace as what makes one person a jogger and another person a runner.”
How about distance? How often one runs? Or one’s reason for running?
Not even these would make any difference, according to Rodgers, and cites some interesting examples of elite runners covering less distance and running less often than most ordinary runners, yet they break national records, win major races and are at the top of the game. None would call them joggers. He also talks of people who faithfully put in the miles but who for one reason or another choose not to race, of a two-time New York City Marathon champion who “runs 10 miles most days at faster than 7:00 mile pace” but doesn’t care to compete anymore. “Does that mean he’s now a jogger?”
Simply put, Rodgers believes there isn’t any difference between running and jogging. “Jogging, running – call it what you want. You’ll know when you’re doing more than walking,” he writes.
And beginners shouldn’t feel that there’s some standard they have to measure up to, Rodgers adds. “There isn’t; the only one that matters is your own satisfaction.”
“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.”
Admin’s Addendum: Mr. Caloy Bautista, a Kidapawan native, was the resource speaker in the recently concluded GRC Summer Run Clinic. His personal record as a runner dates back to 1983 and has been an elite runner for his age group to include a remarkable record in Milo Marathon Davao Regional Elimination (21k) and in the 28th Davao Finisher’s Marathon (42k) in 2011. Read more from his running blogs, Starting to Run and Second Wind.