Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Running vs. Jogging

“Running” and “jogging” technically describe the same activity. One foot in front of the other, a little bounce, faster than a walk. 

But do not call me a jogger. I am a runner. Even if I’m not running right now. Even if I’m pool-running (notice that I prefer to call it pool-running instead of aqua-jogging?). For some reason jogging implies a much more casual activity – I think fanny-pack wearing, 70s-style-hair, slightly chubby, post-run soda-drinking type of runner (or I should say jogger).

The only time it is appropriate to use “jog” in reference to this activity I love is with a soft “j” on an easy day -  i.e.  Mollie, are you running today? 
Eh, well, I’m sore from the workout so I’ll probably just do a 3-mile yog. (See what I did there? Anchorman.)

But it’s hard to put my finger on exactly what the difference is. I guess it’s a degree of seriousness and respect for the sport. (Plus personal safety – turns out terrible things happen to joggers, but nothing ever happens to runners!)

The jogger/runner difference isn’t about speed, it’s much more about style. So what defines a jogger? I’ll tell you what I think. Doing one of these things doesn’t necessarily downgrade you to a jogger, but if you do a couple then you’re in dangerous territory…

Disclaimer: Things are about to get controversial, so feel free to disagree! And let me know if you have anything to add!

You might be a “jogger” if…

You jog in place at red lights.

You wear shorts over full-length pants. True runners own and love their spandex and have nothing to hide.

Your form makes other runners, and any observing doctor or athletic trainer, cringe.

You make  shoe decisions based on color.

You wear a fuel-belt on any run less than 7 miles.

You wear a running skirt (except for SUAR who rocks her skirt).

You've never run through pain. (Ok, ok, so runners are a little bit stupid sometimes...but that's just how it is.)

You only run when it’s sunny and the temperature is between 50 and 75 degrees.

You ask other runners how long their marathon was. (True story – this happens! Here’s my PSA for the day: All marathons are 26.2 miles. Anything else is a race, but not a marathon.)

You don’t care about competition.

You run without a sports bra (women, obviously). 

You’re only in it for fitness and/or weight loss (I’m not hating on fitness, I’m just saying…), and therefore tend to quit after a month.

More than anything it’s about how you define yourself. I am a runner. Are you?


  1. Hahaha. I love this.

    I would add:

    You call a sports bra a jog bra.

    You talk on your cell phone or text while running.

    You glisten, not sweat.

    You wear your hair down while running (assuming it's long enough to be pulled back.)

  2. I prefer water running to aqua jogging too. Must be an ego thing. Great list!

  3. I used to have this friend and anytime we would meet someone who ran, she would go, "Dash's a jogger, she jogs, Dash, this is "Joe", he runs" Even though I was faster than any guy she'd introduce me to, the guy was always the runner and I was always the jogger. Great list, I hate the word "jog", I think it was originally used to get people to run without scaring them that it was hard work or something. My 70 year old dad just finished a race a couple of months ago and at the finish started very loudly saying, "I wasn't feeling good, so I just 'jogged' it, did you hear me, I just 'jogged', I didn't 'run' it." I was like, "everyone heard you, you are forgiven your time, you just jogged it."

  4. I try not to draw the distinction if I can help it. That said, jogging in place at lights and making shoe decisions based on color had me rolling laughing. Definitely activities for the less serious running crowd.

  5. Haha! This is a really funny post. And let me just say for the record I can't imagine running or even jogging without a sports bra! I'm small chested but still, it would be so uncomfortable!

  6. ohhhh shoe decisions based on color, yup a jogger!!

  7. Totally accurate! Although, I have worn a fuel-belt on a six mile run before. Do I get a pass if I lose my vision if I don't get enough electrolytes during a run? But, I just bought some hideous purple shoes because they work the best, so I know I'm a runner.

  8. Very funny! I totally hesitate to call myself a runner, but I would also NEVER call myself a jogger! So, I don't know where that puts me.

  9. The funniest post I've read lately :) But I don't know where would I put myself... I don't like running at all, but go running, not jogging:)
    Just want to praise your previous post,cupcakes...tried them and loved them. Keep up the good work, runner ;)

  10. This is pretty spot on, but I never ever wear spandex. And i never wear a fuel belt. those things look ridiculous.

  11. Thanks for the comments!

    Wearing your hair down should definitely be on the list!

    And Dash, I would be soooo annoyed if someone introduced me like that!

    It's funny how "jog" has become a dirty word...I think that everyone who knows about running says "run", so "jog" is for the uninitiated and therefore mildly offensive to people who know?

  12. It's really funny, but I guess I've never minded the jogging label. I use it on myself all the time (and I guess, insult my fellow runners in the process). Ooops.

  13. Wearing hair down is a MUST add. Gross.

    I don't usually call myself a runner because I'm not particularly fast. It just feels awkward for me to use that label. I was never on the track team. Yes, I've run so hard that I wanted to puke at the end (or I *did* puke), but my average pace would make your easy yog qualify for Boston. But I travel a decent distance, clear my head, sweat like I've just come out of a pool, and curse the cyclists clipping my elbows on my favorite trails.

    My friend and I call those "yogs" "waddles." When you're not really feeling it, just going easy. Going for a short waddle.

    Remember that the slower people run (or jog, whatever, one foot in front of the other), the more likely they will need a fuel belt for a 6 or 7 mile run, especially in the summer--don't be a hero everyone. Gotta replenish when you're out for over an hour, and some people (raising hand) take more than an hour to run 7 miles. I read a blog of a friend's friend who runs ultras--talk about a quick way to feel lazy and slow.

  14. Hi I need to use this image for educational purposes so if I can that would be great thank you :)