I have been asked countless of times the difference between jogging and running. An interesting question. In fact, I even asked one of the running masters about these two terminologies.
The difference, I was told, lies in the number of minutes per kilometer. It means, you are a runner if you have a pacing of five or faster minutes per kilometer. If pacing between six or seven minutes per kilometer, it means you are a jogger.
I run slowly, with a pace of six to seven minutes per kilometer. Does that mean, I’m a jogger? I don’t see anything wrong with being a jogger. This reasoning bothered me though. I train. I do long runs. I register and join races. Okay, let’s not be too emotional about it. I know you’re doing your runs. You’re serious about your training. You’ve run more than 20 races last year, la la la.
To pacify our running soul, dear readers, this is what I’ve found from my readings.
Jogger. One who never participates in races.
Runner. Someone who runs. (But joggers also run. Duh!). They are the ones who join races, train regularly and prefer to be called runners regardless of their pace. (Please see also my previous post, Five Stages of a Runner)
The late Dr. George Sheehan, Runner’s World columnist, wrote that the difference between a runner and a jogger was a signature on a race application (Sheehan. Runner’s World. 19 Sep. 2007). In addition, if training motivates you to participate in an organized running event, then, you are a runner. And if you are willing to take the risk of contaminating your name and be a part of a running community no matter what your time or pace may be, then, definitely you are a runner. Halleluiah! Even if your name appears last in the list and finishes a race, my goodness, you have a reason to celebrate. You are a runner!
Dear readers, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that if you’re a jogger there’s something wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with being a jogger. If you are fully convinced that you are a jogger, so be it. If you’re a runner, I respect that. You are what you are and no one can take that away from you. Whether a jogger or a runner, the most important thing is, you’re out there enjoying the scenery, harvesting the benefits of exercise and, of course, meeting people whose enjoyment lies in moving their two happy feet.