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Difference Between Jogging & Running

author image Tammy Dray
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.
Difference Between Jogging & Running
Jogging and running share some characteristics. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The difference between jogging and running is not clear-cut. In fact, the words are often used interchangeably, so for most people, it boils down to semantic. However, sometimes semantics are important—the main difference between running and jogging is intensity. Runners sometimes jog for a while before a race or a long run to get their muscles loose.

The Definition, or Lack Thereof

At what point do you go from jogging to running? Around 6 MPH, according to conditioning coach Mike Antoniades in a BBCSport article. Others have less strict definitions, claiming that jogging is something you do when you're just running casually, while running occurs if you're participating in a race or serious training.

Form Differences

If you analyze the difference in form between runners, you'll quickly see that joggers have a difference look than runners. Joggers tend to have a bouncier movement when they move, while runners have a steady rhythm that includes longer steps and faster arm swing.

When you’re running, the position at which your foot strikes the ground is important in avoiding injury. The ball of your foot — not the heel — should strike the ground first. Although the same is true when you’re jogging, a mistake when you’re running is more likely to cause an injury because your foot is hitting the ground harder and more frequently.

Effects on the Body

If you run — that is, if you go at least 6 MPH — your feet will touch the ground more often than if you jog. This can be hard on the knees and other joints, particularly if you trail run on uneven terrains. Jogging, on the other hand, shouldn't damage your joints.

However, when it comes to cardiovascular and weight-loss benefits, running — particularly high-intensity intervals — comes out on top over jogging. However, to make a significant effect, you have to push yourself. Aim to run at 85 to 90 percent of your max heart rate, taking the talk test to measure intensity. If you can only speak a couple words, rather than have a conversation, you're probably going hard enough.

Caloric Burn

As for calorie burning, running is more effective than jogging. The speed at which you run also affects calorie burning. A 155-pound person will burn 563 calories running an hour at 5 MPH, 880 calories running at 7.5 mph and more than 1,000 calories at 9 mph or faster. Jogging will burn about 492 calories per hour.

However, these numbers are just estimates. While weight has the biggest impact on the number of calories you burn during a running or jogging session, your age and gender can impact it, too.

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