For the Love of God, Please Stop Calling it Jogging

I jogged for years before I felt comfortable calling myself a runner. During that time I often wondered, “What is the difference between running and jogging? Am I a runner yet?” Well friends, I’m here to tell you.

What a relief, right? Because this is important. I think we all understand that running is good and jogging is bad. We all want to be runners. Nobody wants to be a jogger. Therefore, understanding the difference between the two is essential to determining whether YOU are good or bad.

Don’t bother Googling it. You’ll find a lot of wordy and somewhat vague answers. This here is the truth, plain and simple.

Running is fast and jogging is slow. That’s it. That’s the whole difference. But I think you already knew that. The question you were really trying to ask was probably, “What’s considered fast?”

Luckily, the answer to that question is equally simple.

“Fast” is just a little faster than you can run. Excuse me, jog. Try this. Think about how fast you can jog. Then pick any pace that is faster than that. That is the threshold between fast and slow, the difference between running and jogging. Are you a 13:00 min/mile jogger? Fast is 12:55 min/mile. Are you a 9:00 min/mile jogger? Fast starts with an 8.

So you’re a jogger, obviously. And that’s bad. So here are a few tips to make sure nobody figures it out. You’re welcome.

  1. If you’re jogging on a treadmill at the gym, make sure you’re jogging just a little faster than the person next to you. Peek over at their display periodically and bump up your own speed as necessary. Don’t worry too much about pacing yourself or preventing injury. That’s not as important.
  2. If you’re jogging on a trail or on the side of the road and see someone approaching from the opposite direction, speed up a bunch until you pass them. They’ll see you running fast and think that’s your regular pace.
  3. If you happen to arrive at the trailhead at the same time as a fast runner, do a few stretches or retie your shoes while they get a head start. That way they won’t see how slow you are. Fast runners are easy to spot. They’re typically skinny and wear trendy athletic apparel.
  4. Things get a bit trickier if you go for a jog with friends. There’s no real way to fake being a runner, which is why I always recommend avoiding this scenario all together. Make up an excuse and skip it. Anything will do. You have a deadline approaching and need to catch up on work. Your kid is sick. The stroller has a flat tire. You’re on your period. It all works.
  5. If for whatever reason you can’t get out of it, you must – and I can’t stress this enough – convince your friend of how slow you are. Specifically, how much SLOWER you are than she is. Your friend will test you. Trust me. She’ll try and tell you she’s slow too. She might even claim it doesn’t matter. But you and I both know it does. You’re going to hold her back and you don’t want that coming as a surprise. It takes a lot less than an underwhelming workout to destroy a friendship.

I know what you’re thinking. Geez. It kind of feels like jogging is just a word someone made up so we can all feel bad about ourselves. Maybe you’re thinking, “I should just wipe it from my vocabulary and start calling myself a runner. Maybe instead of worrying about the difference between running and jogging, I should just congratulate myself for working hard and kicking ass.”

No, sorry. You’re wrong.

5 thoughts on “For the Love of God, Please Stop Calling it Jogging

    1. I am a big fan of that camp actually. I feel like we’re so often taught that fitness is an all or nothing thing and that we’re not doing enough. It’s easy to forget that moving is really the whole point. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Haha this is such a great and funny post! I done a 10k run yesterday, the first 5k I think I jogged and the last 5k I think I ran. But it turned out I was faster during the beginning. I’ll keep calling myself a runner anyway! Also I love the part about speeding up when you run past people! I totally do this lol. Thanks for sharing 🙂


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