I am telling someone that I am in for sports and spend quite some time outside at a stadium/park moving faster than walking. What is the common word for that? Am I running or jogging? Am I a runner or jogger? Is this somehow related to the professional sport vs hobby?

I've looked through wiki page:

Jogging is running at a gentle pace. The definition of jogging as compared with running is not standard. One definition describes jogging as running slower than 6 miles per hour (10 km/h).

Jogging is also distinguished from running by having a wider lateral spacing of foot strikes, creating side-to-side movement that likely adds stability at slower speeds or when coordination is lacking.

I do not feel confident about what it says.

Here is another version:

Jogging simply put is running in a leisurely manner that mainly aims towards body fitness. Jogging is also known as roadwork.

This sounds more natural but still leaves the question open. There is a feature-comparison included which states that

The best timing for jogging is early morning. The best time for running is in the evening/morning, or during a gym session.

This completely screws my understanding. Oh no, I am not into the medicine and I do not wish to discuss the physical aspects. I just wish to get natural at what people call jogging and running.

Are the terms simply interchangeable in a common talk?

  • In my experience, jogging is a slower, more casual affair, while running is more of a hypernym which covers sprinting, jogging and atheletics. Oct 18, 2016 at 16:47
  • @BladorthinTheGrey In general I got that idea, thanks. Is there a strict line though? Is it wrong to call someone a runner in a situation? Can that cause a kind of misunderstanding? Oct 18, 2016 at 16:50
  • 1
    Jogging is generally considered a form of running, albeit at a steady, gentle pace and as a form of physical exercise. Look it up in a dictionary?
    – Řídící
    Oct 18, 2016 at 16:50
  • @ZverevEugene I would say that running can be used in almost any situation while jogging is more specifically slow and casual. Oct 18, 2016 at 16:52
  • 1
    If you look at someone running, they are trying to cover a distance rapidly, and their strides will be long and their motions fluid.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 19, 2016 at 12:24

2 Answers 2


Jogging is what you do just to get exercise, burn calories, and stay loose. The only variable to monitor is approximate distance and just "how you feel". Pace is not important. In a (40-mile / week) training schedule, much of those miles will be "jogging".

When "running" people often record their pace / distance / cadence with a run tracker app. They analyze this later so they can adjust their training plan.

Finally, when you do "run" it typically goes like this:
(stretch) --> (a little jogging) --> (run!) --> (a little jogging) --> (stretch)

ps: I am a runner (and jogger).

  • I disagree. There are people who run for exercise, to burn calories, and to stay loose. Also the pace is important. If you are going one mile in thirty minutes, you're not running. Jun 4, 2017 at 3:28

I think that the determining factor would be whether the activity is done as training for a competition.

If you are participating in competitive running, like Track and Field events at the Olympics, then running might be the correct term. If you are running a specific distance in a straight line, you might say that you are sprinting.

However, if you just run for fun or exercise, then jogging would probably be the better choice.

  • I see different people referred to as "runners" and "joggers" by police officers and those people seem quite similar to me. One cannot tell if they are training for a competition or not. Still the terms seem to mean something different. Oct 18, 2016 at 16:53

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