What’s the difference between a runner and a jogger?

“Are you a runner or a jogger?”

If I had a nickel! People often ask that. Before I took up running, I wondered the same thing. Actually, several basic differences can be found between these two animals. Here are 10 easy ways to tell the difference between a jogger and a runner. (First, let me admit from the starting gate that a few of these points are somewhat tongue-in-cheek. OK, maybe all of them are.)

Was Rocky a runner or a jogger?

  1. Preface – Runners and joggers run to get fit – or at least to make sure our favorite clothes fit. That’s where it all starts for us. In truth, most runners started as joggers. So there’s that.

  1. Purpose – Essentially, the jogger runs to burn calories. It’s simple arithmetic. A three-mile run opens the door to guilt-free indulgence in a cupcake, chocolate bar, slice of pizza, or ice cream cone. Of course, the math estimates are based on individual post-run calculations, and these are often fudged. (Sorry, had to.)  The runner appreciates the calorie burning, but claims to run for personal goals (aka upcoming race medals). But yes, runners love recovery refueling, which often consists of otherwise forbidden foods.

  1. Presentation – The jogger may be easily identified by his or her costume, which consists of baggy old sweatpants or shorts, topped by a faded and tattered tee shirt or hoodie. The ball cap or bandana is optional. The runner, on the other hand, may be spotted from a significant distance by his or her colorful and pricey performance wicking fashions.

  1. Preparations – The jogger hits the pavement casually, possibly glancing at a wristwatch before stepping off for the journey. The runner pauses for at least five extra minutes to queue up music, adjust headphones, and initiate two or three activity tracking devices or smart phone apps.

  1. Pace – Although the jogger and the runner may actually complete the same mileage in the same time, the runner will record the event for personal (and probably public) information. In short, an estimated or ignored pace is a jog. A clocked and logged pace is a run, regardless of how long it took.

  1. Performance – Whether exercising in pairs or groups or solo, joggers don’t seem to care who is watching. Runners often count it as a personal badge of honor when someone notices their efforts. “I saw you running yesterday,” gives the runner a certain “Atta-boy” or “Atta-girl.” Conversely, “I saw you walking,” makes a runner groan, even though we know all runners take walking breaks now and then.

  1. Photography – The jogger will generally not bother with taking pictures of his or her outing (and will likely avoid any possibility of being snapped), but the runner will be sure to obtain a pictorial record of it.

  1. Publicity – The jogger will finish his or her route and hit the showers. The runner will immediately post photos (along with activity tracker screenshots) on social networking.

  1. Pain – Although determined joggers definitely exist, pounding the pavement faithfully while suffering from nagging injuries or ailments, the pound-through-the-pain runners seem to outnumber them. Maybe it’s the calendar calling, as runners often have the prospects of future races pushing them to keep training. Lots of races, particularly marathons and half-marathons, require registrations (and payments) months in advance. That spells a special kind of commitment, even when stuff hurts. (And it does.)

  1. Passion – Here’s where joggers and runners may be on the same page. We’re all out there because we love it – or hate it. When it comes to fitness (and sticking with it), we’ve come to the conclusion that this is something we can stand to do. So we do it. And when we don’t do it, we miss it.

All kidding aside, I think it bears mention that anyone slipping into sneakers and stepping out for a few miles at any pace gets points for playing. Joggers tend to get a bum rap these days, even when they complete the same distances as runners. That’s dead wrong.

And let’s just admit it: Runners are joggers some days. And vice-versa.

We are all athletes, both joggers and runners.

Jogger or runner, if you are getting out there, I salute you. You’re working it. You’re getting fit (or staying fit). You’re burning calories, sucking fresh air, and fighting for your own health. Got get it, gang.
Promotional photo – Rocky (1976) – fair use

Feel free to follow on Twitter. Please visit my Amazon author page as well. And I am happy to share my RUNDERDOG ambassador code for 10% off on Bondi Band Athletic Headbands, Accessories, and Fashions. (Simply enter the code at online checkout.).
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...