Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Do you Jog?

Even babies put their foot in their mouth
The other day, I was chatting with a good runner friend of mine and I asked (paraphrasing): “How far did you jog?”   Well, one thing led to another and I was back peddling faster than Michael Phelps in a pool trying to get away from the DEA.  It isn’t often that I stick my foot in my mouth, but it has been known to happen.  The thing that I stumbled over?  I always forget that some people have a VERY negative connotation with the term jogging.

As I continued to backstroke, I explained that I don’t really think of jogging in a negative way.  I call any casual running that I do jogging and oftentimes use the terms interchangeably.  My friend explained that she did have a negative view of the term because she perceived jogging to mean either slower running or something that people who are not serious about the sport do (think meat heads or Barbie types in full make up running 1 mile on the treadmill at the gym).  Point taken, lesson learned, shoe leather tastes like steak.


For me, the term “jogging” has nothing to do with speed, pace or ability.  Much like yuppies say about owning a Mercedes Benz: It is all a state of mind.
  • Jogging: Any run that has no pace goal.  For example: “Run 400M at 5:45 pace, jog 200M recovery”
  • Running: Any run that has a time/pace goal. For example: “I’m going to go out for a 4 mile run at 12:00/pace”
  • Racing: Running during a sanctioned event with the goal of obtaining your best time for that day: “Yeah, I sprained my crotch but I’m still going to race the 5K tomorrow.  I won’t get a PR, but I’m still going to hit it hard – just like I did my crotch”
Actually, new rule: If you are wearing a button down shirt while doing it, you're JOGGING


But, even though I don’t have strong feelings, I understand that others do.  Being my own devil’s advocate, one might say “Sure jackass, you don’t care about the term jogging because you ARE fast”.  While that might be true, I’d like to think it is because of my happy-go-lucky outlook on life.  That said, I'm going to try to stop using the term "Jog" in my normal vocabulary.  I really think I'm in the minority.

So, do you use the term jogging?  Give a vote below, I’m very interested.  Furthermore, I’m curious if people get pissed at other runners or friends and family calling running, jogging.  Some people have made entire (hilarious) podcasts out of it.


  • Yes.
  • No.
  • Yes, I will go to the dance with you.

60 comments:

Nobel4Lit said...

I lost meaning for that term after I started training for races... I generally agree with your definition, though!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

I use "jog" and "run" interchangeably. I have a friend who thinks that if you walk ANY section of a race (say, through a water station during a marathon) you cannot say you "ran a marathon."

But she's a little crazy.

JojaJogger said...

Looking at my name you can probably guess what my vote was. (Sorry no one wants to dance with you so far.)

kilax said...

I never use the word jogging. I consider out there moving to be running (when you aren't walking). My your definition all I do is jog :)

I do think it has a less serious connotation than running.

PapaRunner said...

Listeners to @3NonJoggers are kind of stuck here...

Lisa said...

RUN EASY is what I do, not JOG ;-)

Brian said...

I sort of use the terms interchangeably.

A friend of mine, who got my wife and I hooked on running, said that you're a jogger until you sign up for a race, and then you're a runner.

I'm not sure if I agree with that -- there are people who have been running a lot longer than me and who are a lot faster and in better shape who have never signed up for a race.

Alisa said...

I agree with you and don't think jogging has a negative anything. Some days you just want to go out a get a few laps around the block. It's not running. I don't time it or check my mileage, I just make sure to have shoes on.
(And when you pronounce it with a soft j, it sounds exotic and fun.)

ashley (redonk runner) said...

lol.. yea i'm totally gonna be unhappy if someone calls me a jogger! :) i run. lol, maybe it's a girly insecure thing

Amanda@runninghood said...

Great post here Adam...serious...I try not to say that unless I really like the post so I'm not just talking out of my ear. The word jogging has always been tricky with me. I don't like people to refer to my running as jogging. Ha! I never say that I'm a jogger or that I jog. Even when I'm just doing an easy 8-9 min mile pace...jogging just seems so Barbie/pink head band/leg warmer-like. "Come on girls, let's jog together" but maybe I have issues and need to go to therapy and get to the root of my jogging dislike. :)

Shelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shelly said...

Crap! I hit the wrong button. I will NOT go with you to the dance. I'm going for a jog - I mean run - that night.

SupermomE12 said...

I don't use the word "jog" and I agree it brings up mental images of the women in full make up... people who are not really committed. I don't think it has anything to do with pace, just with intention...

That said, I don't get offended easily and don't get upset if someone says jog.

Jamoosh said...

Hmmmm, I jog to the bar; but I run away from danger.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Your definitions are spot on and I use the term "jog" quite often. But usually as a joke to make fun of my buddies.

I will say something like, "You wanna go to the track tomorrow and jog while I run?"

That one sentence is a direct assault on their manhood and I suggest y'all add it to your insult vocab!

P1t0 said...

I consider myself a runner not a jogger. So there for I do not jog. :)

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I run I don't jog. I really hate it when someone says I jog because that to me is a reference in not being speedy. I know I'm not speedy but that doesn't mean I am not serious about what I am doing.

The Banter said...

Sadly, I think there are more powers at work here. Suppose you 'plod' somewhere. Where does that fit in to your jog/ run scheme? If you'll excuse me, I'm going to cruise around the neighborhood. Tomorrow, I'll go for a jaunt, right before the dance.

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

LOVE this post! Reading the comments is really fun.

I don't say jog, and I've never thought about why before.
Jog seems unplanned to me.
"I was out walking my dog, when we broke into a jog."
Run seems like something you put on your shoes for and intended to do. Even if it's short or slow. (that's what she said)

SquirrelHead said...

I have a very hard time calling what I do running because it is at such a slow pace. One day I will be at running pace and excited to be there. At that time I will call it running and not jogging out of pride for improving. :)

Theresa said...

I feel like RunnersWorld actually said it best for once -

If you at all get stressed/anxious/indignant over the jogger/runner connotation, then you're a runner.

Kathy said...

I can't be bothered to be concerned about what people think of me. I did a 10K this last weekend and was 3rd to last. the female winner tried to convince me to try again this november in another local 10k - she was sure I'd do better and was really talking it up. I wasn't about to tell her I have a Ironman planned then but just listed and admitted it sounded like a nice race.

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

Yes, I will go to the dance. Thanks for asking. But I expect an 8th grade hold on the slow numbers. Full arms length. I'm sure Tiffany would appreciate the night off from your antics.

I always say run, but the term jog doesn't offend me. I tend to think of it as casual, not necessarily slow.

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

I'll admit it. I personally use the term "jogging" in a malicious way when referring to my husband's exercise regimen in order to belittle him.

Caroline said...

I never use the word jog...and I do picture a girl in full makeup and heels when I think of jogging
when I suck during some runs I tell myself "you are jogging and you must run!"

Jackalope said...

Jog, to me, has a bit of an unplanned connotation to me.

I have to admit, I'm a total nerd for my hobbies, therefore, I do get passionate about silly stuff like this. I don't just play poker, I go play in the World Series. I didn't just start "jogging", I trained for a marathon, my first race ever. Jogging just has this unserious quality to it, and I take my running seriously enough to never really "jog".

Madison said...

So I don't think there is anything wrong with the word jogging. But I can understand why people may not like that word. I actually like to refer to my running as "rogging" because I run but I am neither fast nor slow.

danny said...

Mr. George Sheehan said something about this.

Cynthia O'H said...

Well, this prompted my Wacky Wednesday post. I linked you in so you should get a few more polls.

Laura said...

I don't use the term Jog...I'm with Lisa - I run easy.
Having said that...all of my running is at a certain pace b/c I use a lactate threshold system...meaning I ran on a treadmill until I thought I would fall off with my blood being taken every 3 min.
If that doesn't constitute what 'purists' call a runner. I don't know what does....

sisurunner said...

I use the term Jog when referring to joggers. My personal definition of a jogger is someone who goes out and jogs JUST for the health benefits and probably doesn't enjoy it. A Runner is someone who wants to run and the health benefits are almost incidental.

Should I wear my pink or white tuto to the dance?

51feetunder said...

Your definitions of Jog/Run/Race are on par with my own, but I don't use Jog very much regardless...mostly because it conjures up mental pictures of 80's headband, leg warmers and short shorts.

In the poll I chose "No" because if I say "Yes, I will go to the dance with you." then I can't ask Susie Derkins to the dance. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_%26_hobbes#Susie_Derkins )

Kristen from The Running Mom said...

I don't have a problem with the term "jogging," but I prefer to say running. I'm sure people would generally consider what I do "jogging" more than "running" since I'm not fast, but I don't really care. And even though I'm not fast, I can still go out and run 14 miles on a Saturday morning. I think that makes me a runner, no matter what my pace is.

This is a really great post! I like your definitions. :)

Kandi said...

I tend not to use the word jog but don't get offended when other people ask me if I'm going for a jog or how my jog went. I know what they mean - no use being pretentious about it.

Morgan said...

Meh I could go either way. If I just raced my brains out and some said, how was your jog I might punch them but if I just came back from a run with a friend and someone asked me what we had just come back from I might say we were jogging. I generally look at it like you do though.

mikemilzz said...

I use the terms kind of like you describe at the end - jogging is something with no purpose or goal other than moving. I don't use that term often to describe what I do, or most of my running friends, because typically there is a pace goal, or some event that I'm training for at the end of the day.

I am mildly insulted when a non-runner uses the term to describe what I do, but I'm trying not to be that sensitive about it. After all I know they don't mean it in a degrading way, and it's all just words. I would like it some day if someone described what I do as 'blazingly fast"...that might make up for all the 'jogging' comments.

Jeanette said...

I use the terms jogger/jogging/jog. I use them instead of runner because I am slow and I still do walking/jogging mix. I just can't come to grips with the term runner being used to identify myself. However by your definitions I would be considered a runner because I do set a time/pace/distance goal especially while training for my first half

gene @boutdrz said...

someone (perhaps Adam?) recently (this spring) posted about joggers being hit by cars, found dead, etc, but not RUNNERS....SO....using that logic, i am a runner. unless i get hit by a car/bit by a dog (he better kill me, too, or else....) at which time i am sure that the press will lable me a jogger.
otherwise, i don't really care which term is used.

Jess said...

"It might be pronounced Yogging. The 'j' might be silent. I don't know, but apparently you just run for a prolonged period of time. It's supposed to be wild!" -- Ron Burgundy

Kovas said...

It appears that there are lots of sexual connotations to the term, so I'm all for it - TWSS. (See Urban Dictionary).

Jen said...

Oh my gosh! There's so many running blogs I've been missing out on! I don't use the word jogger when referring to myself. I like your friends definition of a jogger. Is it just a girl thing? Maybe. I'm off to read more of your posts :)

Char said...

I never use the term jogging. Don't really know why but if both my legs are off the ground during the gait cycle I call it running.

runnerwannabe said...

I use the term jog, because I am uncomfortable calling myself a runner. I am slow, I am just an overweight person trying to become a full on real life runner. I do have goals when running, but I doubt they are as detailed as a real runner's goals. My main goal- don't die of a heart attack. So far so good!

Nelly said...

haha, looks like you touched on a sore subject here! I only use the word run, I just don't like the word jog when referring to anyone regardless of how fast or how slow they are. In my view we are all trying to do the same thing - run!

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2 Slow 4 Boston said...

I always say going for a run, even if it's more like a jog. I guess it's a good thing I use the more optimistic term.

RunFitMama said...

I hate is when people ask if I went for a jog, or say that they saw me jogging. I also have negative feelings towards it, I think because in my mind if I'm "jogging," I'm not working hard.

Al's CL Reviews said...

I figure with jogging, you're smiling, and I rarely ever smile while running.

Most people would say at my pace I'm jogging, but I do not. Although if I run any slower it would be called walking.

Emily said...

I thought of you last night when I went for a walk and pushed my niece in my "jogger stoller". So I guess you could say I use that term. I've never heard of anyone calling those runner strollers. Atleast not where I (we) come from.If I run hard, I say I went for a run. But if I'm just out to get some miles in and don't care about my pace I say I jogged. I don't think of it in a negative way. Regardless of what you call it, you're still putting in miles and that's all that matters to me!

Lea said...

Anyone with a strong negative reaction to the word or idea of jogging is just taking themselves too friggin seriously. Lighten up.

Christina said...

Lea is absolutely right about loosen up but I can't. I'm a runner...not a jogger. When my X said I belong to a jogging club that's when I knew he would soon be my x.

Chanda M. DeFoor said...

A friend of mine always uses the term "jogging" when she refers to my running. It used to bother me when I was slower and just starting out, but now I accept that it's just her culture. She's 10 years older than me, and I think it was popular to "jog" back in her heyday.

Cassy said...

I'm done casting my vote!
I do jogging sometimes.

Cassy from Guitar Made Easy

Carrie said...

The only time I use the word jog is for the "jog in place" reference. Maybe it's a generational thing, I think of leg warmers and Barbie headbands too when I hear the word.

I love all the comments today.

Forward Foot Strides said...

I'm not super fast, but not super slow, but here are the terms I use:

If there is a time/pace goal I call it running.

If there is no time/pace gotal I call it running.

If it is during a race, I call it running.

I'd be reluctant to call someone who was running slowly a jogger, because what if their speed is fast to them?

51feetunder said...

I just came across this running vs. jogging pic and thought it'd fit with your post.

http://www.tumblr.com/photo/1280/5904593100/1/tumblr_lj6jlz5Tlx1qbvkdq

Fruit Fly said...

I've never thought of it the way you broke it down. I hate it when people say it to me. "Did you jog the whole thing?" "How far did you jog today?" Ugh - I HATE it. I always answer with, "I ran "x" miles."

I'm a runner, not a jogger. I buy running shoes. Not jogging shoes. I go to the running store, not the jogging store.... yada yada yada.

At least your way of explaining when/why you use the word makes sense and doesn't annoy me! :)

Heidi said...

I personally do not use the term "jog" simply because my SIL used to always say ... "if anyone calls tell them I went for a jog" - while in fact she NEVER jogged, nor ran ... she walked. She wanted to sound impressive. The negativity sat with me.

Lauren said...

I'm totally late to the party, but I'm going to leave my two cents on this topic anyway. I'm not a huge fan on using the word jog, mostly because of the speed (or lack thereof) connotations. Basically I see jogging as the speed where you can end the...jog with not a hair out of place, make-up unsmudged, and not dripping sweat all over the place. And perhaps it is my age, but I don't think I've heard anyone use the word jog in the past decade or so.

mellehman said...

I have been known to "jog" across a parking lot or through the backyard to retrieve something. But when I go out for a RUN, I am RUNNING, no matter how slow I may be going. "Jogging" is like a mode of transportation for me; it's not my sport/hobby.