Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is it running or jogging?

When I was growing up in the 1980s, it was popular for people to go jogging. My dad would jog in the park while mom walked the same circuitous path. People would wear jogging clothes like headbands and really short shorts. Today it seems like these same people go running. I have friends who list "running" as a favorite activity, and there are "running shorts" sold in stores. Why has the terminology changed while the physical activity has not? If I had to describe running and differentiate it from jogging, I'd say that running is faster and is characterized by greater intensity. Jogging sounds like it is more leisurely. People run in races; they do not jog.

Ahhhh, so maybe that's it--if one is training for a race, you go running. If you just run for pleasure and have no desire to be competitive, you go for a jog. There do seem to be lots more people participating in races (5Ks, marathons, triathlons) today than ever before. I wonder if that's really true... Being the scientist that I am, I looked for data on this and I found a good source that would at least tell us the percentage of people involved in running today versus a couple decades ago. However, it would take too much time for me to analyze. So, I'll just leave the question unanswered for now.

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