Is “Jogging” A Fighting Word?

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jan. 1, 2012
  • Updated Jan. 1, 2013 at 1:01 AM UTC
The word "jogging" has taken on a negative meaning lately. Photo:

Some would say, “yes”.

In the 1970s, throwing around the word “jog” wasn’t a big deal. Even elites went “jogging”, but nowadays, the word has taken on a different tone.

Many runners avoid the word. Apparently, it harkens back to a day when pants were called “slacks.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently explored the term. They note that none other than Arthur Lydiard, one of the greatest coaches of all time, called running “jogging”.

In fact, Bill Bowerman, Steve Prefontaine’s coach even wrote a book with that word for a title.

“Jogger is still is used in newspapers as a synonym for runners (“Jogger chased by mountain lion,” Denver Post, Dec. 22; “Escaped emu follows jogger through streets of Virginia Beach,” The Daily Press, Dec. 14),” writes the article’s author, Jen A. Miller. “But within the running community, jog became an unfortunate dividing line.”

Miller goes on to point out that the term “jog” was used to describe periods of easy running between sprints.

For More:

FILED UNDER: News TAGS: / / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter