Pace or running speed is often said to be determined by 2 things: steps per minute (SPM) and stride length. Both are affected by gender, age and natural talent, etc. Ive read that most people run in the range of 160-220 SPM, with serious athletes and elites usually running 180+ SPM and SPM < 150 being considered a loping gait or what some would classify as a jog where the flight phase that Ollie mentioned before is greatly reduced.
That would seem to make sense. I am a short person, 53 with a 28 inseam, who often appears to be running while someone who is, say, 6 or taller may appear to be jogging at the same pace because he or she is taking much fewer SPM. Clearly, a longer stride length is allowing the taller person to cover the same distance in fewer strides so in this case absolute pace is not a good measure of running vs. jogging.
But what about perceived effort, a non-technical measure that many use to gauge whether theyre running or jogging? When I participate in cadence runs at the standard 180 SPM 36 double time strides (9.78 min/mile pace), I feel like Im pretty much jogging because both the SPM and stride length are very close to my natural easy running gait and I can sing/yell along easily. Newcomers who are attracted by the slow pace often find themselves out of breath because theyre not used to the relatively fast leg turnover rate, abbreviated stride lengths or singing/yelling while they run. Many of them can actually jog at a faster pace on their own.
So run or jog, I just try to get to the finish line the best I can. If I can feel like Im jogging while Im running, so much the better!!!
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