Horse Running - Edward Muybridge
Horse Running - Edward Muybridge

Running is by definition the fastest means for an animal to move on foot. It is defined in sporting terms as a gait in which at some point all feet are off the ground at the same time. It is a form of aerobic exercise.



Jogging is a type of slow running that was previously called "roadwork" when athletes in training, such as boxers, customarily ran several miles each day as part of their conditioning. In the 1960s or 1970s the word "roadwork" was mostly supplanted by the word "jogging" and this form of running became quite popular among many people at that time in the United States. Jogging is a "high-impact" exercise that places strain on the body, notably the joints of the knee. This is actually one of the basic reasons for doing the exercise, as the impact drives growth processes in the body. Some dropped jogging in order to take up "low-impact" exercises such as stair climbing. Jogging can be combined with other kinds of exercising. Special trails that combine them are called trim trails.

Competitive running

Perhaps the most basic of athletic contests, running races are simply contests to determine which of the competitors is able to run a certain distance fastest. Today, competitive running events make up the core of the sport of athletics.

Running competitions have probably existed for most of humanity's history, and were a key part of the ancient Greek Olympics, as well as the modern Olympic games.

Events are usually grouped into several classes, each requiring substantially different athletic strengths and involving different tactics, training methods, and types of competitors.

Running affects not only the body, but the mind as well. Runners who finish a great run are often said to have a "runner's high" - a strong feeling of accomplishment and pride. Some sources point to the origin of a runner's high being increased endorphin production as a result of exercise.

Running injuries

There are many injuries associated with running (due to being an high impact activity). Common injuries are "runner's knee" (pain in the knee), shin splints, pulled muscles (especially the hamstring), "jogger's nipple" (soreness of the nipple due to friction), twisted ankles, and Iliotibial Band Syndrome. The most common running related injuries are due to over-use. Repetetive stress on the same tissues without enough time for recovery or due to improper form or muscle imbalances, leads to many of the above. Generally these can be minimized by warming up beforehand, wearing proper running shoes, improving running form, performing strengthening exercises, and getting enough rest.

Types of running events

Classification of running by distance

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