Sunday, August 2, 2009

Runners rule! Joggers drool!

Just kidding. The other night my good friend Dawn (who I see from time to time. Ha!) asked me what was the difference between running and jogging. To emphasize her point, she argued that several years ago, people would go for a 'jog' whereas now everyone goes for a 'run.' Her point being that she did not consider herself a runner but a jogger. My answer was something in my usual arrogant and condescending manner along the lines of joggers are wimps.

Seriously though, what is the difference? Is it just a term of art? Is there a minimum pace to be considered a runner? Do I have to be running races to be considered a runner? Or is it because I try to beat my time and distance? Well clearly pace is not the answer. Sure I can run a 7:30 min/mile 5k, but that doesn't mean my friends who are slower than me are any less runners than me. They're just slower.

If pace were the deciding factor, my stellar 11:41 min/mile pace on my long run yesterday would drop kick me out of the runner category if this were the case.
Besides the long slow distance run is a tried and true training tool. I took this picture of the bridge that dragged my pace down to a near 12 min/mile crawl.

For most people, the difference is a term of art. Doesn't it sound just a bit cooler to go out for a run than to take a jog? Sure it does. On a run, we attack the hills and hit the streets and trails. Whereas, we take a it's a small dog that we carry in our hand.

Wikipedia says that a jog is a slow, leisurely run for fitness that is less stressful than faster running. I like this answer, but does that mean a jogger who 'jogs' to the point of exhaustion is actually a runner. Also, I would like to run injury free, and my running grew from my desire to lose weight. So does that make me a jogger posing as a runner. But what about my chronic shin splints and sore ankle? I push myself to see how far and how fast I can go. I love the feeling of euphoria and accomplishment that comes from breaking a previous personal time and distance. Granted I'm no world beater, but it is cool to see my name near the top of my division in a race. Maybe I am a runner, and probably my friend Dawn is a jogger. However does this make me better or more athletic than her. Absolutely not. My friend Dawn jogs to be her best; I run to be the best. With the exception of the elites, I doubt there is much difference between runners and joggers. We're all trying to be our best, and what we call ourselves is more a matter of self-identification than what others call us. I think most people who know me would identify me as an "A-hole in running shoes," but for now I'll accept "runner." Thanks. Later kids.

1 comment:

RunnerMom said...

The difference between a runner and a jogger is signing your name on the race entry form!

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