Friday, December 10, 2010

That runner vs. jogger thing

Today's workout (elliptical): 25 minutes

This morning Mark Remy posted a piece on Runner's World about how media covers runners as crime victims or crime discoverers. The key point he makes is that newspapers usually refer to these recreational runners as "joggers" and this insults many runners. Before I stopped posting my daily blog on Runner's World last spring I would occasionally write pieces that I knew would generate lots of comments. The two subjects that I could count on for reaction were treadmill running (love it/hate it) and the terms "jogger" vs. "runner."

I'll admit that I prefer not to be called a jogger. The term seems to diminish the athleticism of the sport. When people call runners "joggers" I assume it's because they know little about running. For me the term jogger evokes a mental picture of an overweight, velour suited, slow moving person wearing tennis shoes and carrying a latte. It's a true cliche and if I wasn't so biased I might concede that it's far better to be that jogger than a person who sits on the sofa all day. Still, I don't want to be that jogger and I don't want anyone to think I'm that jogger.

One of  those commenting on Remy's article suggested that a 9:00 pace is the demarcation point between running and jogging. If that's the case, it appears that I often jog without realizing it. It's just a word but it does seem to generate reaction. Next time I'm attacking the rocky slopes and vertical drops at Stillwell Woods at a 9:50 pace I'll take solace in the fact that it's really just jogging.


  1. I am at 10:20 min miles right now and I consider myself a runner. Perhaps I am a "beginner runner." :)

  2. I don't think being a "runner" is about pace. It's about committing to something that's both fun and healthy. If that describes you then you're a runner - whether you run 6:00 minute or 10:20 minute miles.


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