I am a little embarrassed to admit this, but at an event someone said to me “oh you’re the jogger” and my brain went bananas.
In that simple statement, I felt like my years of running and training had been stripped away. Luckily my start line reaction times in both running and quips require a warm up, so I laughed and said “No, I’m a runner.”
The group around us started laughing too and then those who don’t run started looking at each other and finally just exclaimed “what’s the difference?”
Honestly, I’m sure there is a text book definition of what qualifies as a jogger or a runner. I don’t care what that says. I’m a runner.
Jogger doesn’t necessarily mean anything negative, but it certainly has taken on a meaning.
15 years ago, I would have called myself a jogger. I went occasionally as part of my overall plan to lose weight, I hated every step because I stunk and I found lots of reasons to get out of running.
Then a switched flipped and I started to CHOOSE running. I WANTED to run and even ENJOYED it. Thus I think the difference doesn’t have anything to do with speed or ability or winning a race, it’s all about intention.
In fact, I ADORE the way Stuart Hertiage put it in his hilarious article, I am a Jogger:
Much of this, I suspect, is down to dumb aspiration. It feels good to buy a pair of trainers from a shop called Runners Need, because that’s a solidly aspirational name.
Runners Need. It’s an urge. Runners need to run. They’ll die if they don’t.
Meanwhile, if there was any honesty in the world, the rest of us would be buying our shoes from a place called Joggers Suppose They Probably Should. Because that’s the truth. Runners run because they love running. Joggers jog because they love cake and, to a lesser extent, fitting into their trousers.
And he’s right there is an aspirational component to saying I’m a runner.
But I think most importantly it’s a reminder that there isn’t a magical pace at which we transition from jogger to runner. Doesn’t matter whether you run/walk, shuffle or sprint. I think what matters is the WHY behind your showing up and yes…commitment.Stop calling us joggers, please! Here's why we're runners #runchat Click To Tweet
Plus to be honest, every time you say jogger, I feel like I’m about to be on the news!
What’s the Difference Jogger vs Runner?
All I’ve said so far is that emotionally I feel like a runner…so maybe there’s some other science? Some facts to back it up?
After lots of research, the answer is not really. But here are some things I found to make me feel less crazy about my word choice.
From the Jogging Dad:
A runner, on the other hand, associates running with freedom and fun—so much so that he looks forward to hitting the pavement, not only before each outing, but as soon as he gets his breath back after it. It is this psychiatric mis-wiring which warps the mind of a runner into treating the exercise, not as an arduous, lung-busting run that it really is, but as a leisurely, mind-clearing jog that it certainly isn’t.
I AM A RUNNER because my runs have names. I do tempo runs and threshold runs and fartlek runs. I do long, slow runs and track workouts. My runs are defined, even if my abs are not.
I AM A RUNNER because my shoes are training equipment, not a fashion statement. The best shoe for me is the one that makes me a better runner. I choose the shoe that goes with my running mechanics, not my running outfit.
Other reasons I’m pretty sure I’m a runner:
- I lace my shoes a special way.
- I don’t buy joggers or trainers; I buy running shoes.
- I go to a an exercise physiologist to do weird things like VO2 Max testing
- I’ve completed 8 marathons. <<This one alone has to qualify right?!
- I can talk about running for hours on end (just ask David).
- I think prepping for a long run is a quality way to spend a Friday night.
- I wear compression socks and pants like it’s my job.
I think I’ve earned “runner”. I know it’s just a label, but it’s one that I wear with pride. Think out loud with me…
Do you care if someone calls you a jogger?
Do you think there is a difference?
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