Sunday, July 18, 2010

Runner or Jogger?

I confess this is not an original thought of mine, but has been bouncing around in my head since I was re-reading a rather old issue of Runner's World. I'm sorry that I didn't note the issue date, and I can't find it online, but there is a similar piece here.

The question is, how fast do you have to be, to call yourself a Runner rather than a Jogger? For someone like me who never seems to do any great distance faster than 10-minute-mile pace, and in which every single candid "race" photo makes me look like I'm out for a somewhat sweaty walk, the topic is extremely pertinent.

The columnist's answer surprised and comforted me, and I'm hereby adopting the viewpoint that running is about attitude, rather than speed...
  • If you're out to accomplish something, you're probably a runner.
  • If you're seeking to improve in some way (no matter what your starting point), you're a runner.
  • If you haul yourself out of a cozy bed before daylight, because it's important you don't miss a session (even if that session is 3 miles which take you 33 minutes), you're certainly a runner.
  • If you sulk when you get injured and get antsy not lacing up your shoes for a week, then you're most definitely a runner.
So to all those runners who take 5 hours for their first marathon, I salute you. Even if I take 5 hours 55, I'm still calling myself a runner.

What do you think? Does speed matter, or is it all a state of mind?

Image thanks: Mike Lockett


  1. You're a runner! I'm a runner! We work too hard to call ourselves anything less :)

  2. Oh, the age-old question... I know 'runners' who have quit running because they aren't speedy enough any more and it embarrasses them. Serves them right, I say, for being such snobs. I think both runners and joggers deserve credit for trying to stay fit - even if only for vanity's sake. I call myself a runner even though I'm more of a plodder. Actually, last time I was at the GP, the nurse did a double take at my resting heart rate -- 43 -- and she called me an athlete!.

  3. You're a runner! I mean, I am a runner (at least according to my vocabulary) and my three miles often takes longer than 33 minutes. Smile.

  4. Definitely a jogger! I wish I was a runner though :)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin