Monday, January 28, 2008

Jogging or Running?

I have to admit that I needed something to post about. So when Scott accused me of jogging on his blog, I felt that I had to post about that. I won't say I am offended at the characterization but I will say that I feel it is incorrect. From a gut perspective I know that I work to hard out there for it to considered simply jogging. I may be a recreational runner but I am still an endurance athlete. But being a law school graduate and an officer of the court within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (just a fancy way of saying lawyer) I do want to thoughtfully evaluate the situation. I would not want to dismiss it out of hand as much as that appeals to me.

What guidance can the dictionary give me in determining if I am a jogger, heaven forbid, or a runner. (definitions taken from

Jog: to run at a leisurely, slow pace, esp. as an outdoor exercise

Run: to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground.
The definition of jog seems to indicate a reduced effort as I thought was the case.
  1. Leisurely run
  2. Slow Pace

The slow pace might be accusation that might be leveled against me but not for lack of trying. However, slow is a relative and subjective term much as leisurely. However, leisurely seems to be something that is best left to self definition rather than external definition. Whereas, it would seem that the exerciser is the only one in the position to determine if the effort is leisurely. As each persons level of fitness is different leisurely for one is not leisurely for another. For me leisurely these days might be a 13:30 minute pace. However, leisurely for Ryan Hall, U.S. half marathon record holder, I believe his leisurely pace would simply put me in the ground and would embarrass most recreational athletes. I think I can lay to rest, from a legal analysis, that I am not a jogger. As I have turned the definition into a test, I can see that the leisurely criteria fails as this is a self defined criteria where slow may or may not be externally evaluated.

Am I a runner? This is a good question. My gut reaction is yes. Also, if I am not a jogger than wouldn't I necessarily become a runner? Perhaps. What does the definition require:
  1. quick movement faster than a walk
  2. for an instant both feet off the ground

As to the firs criteria, I think this would apply to what I do out there. I move faster than a walk. My fast walk is about a 15:00 mile and I run between 10:30 and 11:45 mile. I think this is not world record worthy, but I still think it is running by terms of the definition. The second part of the test I also satisfy, during my runs I do have both feet off the ground for an instant during my run. I do not think this should actually be required at all times and may actually be impossible during some hill work. But needless to say, over even or downhill slopes, I do in fact become airborne (for an instant).

May it please the Court, defense counsel respectfully submits that the definition of jogger does not apply as the leisurely component is necessarily self defined. Additionally, the slow portion of the definition is vague as to the definer of the slow component. Does it mean slow for me or objectively slow. This is unclear. As such, the jogger definition does not apply.

Rather, the definition of the term run is more applicable to the instant situation. Please refer to the above definition for your ready reference. Run requires speed in excess of a walk. This requirement is satisfied with the current pace of this practitioner. Finally, the movement taken place does leave the practitioner suspended in mid air for an instant. In short, this definition more closely defines the practitioner.

-- Just as I thought, I am a Runner!


Non-Runner Nancy said...

OMG Rob you are such a lawyer. This looks like something my husband would rattle off. Cracking me up.

Didn't I JUST SAY, you know you are a runner when THAT is your cutback week??? :D :D

If you guys would listen to me (you and my husband) I could save you a lot of work.

Just teasing, I think I am feelin sassy from being laid up in bed all day.

Megan Hall said...


An additional piece of evidence in your favor - if the definition of "jog" is to "run at a leisurely pace" then, by definition, to jog is to run. QED.

Rob said...

But it is a leisurely run, and thereby modifies the original word of run.

Since I have taken to posting run information once a week I needed something else to say. This seemed good enough.

Blaine Moore said...

I have a very simple way of defining the difference between a runner and a jogger that I got from George Sheehan. It takes all of the subjectivity out of the argument.

"The difference between a runner and a jogger is an entry blank."

There's nothing wrong with being one or the other. I also find it very easy to differentiate between the two.

Chief Wahoo said...

Check out this article from Runner's World about what makes us runners. It's good stuff!,7120,s6-243-332--12126-0,00.html