Running It Is!

by Benita Zahn

I need a few words to vent. It’s a sign of the times that we want to sound off. Frustration is high because we can’t do what we want to do. But one thing we can do is vent. So here goes.

Why do people INSIST on referring to running as jogging?

Who invented that word?

If you check Wikipedia jogging is defined as “a form of trotting or running at a slow or leisurely pace. The main intention is to increase physical fitness with less stress on the body than from faster running but more than walking, or to maintain a steady speed for longer periods of time. Performed over long distances, it is a form of aerobic endurance training. “

I’m sorry but running is running and walking is walking. That in-between jogging is supposed to be is simply nonsense. For some running at a 12-minute pace is strenuous. To call it something other than running is to denigrate their efforts. And walking at a pace under 15 minutes/mile is power walking, not jogging. In my book, it’s the motion that defines the action.

What got my hackles up over that silly word was a picture in the Times Union a week or so ago. It was of a fellow out for a run. My husband pointed it out, noting what good form he had. But the comment under the picture said, JOGGER OUT ON A NICE DAY. Based on the picture I couldn’t keep up with him. He DID have great form and I bet he was setting a competitive pace.

So what’s this article really all about?

It’s about sharing the love of RUNNING defined as moving at a speed faster than a walk, never having both or all the feet on the ground at the same time. But there’s more to running. There’s the delight of covering miles, quickly, under your own power.

Sure, not everyone will be able to log 8, 7 even 6-minute miles. Whatever your pace, it takes practice, dedication and determination to cover the miles. That needs to be respected.

Not everyone can get off the couch – I realize that. Great. Do what you can. But don’t diminish the accomplishment of those who RUN.

Couch to 5k. Great! But the aim is to RUN not jog. If you run slowly, you’re RUNNING slowly.

I guess it’s like giving awards for participating. Sorry. In my book that only breeds a mentality of ANYTHING is okay. Sorry, No. I’ll NEVER run a 6-minute mile but I surely appreciate and applaud those who can. And they spur me on to do my best. Even as the years roll on and my pace slows, in my book I’m still running.

Look, I don’t want to dissuade anyone from lacing up and heading out, but I think we have to call a thing a thing.

Go for a walk ... at your pace. Go for a run … at your pace. But jogging – I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean.

Before I signoff the Pollyanna in me can’t go without a positive note so let me take a moment to ‘shill’ for the TROY TURKEY TROT. You get the chance to run a 5k, 10k or WALK. Yes, it’s virtual this year but, in a sense, you’ll still be able to race the field and virtually run the course. And the shirts this year are great!

Happy Thanksgiving!

And When October Goes ...
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Runner's Guide to Drinking
And Another One Bites the Dust!
Goals and hopes
The Healthy Runner: How to Cope with Trying Times
Sweet Sleep

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