Within the context of running marathons, I consider myself a runner, but I often wonder what makes a runnner a runner (as opposed to a jogger or something else). I've seen some articles and discussion on this in Runners World and other places that try to put a running time on this as a determinant. And I'm slooow. I can break a 5-hour marathon, and am working on breaking 4:30, but I doubt I will ever break 4:00. Forget Boston (until I'm too old to care maybe). On the other hand, I run 30-35 miles every week. I participate with a training group (someone has to tag along at the end!). Am I not a runner? Maybe not.
What separates a runner from a jogger, to me, is a sense of improvement. I am betting you track your mileage in a training log and note improvement, whereas a jogger goes out and runs and just does it to stay in shape. They get in their thirty minute jog and they are good. A runner has a plan. They are going to do this workout today, and they are getting ready for "X" race. George Sheehan said, "The only thing that separates a runner from a jogger is an entry form". I have nothing against joggin, but I prefer to be a runner. I don't think you have to put a time requirement on it. Being a runner is a mentality.
Act like a horse. Be dumb. Just run.
- Jumbo Elliot
Smile, it confuses people.
I've noticed this seems to be coming up more and more. Personally, I think it is up to the person to define what they are/aren't. I run because I love it - no training plan involved. To me having a training plan would make running more like work (I have to run "X" miles today/this week; I have to cross train "X" days; etc.). I run where, when and how I feel like. To many that makes me a jogger which is fine by me. When I line up (at the back of the pack) for a race, I know I will have fun. It's all good.
Joggers run for fitness, run the same course, and do not strive to improve. A runner runs competitivally, against themselves, their abilities and their fastest times. A runner always strives for improvement and is up for new challenges, such as new courses. A runner also runs for the sake of running not for fitness, to lose weight, attension, or anything else.
Pearl Izumi has an interesting (and rather polarizing) take on the subject: http://www.wearenotjoggers.com/home
I happen to think that being a runner isn't a speed issue, it's about being willing to put in the effort and time needed to prepare your body to perform at a high level. Being a runner means having a purposed-based training plan (utilizing a variety of different types of runs) for achieving your goals. Being a runner means heading out the door on days when your body is tired and the weather is poor. Being a runner means rehabbing through injuries and setbacks, not giving up. Being a runner is about pushing your body and seeking continued improvement. Steve, it sounds like you are a runner.
My dictionary agrees with you; "to move swiftly on foot so that both feet leave the groundfor an instant during each stride"; and it has this to say under jog; "to run in such a way for sport or exercise"- clear as mud. I guess I'm both.
Heading out the door when tired/weather is poor - check
Rehabbing through injuries; two knee surgeries, one vascular surgery - check
Pushing my body - kind of check
Training plan - Whoops!
I would add; runs because he/she likes to - check. There is something about that little extra you give at the end of a race or tough training run that I can't describe to my non-running friends and family. Hey, I may not be a runner to some but I agree with Jay. Steve, sounds like you are a runner to me.
Wow -- read the Pearl Izumi bit -- running at the speed of chit-chat? I'll never by their shoes! (just kidding). Very polarizing. So as I read it, I have a plan with a mix of tempo, interval and distance runs (marathon training) which increase over time, I often run when I don't feel like it, I never take enough time off to let injuries heal, and, my feet do indeed both leave the ground occasionally during a run! I guess I'm a runner, though I absolutely do chit-chat during my long runs. Otherwise I would be bored to tears. And I'm slow as molases. Sometimes I feel like a runner; sometimes I don't.
ACTIVE is the leader in online event registrations from 5k running races and marathons to softball leagues and local events. ACTIVE also makes it easy to learn and prepare for all the things you love to do with expert resources, training plans and fitness calculators.