Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Runners and Joggers

Providing unsolicited advice since 1996................

Runner or Jogger.......which one are you? The differences can be subtle. Just take a look at the pictures.

The difference between a runner and a jogger is less about speed or effort and more about technique........................and perhaps, a little 'tude. I believe anyone can be a runner and, for that matter, anyone can be a jogger. If, between your natural ability and the fitness that you have developed, you have a 20 minute 5k in you, but you cant seem to drop under 23, you may be jogging. Jogging fast mind you, but jogging.

So, after you have maxed out on natural ability and hard work, how do you find those extra 3 minutes? Efficiency! Technique! Gravity! Physics! Proper running form, an oft ignored part of the equation, is, in my humble opinion, the thing that separates runners from joggers. We are constantly being reminded of proper swim technique and pedaling technique. Why not take that great running fitness and package it with perfect form, too?

I could have chosen a picture of a real plodder, but I wanted to show a "jogger" whose flaws are subtle and are quite common. For the record, both these pictures are from a 5k. One, on a track and one, on the road. So, the "flying ghost" is not simply running 1/4s and "tan-man" is not on the tail-end of an IM run.

Books have been written about the virtues of "Evolution Running" the "Pose Method" etc. and I think they make a strong case. I cant dissect everything in these pictures on a simple blog entry. So, I will suggest that you google the above methods and key phrases like "mid-foot striking", "high cadence running", "forward lean", "lean from the ankles", "feet under hips" etc. And, if I might add; It all begins with posture, starting from head down. Core strength is integral in achieving and maintaining the proper posture and forward lean that it takes to transform from a jogger to a runner.

Gosh, there is soooooo much to discuss on this matter, but this is not the forum. Feel free to e-mail me at

Run like the deer that your grand-pa shot and fed you..............................only faster.



  1. Great post! Just curious - do you recommend the Newton shoes to correct running form?

  2. Lana,

    I think NEWTON's are a great product. However, let me qualify that. I used two pair last year and got a first-ever bout of Morton's neuroma. The product is fine, it is just a bit narrow in the forefoot for me and the combo of the shoe squeezing my foot and new pressure on the bottom of forefoot did me in. I still believe they are a good product and make sense. Now, what I have been hearing lately, is that Newtons are very good for helping those who heel strike, but I was a mid-foot striker to begin with. Thus, it was suggested to me that I probably didnt need the assist. So, I am running in a variety of really low heel, forefoot cushioned lightweight trainers and a pair of Nike Lunaracers. I find the Brooks Ghost to be a really good forefoot shoe.