Be a cheetah

Jogging doesn’t build strength or fitness - it just trains muscles to tolerate more jogging, and in the real world that’s close to useless
— Grant Petersen author of Eat Bacon, Don't jog.

I've never been a jogger. I'm not talking about the fashion pants or the baby car seat adapter (I just googled that and apparently it's a thing). I'm talking about the perplexing exercise where people just go for a jog. 

I can't remember the last time I went for a jog [scratches head]. But I am working on improving my memory at the moment so I'll get back to you if I find some jogging memories tucked away somewhere in my brain. 

I've often wondered why I don't find jogging fun. There's a social media quote I love "I don't know why people say mean things like try this kale or let's go for a jog." I have nothing against jogging or joggers. I'm just more of a short n' speedy kinda person when it comes to moving. 

I've been thinking about starting to jog to work for the past month. Then I was in the bookstore last week and noticed 'Eat Bacon, Don't Jog' by Grant Petersen. I bought a copy and WALKED home with it (actually I scootered home so that's not entirely true). 

It's a no nonsense guide to diet and exercise. Easy to read with quirky illustrations. My type of novel. I skipped to the chapter titled 'Don't jog' where Grant says that humans are the only animals silly enough to jog. There's no animal equivalent. (I did just had a thought that maybe whales would jog if they could walk on land... But it might be more of a leisurely walk?)

Jogging has no real world application. You don't jog away from danger "I'm just jogging to save my life!" or to catch the bus that is about to leave your stop. 

Too much jogging (we're talking hours a week) can have a negative effect on the body. It releases stress hormones that end up breaking down muscle fibres. This is why marathon runners tend to be slim & wiry folk.

Grant is a real advocate of the benefits of short, intense bursts of exercise. The type that leaves you collapsed in a pool of your own sweat, gasping for air. And the proof is in the kale pudding. If you think about the type of athletes with awesome looking bodies you probably don't immediately think about runners UNLESS they're sprinters.

The bodies of gymnasts, boxers, track & field athletes and table tennis players (well, maybe not the later) are all shaped by short, explosive bursts of exercise. And given I'm already a tall, lean bean, I think I'll stick to my tennis and interval training in the gym. 

I guess I'm thinking that if you really don't enjoy jogging but you keep doing it because you feel like it's hugely beneficial, then maybe reconsider or reduce the frequency. This is perhaps most relevant to people who are trying to shed some serious weight.

Why not try some short explosive sprints instead mixed with some simple but effective bodyweight exercises. A few minutes of challenging, dynamic & technically rock-solid exercise just might yield better results AND reduce/help prevent injury.

From a sports science & physiotherapy point of view there's a real science/art to jogging pain free. Most people just toss on their runners and hit the pavement. But if you're serious about taking a long term approach to your running then it's worth taking the time to proactively prevent injuries. If this is you then order a copy of another book 'You can Run Pain Free' by Brad Beer. It's a fantastic resource by a world renowned expert on the topic of running. 

Of course, if you love to jog then keep it up! Just take a minute to consider if it aligns with your fitness goals and isn't leaving you tired and injured. And to finish, here's a photo of me appearing to be jogging. In actual fact I just ran towards to camera a few times in an effort to look sporty. 

Do you find jogging a struggle? Or do you love it? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below.