Thursday, 24 April 2008


Not necessarily in that order, but I’ve wondered about the transition zones and, in particular, whether the run/jog question depends on the individual. I used to believe only two methods existed: either you walked or you ran. And without the benefit of a degree in kinesiology, most people if put to the test would agree on which is which just from watching. However, watching the Olympics some years back introduced me to the sport/pastime/athletic endeavour of race walking, a seemingly mechanical or robotic approach to moving quickly. No matter how often commentators explained the rules – I think a part of one foot must always be in contact with terra firma – it remained a mystery how the sideline referees managed to detect rule violations on route. Even with the benefit of slow motion, spotting violations appeared difficult and I began to suspect the officials were surgically altered with eagle eyes. Besides I can’t help thinking the awkward motions must put undue strain on body parts. It does, however, suit the description of a transition between jogging/running.
Most runners I’ve talked with seem to agree a difference exists between jogs and runs, although most of the explanations tend to a personal view rather than based on science. For some time, my division rested on the amount of bobbing I witnessed in other runners – if up and down motion seemed almost greater than forward motion; then I described it as jogging. With faster forward movement and the upper body seemingly almost stationary above the churning legs, I elected to call it running. My system works well when viewing other runners, but was difficult to apply to myself. I’ve heard others try to base the transition on pace which is okay if comparing high to low, but as one approaches the middle this begins to get fuzzy. Finally, I settled on taking note of how my body would sway slightly from side to side when I went for slow runs and opted to call this point the transition from running to jogging.
Since I don’t race the question is solely academic, merely another random thought momentarily bouncing around my brain cavity until it fades and ends up replaced by important concerns such as ‘what’s for dinner’.

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