Is “jogging” terrible?

Earlier today, via a running forum I sometimes hang around, I came across a post on the blog of some random Crossfit place in Virginia. Succinctly entitled Why Jogging Is Terrible, the author – a chiropractor by the name of Corey Duvall – argues that there is “NO benefit” to running “consecutive distances of 2 or miles at a pace slower than 8 minutes/mile.”

When I saw the link, of course, I rolled my eyes.  I’ve seen my share of ranty screeds about running written by Crossfit folk. They’re usually poorly composed, unnecessarily inflammatory, and designed to make the reader feel like every other activity in the universe is pointless – except for Crossfit! Join our box for only $200/month!

Marketing at its finest.

But I was bored so I clicked over and read through the post a couple of times. And you know what? It wasn’t all bullshit. If you could pick through the obviously biased writing and ridiculous superlatives, Dr. Duvall actually made a few points that I think most runners (and people interested in fitness generally) would be wise to consider.

[Necessary disclaimer here: I’m not a coach, trainer, or medical professional of any kind. I’m just a chick who’s been running for a long time. Also, I’ve never done Crossfit and have no plans to try it, but I have nothing against it. And I’m going to talk about pace here, and we all know that it’s hard to talk about pace without being an asshat, so…forgive me for being an asshat.]

Point #1: From an overall fitness standpoint, most runners would probably benefit from running less – and running faster.

Writes Duvall:

“Let me clarify Jogging.  This is the act of repeatedly running consecutive distances of 2 or more miles at a pace slower than 8 minutes/mile.  If you aren’t running that fast you should speed up and shorten your distance.”

Now, I’m not sure what’s so magical about the 8-minute-mile thing. Nothing, I expect. Perhaps that is the author’s personal threshold for discomfort, or the point at which, in his anecdotal observations, the average person starts to struggle to maintain pace.

But whatever the number is, if you can run 2+ miles and you’re not at least occasionally running in the discomfort zone, you’re shortchanging yourself, fitness-wise.

(This is why I always include short and fast intervals, down to 400 meters, in my training – even when I’m training for a marathon. As my former CPTC coach used to say: fall marathon PRs are built on summer 5Ks. Truth.)

In my own experience, as an active member of many teams, clubs, and training groups over the years, I’ve watched runner friends train for, and run, marathon after marathon in the 5-6 hour range. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m convinced they’d be better overall athletes if they focused on improving their 5K and 10K times.

Of course, everyone has their own reasons for running; some people just like running marathons, and that’s fine! But from a strictly physical fitness standpoint, I think that there’s a grain of truth in Duvall’s statement, even if it’s snippy and arbitrarily judgmental.

Point #2: Couch to marathon is a bad plan.

Writes Duvall:

“I have treated MANY people for issues that are the result of nothing more than bodily neglect followed by abuse.  They ignore their movement systems, create horrid imbalances by sitting around, then abuse these systems by putting it through an incredible load for little to no value; they wind up with shin splints, Achilles tendinosis, “runners knee”, IT band pain, or back problems.”

My initial reaction to this was: NO SHIT, SHERLOCK. You’re a sports doctor/chiropractor guy; of course you see injured runners. The healthy ones don’t need your services.

But then I read the paragraph again, and it actually kind of speaks to something that’s been a concern of mine in the running community for several years, especially as the popularity of 13.1 and 26.2 has skyrocketed: namely, the bucket list would-be marathoner who gets off the couch and decides to become a distance runner and – surprise! – gets injured.

Again: everyone has their goals and their reasons. But distance running is no joke. It requires a great deal of work to properly build up to, and a great deal of training and commitment to execute safely. And even then, experienced runners who do everything right get injured all the time.

I wouldn’t say there’s “little to no value” in distance running. But I would say that it’s generally overvalued.

Point #3: Form matters.

Writes Duvall:

“The problem with Jogging is that people often speed up their walk instead of slowing down their sprint to move greater distances.”

Okay, so I was pretty much a cross-country nerd in high school, and the highlight of my summers was attending cross-country camp. Where we did totally nerdy things like make up skits about running and have granola-bar-eating contests and rail against the injustice that was My So Called Life‘s cancellation.

But we also worked closely with accomplished coaches and trainers, and I can clearly recall that many of them repeated some variation of the above quote, mantra-like, when trying to get us to pay attention to our form.

Without hesitation, I credit these early lessons for the fact that, fifteen years later, I can coax my stumpy legs in to turning over at a decent pace. (Yep, that’s under eight minutes per mile, Dr. Duvall…for a marathon!)

My form is definitely not perfect, and occasionally it’s pretty terrible: the cross-body swinging arms and slumped shoulders are, of course, captured for posterity in those late-stage race photos. But it’s something that I think about regularly, and especially when I’m running hard or doing a speed workout.

Here’s a fact that I don’t think anyone will dispute: When you’re sprinting, you have to be as efficient as possible.

I don’t agree at all with a subsequent statement Duvall makes, claiming that there is no difference between the form of elite sprinters and elite distance runners. (Uh, ask Meb if he’d like to run a marathon in sprint spikes.) But I do believe that the average hobbyjogger would probably benefit from focusing more on form and thinking about posture, turnover, economy, etc in the course of their training.

Point #4: Train to your goal.

Concluding his piece, Duvall writes:

“Jogging is terrible because it does not help you reach your goal any faster than walking, it helps you reach it FAR SLOWER than occasional sprint intervals, and it ups your injury rate to keep you from your goal.”

Right. So what is my goal supposed to be, again?

This is never addressed in the post. But let’s assume that Duvall is assuming that “your goal” is general overall fitness, functional strength, SEXAY toned muscles, reduced weight/body fat, etc.

If those are your goals, then I agree: distance running is a shitty choice.

Distance running is good at training your body for…running long distances. For the average person doing a moderate amount of overall mileage, it’s not the most efficient way to lose weight, get tight abs, or look good in a bikini.

Even putting aside the diet/nutrition issues that come with doing two- and three-hour runs (OMG I WANT PANCAKES AND CHEESEBURGERS AND BEER!), it’s hard to get around the fact that distance training teaches your body to burn energy (i.e. fat) as efficiently as possible. This means it burns as little as it possibly can over the course of your workout. And this is absolutely what you need it to do, if you’re running a marathon.

But if you just want to look good in your animal-print pants? There are better ways to accomplish that.

Which brings me to…

Point #5: You have to do what you like, and like what you do.

The glaring omission in Duvall’s post is the simple fact that some people actually enjoy running.

Running is incredibly simple to do: you just walk out your door and do it. It can be social and fun and is a great way to make friends and meet new people. It can be easy or hard; it can be slow or fast. Many of my friends who do their long runs on Sunday mornings quite literally refer to their workouts as their own personal way of going to church. To many runners, this hobby is so much more than proper mechanics or energy burn rates or tight butt cheeks.

And I don’t think I need to point out that no one is going to charge you hundreds of dollars a month to join their “box” in order to be a runner.

Point #6: Here’s a beer if you made it through this entire post.

Or…um, this is awkward…do Crossfitters drink beer? That sounds so not Paleo.

Just another reason I’ll always be a runner.

60 responses to “Is “jogging” terrible?

  1. As a frequently injured 9-minute-miler-on-a-good-day who could probably hold sub-8 for as long as it would take me to get to the mailbox across the street, my first reaction is: I am glad this guy isn’t my doctor.

    My second reaction is that I wish I’d liked running, or known I liked it, earlier in life, because maybe I could have learned how to do it right. Instead I tried to teach myself, at age 25. The first time I ever ran on a track without being threatened with an F in gym was last year. There’s not a fast-twitch fiber anywhere in my body, and I tend to get hurt after my pathetic attempts at speedwork just as much as I do after tackling a new distance. There’s a lot I have to teach myself about learning to run, and sometimes that trial and error ends with me sitting on an ice pack for two months.

    But weirdly, I accept that, because of my third point: What it turns out I *love* is running distances. Outside. Not in some sweaty gym, not on the treadmill with the TV, and actually not really on the track, though now I do at least see that as a means to an end. When I started running, I worked up to three miles at a time, and I hated it. It wasn’t until I trained for a 10K and hit 5 miles for the first time that I felt that mysterious “runners’ high,” and it wasn’t until I ran 10 miles that I felt what it was like to relax into a workout. And *my* goal is to get to do that for as long as possible.

  2. I cried and cried when MSCL was cancelled. You just outed how old we are.

    Guess what. There is about an 80% chance I will be in Atlanta next December for the national hematology conference. We could meet IRL!! Will keep you posted.

  3. Agree with your points- thank you for re-sharing them in a less bullshit biased way :)

  4. i think this is a great and thoughtful post. personally, i’ve had my best results when i’ve really amped up the speedwork (lots of tempo / interval work). however, i do think there is something to be said for having a comfortable base before you add lots of speed stuff in, and that begins with some slower miles in my opinion! for example, it’s not like i’m going to throw down 10 x 400 a month postpartum, but i might be able to handle a 2-3 mile’jog’.

    also i think having an absolute speed cutoff is silly — really, 8:00/mi for men AND women? young and old? although admittedly i do know i’m in shape when i get my long tempo pace to sub 8.

  5. oh, and YES about #5. the long run is definitely my weekly religious experience. or, it was. i miss it so much!

  6. RE his point #1: I want to know what he means by “benefit.” Because benefit is also relative here. Do you want to BE faster? Then yes, by all means, focus on the anaerobic stuff. But you CAN’T do that for shit if you don’t have a legitimate base. And you CAN’T get a legitimate base if you don’t slow down and get base mileage in. Clearly, you have to do both.

    But like you said, the goal of cross fit has nothing to do with anything running related. I’m paraphrasing. At this point I’m so fucking efficient at burning calories/fat I’m a fat ass who also happens to drag my bloated self in circles now and then. It’s habit. I run because frankly, it’s far easier than anything else. ;p

    • Yeah, that really is the crux of the issue with his post and with this debate generally. How do you define “benefit” if it’s not clear what your goal is? My goal is to run a marathon PR, therefore…I have to lots and lots of miles that are unfortunately slower than 8 minutes apiece.

  7. This is a really thoughtful post. I appreciate all your counter-arguments and I agree with the people above that you added a lot of nuance to what he said.
    I’m glad you pointed out the thing about couch-to-Marathon being a bad idea, as I have always thought so. I wince when I hear a very new runner (training for their first 5K, let’s say) tell me they’re going to register for a half or full marathon in the same year. I’m sure it can be done, but it also seems dangerous.

    Also, I have found that my form improves at a certain speed. There seems to be a threshold at which my legs are more comfortable, even though I’m working a bit harder to maintain that pace. It’s only something I’ve noticed since I worked with a running coach about a year and a half ago, who explained what my form should be.

    But seriously, like you said – doesn’t liking it have something to do with running? If those people just like running a 5 hour marathon because it’s a big accomplishment for them, isn’t that ok? Maybe their goal was never to get super skinny or look a certain way. I try to have lots of goals for my running routine, and enjoying it is at the top of the list. I’m not the kind of runner who wins local races, so if I’m not enjoying it, then I’m not sure what the point would be.

    • Of course it’s OK. I just worry that a lot of people aren’t doing it for the right reasons, or are herded in to marathoning (and half-marathoning) because it’s what everyone else is doing.

      And yeah…I feel like my form improves when I’m running faster, too. Maybe partially because that’s when I tend to be thinking about it, but still!

  8. This brings back memories of my high school xc coach that “Long, slow distance makes long, slow runners” – ignoring the impossibility of “long” runners (what?), it’s true that if you never speed up, you will never get faster. Who knew? On the other hand, after 15 years of racing competitively, it took 2 full years off from running before I started enjoying it again. As a result, I really don’t push myself. The parts of running I enjoy have changed, although I still love that pukey feeling you get after 6-8 400s. Which probably makes me crazy. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my 4-5 mile runs, running a bit sub-9 min miles.
    As for the injuries part – that’s what drives me crazy about seeing everyone and their brother deciding to run marathons. I feel they would be better served by running 5 and 10k races instead. Most people just don’t know how to effectively train for a marathon while taking care of their body. Heck, I probably don’t really either – I get debilitating hip pain if I run more than 10 miles.
    So yeah, I’m with you on your take on the situation. And on point #6. Screw paleo, give me my beer and carbs.

  9. Here’s what pisses me off about Crossfitters- they seem to spend as much time bashing other kinds of exercise as they do throwing tires and jumping around on boxes and such.

    Interesting article and I like your counterpoints. My running has always been cyclical and never super serious in terms of speed or distance (sub-8 min miles never have been and likely never will be in the cards for me). I run because I enjoy being outside and getting my blood moving. That’s it. My goal is not to become an iron-bodied machine. My goal is to stay moderately healthy and enjoy life, and running (alternating with yoga and the occasional bike ride) helps me achieve that.

  10. I just want to tell you that I read a lot of crap in my google reader on my way into the city everyday that I can’t believe I actually look at. Then I read this and I fucking loved this. I enjoyed reading every bit of your post and I think it’s a great perspective. I ran track competitively in hs and college and then tried to get into the whole marathon thing. But my marathon times suck and I don’t think it’s helping me at all running distance. Agree that before you cross that line, you should have a pretty kick ass 5K time you’re proud of. Something I want to work for after I have this baby : )

    Thanks for keeping it real as always.

  11. Thank you, a thousand times thank you for writing this. Had I read your “response” to the article instead of the actual article yesterday, I wouldn’t have started my incensed post on that other board.

    I really enjoy hearing this discussion from an actual, living and breathing (and awesome) runner, instead of someone who is trying to bash a sport he is not involved with for the sake of poorly disguised marketing. And what you say makes a LOT of sense. I wish there were more people around those couch-to-bazillion-k’ers that would give them sound advice, so they make wise decisions about running out of nowhere before they crash and burn and get frustrated. Or worse, injured. And I wish there were more support for those of us out there are are constantly trying to improve ourselves without just hearing “well you just NEED to run faster” (without a why, when, or how).

    My stumpy, post-field hockey-career legs will never take me to a 8:00 pace for my favorite long distance runs, and I could certainly never reach your echelon of awesomeness. But does that mean I don’t love to run? Of course not. And that definitely makes me pizzzzed when I hear someone dismissing my passion because I’m not good enough for them. It certainly dissuades me from ever joining that “box” in town, especially when the owners of said box said “well duh he’s so right, you may as well not even try if you’re not that good to begin with”. Guess I’ll just pour one out for my now-deceased dream of using this CF place as a way to crosstrain between my half marathons this year.

    • I think you had a right to feel incensed. I did, too. Calling an entire sport “terrible” doesn’t exactly set the right tone for dialogue. I just wanted to try to pull what I believe are some of the valid ideas from it, because I don’t think the crossfit crowd is entirely off the mark. It’s just that (the vocal ones) are obnoxious in the way that they present things.

  12. I’m generally not a fan of anyone who says certain types of exercise are terrible and that I should be doing something else. Unless my form of exercise is running while stabbing people, or running away from the store where I just shoplifted, leave me and my running alone, k?

    I can take advice from people who know what they’re talking about, but not those who are trying to sell me something.

  13. This is great. Thank you for sharing your thoughts/counter-arguments based on your own experience. I feel bad for this guy’s patients. Especially if they are runners.

  14. CrossFitters DO drink beer! And we’re not all rich, Paleo-eating douchebags who hate all other forms of exercise. I swear.

  15. Love this post!
    I’ve heard a lot of talk from weight-lifters/Crossfitters/yogis/etc. about how distance running is some kind of fitness myth. I agree that if your goal is to become more flexible or lift heavy weights, running is not going to do that for you (probably the opposite, aside from some leg toning).
    On the other hand, running is what I want to do. I force myself to do some lifting and stretching, but I love running. I want to work to become a faster runner, and I could not care less about how many pushups I can do.
    Also, if your goal is to lose weight, doing cardio to burn some calories should probably be a part of it. Even if you’re running 10 minute miles, you’re still burning calories. (By the way, for a beginner, 10 minute miles might be a really serious workout. 8 min/mile is not a magic #.)
    And, of course, there are some serious cardiovascular benefits to distance running.
    In general, I agree with your comments. In general not everyone is going to enjoy/see results from the same kind of workout, but there’s no reason to hate.

  16. I just came here from a tweet so I don’t know your background (aside from reading your About page) or how much interaction you have with CF or Paleo people in general. While I think society has grown soft and the “everyone is different” excuse is sometimes uttered by those who simply don’t want to try, some of the most vocal among the Paleo crowd are the ones that swear by absolutes.

    I think you could replace jogging with “high rep box jumps” in the “Is ___ Terrible” and you could write up a pretty good piece on how CF teaches you to mindlessly shred your Achilles. Of course, this would be disingenuous to paint a whole community with such a broad brush.

  17. Thank you for the snarky post. I don’t get the smugness of Crossfitters. It seems to be catching and everyone in the blog world is not a crossfit cheerleader. I think it’s a good program but it’s overpriced and the crossfit gyms are inconvenient for me. To each it’s own!

  18. That should have read “now a crossfit cheerleader.” Ugh it’s early.

  19. Great take on that article, Shelby. I read the whole thing, where’s my beer?

    One of my favorite points that you made was that some people actually enjoy running. I have friends who REFUSE to believe that I run because I like it and it drives me nuts. Two of them SWEAR I’m doing it to “lose weight,” which has actually never been the case (though maybe that’s because I just need to invest in a pair of animal-print pants, no?). So regarding the whole “beneficial” thing in the first point, it’s beneficial for me to run for a long time on the weekend, because it’s beneficial that I not spend that time spooning Nutella into my face by the ladle-full. I do that when I’m done running. It’s also beneficial mentally, because I get to process my thoughts…about Nutella.

    Really enjoyed reading your breakdown. Thanks for sharing! And thank you, Brightroom and all other race photographers, for reminding us all that our form sucks.

  20. Great post, and it’s very timely as I delved into the same topic – somewhat anyhow – on my blog today. :-) I know everyone’s running goals are different, but I agree with you that to become better runners, if we want to be better runners, we’ve got to work on some short distance speed in addition to the long stuff. I’m still trying to figure it all out, but one thing I am glad for is I waited until I had a 2 year consistent mileage base before doing my 1st marathon. I didn’t want to be patient, but I’m oh- so-glad I did. Great perspective, as always!

  21. Great post.

    Like you mentioned on the forum, the goal at hand is important. One of my favorite quotes is “keep the goal the goal.” If you want to hit a PR in deadlifts, then by all means, do deadlifts and accessory exercises to accomplish that. Should you train for a marathon AND try to hit deadlift PR’s, and expect to do both well? No.

    What irks me is when people do something they don’t enjoy because everyone else is doing it and if friend A loves running and lost weight doing it, it will work for me even though I hate running.

    I love running, but in my opinion distance running is not the most efficient way to lose fat (as you mentioned) and achieve rock hard abz.

    LOVE the dino t-shirt by the way. The dinosaurs didn’t eat bread, so we shouldn’t either. Duh.

  22. Not to mention the fact that in my entire life, I have never felt as happy as during my 4 and a half hours of marathon running. That sounds like quite the benefit to me.

    I do other workouts for the “efficiency” aspect — strength, intensity, etc but why not run long distances too if you enjoy it and it isn’t harming you? And the way I see it is that exercise is exercise. It is still a good thing. There are many reasons to do it.

  23. Jeez, it kind of sounds like that guy doesn’t like having any clients. Also, re: your comment about having a goal to look good in animal-print pants…the solution to that problem would be to move to NJ, right? I see no other way that that would be possible. :)

  24. I enjoyed your take on the article. I come from a Powerlifting background. I weighed 343 with just under a 2k total as a drug free Masters lifter a couple of years ago. Good, but not close to great. I lost some weight and got bored. In July I started running, for a silly warrior dash. In Jan, I did my first marathon in average time of 3:25:36. I had only done 2 5k’s previous, but used to run decades ago in the Marine Corps. My point for giving my resume? Not sure, all runners do it. Because we are douchebags. Powerlifters tell you how much they lift, because they are douchebags as well. Cross fit folks, was not even sure what it was until I did a little research…seem to fit into the douchebaggery of most amateur athletes. They have folks doing deadlifts and Olympic lifts to exhaustion, without proper form. That is a recipe for disaster. To each their own though. At the end of it, we do what makes us happy. Some folks are better at it, others take it more serious, while most are filler so that those really fast or strong people will have a place to set records. I’m a filler guy, and a douche. Ha.

    • Yep, all types of athletes are all douchy in our their own way. Those SHIT XYZS SAY videos are proof of that. And those videos are pretty douchy themselves.

  25. I don’t understand why everything I read about CrossFit bashes every other form of exercise. If they want people to try it and want to learn more about CrossFit, you’d think they all wouldn’t act like elitist assholes and be a little more welcoming.

  26. Well . . . I’m really curious what he means when he’s talking about goals. Because I personally am not a fast runner. At all. So I guess by his definition I am most certainly a jogger, and my only real goal is to go out and enjoy myself. I “jog” because I love to, and it makes me a nicer person in general. Walking doesn’t do that for me.
    But I do agree that people need to be more realistic about training and such. I know a few people that have gone out and run half marathons without running anything more than a 10k first. I’m sorry, but that is just not a good idea, and not something you should be bragging about.

  27. I think one of the problems that runners run into (I’m so punny) is that we’re told, all you need is shoes and out the door you go! And these days, shoes are debatable. But really and truly, good running requires good coaching. It’s just hard to find that information when almost everything about running tells you that you can do it by yourself. I think that if the benefit of coaches was more widely known and if people felt like they were worth the investment in coaching, there would be a lot less injuries and a lot more PRing.

  28. I hate it when someone who loves XYZ decides anyone who doesn’t love it is a raving idiot who knows nothing about anything! And this happens with everything. Some people think runners are delusional for spending an entire Saturday training for a race they paid a ton of money for. But at the same time I can’t wrap my mind around the idea of spending an hour lifting in the gym – yuck! That doesn’t mean lifting is wrong – it means I am impatient and hate counting.

    What I really don’t get is why those that are different are “terrible”. Why is choosing your preferred method of “happy, healthy, fit, blah, blah, blah” not okay?! I don’t get it. It makes me so angry when people write posts/articles/comments along the lines of Dr Duvall’s. And you hit it right on with Point #6. Sure, running might not make me ripped and buff like Crossfit can, but if I’m counting reps in Crossfit I can’t zone out and create 16 variations of a grocery list like I can running…to each his own, myob!

    {All of that being said – I get that your jabs at Crossfit-ers are sarcastic jabs at the stereotype, so I’m not bashing on you! I love your blog and just needed to get that out there!}

  29. Just found your blog and am sooo glad that I did. Loved reading this post!

  30. >The glaring omission in Duvall’s post is the simple fact that some people actually enjoy running.

    This is a great insight. I got a month at a local Crossfit place off one of those daily deal sites. A friend and I went, and after the intro session ( where they’d also told us about CrossFit Endurance, intended to help athletes complete running races or triathlon), we asked how you’d fit Crossfit in with your other workouts. We were told “you don’t”. The guy we spoke with said his ironman training was Crossfit, and then 1 run, 1 swim, 1 bike a week.

    So- Crossfit can get you to the finish line, great… Except we do our sports because we actually LIKE the sport…

  31. Whether or not long distance running is the best form of exercise for me is irrelevant because I enjoy it more than others. I can stick to a half or a marathon training plan better than I can stick to something that requires me to get in the gym a few times a week. Running 9-10 minute miles has helped me lose a lot of weight and keep it off. I’m cool with that benefit and others that have nothing to do with how good I look in form-fitting clothes.

  32. I agree with Kat ….I think the guy negates proper training education. You can’t just throw on a pair of shoes and run a marathon. I’ve never done Crossfit but from what I hear, you don’t go to one class and come out an amazing athlete. Anything in exercise needs a solid foundation.

  33. Pingback: Jogging Is Terrible? Huh? | Early AM Runner

  34. I’m fairly certain I could show up at cross fit and kick some ass. Most runners don’t just run. We do a variety of strengthening exercises also, but even the ones who don’t are not some band wagon jumping on jerks that will stop working out when our exercise ceases to be “the thing”.
    I am going to slog out 14 miles at a 10 mpm pace and enjoy every minute of it.

  35. Pingback: Climbing the Learning Curve | Red Wine Runner

  36. Awesome post. My coworker is a CrossFit cult member and he’s constantly telling me I should do crossfit and reduce my mileage. And while I’m certain it’s great for cross training, I truly love running and prefer hitting free weights and yoga as my cross training. Oh and I don’t want to pay $200 a month. Plus, I run 7-7:30 miles (depending on the distance) and so I think I’m doing just fine thankyouverymuch.

  37. Pingback: Long Time, No Post | Courtney Runs

  38. Hello fellow Raleigh Runnerd!
    I loved reading this post and don’t have any real opinion of the whole CrossFit movement. My basic idea is whatever floats your boat, which in my case is running. When I began working out, I was way over 300 lbs. As I lost weight I discovered my love of running. I go to the Y and would attend classes that used many of the CrossFit techniques, but branded it under a different name (to avoid litigation). I got a good workout, but got just as beat up doing that stuff as I did running (and was bored out of my mind). When you’re not fit, and you are just starting out, you really shouldn’t be doing CrossFit or a Marathon, you must build a base for your activity.

    To me the good Doctor seems to miss is that running 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles holds more meaning than their distance form one place to another, no matter what pace you’re running. Running a marathon may not leave them as ripped as 21 reps of 185 pound dead lifts, but the sense of achievement that a person gets has benefits that go beyond a bikini body or six-pack abs. I mean we runners will always be linked to Pheidippides no matter how slowly we run our Marathons!

  39. Wow, this jerk’s idea of pace makes me really depressed. By his definition, I “jogged” my 5k PR! My 27:10 may be a “jogging” pace for the author of this article, but it was the culmination of over a year of hard work (including, yes, speedwork) for me! What can I say, some of us just suck. But we have a great time sucking.

  40. Love this post! This guy’s definition of jogging is way skewed. “Jogging” pace varies from person to person. 8:00 pace is jogging to an elite, while for others maintaining that pace for a mile is tough. Jackass.

  41. I pledge allegiance to Shelby. For all of this, but especially for point #5.

    Some days, all I can do is a slow three-mile journey around my neighborhood and it’s all I want to do. After sitting in an office or on a plane for 12 hours, it’s all I should ASK my body to do unless I want to be one of the injured. But I’m one of those “running is my church” wackos, so I’m sure Dr. Duvall and I would never get along.

  42. great post, Shelby! I’ve been a little confused about the whole cross fit phenomenon (i guess I still am, but whatevs…), and although I don’t think I’d ever want to try it, these are good points! I’ve seen my best results when I’m consistently running 10Ks and doing speedwork so I see where he is going with that. But, I’m always hesitant to take non-runnes seriously when they try to talk about running to runners, you know?

    And hell yes to #5. I think running is my form of meditation almost every day, not to mention a constant source of happy :)

  43. I think Crossfitter (men and women) have the ugliest body. Lots of Meat+heavy weights training= big fat puffed body with no grace, definition or flexibility ! As a runner + yoggi, I would never trade my body with theirs !

  44. I’d rather be Runner Donald, than the person I was before.

    That’s all I know.

  45. Pingback: Good Exercise Blogs | The Harmonious Kitchen

  46. I love crossfit…well some of the WOD’s that is… but I think it can be just as insane as running a marathon…no offense. This coming from a crossfit level 1 instructor as well I have run cross country/track in both high school and college. I’ve run one marathon and competed in one crossfit games – both are equally hard to train for and in my opinion equally as hard – just different. The chiro probably sees just as many CF’s with injurys as he does runners, if not more as some of the WOD’s require high reps of certain lifts that some people do not perform correctly, putting them more so at risk for injury… which is no different than a runner with an imbalance. Not sure what he means about pace, but it doesn’t really matter – in my opinion it’s the same wear and tear on the body regardless of pace. On another note, there is a CrossfitEndurance.com and they post daily WOD’s as well as short, long and tempo workouts for Endurance athletes, if interested. All exercise is good – the key is to enjoy what you do!

  47. Pingback: Up the (fake) creek | eat, drink, and run

  48. Hello, this weekend is fastidious in support of me, since this moment i am reading this fantastic informative post here
    at my home.

    My site … работа тестер игр