Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's Official, I'm a Wogger

I'm a jogger.
I'm a slogger (slow jogger). 
Actually, I think it's official, I'm a wogger.
Wogger = walk-jogger. 

Sad, but true. I used to be a runner.  I ran with a spring in my step, jumped over logs, bounded over streams, danced up hills, and ran swiftly down ravines. It was fun. Heck, even when doing ultramarathons, I still felt like a runner.  I may have been slow, but who isn't when they are "running" 50K or 50 miles on trails?  At least I was tough and persevered. And if I was doing a short run, I had a touch of speed. Not super fast, but you'd have to put in some effort to overtake me. That was then...this is now.

Lately I'm not even fast enough to be considered a jogger.  At least joggers lope along at a steady pace without walking every freaking hill. At times I might be a slow jogger...but it's not long until I enter that walk phase and have transformed from jogger to slogger to wogger.  Let me introduce myself...I'm Chris the Wogger.  I walk, then jog, then walk, then jog. Eventually the jog becomes a "slog"...but the walking breaks still occur.  Sad. I'm not a runner anymore.

Sure, there are tons of excuses. The weather has been dreadful. Hot. Humid. Sunny.  Everyone slows down...but not everyone becomes a wogger!  I was the last "finisher" among my buffalo friends this evening. A single 5-mile trail loop and I can't keep up with the elderly, the injured, the kids. Even the buffalo that ran an early loop still wooped me. Of course, they are all runners and I'm a wogger.  Pretty soon I'll be walking with poles to assist me. Sad.

But not for long. I will be a runner again.  And the metamorphosis won't take long.  It begins on August day after the Howl at the Moon 8-Hour race.  I'll continue to slog along for 2 more weeks. Easy, slow, long, heat-riddled runs jogs. It's too late to change my training and race strategy. But after August 13, things will change.  No more listening to "Coach Jeff."  No more Maffetone heart rate training based on anecdotes. I still believe in effort-based training, but it's time to go with real coaches and science...I'm going with Arthur Lydiard and Roy Benson. There is a time and place for easy runs--but even recovery-style runs are at heart rates above 180-age (Maffetone rule). How about 65-70% of heart rate reserve?  Still easy, still aerobic, and still in the fat-burning zone, but with enough stimulus to actually assist in recovery and build a bit of aerobic capacity.  Of course, there will also be regular running in higher HR zones to improve running economy, lactate threshold, and VO2 max. Doesn't that sound wonderful?  Soon I will again be a runner!

NOTE: There is nothing wrong with being a walker. Or jogger.  Or hiker.  I simply prefer being a runner.


legendary said...

I hear u !!
That's the way I feel to .

Chris said...

I realize we all suffer in this heat...but it sure seems personal, eh? See ya soon at Howl.

ed said...

I'm one too. I like hills on trails so I can justify some of the walking to myself.

I'm looking at early signup for Potawatomi for motivation, any plans that far ahead?

Chris said...

Hi Ed,

I plan on doing the 50 miler at Potawatomi next year. I'm just not "up" for a 100 miler that early in the season. Usually too hard to get the long runs in during the winter. I do a Fat Ass 28 miler in January, then the LBL race in March. That should be enough for the 50 miler in April.

Janice said...

I have also found myself becoming a bit of a wogger on the trails in the high heat and humidity. I need to train more hills for sure. I fully believe wogging is temporary. I keep working at it and walk fewer hills each time out. I've seen some awesome runners turn to woggers in hot, steamy, hilly conditions. Nothing to worry about:)

Chris said...

Thanks Janice. Yeah, I suppose this is temporary. Won't be too long and we'll all be complaining about the cold winter weather! At least you can add more and more clothes to keep warm.

jeff said...

don't worry chris, were all "woggers" compared to world class runners....its all, 15 day forecast shows low 60's on August 12.

Chris said...

I'll believe that forecast on August 12.