The Jersey Shore is well-known for its Guidos and Guidettes, but there are more horrific things down at the beach than Snooki and “The Situation.” “Painful Jogger Syndrome” is on display everywhere you look this Fourth of July weekend.

Do you know what a Painful Jogger is?  My bet is you do, but just never thought of the term. A Painful Jogger is the typical jogger, you see them on the roads and beaches, boardwalks and tracks all across the country.  It’s really hard to know where to start as far as picking the biggest flaw in the Painful Jogger’s “form.” The general “bad stride” kind of sums it up, but there are many elements that contribute to this designation.

The Painful Jogger (PJ) has a heavy stride and you can hear them running even if they weigh 100-pounds, doesn’t lift their knees, swings their leg from the hip, has poor upper body mechanics, displays Valgus deformity, “runs” with a short stride (my kids say PJs run like they have to go to the bathroom).

World-class sprint/jump coach and biomechanics expert Frans Bosch says, “Distance runners are sprinters with bad form,” so send him your hate email.  But I agree. Frans also likes to point out that humans are the only animals who choose to run more than 100 meters.  He says other animals are smart enough to give up the chase after running a short distance. 

I agree, but remember, look him up and send him your disagreements. Jogging, yogging or slogging doesn’t help you, doesn’t improve your fitness. It just beats you up.   Impact forces on the body are three times that of body weight with every step you take, every move you make.

So if you weigh 100-pounds, every step results in at least 300-pounds of force being applied to your bones, ligaments and tendons. Take 140 strides per minute for 30-minutes and you’re stressing your body to the tune of 1,260,000 pounds. 

A Boeing 747 weighs 900,000 pounds when it’s all loaded up for take-off. Look at Tiger Woods jogging in the picture.  One of the biggest unanswered questions in the whole Tiger Woods saga – his injuries, not his personal life – is just why in hell was he doing distance running?  I defy any so-called “expert” to explain why Woods should distance run. But that’s grist for a different mill.

So this Fourth of July holiday weekend go for a nice brisk walk instead of jogging. Whether or not you are down the Jersey shore, your body will thank you and you’ll look – and feel – much better for doing it.


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