When does a jogger become a runner and when are you clearly insane

Jogger? Runner? Serious Runner? Or just plain insane?

You put on running shoes you get out there. Well done!  Ever wondered at what point a jogger becomes a runner, when are you considered a serious runner and at what point are you simply crazy?

It’s got nothing to do with how fast you are!

Over many runs and drinks my running friends and I think we have it figured out.  Let me know if we missed any additional questions or categories 🙂

Have a little fin with this quiz (you have to keep score at home, since I am not collecting your data for nefarious purposes 🙂

How do you score points? For each question, read all the answers. Pick the highest scoring answer that applies to you.  For most questions you can score a maximum of 4 points (a couple of questions have a 5 point answer).

Running shoes:

  1. You bought a pair (1 pt)
  2. You have retired a pair and bought another (2 pts)
  3. You don’t know how many pairs you have (3 pts)
  4. You have at least three types of running shoes for different road/trail conditions (e.g. cross-country spikes, ice bugs, trail shoes, etc…) (4 pts)

Workout schedule:

  1. Up to 3 times a week (1 pt)
  2. 4-5X week (2 pts)
  3. 5-6X week + 2-3 strength or cross training sessions (3 pts)
  4. 6-7X week plus 4-6 strength training/cross training sessions (4 pts)


  1. You’ve registered for or completed a race (1 pt)
  2. You have a designated a place to hang your finisher medals (2 pts)
  3. You have a designated place to hang your marathon medals (3 pts)
  4. You have run multiple marathons in one month (4 pts)
  5. BONUS POINTS You are seriously considering the Barkley marathon (5 pts)


  1. You have accepted lycra into your running wardrobe (1 pt)
  2. Your lycra clothes are not Lululemon (2 pts)
  3. You have compression tights or shorts (3 pts)
  4. You have spent >$400 on running clothes in one visit to the store without purchasing footwear or a GPS (4 pts)


  1. You do not run in cotton shirts (1 pt)
  2. You have a designated drawer for running clothes (2 pts)
  3. One drawer is not enough to hold your running shorts and shirts (excluding jackets) (3 pts)
  4. You have more running jackets in your closet and porch than all the other members of your family combined have regular jackets (4 pts)

Cold weather:

  1. You have run in temperatures below freezing (1 pt)
  2. You have run on snow covered roads or sidewalks (2 pts)
  3. Guys only – you know first hand why they make wind-proof running shorts for cold weather (3 pts)
  4. You have put Vaseline or body glide on your face to prevent frostbite during your run (4 pts)
  5. BONUS POINTS You still run outside even though it’s so cold you know your eyelashes will freeze shut (5 pts)

Beating the heat:

  1. You carry water for your run (1 pt)
  2. You carry a drink to top up electrolytes from sweating (2 pts)
  3. You took off your shirt during the run because it was just that hot! (3 pts)
  4. Ladies only – You have put ice cubes down your sports bra to cool down (4 pts)


  1. You got caught in the rain, but finished your run (1 pt)
  2. You went out running even though it was raining (2 pts)
  3. Every layer of clothing completely soaked? Well once you are that wet, may as well finish the run, you can’t get any wetter (3 pts)
  4. Thunder and lightning, hail and howling winds, just a reason to run faster (4 pts)

Running buddies:

  1. You found a running group or regular partner to get you out the door (1 pt)
  2. You know all about the lives of your fellow runners from shared stories on runs (2 pts)
  3. You have discussed bowel movements with other runners (3 pts)
  4. You happily join up with other runners but add on extra hills/mileage on your own after instead of joining for coffee/beers because that’s what your training plan calls for (4 pts)


  1. You have upgraded from Fitbit/Apple watch to a specifically device designed for runners or triathletes (1 pt)
  2. You get frustrated when you forget to change your auto-pause or lap settings for different runs (2 pts)
  3. You have purchased a charger or borrowed someone else’s GPS watch before a race when you forgot to pack yours (3 pts)
  4. You have purchased a new GPS watch before a race because you forgot to pack yours (4 pts)


  1. Ladies only – you have purchased a running bra (1 pt)
  2. You use body glide or equivalent (2 pt)
  3. You don’t want to borrow my body glide, I know where it’s been (3 pts)
  4. Break out the tape and moleskin, Body Glide doesn’t cut it anymore (4 pts)

Toes & feet:

  1. You own running socks (1 pt)
  2. You own compression socks (2 pts)
  3. You have taken off your compression socks because you had the Left and Right backwards (3 pts)
  4. You have lost a toenail (4 pts)

Race Registration:

  1. You have registered for and completed more than one race (1 pt)
  2. You pick your races based on the medals or swag not based on distance (2 pts)
  3. You don’t tell your significant other about races you have registered for until the *right* time (3 pts)
  4. You collect stories of races your fellow runners are doing so you can convince your significant other the *other* runners are crazy, but you are being reasonable in comparison (4 pts)


  1. You know your Personal best race time (1 pt)
  2. You know the per km/mile pace required to hit your next goal race time (2 pts)
  3. You can guess your pace within about 5 seconds per km/mile without a GPS Watch (3 pts)
  4. Who cares about pace, if I’m not giving 110% in my training runs and 150% in my race, something is wrong (4 pts)

Stretching and loosening up:

  1. Am I supposed to stretch? (1 pt)
  2. I try to do some yoga or stretching a couple of times a week (2 pts)
  3. You understand at least two of the following terms: foam roller, myofascial release, dynamic stretching, voodoo band, alpha ball (3 pts)
  4. Touch your toes? Are you kidding, even after a good warm up and rolling session not a chance! Besides I hear that if you are too flexible it can affect the power of your stride (4 pts)


  1. You had to take a break in running because of an injury (1 pt)
  2. You have seen a physio/ART/sports massage to treat an injury (2 pt)
  3. When you train for your next race, it’s not a question of if you will see your physio person but when and how often (3 pts)
  4. You can get a last minute appointment physio person even when they are booked (4 pts)


  1. Vacations are a break from running, but I get lots of steps in! ( 1 pt)
  2. A vacation is a chance to get in a run somewhere interesting (2 pts)
  3. Vacations are selected based on races you want to run… Let’s plan a trip to Chicago in October or maybe London in the spring! (3 pts)
  4. You have no say in family vacations, because you have chewed up all your good will with your significant other by traveling to races. So, to stay in your significant other’s good graces if they ask for a vacation in Hawaii the weekend of your longest training run, you do your longest training run at 4 AM before the flight. (4 pts)


  1. Running gave you a blister (1 pt)
  2. Running gave you a blister but you broke out the bandaids and moleskin and made it out for your next run (2 pts)
  3. Blood blister, ugh (3 pts)
  4. You have popped a blood blister mid-race and kept going (4 pts)

Your attitude towards running when tired:

  1. I got out the door, mission accomplished (1 pt)
  2. I may not feel like running, but I know that after the run I will be glad I did it (2 pts)
  3. Winter miles bring spring smiles, can’t skip a training run! (3 pts)
  4. Embrace the suck! (4 pts)

Running nutrition:

  1. Water is all I need on a run (1 pt)
  2. You use chomps or gels on long runs (2 pts)
  3. You have a favorite gel brand and flavor, but in a pinch whatever your running partner brought will help (3 pts)
  4. You make your own nutrition (gels/snacks) for running (4 pts)


  1. I ran, I earned a treat! (1 pt)
  2. I am going running, better be careful what I have for breakfast beforehand (2 pts)
  3. You’ve started reading articles about what to what to eat during training and pre-race (3 pts)
  4. Unless it’s 1-2 hours pre-run anything goes, can’t get enough calories (4 pts)


0-12 points – good for you for getting out there, but try to find some allies to help you get out a little more often

13-34 points – Great work, you are a solid jogger and hopefully feeling fit and strong

35-50 points – You can definitely call yourself a runner, good luck on your next race!

51-74 points – You take your running seriously, you set goals and go after them. Good luck chasing that next personal best but don’t forget even you need the occasional rest day

75+ points – There is no hope for you, but be assured the rest of us love telling stories about this one insane runner we know….

Here the rest of my running related posts and race reports.




4 responses to this post.

  1. Hmm. 34. Maybe I should cheat and add a point to make the next category. Does age count?! 😉


  2. If the internet had more quality content like this, that would be great.


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