Saturday, April 7, 2018

Why Plogging Won't Work

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ogging combines jogging with picking up litter.  It started as an organised activity in Sweden around 2016 and spread to other countries in 2018, following increased concern about plastic pollution. As a workout, it provides variation in body movements by adding bending, squatting and stretching to the main action of running.


Before you write me off as a grumpy old naysayer, let me begin by saying I think plogging is a wonderful idea; it promotes a positive lifestyle and demonstrates pride in one's  community.  I encourage all joggers to plog on!

It just doesn't work for me.

My friend Tim drew my attention to plogging several months ago. He suggested I blog the plog craze. I flipped it back to him suggesting he write a guest blog on the topic which was met with a cacophony of crickets.

First up, I'm a runner, not a jogger.  I set difficult goals and work for months in horrible conditions to achieve my goals. My schedule calls for up to five runs a week ranging from speed to hills, to tempo to distance.  I plan my runs to minimize the inconvenience on my family and professional obligations. 

I run. I do not jog.

When I run tempo my mind is razor focussed on cadence.  When I run hills I am wary of my footing and continuously adapt to conditions uphill and down.  On distance runs my mind wanders as I slow focus on endurance and energy conservation. I cross train twice a week at Good Life Body Pump. To work in garbage picking to an already busy schedule, is simply not going to happen.

Have you seen Winnipeg in the springtime?  It's filthy! The clean up is beyond the scope of any single group.  The City requires professional cleaning services on a massive scale. No amount of plogging will put a dent in spring cleanup.  At best plogging is a feel good activity and at worst it's a danger for infection and contamination.

The runners I hang with have tremendous civic pride. Last year the Turtles Running Club organized a drive to clean up Garbage Hill.  It was a wonderfully successful event with about twenty local runners and their families collecting dozens of bags of trash. The campaign was called Un-garbage Garbage Hill and my blog on the topic is here.  Here's hoping the Turtles will organize a similar event in the not too distant future.

Please don't judge. I'm not a grumpy old man. I might be a little pesky and cheeky at times, but not grumpy.  I believe strongly in community pride and civic duty. I love my city, really love it!  But plogging?  Nope, not for this runner.

Leave it for the joggers, they've got lots of time. ;)

It's a good day to be alive.