One of the goals of this website is to introduce people to the sport of joggling and encourage them to participate if it’s something they would want to do. We’ve written hundreds of posts about the subject but have never really put together a single post introducing new people to joggling. Here it is.
What is joggling?
Joggling is the sport of running while juggling. The word joggling is a combination of the words juggling and jogging. Juggling + jogging = Joggling. While it is a catchy term and better than the alternatives “ruggling” or “runnling” it does give the impression that joggling is a leisurely activity. It is not. In fact, many jogglers are fast runners.
When did joggling begin?
The sport of joggling was likely invented independently by a number of different people (jugglers) but the first report of someone joggling a race was in the late 1970′s. In the early 1980′s the International Jugglers Association (IJA) held the first ever World Joggling Championships in which a number of jugglers participated. There were some incredibly quick times.
What are the rules of joggling?
We’ve previously written about the rules of joggling at least according to Guinness. They got their rules from the IJA jogglers so it’s reasonable to follow them. They are pretty stratightforward.
1. Juggling objects must be juggled every step during your run.
2. Juggling must be continuous and done in an alternating right-left-right-left pattern.
3. If the object is dropped, you must go back where you dropped, resume juggling and then resume running. You are not allowed to advance without juggling.
That’s pretty much it. Now, if you are trying to set a world record there are a number of other things to consider but we’ll save that for another time.
About the objects juggled
You’ll notice in the rules that there is no indication about what you juggle and how many. That’s because there are no set rules. In general, it is not consider joggling until you are juggling at least 3 objects. But there are a number of jogglers who use 4, 5 and even 7 objects. Naturally, the more objects you juggle the slower your times will be.
The objects can pretty much be anything. I’ve joggled bean bags (Gballz is my sponsor), tennis balls, oranges, lemons, clubs, and sticks. The vast majority of jogglers use bean bags. But there are some jogglers who exclusively use juggling clubs which look pretty cool. There is also a joggler who “joggles” 3 basketballs. He actually calls it “drubbling” because he dribbles the balls while he runs.
What distances are done?
There are world records for a wide variety of joggling distances. Here is a pretty thorough list of a number of joggling world records. In the annual IJA Championships typical track distances are done such as the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m, and 5k. There are also records for the 10k, 10 miler, half marathon, marathon, 50 mile ultramarathon, and 24 hour run. Some of the times are pretty quick!
How do you joggle?
The first step to learning how to joggle is to learn how to juggle. If you can’t juggle, you can’t joggle. Juggling 3 objects is actually not that difficult once you learn the pattern and practice for a little while. The key is to get some good objects to use for practicing. If you don’t have bean bags, get three tennis balls. Then go to one of these free resources for learning to juggle.
The next step is to build up your ability to run. If you are already a runner, that’s great. Joggling will be much easier. But if you haven’t done any physical activity since high school, it might be a bit tougher. For complete beginners to running, I would suggest the Couch to 5K running plan. This will get you started and running in a reasonable amount of time without it being painful.
Once you go out joggling in public you might be compelled to run a race or something. It is a lot of fun to joggle for an audience so you should do it when you feel confident enough. In general, you should be proficent enough at joggling to only have one or two drops per mile. If you’re dropping more than that you probably should practice more before running a race.
And if you do participate in races, see this list of suggestions on joggling etiquette.
The future of joggling
There seems to have been an increase in the number of people who have been getting noticed for joggling. A few more jogglers have embraced social media and you can find them on places like Twitter, Youtube, Blogger and Facebook. In another article, I’ll create a list of all the joggling resources on the Internet.
Joggling will certainly continue to increase in popularity although I suspect that it will always remain a fringe activity. There will be some new world record attempts and coming up this month will be the first ever attempted triathlon done while juggling all three legs. It really is interesting in the world of joggling.