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How to joggle – Tricks for the crowd

As a marathon joggler, you do not want to take too much time off. While you can’t start running hard again for at least a couple of weeks, you also can’t just stop exercising completely. You get out of shape quickly!

So yesterday my wife, some friends, and I participated in the Wonder Girl 5K run alongrunning and juggling tricks Chicago’s lakefront. It was a great day for running and the pace was just what my marathon-tired legs needed. We came in together at just over 30 minutes. My fastest joggling 5K is 19:48, so this was a bit of a leisurely pace.

The slower pace did give me an opportunity to “play” to the crowd. Here are a few tricks you can do to really wow ’em. NEVER DO THESE TRICKS WHEN LOTS OF OTHER RUNNERS ARE BEHIND YOU. You can easily have a drop that your fellow racers might step on and twist an ankle. We have to be considerate and responsible jogglers.

List of Joggling Tricks

1. Look directly at people in the crowd and smile.

The people who come out to watch running races are usually someone’s friend or relative. They are really just looking for someone they know. When they see that person it is only for a few seconds and that’s it. The watcher will have to move to somewhere else on the race path to see them again.

This means that most of the time is spent waiting and cheering for people they don’t really know. To keep interested they look for something to cheer about. This can be simple things like funny t-shirts, hats, or other outfits. It can also be more skillful things like joggling!

So, when you are joggling in a race and you are not trying for a personal best, look over at the crowd and give them a smile. They’ll know that you’re happy they are there and you’ll get loud cheers and hearty smiles. The shared energy is great for your running.

In the early days of your joggling career you may find it too difficult to do. Just keep at it. Eventually, you will get to the point where you don’t even have to look at the bags. When you’re there, start looking and smiling at the crowd.

2. Throw one high and take a head bow.

When you really want to hear the crowd roar you can try this trick. While joggling throw one of the bean bags extra high (probably 3 times as high as usual). While the bag is in the air look over at the crowd, smile, and bow your head. If you’ve timed it properly you will turn your head back forward just in time for the bag to rejoin your usual pattern. The crowds love this trick.

3. Throw one high over some obstacle.

Another advanced trick is to throw a bag over an obstacle. In the race yesterday there were lots of tree limbs and banners that we ran under. At key moments I would throw a bean bag up over the obstacle and catch it on the other side. Again, the crowds love this one. The nice part is you don’t have to look away as in the last trick so it is a little easier to do. However, be careful because if you don’t throw it high enough it could hit the obstruction and fall behind you.

4. Vary your pattern.

This trick is subtle and very difficult. If you know how to juggle then you know there are lots of different juggling patterns beyond the typical cascade. All of them are much more difficult to do while running. The cascade pattern is the perfect pattern for joggling. Lots of other patterns are possible and you can find methods for these here. I like to do some different patterns just to make some runs a bit more interesting. However, the crowds only see you for a brief time so don’t expect any more accolades than if you are just doing the normal pattern.

5. Do some backwards joggling.

This was a trick that I did for the first time in yesterday’s race. To do it requires a good level of concentration and confidence in your joggling abilities.

a. You start out joggling forward.
b. Plant one foot and begin to slowly twist at your hips and ankles. Keep your shoulders square with your hips.
c. Complete the twist and swing your back leg to the front. You should now be facing backwards with both feet pointing back.
d. Continue running backwards
e. Modify your juggling throws to pull them into your body instead of out in front of you as in normal joggling.
f. Look in front of you every so often so you don’t trip or run into some obstacle.

You may want to first learn to juggle while walking backwards. Once you can do this, backwards joggling is not far behind.

6. Blindfolded Joggling.

Well, this is just silly. I accidentally did this when I was wearing a headband that got so drenched in sweat it fell down over my eyes. Fortunately, I can juggle for quite some time without looking.

In future posts, I will describe some other joggling tricks. If you think of any feel free to share them in the comments section below. And also let me know if you have any success with any of these tricks.

Happy Joggling.

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Perry,

    I’m pleased to have found your joggling blog, and am glad to read your comments. I am a novice joggler and appreciate the advice and commentary. Keep up the good work.


  2. Scott,

    So good to hear from you. I’ll share everything I know about joggling here but if you find out any tips, feel free to post a comment or send me an email.

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