Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee
challenge kaiserwinkl-walchsee

Have you tried Plogging

A different way of training, helping the environment and learning some Swedish along the way - that's Plogging. Karen Parnell explains...

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -

A different way of training, helping the environment and learning some Swedish along the way – that’s Plogging – and I’m going to be honest, I never knew it had its own name either!


What is plogging?

Have you ever spotted rubbish on your run routes and thought how much it is ruining your local area not just aesthetically but environmentally?

The statistics about plastic pollution can certainly be overwhelming. Every year, we produce 300 million tons of plastic and around 8.8 million tons of it get dumped in the oceans, threatening countless animals, many of which are on the verge of extinction as a result. If that wasn’t bad enough, it’s now estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

Plogging is a combination of jogging with picking up litter (merging the Swedish verbs plocka upp (pick up) and jogga (jog) gives the new Swedish verb plogga, from which the word plogging derives). 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, hiking, or walking. Plogging is considered a perfect activity, as it is positive both for the body, and for the environment. 


You can do your bit by plogging once a week

An estimated 2,000,000 people Plog daily in 100 countries and some plogging events have attracted over 3,000,000 participants.

Maybe this could be extended to carrying a small bag with you when you go cycling or when you are open water swimming and do the same? Clogging and Swogging maybe?! You could organise a group or do it solo, there are no rules just one common aim to do more to clear up waste products and re-cycle them.

So, if you are not trying to smash a new PB or on a recovery run with no pressure why not plog once a week to make your local environment more pleasant, help the planet and also add variety to your weekly sessions?


Malaga sets plogging standard

Malaga sets a day of city wide plogging each year. The day, guided physical exercises for all ages and levels, and sports activities such as hiking, diving, running or cycling were combined with garbage collection, through inclusive and participatory methods accessible to all people.

Under the motto ‘Do sport for the planet’ there was different plogging activities along the Gualdamedina river, in the city of Malaga, with the purpose of promoting climate action, the care of the seas and oceans and the Sustainable cities and communities within the framework of Sustainable Development Goals 11, 13 and 14.

Heart-healthy lifestyle habits, caring for biodiversity and corporate volunteering, together with the elimination of single-use plastics and proper recycling, were the main themes that the ‘Nationale-Nederlanden Plogging Tour’ community promoted in the city of Malaga.

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
Latest News
Georgia Taylor Brown wins Munich 2022 photo credit James Mitchell and SLT
Georgia Taylor-Brown tempted by pro cycling when triathlon career is over
Lucy Charles-Barclay IRONMAN World Championship Kona 2023 Finish
Stacked start lists spark new betting interest in middle and long-distance triathlon
Kristian Blummenfelt Paris Test Event [Photo credit: World Triathlon / Wagner Araujo]
Blummenfelt says sub-29 minutes run needed to strike Olympic gold in Paris
Joe Skipper IRONMAN Arizona 2022 [Photo credit Patrick McDermott Getty Images for IRONMAN]
Joe Skipper calls HYROX “the best sport I’ve ever taken part in” after debut in London
Els Visser Fenella Langridge Radka Kahlefeldt Challenge Canberra 2023
IRONMAN Western Australia: Start time, preview and how to follow live