Running Terminology

  1. 200, 400 and 800 meters – Metric distance. 400 meters is 1 lap around a track, 800 meters is 2 laps and 200 meter is half a lap. Used in track workouts.
  2. Achilles Tendon – The tendon along the back of your foot that attaches your calf muscles to your heel bone. 
  3. Aid Station – Also called a water stop along a race route.
  4. Aerobic – In general, it is performed at a moderate level of intensity over a relatively long period of time. For example, running a long distance at a moderate pace is an aerobic exercise, but sprinting is not. To obtain the benefits of Aerobic, usually you should work out at least 20 to 30 minutes or more at about 55% to 80% of your maximum heart rate.
  5. Anaerobic – High intensity interval training  lasting up to  4 minutes at 80% to 90% of maximum heart rate
  6. Bandit – Someone who is participating in a race illegally without having registered or paid.
  7. Bib – The race number pinned to your shirt to identify each runner. Often will have a chip device attached.
  8. Black Toenails –  Lots of down hill running or to small of shoes which can cause the loss of toenails.
  9.  Bloody nipples – Chafing, friction and sweating and your shirt rubbing against the nipple can cause bleeding. Adhesives bandages or chaffing balm can be a remedy.
  10.  Athena – A designation for a female runner over a certain weight.
  11. Chafing – to become sore or irritated from rubbing of wet clothes on body
  12. Chip – A small plastic piece attached to a runners shoes or bib that track a runners time electronically
  13. Clydesdale – A designation given to a male runner over a certain weight.
  14. Cool Down – a period of low-impact or slower exercise following a more intense workout to allow the body to gradually return to its normal physiological level.
  15. Corral – A area where runners line up at the start of the race. Faster runners will be first followed by slower runners. Usually  based on times that individuals registered and stated they would be able complete the race . 
  16. Cushioning –  Cushioned running shoes provide more flexibility and cushioning than typical running shoes. They tend to be more comfortable than regular .
  17. Fartlek – Speed  play or short  burst of speed during a run or training  which is used for speed training.
  18. 5K, 10K –5k is 3.1 miles, 10k is 6.2 miles, 15k is 9.3 miles
  19. DNF  DNS – Did Not Finish or Did Not Start a race. 
  20. Glycogen – Form of carbohydrate stored in your muscles and liver and converted to glucose for energy during exercise.
  21. GPS – Running watches or APP’s that use Global Positioning Satellites to track your distance with a high degree of accuracy.
  22. Hamstring – The long muscles along the back of your leg that are crucial for running. Tight or weak hamstrings shift the work of running to other body parts that aren’t equipped for the job.
  23. Heart Rate – How many times your heart beats in a minute.
  24. Ice Baths – Immersing one’s leg in ice water for 15 to 20 minutes. Supposedly the ice constricts blood vessels and decreases metabotic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown
  25. Iliotibial band – ITB band – Thick fibrous band that connects your hips and knees . Can become easily strained or irritated. Rollers can help alleviate tight tissues.
  26. Interval training – Track workouts with fast bouts of running. Helps build lung capacity and leg strength
  27. Lactic Acid – Lactic acid  forms when the body breaks down carbohydrates to use for energy. When exercising at or below the LT, any lactate produced by the muscles is removed by the body without it building up. ( Usually while exercising below maximum heart rate )
  28. Lactate threshold – Often expressed as 85% of maximum heart rate or 75% of maximum oxygen intake.  Training at or slightly above the intensity where this occurs improves the lactate threshold
  29. LSD – Long slow distance runs – Any run that’s longer than a weekly run, which is the foundation of marathon and half-marathon training
  30. Master – A runner over the age of 40
  31. Maximum heart rate – One simple formula is take the number 220 and subtract your age. Then multiply that number by 85% or more. Example if your are 30years old ( 220 – 30= 190    190 * .85 = 162 max heart rate or beats per minutes
  32. Minimalism –  Shoes that less cushioned, lighter, lower and a more natural form of running
  33. Motion control – Shoes that are constructed to help prevent pronation. 
  34. Negative splits – Running the second half of a race faster than the first half.
  35. Orthotics – Devices worn inside the shoe to treat or prevent injuries.
  36. Overuse injury – Any injury incurred from doing too much mileage before the body is ready. Adding mileage to quickly. Common injuries are IT-Band syndrome, plantar fascia , runner knee , Achilles tendonitis. 
  37. Overpronation – Excessive inward roll of the foot which can cause pain in the foot, shin or knee. 
  38. Over training – Collapse in performance when the body gets pushed beyond its capacity to recover
  39. Pace  – How fast you’re running, usually expressed in terms of minutes per mile. Pace will vary based on how far your training run will be that day.
  40. Personal record  PR – Term to describe the furthest or fastest time in a race. 
  41. Plantar Fascia – Thick connective tissue along the bottom of your foot to the heel bone to the base of your toes. Can easily be inflamed and painful to walk on. 
  42. Quads – The four main muscles in the front of your legs used to stabilize your knees after your foot hits the ground. Good quads relieve strain on knees
  43. Quality Workouts – Any workouts that are faster and longer than daily runs.
  44. Recovery – Walking or easy jogging between faster paced segments.
  45. Repeats – The fast segments of running that are repeated during a workout with recovery in between.
  46. Rice – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. These measures an relieve pain, reduce swelling and protect damaged tissues.
  47. Run/walk – Popular training program for new runners which incorporates short jogging followed by walking while the runners builds up the amount of time they can jog or run
  48. Runners High – Psychologically, runners may experience euphoria, a feeling of being invincible, a reduced state of discomfort or pain, and even a loss in sense of time while running
  49. Runners knee – Common injury marked by inflammation of the underside of the kneecap.
  50. Running Economy – There are two basic options for expressing running economy. You can ask “How much oxygen do I need to supply to my muscles in order to run a mile?” Or you can ask “How many calories do I need to burn in order to run a mile?”
  51. Speed work – Also called intervals or repeats, speed work refers to any workout run at a faster than normal pace.
  52. Splits – The time it takes to complete any defined distance. In a Half Marathon or Marathon your splits would be each mile. If your distance is a mile, your split might be at each 400 meters.
  53. Strides –Typically 80 to 100 meter surges at 80% effort  in a warm up to get your legs and lungs ready for a race such as a 5K.  Another description is –Strides are fast runs that last about 20 seconds each and are run at a subjective feeling that approximates Rep-pace running or roughly the pace you would race at for 1,500 meters or 1 mile. Take 60 seconds rest between strides, or enough time to feel light and quick on each stride. Strides are not meant to be “sprints. The purpose of strides is to improve your speed and running economy. By practicing Rep paced running your body learns to run more relaxed and comfortable at the race pace you’re training for.” – Coach Jack Daniels, Run SMART Project
  54. Supination –  The insufficient inward roll of the foot after landing. Runners ith high arches and tight Achilles tendons tend to supinate.
  55. Talk test – A way to see if your running at a comfortable effort level. Your should be able to carry on a conversation.
  56. Tempo – A sustained faster than usual run of 3 to 6 miles at that pace you could sustain for at least an hour race. Tempo runs are said to feel “comfortably hard”
  57. Taper – The period before a half  or full marathon when you back off on your running distances to allow your body to recover and enter the race better rested.
  58. Target Heart Rate – Obtaining a heart rate to receive aerobic benefits usually 60% to 80% maximum heart rate or anerobic benefits at above 85% max heart rate.
  59. Tempo Runs – longer runs at a faster pace that would required labored breathing to help prepare for race conditions
  60. Track – Most tracks are 400 meters long . Fours laps is 1600 meters or close to a mile. Many runners use the term “track” to refer to a speed session done on a track.
  61. Trail Running – Doing some or all of a run off road.
  62. Threshold Runs – Short interval runs that push you to your maximum efforts. 
  63. VO2 max – A measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen that a person can consume per minute while exercising. A runner with a higher VO2 finds it easier to run faster because their heart can deliver more oxygen to their muscles. Any way you can  boost VO2 max, including speed work, will benefit the runner
  64.  The Wall / Bonk – Typically refers to a point when a runner’s energy levels plummet, breathing becomes labored and negative thoughts begin to flood in. Some experts have stated this usually happens two-thirds of the way through any race no matter the distance.
  65. Warm Ups – To increase heart rate and blood flow to the muscles and reduce the risk of injury, runners know to start each workout with a good warm-up such as light jogging and stretching.