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Running Terms


By Molly Bitton and Preston Johnson

PR – Personal Record or Personal Best (PB)

CR – Course Record

DNF – Did Not Finish

DNS – Did Not Start

DFL – Dead F#@$%*g Last

BQ – Boston Qualify. The Boston Marathon is the oldest running marathon other than Greece. Runners must qualify with attainable yet fast times just to run it (unless you do a charity bib and raise funds for one of their partner charities) Qualifying is not an easy feat for most and it shows your determination, talent, and speed as a runner.

LROY – Longest Run of Year

LROL – Longest Run of Life

LSD – Long Slow Distance

Marathon – 26.2 miles (There is no such thing as a marathon 5K)

5K – 3.1 miles

10K – 6.2 miles

Half Marathon – 13.1 miles

Ultra – Any race over 26.2 miles (a marathon) is considered an Ultra. The most common distances are 50K, 50 miles, 100K, and 100 miles.

XC – Cross Country

T&F – Track and Field

Farmer Blow – Otherwise known as the “snot rocket, “ this is where you plug one side of your nose and blow hard and fast out of the other side hurling a “rocket” of snot to the side of the road. Make sure your aim is away from you and other runners. There are rules you know. Runners World has a great tutorial here.

Heel Drop – This refers to how much more cushion (in terms of vertical height) your shoe has in the heel vs. the forefoot. It is sometimes referred to as the “drop,” “offset,” or “ramp angle.”

Wall – This is the point of the race that nearly every runner experiences, when they feel like they almost can’t go on. This wall can be caused by a few different things – lack of training, lack of nutrition, lack of hydration, etc. This can be prevented by training properly, fueling before and throughout the race, and drinking an ounce or two of fluid at each water stop.

OCR – Obstacle Course Racing

Split – Splits are typically measured in miles during a race, although it is technically the time it takes to do any set distance you choose for a specific workout.

Negative Split – This is when your split times progressively get lower throughout your race or workout, with your fastest splits at the end.

Bandit – When a runner participates in a race without actually registering for the race or receiving a bib. There are varying opinions on banditing. A couple interesting ones can be seen here.

Pronate – The natural inward rotation of the ankle and foot. Often gets a bad rap, but if pronation isn’t excessive it is completely natural. It is a way for your body to help absorb shock. If it is excessive, stability shoes or shoe inserts can help control this.

Supinate – When most of the body’s weight is on the outside of the feet. The feet will often turn in a little and is often associated with being pigeon footed. The opposite of pronating, your ankles and feet will roll outward at your midstance.

Pace – This is the number of minutes it takes to complete one mile or KM. If I am running one mile in 9:30, then I would be running a 9:30 pace.

Intervals – this is a series of high and low intensity running, often done in 400 m or 800 m sprints with slow running or walking in between the sprints. The low intensity intervals are typically evenly times with the sprints – sprint 1:55, walk 1:55, repeat.

Chip time vs. Gun Time – Most races longer than a 5K are chip timed, which means you get a timing chip attached to your bib, strapped to your shoes, or around your ankle, that shows the exact time you crossed the start line and the exact time you crossed the finish line. There is also the gun time, which begins with the starting shot and does not take in to account when you crossed the start line. This could be minutes longer than your chip time, depending on how far back in the pack you start.

IT – Iliotibial, this is a band that runs from the hip to the shin on the outside of your leg. ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) is one of the most common runner’s injuries. It is typically an over use injury and can be caused by worn out shoes, running on banked surfaces, or just adding too many miles or too much speed in a short period of time.

Plantar Fasciitis (PF) – One of the most common cause of foot pain. It is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band that runs from your heel to your toes. Symptoms of PF are sharp pain in the middle of the heel as soon as you get up in the morning or after long periods of being off your feet and a puffiness in the middle of the bottom of the heel. On rarer occasions people can feel it in the arch of their foot or where the Plantar Fascia connects by their toes, but this is not typical. For runners it is usually an over use injury caused by adding miles or speed too quickly.

Glide –This is used to prevent chaffing that happens when you start sweating and the repetitive motion of running causes friction in some not so pleasant places. Lather up those toes, pits, nether regions, under the sports bra, or anywhere else that is prone to rub. There are many brands to choose from, so you may want to try a few out to find the one that works best for your body.

Streaking – No, it does not mean running naked. Although there are some groups that are totally in to that. In running, streaking refers to running at least one mile every single day.

Gait – The way your body moves forward. This is also referred to as your form. Here is a great video explaining this.

Strike – Your strike is how your foot hits the ground during your gait cycle. Common types are toe, mid, and heel strike. Check out the video in the “Gait” section for examples.

Cadence – how many steps you take per minute. A good running cadence is around 180, but can vary for each runner. A faster cadence can lead to fewer injuries, better running form, and more efficient energy usage, just to name a few. Check out this great article.

Elite – These are the runners who with the money, get the sponsorships, and run really, really fast.

Minimalist – Some bodies are barefoot lovers through and through and don’t take kindly to the extra cushion and support a typical running shoe offers. These are the minimalist runners. The natural barefoot gait works best for them and shoes with little to no cushion and zero heel drop are what they love.

Recovery Run – A great way to increase fitness levels and recover from a distance race or hard workout is to do a recovery run. This is going out for just a couple very slow comfortable miles within 24 hours of your hard work out.

Hill Repeats – Yes, this means you run up and down a hill over and over again, usually for short distances or time intervals to increase muscle strength, speed, and heart strength.

Fartlek – “speed play” in your run that are unstructured and varied. When you are out for your run and decide to sprint to that sign or increase effort through the next song, then run comfortably until you’re ready to do it again would be a fartlek work out.

BPM – Stands for beats per minute. Referring to the number of times your heart beats every minute. Heart rate can be used to measure your intensity of your workout and how well you recover from a workout.

VO2max – refers to the ratio of how much CO2 you expel and how much O2 you inhale. Can be used as a good predictor of the level of fitness you are currently in.

Shin Splints – A catch all term for pain in your shins.

Runners Knee – is attributed to a dull pain beneath the knee cap that is attributed to bad movement of the knee cap. Can be due to bad flexibility or poor quadricep strength and is referred to as an overuse injury.

Taper – The part of the training cycle that is right before a race. The word taper refers to the cutting back of your training to recover for your upcoming event. This can be done by lowering your weekly mileage or decreasing the intensity of your workouts.

Rabbit – Someone hired or designated to run a certain pace to help runners stay on pace and have someone to draft off of.

400s – A workout usually done on a track that consists of 400 meter intervals.

800s – A workout usually done on a track that consists of 800 meter intervals.

Clydesdale – a category for bigger male runners, generally between 200 and 220 pounds, that allows them to be competitive with other runners with similar builds.

Athena – a category for bigger female runners, generally between 145 and 160 pounds, that allows them to be competitive with other runners with similar builds.

Master – Refers to an athlete that is over the age of 40.

DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. After a workout you may not hurt too bad, but that pain you feel the next morning, that is DOMS.

AG – Age group

PT – Physical Therapy

RD – Race Director

RICE – A common term used to describe beneficial methods to treating sore muscles or injuries. Stands for Rest Ice Compression Elevation.

Doubles – AKA “two-a-days”. Meaning that a runner goes for a second run in the same day.

Galloway Method – Is a very common practice for those just getting into running. This method is the run-walk-run method. Run for a set amount of time, then walk for a set amount of time, and repeat.

Out and Back – A training run where you run out to a certain point and then turn around and run back on the same route.

Strides – Refers to short sprints at the end of your run with full recovery between each one. Helps increase cadence, power, and overall speed.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 at 10:17 am and is filed under General Running. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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