Here you’ll learn all the words that will get you into running lingo.
Terms in alphabetical order:
- Achilles tendon – The strong tendon at the back of your ankle.
- Aerobic – Literally, “with oxygen.” Consists mainly of steady exercise where your muscles are receiving enough oxygen to function normally.
- Anaerobic – Literally, “without oxygen.” Exercise, such as hard intervals or weight-lifting, where your muscles are working in the absense of oxygen.
- Bandit – A runner who participates in a race without registering or paying the entry fee. (They are not eligible for awards, though.)
- Body Fat – The amount of fat on your body; usually expressed as a percentage of total weight.
- Body Type – A standard (but vague) way of categorizing body types. From small to large: ectomorphic, mesomorphic, or endomorphic.
- Bonk – When one runs out of energy and cannot go on, due to glycogen depletion and/or low blood sugar. Also referred to as “hitting the wall.”
- Breathing – The process of inhaling and exhaling, in order to supply fresh oxygen to your body.
- Carbohydrate – here is the definition
- Chafing – When clothing “rubs you the wrong way” and causes redness and/or blisters; usually caused by wearing the wrong clothing.
- Clydesdale – A runner above 180 lb.
- Cool-down – A transition period of easy exercise after a hard workout but before resting.
- CoolMax – A type of fabric that wicks sweat away from your body and keeps you cool; great for running clothing.
- Cross country – A type of running event that takes place off-road.
- Cross training – Training by participating in exercises/sports other than running itself, although the aim is to improve your overall fitness and therefore your running.
- Dehydration – A state where your body does not have enough water.
- DNF – “Did Not Finish.” Used to describe a runner who did not complete a race.
- Electrolytes – here is the definition
- Endorphins – here is the definition
- Endurance – Ability to perform an exercise for a long period of time.
- Extremities – Your hands, feet, fingers, and toes.
- Fartlek – Literally, “speed play” in Swedish. It refers to interval workouts of mixed intensity, i.e. a combination of fast and slow running.
- Fast-twitch – Type of muscle fiber which contracts rapidly and powerfully but fatigues quickly.
- Fatigue – A feeling of weakness or exhaustion; unable to accomplish a task normally.
- Flat feet – A condition of the feet in which the arch is flat and the entire sole touches the ground.
- Gait – The manner in which one walks/runs.
- Glucose – Basic form of sugar. Appears in the blood.
- Glycogen – The form in which carbohydrates are stored in the body, either in the liver or the muscles.
- Half marathon – A 13.1 mile race.
- Heart rate – The number of heart beats per unit time, usually per minute (which would be measured as BPM.)
- Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) – A device that monitors one’s heart rate. Consists of a chest strap and wrist watch.
- Hydration – Adding more fluid to the body
- Insole – The removable inner part of a running shoe that sits on top of the midsole and provides cushioning and arch support.
- Intensity – Degree of effort or exertion of an exercise.
- Intervals – A type of workout where sections of hard running are intermixed with walking/jogging recovery periods.
- Lactace Threshold – The intensity where lactic acid begins to rapidly accumulate in the blood.
- Lactic acid – A by-product of your body’s energy production processes; usually blamed for muscle soreness.
- Log – A notebook or journal where you record information about your workouts.
- LSD – Long, Slow Distance. A common term referring to basic endurance training.
- Marathon – A 26.2 mile race.
- Mile – A measure of distance equal to 5,280 feet.
- Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) – The max number of times your heart can beat in one minute.
- Midsole – The part of a running shoe between the upper and outsole that provides cushioning and support.
- Motion Control (MC) – The ability of a shoe to limit overpronation and provide stability (especially for those with flat feet.)
- Orthotics – Inserts placed inside shoes to correct biomechanical problems.
- Overpronation – When you run, your feet roll inwards. Common if you have flat feet.
- Overtraining – Condition when one does too much, too soon; can lead to injury and/or burn-out.
- Outsole – The bottom-most layer of most running shoes that contacts the ground and provides traction.
- Pace – Measure of running speed; usually as “minutes per mile.”
- Peak – The point at which one is in the best physical shape.
- Pronation – The condition of having feet that turn in such a manner as to put the body’s weight on the inner edge of one’s foot. See also, “underpronation” and “overpronation.”
- Plantar Fasciitis – Inflamation of tissue under the skin of the bottom of the foot.
- Podiatrist – A physician that specializes in the evaluation and treatment of the foot.
- Quarters – A common term to refer to a workout consisting of quarter-mile (or 400 meter) intervals.
- Recovery – Easy workouts that promote healing and ease stiffness and soreness.
- RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. The formula for treating an injury.
- Runner’s high – A feeling of euphoria after a hard training session or race.
- Resting Heart Rate – The number of times your heart beats per minute when you are relaxed and sitting still.
- Shin splints – A lower leg injury where there is pain along the front of the shin which can lead to stress fractures.
- Singlet – The sleeveless top commonly worn by runners.
- Slow twitch – Type of muscle fiber which contracts slowly but can perform for a long time.
- Split times – The time it takes to run a portion of the complete run/race.
- Stability – Balance; ability to stay upright.
- Stamina – Being able to run with good form for a long period of time.
- Stretching – Movements designed to increase a muscle’s flexibility. For example, bending over and touching your toes.
- Supination – See “Underpronation”
- Second wind – Going from being tired to feeling strong again.
- Strength training – Exercises performed with added resistance; i.e. lifting weights.
- Tapering – Reducing training volume and/or intensity to allow for recovery; usually one tapers before an important race.
- Tempo – A workout performed at lactate threshold pace.
- Tendinitis – Inflammation of a tendon (the tissue by which muscle attaches to bone.)
- Toebox – The front portion of a shoe.
- Treadmill – A machine with a moving strip on which one walks without moving forward.
- Ultra marathon – A very long race, possibly 100 miles.
- Underpronation – When your feet roll outwards as you run.
- Upper – The top part of a shoe; typically a combination of synthetic leather and mesh.
- Vitamins – Essential nutrients your body needs to function at its best.
- VO2 Max – The maximum amount of oxygen your body can use, with a higher V02max meaning better performance.
- Warm up – An easy walk/jog that gets your muscles loose and ready for a workout.
- Water – A liquid that you should consume to stay hydrated.
- Wicking – The ability of an article of clothing to move moisture away from your skin to the surface of the fabric so that it can evaporate and keep you more comfortable.