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19 Running Terms that Runners Should Know! Check if You Know?

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Did you know runners too have a lingo? If you are a new runner then we suggest you to join a running group and notice the running terms they use, we bet you would wonder if you are between aliens. Runners have a deep passion for running and that’s the reason they have their own special language to discuss their passion. Well, once you understand the terms you will be a boss of the running lingo! However worry not we are here to sharpen your knowledge of running terms, whereas if you are a veteran runner then test your running lingo and share with the world your score! Come let’s run down the top running lingo used by runners.

19 Running Terms Only A True Runner will Know About. Check your Knowledge?  

1. Foot Strike 

This is easy and you know this!

To make each step that you are taking a count, you need to understand that there’s a right way and a wrong way. One of the words associated with running has to be a strike. A strike is simply when your foot hits the ground. A lot of runners tend to strike the ground with their heels or the tippy-toes which are the wrong thing to do. A runner must always hit the ground with their mid-foot. It is said to be more natural and less stressful to the body. You could consider using light steps which land right under the hip for lower impact and thereby lesser chances of getting injured. 

Read about Midfoot Strike and Learn the Right Running Technique

foot strike
Midfoot strike is an ideal way of running

2. Cadence

Runners love this term! 

One of the most popular running terms has to be cadence. But, what is it? Well, cadence refers to the total number of steps that you take in a minute. It is usually believed that 180 steps per minute are a good cadence. However, it’s always best to calculate your own baseline. Begin by setting your usual pace on the treadmill and count the total number of times your left foot hits the ground in 15 seconds. Now, once you have a number, multiply it by 4 in order to determine the total number of steps with that foot. Once done that, multiply that with 2 to get the total steps you take in a minute. 

Read all about Cadence and Stride: Improve Your Form and Focus

3. Chafing 

A popular running lingo is chafing which is a horror for runners! 

Chafing is referred to that painful experience which occurs when parts of your body, for instance, the inner thighs rub together while running. It might also happen if your shirt rubs on your skin in the wrong way on your nipples or armpits. In general, it can cause redness and soreness and in extreme cases, it can lead to bloodied, blistered skin.

Know about How Runners Can Avoid Nipple Chafing and other Chafing Issues

Chafing can be a nightmare if not treated correctly

4. 10% Rule

Yes, there is a 10% rule which every runner must abide by!

The basic rule to avoid injury is to remember to never increase your weekly mileage by over 10% from previous week’s mileage. 

Learn about The 10 Percent Rule: Do's and Don'ts Before Your Run

5. Pace 

This is one term which every runner loves!

The pace is how fast you are running which is usually expressed in terms of minutes per mile. Your pace at a given effort level would vary greatly each day depending on your fatigue level, the weather conditions and a lot of other crucial factors. Of course, it's helpful to have a fair idea of how fast you are running but it is best to not base your running around hitting a definite pace all the time. If you do so, you might end up forcing your body to work really hard and that can drain all the fun and enjoyment of running. You would definitely speed up as you gain fitness. 

Should I Improve my Distance Covered or Pace? Is this the question you ask yourself? Know all about Distance and Pace

6. Fartlek

Don't let your brain jump to a conclusion about this term!

Fartlek is a Swedish word which definitely does sound silly but it refers to speed play. And, as far as speed drills go, these are fun to do. Once you are into your run, add short and variable speed bursts to your workout and then return back to your normal pace. In short, it means that you would be required to sprint as fast as you possibly can for alternating times and distances. Total time, the distance, speed and how many you need to do are totally up to you. 

Know all about Fartlek: A Swedish Training Trick for Better Running

Train your body with Fartlek training

7. V02 Max

Also referred to as the aerobic capacity, VO2 Max is the body’s maximum oxygen intake capacity. VO2 max is being used by most of the elite runners to increase their training capacity.

8. LSD

Short for Long Slow Distance, it is a long distance training run which is performed at a pace significantly slower than the expected race pace.  Typically, LSD is incorporated once a week into the race training plans to train your muscles to cover the distance and also to train the body to effectively utilize varying fuel sources.

Does Running Burn Fat? Here's an Answer You'll Love

9. Achilles Tendon

You would have definitely read about this in your science class, but this is a popular running term!

It is the tendon along the back of your foot which attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis usually occurs in new runners who are working hard to increase their distance or intensity of running way too quickly. This is especially true for those runners who have been inactive in the recent years and often wear shoes that have heels. The heels can make the Achilles tendon shorter and tighter. Good flexibility in your ankles and calves can help to take some of the load off the Achilles tendon.

10. Personal Record (PR)

No, you don't need a PR for this! Actually only you are sufficient to make your PR!

What does PR running stands for?

Well, it is an abbreviation for a Personal Record and the term is generally used to describe a runner's farthest or fastest time in a race. It is also referred to as Personal Best (PB). 

11. Negative Splits 

Nah, don't worry, there is nothing negative about this! 

Negative splits are one of the words associated with running that refers to running the second half of a race faster as compared to the first half. 

Read all about - The Positive to a Negative Concept: How to bring Negative Splits into Racing

12. Bonking 

Never go bonkers over bonking!

One of the popular runner terms is bonking which is also referred to as hitting the wall and is usually the point of a race or run when you feel like you can't go any farther. This isn't because you are injured or physically exhausted; it's generally mental — when you begin to wonder if you should just quit. If you can push through the wall, you will usually get a second wind.

13. Interval Training 

How about training even during intervals?

Technically, this refers to the total time you spend recovering between speed segments. However, the term is commonly used to refer to track workouts in general or fast bouts of running. Quite similar to a Tabata workout, an interval run includes periods of harder running and periods of easier running. There is also a run/walk method of training which involves alternating intervals of walking and running. 

interval training
Interval Training 

14. Recovery Runs 

Yes, if you passionate about running then you ought to go for recovery runs!

These types of slow, short runs are usually done the day after a race or hard workout. They are designed to just get your body moving and nothing serious or strenuous.

15. Hamstrings

No, don't think of your hamsters!

The long muscles along the back of your legs are referred to as the hamstrings. Strong, supple hamstrings are rather pivotal for running your best. This is because they help to flex your knees and extend your hips. Weak or tight hamstrings shift some of the work of running to other body parts that aren’t as well equipped for the job. People who are new to running and whose daily lives includes a lot of sitting must include hamstring strengthening and flexibility exercises in their workout routine right from the beginning.

Know about 9 Tips to Relieve Hamstring Tightness

16. Aqua Jogging

Running against the resistance of the water in the deep end wherein you cannot touch the bottom offers various benefits when it comes to running on land. A floatation belt would aid in keeping you upright and thereby would offer you stability. Aqua Jogging is even ideal for injured runners.

aqua jogging
Aqua Jogging 

17. Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching, as the name implies, involves movement and muscular effort for the stretch to happen. While static stretching takes a muscle to its full length and holds it there for about 15 to 60 seconds, a dynamic stretch takes soft tissues to their full length and rather than holding it, after a brief pause of 3 to five seconds, the muscle being stretched contracts and the muscles and tendons exert a force in that lengthened position. In this way, the muscles can be strengthened it in its new range.  It also provides a good warmup before a sport or activity.

18. Bib 

Remember wearing this as a toddler? It's time to wear again, but for a different reason!

Runners pick up this piece of paper with a certain number before the race and attach it to their shirts to wear during the run. An excellent tip would be to bring extra safety pins to smaller races. 

19. Speed Intervals

It is a running term which is often referred to as repeats or a track workout. Speed intervals are very short bursts of fast running, usually done on a 400-meter track. A speed interval workout would traditionally prescribe a certain number of various distance sprints or hard runs, such as 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, and at times even 1600 meters, with walking or slow jogging recovery intervals.

Read all about Running Workouts to Increase Speed and Endurance (Not for Beginners!)

Of course, there are a lot of other terms too but the ones mentioned above are the running terms that you would hear on a regular basis. 

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