40+ Essential Running Terms Explained (Full Beginners’ Glossary)


Do you understand what bib, bonk, and bandit imply?

The extra you run, the extra you start to speak like a runner. This record of 40+ running phrases will likely be helpful alongside your running journey. 

You may want it when getting ready for a race, shopping for running footwear, or simply attempting to know completely different running training plans.

Bookmark this submit or obtain the complete (alphabetical) glossary of running phrases and share it with fellow runners!

Running phrases glossary by matter

Basic training phrases


During cardio exercise (additionally known as “cardio”) respiration (oxygen) is adequate to fulfill the power calls for of the muscle mass. Think of low to average depth actions like jogging.


Exercise turns into anaerobic when respiration doesn’t present sufficient oxygen to fulfill power wants. Think high depth, most effort actions reminiscent of sprints.


The final a part of a runner’s exercise the place the objective is to get the guts fee and respiration again to regular. It normally includes a brief stroll or jog, decrease body stretching, and so on.

Core/Core training

Your core consists of the muscle mass across the center of your body (abs & again). It performs a task in stability and thereby influences your running type. Your core will be skilled with particular exercises.

Cross-training (XT)

All different exercise sorts a runner may do to enhance their situation, for energetic restoration and damage prevention, reminiscent of strength training, biking, swimming. (Not to be confused with crossfit!)


Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a feeling of discomfort in your muscle mass 24-72 hours after a exercise. This doesn’t essentially imply the exercise was good, simply that you’re not used to it.

HR/HR Zones

Heart Rate (HR) refers to coronary heart contractions measured as beats per minute (bpm). Target HR zones describe ranges of exercise depth based mostly in your most coronary heart fee (MHR).

Lactic acid

A by-product of power metabolism throughout intense actions (see Anaerobic). A buildup of lactic acid is normally described as “muscle burn” or stiffness, however it isn’t harmful.

Rest day

An everyday a part of a runner’s training plans. During relaxation days you let your body adapt to the training stress by way of sleep, nutrition, and energetic restoration to keep away from overtraining and make progress.

Stretching Dynamic/Static

Dynamic stretching includes mild, bouncy actions by way of the vary of movement to heat up the body earlier than running. Static stretching means holding a place on the finish vary of motion. It will be performed after running to chill out tight muscle mass.

VO2 max

Your most oxygen uptake (VO2 max) tells you the way effectively your body can use oxygen throughout exercise. When you cease exercising for some time it’s the very first thing to lower.


The first a part of runner’s exercise the place the objective is to get your coronary heart fee up and enhance blood circulation to the muscle mass. It normally consists of jogging, dynamic stretches, and/or running drills.

Running training phrases

Base training

The training program section the place the objective is to construct endurance, the “base”. Example: A novice may do base training earlier than beginning a marathon program.


A sense of maximum fatigue that all of the sudden comes over you throughout a future, typically known as “hitting the wall”. It will be prevented with correct nutrition and training plans.


How many steps you are taking per minute whereas running. Optimal cadence is particular person, however a sooner cadence may enhance efficiency and scale back damage threat (180 +/- 10 steps per minute).

Running ABC

Running ABC is a mixture of exercises centered on bettering your running type. These exercises are known as drills and are sometimes carried out as a part of the warm-up.

Easy run

Running at a tempo the place you may simply maintain a dialog.


Swedish for “speed play”. A training run the place effort and intervals usually are not set beforehand and also can embrace uphill and downhill running. The objective of fartlek training is to play with pace whereas bettering running efficiency.

Foot strike

Which a part of your foot first touches the bottom while you run determines your foot strike – heel strike, midfoot strike, or forefoot strike. There isn’t any proof that one is greatest for everybody.


Intervals or interval training means quick bursts of running combined with slower running or strolling durations (however not utterly stopping/standing nonetheless).

LSD/Long run

Long Slow Distance (LSD) or Long Run is a vital kind of run included in running applications. Usually it covers as much as 30% of weekly mileage and is carried out at a gradual, snug tempo to construct up stamina.

Negative splits

Running the second half of your run sooner than the primary. (see Split time)


Your tempo is what number of minutes you could run a kilometer or a mile. This shouldn’t be confused with pace, which tells you what number of kilometers or miles you’re running per hour

Split time

The time it takes you to cowl a particular distance throughout training or a race.

Streak running

A “streak” is achieved while you run a number of consecutive days in a row. A run must be a minimum of 1.61 km (1 mile) to depend as streak running. (Not to be confused with running bare!)


Strides are quick, ~30 sec, step by step accelerating running bursts performed at as much as 90% of your most pace. A single step taken throughout a run will also be known as a stride.

Tempo run

A sort of running exercise carried out at a difficult tempo for a set time or distance. It is finished to observe sustaining pace over time and train psychological focus.

Trail running

Running on unpaved surfaces (grime roads, forest trails, hiking routes…). Trail race routes ought to be marked and have lower than 20% paved roads. Trail runs are all about experiencing nature.

Race phrases

5K, 10Ok…

Ok = kilometers. 5K refers to a 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) race or run, 10Ok to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), and so on.


A person running a race with out formally registering or paying for it.


A sheet of paper that you simply connect to your chest when running a race. It comprises your registration quantity and an digital chip that can observe your time. (see Chip time)

Carb loading/Carbo load

Switching your macronutrient ratio to extra carbohydrates within the days main as much as a race to fill your power shops (glycogen). Can be useful for longer (90 minutes+) races.

Chip time

At huge race occasions you’re unlikely to cross the beginning line instantly after the official start. A chip will document the time from the second you cross the beginning line. Chip timing will be performed through completely different transponder programs, reminiscent of chips built-in in shoelaces or within the bib. (See Bib)


Did Not Finish (DNF) and Did Not Start (DNS) are used when a runner doesn’t full or start a race.

Gun time/Clock time

The official race beginning time marked by the purpose when the clock begins. Usually not the identical time as while you really cross the beginning line (see chip time).

HM (Half Marathon)

A half marathon is a 21.0975 kilometer / 13 miles 192½ yards lengthy race. Good to know: Everything as much as 400 meters is taken into account quick distance (dash). 800 – 1609 meters is center distance and 2000 – 42,195 meters is named lengthy distance. A full marathon is a 42.2 kilometer / 26 miles 385 yards lengthy race. Any race longer than a marathon is named an extremely marathon.


The last push on the finish of the race when a runner will increase their pace to the end line.


Personal Best (PB) or Personal Record (PR) is your quickest time for any given distance. Example: A 5K PB is the quickest you ever ran a 5K race.


A interval earlier than the race, normally over the course of some weeks, the place the runner runs much less to protect power earlier than the large day.

Find the essential running terms explained

Other phrases

Midsole drop

The distinction in thickness between the back and front of the running shoe (millimeters). A change within the midsole drop (heel drop) when shopping for new footwear can have an effect on your running model and damage threat.

Neutral shoe

Neutral running footwear don’t present additional corrective help. Unlike impartial footwear, stability footwear are designed with additional midfoot help (see Pronation).


As you run, your foot naturally rolls inward at one level. This is named pronation. Running footwear will be designed for overpronation, underpronation (supination), or impartial. (see Neutral shoe)

Runner’s high

The feeling of bliss that occurs throughout or after a run. From endorphins to endocannabinoids, science is uncertain of which chemical compounds make it occur. But runners agree that it’s addictive!

Runner’s knee

A standard running damage, skilled as a particular kind of knee ache positioned on the outer facet of the knee joint.

Shin splints

Another widespread damage for runners, skilled as ache running up the within of your decrease leg.

That’s it. If you bought this far, you at the moment are able to seize your bib, skip the bonk, and beat the bandit!

Feel like we missed some vital phrases? Let us know within the feedback under!




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