Monday, August 10, 2015

What did you just say? Running terms you should know.



 If you are like I was when I started running, I had no idea what my running friends were talking about.  I don’t know what my cadence is and what is this about a Fartlek?  Am I about to smell something nasty?  Here are a list of common running terms that you might come across.

Distances:
400 meters = 1 lap around a track = about .25 miles
1600 meters = 4 laps around a track = about 1 mile
5K = 3.1 miles
10K = 6.2 miles
15K = 9.3 miles
Half Marathon = 13.1 miles
Marathon = 26.2 miles
50K = about 31 miles

Running Terms:

Achilles Tendon
The tendon that runs from the bottom of your heel to your calf along the back of your leg.

Achilles Tendinitis
The inflammation of the Achilles tendon, can occur in new runners who increase their distance or intensity too quickly. Achilles tendonitis is also caused when runners try to go to a lower heel drop or minimalist shoe too quickly without letting their muscles and tendons adapt.

Aid Station 
Spots along a race where volunteers hand out water or sports drinks.  Some races provide energy gels as well. 

 Bandit
A person who illegally runs a race with the rest of the participants, but does not pay.  Some bandits wear photoshopped bibs while others don’t wear a bib at all. 

Bib
A piece of paper that has your race number printed on it.  It also sometimes has your timing chip on the back.  You pin this to your shirt before the race.

Bonk/Hitting the Wall
When you are running and have no gas left in the tank.  This happens when your body runs out of fuel.  To avoid this, practice taking in energy gels or other sources of energy early and often. 

BQ (Boston Qualifying Time)
Completing a Boston qualifier race fast enough to meet the cutoff to qualify for the Boston Marathon (the Superbowl of marathons).

Cadence
The amount times your feet strikes the ground per minute.  It is said that 180 steps per minute is ideal.

Carb-Loading
Loading up on carbs including pasta, bread, and pancakes to store energy in your muscles prior to a race.

Chafing
When your clothes or skin rubs you raw.  This can be excruciating and can even result in bleeding.  There are anti-chafe solutions out there though.  The most common areas include inner thighs, armpits, and nipples.

Corral
Much like herding cattle, there are sectioned off areas at the start of a race.  You are put in a specific section based on your estimated finish time.  The faster runners are positioned in the corrals closest to the start line.

DNF (Did Not Finish)
When you do not cross the finish line of a race.

DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
You might feel great right after your long run, but you get sorer as the day progresses.  You can get more sore following few days too.   

Fartlek
Fartlek is a Swedish term for “speed play.” While you are out for a run, look for a light pole, intersection, or other landmark that is about 100-200 feet away.  Start to run, but not at an all-out sprint.  Slow back down to an easy run once you reach the landmark.

Hamstrings
The muscles on the back of your legs, below your hip, but above you knee. They help flex your knees and extend your hips.  Hamstrings are your primary running muscle.  Make sure you stretch them out! 

Hypoxic
When your lungs can’t keep up with your heart and you don’t have enough oxygen pumping through your system. This usually happens when you start a run or race too quickly because you have an abundance of Adrenaline.  Slow your pace until you warm up, then you can take off again.

Intervals/Repeats
Intervals can either be done at the track or on the road.  They typically consist of running segments ranging from 200 to 1600 meter range.  You usually run a faster segment followed by a slower rest period.  You would do multiple sets of these on and off intervals.  You can also have a complete rest where you stand until you are ready for another fast segment.

IT (Iliotibial) Band Syndrome
The large muscle that goes from your hip to your knee.  This is one of the 5 most common areas of pain.  The pain is typically felt on the outside and below your kneecap.   

Maximalist
Think of maximalist shoes like oversized skis or tennis racquets.  They provide a larger sweet spot.  Maximalist shoes have tons of cushioning and have become very popular over the past few years.  Brands like Hoka One One and Altra are well known for these shoes.  Thanks to new foam technologies, these shoes can even weigh less than shoes with less cushion.

Minimalist
Minimalist shoes are lightweight and have a low heel-to-toe drop (under 6mm).  They don’t offer much in terms of support or structure.  Many people who like minimalist shoes talk about how their shoes allow more ground feel and that their feet can move in a more natural movement.

Negative splits
Negative splits are when you start out at a slower pace and get faster as the run progresses.  You will end up at your goal race pace or faster in that last mile or two.

Out and Back
A course where you run out, turn around, and follow the same course back to your starting point.

Overpronation
When the outside of your heel makes contact with the ground first, and the foot rolls inward.  If you overpronate, you typically should be wearing a stability shoe to help keep your foot from rolling.

Pace
The minutes per mile that you are running.

Plantar Fascia
The thick tissue that goes from your toes to your heels underneath your foot. 

Plantar Fasciitis
When the Plantar Fascia gets inflamed.  This usually is caused by over training and is extremely painful.  It usually requires icing and rest in order to recover.

PR (Personal Record) or PB (Personal Best)
The fastest time that you have completed a certain distance.

Quads
Quadriceps are the 4 muscles on the front of your leg below your hip but above your knee.  They help stabilize your knees and can help absorb shock while running.

R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
R.I.C.E. can be used to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing.  This is one of the most commonly prescribed forms of treatment for running injuries.

Shin Splints
Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, are one of the most common injuries to new runners.  Shin splints were at one time thought to be micro tears in the soft tissue that attaches to the shin bone (tibia).  Recent studies have shown that shin splints are actually a bone injury.  If shin splints are ignored, they can progress into a stress fracture.  Shin splints are often caused by overuse or adding mileage too quickly.

Singletrack
Found in trail running where a trail is not wide enough people to pass each other.

Splits
The amount of time it takes to complete any specified distance.  You could have splits measured every mile, half mile, or quarter mile.  It is how you can gauge your progress.

Strides
These are accelerations in the middle of your run that aid in building speed. To do strides, first warm up, then push your pace to a hard effort for 50 to 150 meters, then slow and take a walking rest before repeating. Pretend you are trying to speed up and pass someone in a race.  These are similar to Fartleks.

Taper
A period of time prior to a race when a runner is cutting back on training and mileage to let their muscles recover.

Tempo Run
A tempo is a lot like a negative split run where you want to run at a fast pace and increase as your run progresses.  There are several types of tempo runs.

Timing Chip
A small plastic disc that you attach to your shoes or a foam strip that is affixed to the back of your bib that a computer reads as you cross certain points along the race course.  It is how you get your official time.


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