Running Terms

Starting a new activity can often come with its own terminology that may seem foreign to a new runner. Below are some terms and phrases to help you acclimate to the running lingo.

Someone who runs in a race or training program without being officially registered.

Eating extra carbohydrates in the days prior to a long run or race.

Chip or Chip time
The small timing chip affixed to a runner’s shoe for a race that collects data to create results. Chip time refers to the way the race is timed as some races may not utilize chip timing. Your chip time is the time you actually ran the race versus your net time, which is the time you spent on the course starting with when the gun goes off through your finish.

Cool down
Slow running, jogging or walking done for a few minutes after a workout prior to stretching.

Course Record (CR)
The fastest time recorded on a given race course.

Cross Training
Combining other types of exercise with your running to help enhance conditioning. Popular examples include bicycling, swimming and yoga.

“Did Not Finish” a race or run.

Fun Run
A casual, non-competitive group run popular with running clubs and running stores.

Iliotibial (IT) Band
Tissue that extends from the hip to the outer part of the knee. Runners are sometimes afflicted with ITBS or Iliotibial Band Syndrome, which can result in pain on the outside of the knee.

Running faster for shorter distances with “intervals” of jogging to “recover,” and repeated for a desired number of sessions. Often used in reference to track workouts and an effective method of improving speed.

K or KM
Kilometers. One kilometer is equal to 0.62 miles. So if you are running a 5K race you are covering 5 x 0.62 or 3.1 miles.

Sprinting at the end of a race.

Long Run
Term typically used when training for races such as a half-marathon or marathon. Usually long runs are conducted once a week to build stamina. SCRR meets for long runs on Saturdays and Sundays

Meters. One meter is equal to 3.28 feet. 1,000 meters is equal to one kilometer (K or KM), and one kilometer is equal to 0.62 miles. So, a 5,000 meter and 5K race are the same thing - 3.1 miles.

Negative Splits
Running the second half of a race or training run faster than you run the first half.

When your heel strikes the ground and the forefoot rolls inward too much.

Personal Record

Your times between mile markers during a race or between selected points during a training run. For example, “She ran splits of 9:00, 9:10, and 8:50 on her way to a 27:00-minute 5k.”

When your heel strikes the ground and the forefoot does not roll inward properly (or far enough).

Scaling back mileage prior to a big or long race. Tapering helps muscles rest so that they are ready for optimum performance on race day.

Tempo Runs
Training runs, usually 30 to 45 minutes in length. A warm up progresses to more intense pacing ranging from one minute per mile slower than 10K race pace to 15 seconds slower than 10K pace at the latter stages of the run.

As in an “ultra-marathon” Any race that's longer than the marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

The Wall
A point where your body’s glycogen reserves are severely depleted or exhausted. Typically occurs during the latter stages of long runs and races such as a marathon. You may hear people say, “She hit the wall at mile 22.”

A specialized fiber’s ability to draw perspiration away from the skin rather than absorb it, which traps in heat.

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