Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Running Jargon

Like all sports, running has a language of it is own. Last year when I was a newbie, I would read Runners World or running related blogs and have no idea what they were talking about. What's a PR or a BQ or taper?! Slowly but surely I'm picking up the lingo.



For those of us who are new to running, Saucony posted this nice little article defining common terms.

A few helpful ones:
Aid Station: A stop in a race with water, sports drinks and other aid.

Base: Mileage accumulated per week.

Bib: Race number usually pinned to the front of your shirt or shorts.

Bonk: To run out of energy or "hit the wall" in a race or workout.

BQ: Boston Qualify. The Boston Marathon requires that a certain time standard be run, based on gender and age, in order to qualify for an official number.

CR: Course record.

Chip: A lightweight chip that a runner ties on their shoelace to uniquely identify and time them as they cross an electronic mat at the start and finish lines.

Chute: A roped off area at the finish of a race where the officials collect the tear off part of a bib (race number) to use for determining the time/place of a runner.

Cross training: Activities that complement running, such as swimming, biking or weight lifting. Also referred to as XT.

Fartlek: A Swedish word that means "speed play." In a fartlek workout, you vary your pace throughout the run with recovery jogs in between faster efforts.

Flats: Light weight shoes used for speed training or racing.

Hill repeats: Running repeats up a hill fast with a walk or slow jog downhill to recover.

Intervals: A workout that consists of running a set distance at a fast pace, usually on a track. Between the intervals, recover by either jogging slowly or walking.

Junk miles: Easy paced runs done in order to reach a weekly mileage total rather than for any specific training effect.

LSD: Long slow (steady) distance.

MP: Marathon pace.

Master: Runner 40 years of age plus.

Negative splits: Running the second half of a race faster than the first.

Out and back:
A course you run out for a certain distance, then turn around and run back.

PR and PB
: Personal record or personal best.

PW: Personal worst.

Point to Point: A course that starts at one point and finishes at another. 

Rabbit: A runner who purposely goes out to set a fast pace in a race, often dropping out before the finish. 

Runner's Trot: Stomach problems on the run that usually require a porta-potty or large hedge to duck behind.

Singlet: Light weight tank top worn by runners.

Splits: Times in a race at measured miles or kilometers.

Taper: To cut back on mileage before a race in order to be rested.

Ultramarathon: A race that's longer than the 26.2 mile marathon. Distances can include 50K, 50 miles and 100 miles, among others.

Lingo Lessons Learned Lately:
•While it's doubtful I'll be setting any course records or Boston Qualifying any time soon. It's good to know that I should be impressed when people do.  
•Plus, I didn't know people had more than one pair of running shoes at a time. Esp, didn't know there are special shoes just for racing.
•Why are any miles junk miles? I thought meeting you weekly miles total is always better than not.
•Knowing whether a race is Out and Back or Point to Point is important for race day logistics.

Hope y'all learned something. I know I did.

8 comments:

Lori said...

I had never heard of BQ. I was thinking barbecue LOL.

I think you are a real runner when you can think fartlek without laughing.

Allie said...

I know what you mean, when I first started running I had no idea what most of that was, it's nice to have a list to refer to.

Melanie said...

So I guess the 5K they did on the hit TV show The Office would be considered "Point to Point." I have now used one of these vocabulary words in a sentence.

Melissa said...

This was a great list! It took me FOREVER when reading blogs to figure out what BQ meant. LOL!

Teamarcia said...

I only wish running a BQ were as enjoyable as eating some BBQ. I guess I could eat the BBQ after the BQ...or go to DQ...

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

SO true about the lingo!! I remember someone saying PR to me and I was like um public relations what are you talkign about!

Also just checking for that link to give you a point on the challenge, thanks!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

you rockstar, I just saw you recommneded the challenge in the comments of someone's blog, what a sweetheart!

Shelley said...

Fartlek still makes me giggle every time I read it...

Thank you for this list - there are so many things that are confusing to me! I finally figured out BQ maybe a couple months ago, and PR threw me for the longest time as well. I didn't know there was a PW but that makes sense. Junk miles? New one to me! And I'm with you...people have more than one pair of running shoes?!?