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

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

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

The extra you run, the extra you start to speak like a runner. This checklist of 40+ operating phrases might be helpful alongside your operating journey. 

You may want it when preparing for a race, buying running shoes, or simply attempting to know completely different operating training plans.

Bookmark this publish or obtain the total (alphabetical) glossary of operating phrases and share it with fellow runners!

Running phrases glossary by matter

Basic training phrases


During aerobic exercise (additionally referred to as “cardio”) respiration (oxygen) is ample to fulfill the power calls for of the muscle tissue. Think of low to reasonable depth actions like jogging.


Exercise becomes anaerobic when respiration doesn’t present sufficient oxygen to fulfill power wants. Think excessive depth, most effort actions comparable to sprints.


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

Core/Core training

Your core consists of the muscle tissue across the center of your body (abs & again). It performs a task in stability and thereby influences your operating kind. Your core could be educated with specific exercises.

Cross-training (XT)

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


Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a feeling of discomfort in your muscles 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 price (MHR).

Lactic acid

A by-product of power metabolism throughout intense actions (see Anaerobic). A buildup of lactic acid is often described as “muscle burn” or stiffness, however it’s not 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 sleep, nutrition, and active recovery to keep away from overtraining and make progress.

Stretching Dynamic/Static

Dynamic stretching includes mild, bouncy actions by the vary of movement to heat up the body earlier than operating. Static stretching means holding a place on the finish vary of motion. It could be finished after operating to calm down tight muscle tissue.

VO2 max

Your most oxygen uptake (VO2 max) tells you ways effectively your body can use oxygen throughout exercise. When you stop exercising for a while 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 price up and improve blood circulation to the muscle tissue. It often consists of jogging, dynamic stretches, and/or running drills.

Running training phrases

Base training

The training program part 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 out of the blue comes over you throughout a long term, generally referred to as “hitting the wall”. It could be averted with proper nutrition and training plans.


How many steps you are taking per minute whereas operating. Optimal cadence is particular person, however a quicker 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 operating kind. These exercises are called drills and are sometimes carried out as a part of the warm-up.

Easy run

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


Swedish for “speed play”. A training run the place effort and intervals should not set beforehand and may also embody uphill and downhill operating. The objective of fartlek training is to play with pace whereas bettering operating 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 is not any proof that one is finest for everybody.


Intervals or interval training means quick bursts of operating blended with slower operating or walking durations (however not fully stopping/standing nonetheless).

LSD/Long run

Long Slow Distance (LSD) or Long Run is a crucial sort of run included in operating packages. 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 quicker than the primary. (see Split time)


Your pace is what number of minutes that you must run a kilometer or a mile. This shouldn’t be confused with pace, which tells you what number of kilometers or miles you might be operating per hour

Split time

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

Streak operating

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


Strides are brief, ~30 sec, regularly accelerating operating bursts finished at as much as 90% of your most pace. A single step taken throughout a run will also be referred to as a stride.

Tempo run

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

Trail operating

Running on unpaved surfaces (dust roads, forest trails, mountaineering routes…). Trail race routes must 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 operating a race with out formally registering or paying for it.


A sheet of paper that you simply connect to your chest when operating a race. It incorporates your registration quantity and an digital chip that may monitor 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 might be unlikely to cross the beginning line instantly after the official start. A chip will report the time from the second you go the beginning line. Chip timing could be finished by way of completely different transponder methods, comparable to 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 truly 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 brief distance (dash). 800 – 1609 meters is center distance and 2000 – 42,195 meters is known as lengthy distance. A full marathon is a 42.2 kilometer / 26 miles 385 yards lengthy race. Any race longer than a marathon is known as 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, often 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 operating shoe (millimeters). A change within the midsole drop (heel drop) when shopping for new footwear can have an effect on your operating type and damage threat.

Neutral shoe

Neutral trainers 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 known as pronation. Running footwear could be designed for overpronation, underpronation (supination), or impartial. (see Neutral shoe)

Runner’s excessive

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

Runner’s knee

A typical operating damage, skilled as a specific type of knee pain situated on the outer aspect of the knee joint.

Shin splints

Another frequent damage for runners, skilled as pain running up the inside of your lower 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 necessary phrases? Let us know within the feedback beneath!




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