Learn everything you need to know about running, training, racing, and more from our ever-growing running dictionary. Notice something we missed? Contact us directly, and we will add it!

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AcidosisGeneralThe result of excess lactate in muscles inhibiting muscle contraction reducing overall function (achieved by sustained anaerobic effort)
AerobicGeneralThe level of effort during which the oxygen supply is sufficient to meet the demands of physical activity and the body consumes primarily ATP and fat for fuel (considered to be 60%-85% of maximum effort)
Aerobic ThresholdTrainingThe maximum level of effort still considered aerobic, usually sustainable for up to one hour in a well-conditioned athlete
Aid StationRacingThe area on a race course where water, fuel, food, and sometimes medical services are provided
AlacticGeneralTechnically, "anaerobic alactic," referring to the energy system that, in addition to ATP, consumes the limited supply of CP (creatine phosphate), lasting for only up to 10 seconds without producing lactic acid
AnaerobicGeneralThe level of effort during which physical demand exceeds the supply of oxygen and the body consumes primarily glucose for fuel and produces significant quantities of lactic acid (considered to be 85%-100% of maximum effort)
Anaerobic ThresholdTrainingThe maximum level of effort still considered anaerobic, usually sustainable for up to 10-15 minutes
Anchor LegRacingThe final performance in a relay (the last "leg" or section)
ARRacingArea Record (abbreviation), usually used interchangeably with "national record" but as a more general reference to include areas not specifically designated as nations
BanditRacingJargon for any individual who participates in all or some of a race without officially entering (often can result in future disqualification)
BibRacingThe paper with an entrant's number which the race staff use to track a runner's performance
BonkRacingThe term for severely underperforming in a given race (or workout), especially late in effort. "He was going for 3 hours but completely bonked in the last few miles."
BQRacingBoston Qualifier. The Boston Marathon has exclusive entry based on time standards (by age group).
Butt KicksMovementA running drill in which you bring your foot to your rear (mobilizing quads, activating hamstrings).
CadenceMovementThe rate at which your feet continuously hit the ground (measured in steps/minute).
Chip TimeRacingThe race result calculated from the starting line to the finish line (regardless of corral or wave position at the start)
Club TeamGeneralA team of community up to elite or professional athletes who represent the same affiliation (often a running store or brand) as part of a training/racing group
Cool downTrainingEasy running that follows a harder effort (training or racing), generally considered to be beneficial to help in restoring blood PH and/or joint mobility (should be low aerobic or sub-aerobic effort)
CRRacingCourse record (abbreviation)
CruiseTrainingA moderate aerobic effort intended to be around 70-75% of max effort (conversational, for most)
DeclaringRacingThe formal expression of intent to compete in an event (sometimes required in addition to entry, especially for elevated status or events like elite status or championship races)
Deferring a raceRacingThe act of reserving a race entry for the future because of the inability to compete (usually only allowed in extreme circumstances, if at all)
Diamond LeagueRacingA lucrative international track and field event series for professional athletes where the athlete (1 male, 1 female) with the most amount of points after the series of 14 events receives the Diamond League crown (and a cash prize)
DNFRacingDid not finish (abbreviation) - used in results when an entrant begins an event but drops out before crossing the finish
DNSRacingDid not start (abbreviation) - used in results when a participant is entered for an event but never crosses the start line
DrillsMovementAny series of GSM (general strength and/or mobility) exercises, usually referring to the series athletes perform prior to running
Elite RunnerGeneralA general reference to any runner considered to be of the uppermost tier, usually determined by excellent performances in a given event
EntryRacingA confirmed registration for an event
FartlekTrainingSwedish for "speed play," a form of elevated aerobic (and sometimes anaerobic) effort that constitutes regular changes in pace and effort throughout a run
FasciaMovementA thin, strong, fibrous connective tissue extending throughout your body to provide support and protection to your muscles and bones
Finish ShootRacingThe area immediately following the finish line, usually containing post-race amenities, nourishment, support persons, and medical aid
FlatsEquipmentJargon for a range of footwear generally considered to be intended for road racing, usually constituting lighter weight and more aggressive features than typical shoes
Foam RollerEquipmentA foam cylinder (other rollers may be plastic, rubber, or silicon) upon which one rolls a muscle or muscle group to support myofascial release and increased blood flow to sore or tight muscles
FormGeneralThe position and structure of the body while in the running motion
GSMMovementGeneral Strength and Mobility (abbreviation) - the broad term for exercises devoted to coordination, stability, and functional movement
Heart Rate ReserveGeneralThe difference between maximum and resting heart rate, used to generate heart rate zones and calculate percent of maximum effort (calculated by (p*HRR)-resting HR
High KneesMovementAn activation drill where the knees are lifted until parallel with the hips while in the running motion
IntervalsTrainingThe term for any kind of structured repetitions workout, most often referring to VO2max or harder efforts (although sometimes used for any kind of repetition)
Juniors DivisionGeneralThe division of athletes under the age of 20, a designation rarely used outside championship level competition
KickRacingThe final acceleration at the end of a race
Knee DriveMovementThe motion of the knee during its forward trajectory
Lactate ThresholdGeneralThe level of effort during which maximum tolerable lactic acid is produced (also VO2max or anaerobic threshold)
Lactic AcidGeneral("lactate") a byproduct of the anaerobic energy system capable of providing some energy without the presence of oxygen while slowly collecting in muscles
Lane AssignmentRacingThe given starting position for participants in a track competition
Masters DivisionRacingThe division of athletes over the age of 40, a designation seen at nearly all levels of competition and events
MileageTrainingJargon for the total volume of running performed in a given period of time "My mileage was a little low last week because I was sick."
MobilityMovementThe capacity for movement of any given joint of the body
Myofascial ReleaseMovementThe disengaging of fascia that has been partially or wholly immobilized
Negative SplitRacingWhen over the course of a run, pace increases and splits decrease in time
Net TimeRacing(Sometimes referred to as "gun time") the race result calculated from the moment the race officially begins to the finish line (generally only used for official prize money and awards as well as records)
NRRacingNational Record (abbreviation)
ORRacingOlympic Record (abbreviation)
OTQRacingOlympic Trials Qualifier (abbreviation) - referring to any event or activity
PacerRacingA participant committed to running a specified pace for a given period of a race
PBRacingPersonal Best (abbreviation)
PeakTrainingThe highest point of fitness during a training cycle or season "I hope to hit my peak during the last couple weeks of my season."
PickupsTrainingAny period of acceleration during a run, often for an undefined period
PlyometricsMovementMovement exercises to increase power, stability, and/or efficiency, usually through explosive motion such as jumping
Podium FinishRacingThe top finishers in a race or competition, usually represented by receiving an award on a stage or other elevated prominence (most commonly top 3 finishers)
PRRacingPersonal record (abbreviation)
Professional RunnerGeneralAn athlete who is paid to run, generally in the form of a contractual agreement
PronationMovementthe inward or downward rotation of the foot and ankle (in extremes, can cause significant pain and sometimes injury)
RabbitRacingJargon for "pacer," specifically referring to a lead pacer and sometimes simply indicating a runner who leads a race (not necessarily in an official pacing capacity)
Race WalkGeneralAn endurance event group during which athletes' movements are regulated to simulate walking at high speeds (back knee must be straight when front knee crosses, and one foot must remain on the ground at all times)
Red ShirtRacingThe term given to a runner who intentionally takes an "off" season from representing a given team (may still be training and racing so long as the team or affiliation is not represented in competition).
RelayRacingA race done in portions by team members where the performance culminates in a single finish or result
RepeatsTrainingAny length of run chosen to do more than once within a workout (usually used interchangeably with "intervals")
Runner's HighGeneralThe feeling commonly associated with the production of endorphins resulting from physical activity (usually only once a runner is well-conditioned).
Runner's KneeMovementThe general term given to knee injuries runners often experience around the patella
Running EconomyTrainingThe term for the combination of factors contributing to a runner's efficiency
ScratchRacingThe term for an athlete or coach removing that entered athlete from an event prior to competition
Seed timeRacingThe entry time provided prior to competition that is used to establish starting corrals, lanes, and positions as well as to determine elite or invitational status
Seniors DivisionGeneralThe division of athletes between ages 20-40, a designation rarely used outside championship level competition
SingletEquipmentA designated start line staging area intended to organize runners by expected performance to help establish an orderly start
SloggingTrainingJargon for running especially slowly or unnecessarily effortlessly "I was feeling tired, so I slogged the last few repeats."
Snot RocketGeneralA forceful projection of mucus from the nose, often while running
Speed trainingTrainingTraining intended to grow maximum speed potential (often more generally used to describe any kind of interval or repeat workout)
SpikesEquipmentGenerally used to refer to track or cross country shoes with fixed spike plates on the bottom (usually with removable spikes and a molded plastic or carbon form)
Split shortsEquipmentShorts with a split outer seam for increased ease of motion
SplitsGeneralAny given segment of a workout, usually referring to time "What were your mile splits for that long run?"
SprintTrainingGenerally referring to running a maximum speed or effort
StabilityMovementPertaining to the body's structural strength and ability to hold a position (in running, usually referring running posture and movement)
Starting CorralRacingA designated start line staging area intended to organize runners by expected performance to help establish an orderly start
Steady StateTrainingA high aerobic effort intended to be around 75-85% of max effort (just beyond conversational, for most)
SteeplechaseRacingIn running, this track event includes fixed barriers that athletes must hurdle with a water hazard following one of the 5 barriers per 400m (commonly run as 3000m)
StravaEquipmentSocial media platform designed for tracking and sharing workouts (used primarily for cycling, running, and swimming)
StrideMovementThe movement of the leg and foot from push-off to ground contact to push-off
StridesTrainingThe common term for short bursts of sprinting, a training maneuver intended to achieve neuromuscular activation without taxing the system (often no more than 100m in length or shorter with significant rest between)
SupinationMovementthe outward or upward rotation of the foot and ankle (in extremes, can cause significant pain and sometimes injury)
TaperTrainingThe period near the end of a training cycle or season when an athlete gradually decreases volume in preparation for the target race (generally recommended to be no more than 3, sometimes 4 weeks)
TempoTrainingAlso "aerobic threshold", or the degree of effort that begins to exceed aerobic and enter anaerobic (generally 80-85% of max effort, or around half marathon race effort)
ThresholdTrainingUsually referring to aerobic threshold, or the degree of effort that begins to exceed aerobic and enter anaerobic (though sometimes also used for anaerobic threshold, which is VO2max)
TrainersEquipmentEveryday running shoes used for training
Training LogEquipmentThe place, whether digital or material, a runner documents their training (most often considered to house such details as mileage, effort, notes, and more)
Ultra MarathonRacingGenerally considered to be any race longer than a marathon (most often 50 kilometers and above)
UnattachedRacingAny athlete competing without an affiliation
USATFGeneralUnited States of America Track and Field (abbreviation) the USA's governing body over most of the sport associated with running (including track and field, road running, and cross country)
VO2 MaxGeneralThe measurement for the maximum volume of oxygen a body can absorb and convert into energy, often closely associated with endurance athletics)
Warm upTrainingEasy running that precedes a harder effort (training or racing), generally considered to be beneficial to help in system and muscular activation (should be low- to mid-aerobic effort in most cases)
World AthleticsGeneral(formerly the IAAF) the governing body for international running competition (and track and field, cross country)
World Marathon MajorsGeneral(Abbott World Marathon Majors) 6 of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, New York)
World RankingRacingGlobal point system rankings based on high level competition and relative placement with other competitors, maintained by the IAAF
WRGeneralWorld Record (abbreviation) - generally ratified and kept by the IAAF