Running Lingo 101

From our Blog

Running Lingo 101

Every word you possibly need to know before hitting the turf and track with us.

Runners often talk in weird lingo that seems a bit strange to people who don’t lace up, and yes, even to us CrossFiters. We’ve broken down some of their weirdest terms and some more obvious ones to make sure we can all talk in slang (I often make up my own ones that many have caught me saying). Read up and get ready for the very first teaser Endurance class this Saturday at 10 a.m. Sign-up here

So here we go! Feel free to let me know of ones you’d like to add to our list:

Aerobic Threshold
The maximal pace and time that your body can work before the anaerobic energy systems start to kick in.  Runners want to increase this threshold so that they can maintain a high pace for a longer period of time.

Anaerobic Threshold
When you literally cannot feel your legs and lungs but keep pushing, as a result lactic acid builds up.

Black toenails
Ya, it’s gross. But ask any runner and they will probably tell you their toenail has changed colour from running at one point. Make sure your shoes aren’t too tight to avoid this nastiness.

Number of steps taken per minute while running. Fast people like Bolt run 180 steps per minute, or more – don’t worry we’ll get there!

Cool down
Literally, cool down your body. We will have dedicated time to cool down your muscles and get them flushed out.

I shouldn’t even be telling you what this means because it won’t happen. But this is used in a race when a runner “did not finish,” or “did not start.”

It’s fun to say, try it. I bet you already read it out loud. It means “speed play,” in Swedish and is a training method, which involves quick bursts of sprints followed by easy paced jogs, over and over again. This run is challenging for veterans and newbies as you can push it as hard as you want (Hint: this may be our teaser workout).

Foot Strike
The ball of your foot should strike down on the ground and roll off the full foot. You should run as light as a feather to avoid injury, and so you can stealthily sneak up on everyone when you pass them.

HIIT training
One of the kinds of workout we will be doing is called high intensity training. This will be interval style based with fast paced runs followed by limited rest. These workouts push capacity and conditioning.

“Hitting the wall”
This is the feeling you get when your legs really start to burn and everything hurts. And at that point, I will be screaming to push through because that is when the fun really starts.

Ice Baths
These help cool your muscles down and get rid of all that gunk that builds up if you don’t take care of it. Yes, literally a bathtub filled with ice cubes.

“Start your kick on the last 20 metres,” that doesn’t mean you actually kick your foot in the air. It means your feet start turning over fast and you give everything you have to finish off your race.

Lactic acid
As you continue to run faster and push more, lactic acid will increase and cause your muscles to diminish –aka the feeling of your muscles turning to jello.

“Long slow distance run,” we will do these sporadically so don’t be alarmed when I use the acronym.

We often say “keeping pace,” meaning you have to run at a calculated pace so you don’t gas out. “5km pace,” is often used to refer to the time of a 5km run applied to a different distance.

Pace Bunny
Not like a puck bunny, but close. The person who runs at the front to pace a race is often referred to as the “pace bunny.”

Get used to these because we will have them all summer long: personal best and personal record!

This is highly encouraged during our runs – ha ha, not that kind of pick-ups. These are similar to fartleks but are often shorter distances and more focused on accelerating through the runs.

You have all done these! This includes drills with varied heights of boxes and bounding to develop leg strength and explosiveness.

Often referring to everyone’s favourite work out: repeat 200’s (#jk). This means you run 200 metres multiple times and try to repeat the time, every time.

“Season best,” good news — your first run will be your season best! 

Sled runs
We will do resistant training with sleds and bands as a way to work on resistance training so you can feel super fast.

Speed day
This is the second type of workouts we will be doing. This is targeted at getting explosive and fast with proper form and often shorter distances. These types of workouts include intervals, hills and sprints. 

Total run time divided into parts to know how you have to pace you race. 

“Go run a few strides,” means you start slow and gradually get faster lengthening your running stride. This is used as a warm up tool before the work out to get your legs moving and warmed up.

Tempo day
This will be one of three of our type of workouts. Tempo means running at a faster pace than a jog but not as fast as a sprint, “comfortably hard.” Examples are diagonals or middle distance volume.


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