Friday, July 27, 2012

Running lingo


The running world is a different world with a language all it's own! I get asked a lot of questions about different running terminology and I would love to pass on some of the knowledge that I have learned in the past couple years.  These are some of the words that I use most often, so I thought I'd explain them. 

  • 5K = 3.1 miles
  • Half Marathon = 13.1 miles
  • Marathon= 26.2 miles
  • Ultra Marathon is any race over 26.2 miles, typically raced on trails
  • Fartlek= periods of fast running in the middle of a regular run (did that make you giggle? It's ok, I think I giggle a little bit every time I say it. Try it, it's fun!)
  • Bonk: also called Hitting the Wall; a state of exhaustion where if you can keep going, it's very slow going (usually mile 18-20 in a marathon)
  • GP/MP: goal race pace, marathon goal pace
  • Easy Run; keeping the pace slow enough that you can have a conversation without gasping for breath
  • LSD: Long Slow Distance run; used to help build endurance
  • PR= Personal Record, best time that a runner has for a specific distance
  • Bandit: a person that runs a race without registering or paying for the race
  • DNF: Did not Finish, runner drops out of a race
  • Taper: Greatly reducing mileage in the two to three weeks leading up to a big race to ensure peak performance on race day
  • DOMS: Delay Onset Muscle Soreness, i.e. sore muscles the day or two after a hard workout or race
What other terms do you get asked about a lot? What should I add to my list?


  1. tempo runs - I bet it was a year before I learned what it was!

  2. That's a pretty good list! There's also DNS = Did Not Start. I've never heard of a bandit before and I appreciate the fartlek definition! I had no idea!

  3. Thanks for these! Some of these I hadn't heard of! Like Bonk...I've always just called it hitting the wall!

  4. The "how long was that marathon" question is the one I have to answer most.


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