Runner Tips: Learn the Lingo

Running, to me, is one of the friendliest sports to be part of.  The camaraderie between runners on the trail abounds; I always offer waves of encouragement and support and find that the same is reciprocated to me.  I've also found that no matter the distance or the experience, runners are always happy to share stories of races and give advice to beginners.  If you're new to the running scene, use this list of key runners terms to fit right in to the chatter!

 Lace up those shoes and join us for a run!

Lace up those shoes and join us for a run!

PR - This stands for Personal Record.  I prefer to say personal best if I speak the word out loud but, I will say, "I'm trying to PR today" or " My PR for the marathon is 4:24:03".  A PR is a big deal so if someone says they recently PRd in a race, even if only by seconds, give them a big congratulations!

BQ - Boston Qualifier.  The Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious non-professional, non-Olympic events there is in the running world.  Because of this, the Boston Athletic Association has strict standards for getting into the race.  Most races can be run simply by registering before the entries are sold out.  The Boston Marathon requires a specific time (BQ) based on your gender and your age to even be able to register.  My qualifying time as a 29-year old female is 3 hours and 35 minutes.

LSD - No, this is not related to the drug.  LSD stands for Long Slow Distance.  In distance training (half and full marathon, or beyond)

Negative Splits -  Negative splits are a training run dream.  These occur when your time per mile gets faster every mile.  So think starting slowly and easing into a faster pace as you go, then finishing really strong.  It's a standard racing approach for distances longer than a 5k and up to a half marathon.  

Taper - In the last 2 to 3 weeks of distance training, the mileage significantly drops in the training plan to allow the legs and muscles some rest and recovery time.  It's a particularly tough time mentally for runners because it's easy to feel like you're losing weeks of speed, strength and endurance progress.  As challenging as this period is in the training cycle, it is so important to respect the taper! (Beware of runners who tell you they're tapering....they're prone to moodiness and instability)

Fartlek - This is a particular style of running with no particular rules except that you run fast some, and you run slow some.  You can use a timer to dictate your intervals or you can use markers on the street (street lights, street corners, garbage cans etc.)  It's a fun way to get some interval training in and pass the time during runs of longer miles. 

Pace - Runners talk about their pace usually speaking about minutes per mile.  For example, the average pace I would need to BQ is 8:12 per mile.  I don't have to run an exact 8:12 minute mile for all 26.2 but the average across the race distance should work out to that number.  The lower your pace number is, the faster your run was.

Ultra - An ultra is kind of an ambiguous race distance.  I consider everything over 26.2 (marathon distance) to be an ultra.  Races of 50 miles, 100 miles or 24-48 hour races are also considered ultras.  I am fairly confident that I will never run an ultra.

Are there any words you hear runners throw around and are unsure what we're talking about?  Let us know and we'll do our best to help you understand the lingo.  

You are also invited to join us at the Studio for any of our group runs.  We are friendly and supportive, no matter your experience!  Tuesdays 6am and 12:30pm, Thursdays 6am and Saturdays at 7am.