The Running Jargon Cheat Sheet: Part II

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You know what they say. When you’re new at something, fake it ’til you make it. So when you’re running friends tell you about their fartlek workout, try to suppress your giggle, nod your head, slide your iPhone under the table and quickly consult Google to read up on what the heck they are talking about. (We’ve all done this.)

The sport of running comes with a set of words that the general public does not generally understand. The lingo comes with running experience, and for those of us who are new to the running world, it takes time to pick it up. Running newbies rejoice! I’m here to let you in on a few terms that will give you an extra edge when it comes to run chatter. Welcome to the second installment of my Running Jargon Cheat Sheet.

tera_1Aid Station

Aid stations are the designated areas on a race course where racers stop or slow down to to consume food and fluid. Some aid stations offer water or electrolyte fuel, where others can be larger areas where support teams can check in with the runner.

Juli was so happy to meet up with Randy at the Rucky Chucky aid station and refuel with Osmo since she had run out.


Bibs are useful when you’re a baby. That, or if you’re a runner in a race, and you need to be identified as a competitor. A runner’s bib is a piece of paper pinned to the front or back of their top, often displaying a number by which they are identified.

Don’t forget to grab safety pins for your bib, you wouldn’t want to be disquailified from the race!


Buuurn. Girl power! This term seems a little silly (and perhaps slightly sexist?), but it refers to being passed by a women in a race.

Erik regularly gets chicked by his wife, Tara, when racing ultramarathons.


No, not the alternative/post-grunge band that we all love to hate. I’m talking nutrition here. If the run is long, runners need to pack gels, chews, bars, or other energy rich foods to keep them properly fueled.

I found that I could store all the fuel I needed for my long run within the zippered pocket on my shorts.


An interval workout is one in which a set distance is run repeatedly, with a recovery jog between. Running 400m distances on the track six times with a 100m recovery jog between each 400m would be a good example. It’s another form of training and helps improve your speed.

In order to improve his speed, Chris implemented 400-meter repeats into his weekly interval workouts.


Okay whoa, don’t trip. This LSD is an acronym for long slow distance, or the longest run for the week.

She ran her LSD on Saturday as a part of her marathon training.


Moisture what-ing?! Wicking. Like the wick of a candle. Only it has nothing to do with candles. Unless you use candles to dry your clothes… but I digress. Moisture-wicking is a technical property of a material that draws moisture away from the skin and proceeds to transfer it to the outside of the fabric where it can evaporate quickly. This leaves your skin dryer, cooler, and oh-so-happy. You want all of your running gear to be moisture-wicking, as a general rule. Once you go synthetic, you never go back (to cotton).

Try using a synthetic running top instead of a cotton t-shirt during your runs. You’re chafing will thank you.


Singlets are sleeveless tank tops that are a popular choice among runners while racing. I think we can all breath a collective sigh of relief that running singlets are not the same as wrestling singlets.

The BOA Running Warehouse Race Kit has my totes fave singlet for race day. 

Recovery Run

Takin’ it easy. A recovery run is run at a comfortable pace to condition the body to running regularly but not necessarily with the purpose of improving speed or endurance.

Sean had a brutal workout on Tuesday so his recovery run on Wednesday was very slow.


Could refer to the punch bowl at the holiday party… or it could refer to the act of getting kicked or stepped on by a runner wearing racing spikes. Ouch. Usually this happens during an aggressive track or cross-country race, and can be pretty darn painful.

Scotty had to cancel the photo shoot because his legs got spiked during his race in Scotland. Fortunately, the spiked injury will not end his career as a calf model.


Banana splits? Sign me up. Oh, not that kind of splits… right, we’re talking about running. Stay focused! When you take a race’s total time and divide it up into smaller parts, those parts are splits. Even splits happen when a runner runs at the same pace through the entire race, while a negative split occurs when they run faster in the second half.

Keeping track of her splits, Jen found that she rocked a negative split in the 10k.


No, we’re not talking about gearing up for battle. Tactical is a word used to describe a type of race. When the prospective race winners choose to strategically save their energy for the final push of the race, it becomes a tactical race. The times tend to be slower but the finish can be more exciting.

Neither Callie nor Amanda wanted to take the lead at the Pozo 5k, so the race turned tactical as they pushed hard in the final 800 meters.


Ultra long, ultra crazy, ultra impressive, and quite possibly the most hardcore running you’ve ever heard of. Ultramarathons or Ultras are any race of a distance over 26.2 miles. Common ultramarathon distances are 50K, 50 mile, or 100 mile races.

Oh yea, that last ultra I ran only took me 20 hours… just had to walk a few uphill sections, got altitude sickness and fainted twice – but other than that it felt great!

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