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A - Z of running terms for the beginner | Tip Top Wellbeing

When you start any exercise/sport, there are acronyms and strange phrases that you may not have heard of before, here are a few of those phrases for running, there are probably many more which I have either left off (or forgotten!).

ABC’s

Agility, Balance and coordination, training to improve running.

Aerobic systems

Means with Oxygen. Activities over 3 mins of continued effort at a level which does not have a lactic affect i.e. long slow runs if you have the endurance to do so.

Anaerobic

Means activity without Oxygen and can be split into two areas
Alactic
The first 9-10 seconds of any activity.
Lactic
From 10 seconds to 3 mins, the rate at which acid forms can be improved with the correct training.

Anaerobic threshold (AT)

The transition phase between aerobic and anaerobic running. Good training will increase this threshold by teaching the muscles to use oxygen more efficiently, so that less acid is produced. Also known as “lactate threshold.”

Anterior

The front of the body, moving the limbs anteriorly.

Cool-down (or Warm down)

Slow running or jogging done after a workout or competition
to lower the heart rate, loosen muscles and help the body to remove acid accumulated.

CR

Course record.

DNF

Did not finish.

DNS

Did not start.

DOMS

Delayed onset muscle soreness. Muscle soreness that normally peaks about 48 hours after exercise.

Drills

Moves that replicate the intended activity and or practises moves in the activity.

Dynamic warm up

Taking the body through a series of moves that replicate the moves required for the event or exercise about to undertake.

Fartlek

Swedish for “speed play;” variable pace running; a mixture
of slow running, running at a moderate pace and short, fast bursts.
Fartlek training is a “creative way” to increase speed and endurance.

Gait Analysis

Analysis of your running action.

Intervals

Training in which short, fast “repeats” or “repetitions” generally between fast running and jogging, beginners can also do this with running and walking for example 1 min running 30 walking, more experienced runners will use this to improve their speed.

Lactic acid

Acid forms in the muscles during the lactic phase of training. This acid is associated with muscle fatigue and sore aching muscles.

Lateral

Refers to movements of the limbs moving out to the side or the outside of the knee, LCL.

Marathon

26.2 miles

Maximum heart rate

The highest heart-rate reached during a specified period of time. General calculation is 240 – age.

Medial

Referring to the inner side of the body including the knee, medial meniscus.

Mile

1609 meters, 5280 feet, or 1760 yards.

Negative splits

Running the second half of a race or training session faster than the first half.

Overpronation

The excessive inward roll of the foot before toe-off.

Plyometrics

Bounding exercises; jumping moves to increase elastic strength.

Posterior

The back of the body.

PR/PB

Personal record/personal best.

Runner’s high

An unexpected sense of wellbeing whilst running, attributed to endorphins

Running economy

Refers how well your body utilises oxygen whilst running, the smaller amount needed the better the economy VO2.

Splits

Refers to markers in time and distance i.e. 10*400 metres or mile splits

Strength and Conditioning

Exercises that support whatever sport or race distance you take part in, can be done using body weight, or weights in the gym, outside or at home.

Strides

Short, fast, but controlled runs of 30 to 100 metres. Strides can be used in warm and training session and can be used to build speed and efficiency.

Taper

Cutting back on mileage and increasing rest anything from 3 days to 3 weeks depending on the distance of the race.

Target heart rate

A range of heart rate reached during exercise, which enables an athlete to gain maximum benefit. i.e. run 10*400metres at 88-92% of max heart rate.

Tempo runs

Sustained effort over 20 to 30 minutes, just less than your race pace.

Threshold runs

Fast runs; Also call lactic threshold runs, this is the point at which your muscles fatigue at a rapid rate, this type of training raises your lactic threshold.

Triathlon

Over achievers, Swim, Cycle, Run.

Ultra marathon

Anything over 26.2 miles

VO2Max (maximal oxygen consumption)

The maximal amount of oxygen that a person has to use whilst exercising to transport to the body’s tissues and organs.

Warm-up

Increasing the heart rate and allowing oxygen to fuel the muscles. Getting the joints ready by initiating the release of synovial fluid (think engine oil). The length and type of warm up is dependent on the toughness/type of the training session.

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