What the Fartlek?! 21 Running Terms Explained

As you enter the wild world of running, you might find yourself attempting to translate training plans, surrounded by unusual (and possibly unnecessary) gear, all while confused by a whole new language! Coaches and friends may use lingo leaving you scratching your head while staying on the sidelines. Here’s a list of 21 running terms to help get you going on your running journey!
Aid Station: Points along the race course (more common in distances further than a 5k) where volunteers/staff hand out water, electrolyte drinks, snacks, etc. In extreme environments or in ultra distances, medical staff is there to measure weight, check for dehydration, and make sure the runner is physically able to continue the race.
Base Mileage: A runner’s average weekly miles ran.  
Bib: The number corresponding to each individual runner “bib number” so they can be identified, printed on a square piece of paper. 

Race Bib
BQ: “Boston Qualifier” A qualifying time standard that runners must meet to qualify for the famous Boston Marathon. Runners still must apply for a spot in the race or apply to run for a charity through the Boston Marathon Charity Program.
Cooldown: An easier exercise after an intense run/workout used to allow the heart rate to gradually go down.
Cross-training: When a runner does yoga, cycling, kayaking, strength training, etc to enhance their running. Cross-training improves cardio, flexibility, reduces the risk of injury, and strengthens muscles that may not be used while running.
DNF: “Did Not Finish” When a runner quits a race for whatever reason (injury, ill, improperly trained, etc) or did not complete the race before the designated cut-off time.
Fartlek: An unstructured workout focusing on speedwork that alternates faster running with easy-effort running. The runner chooses how long or short the faster distances are, changing it up and moving at an easier pace inbetween.
5k: Race distance of 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles.

Warming up for her first 5k...or 50m dash :)
10k: Race distance of 10 kilometers or 6.2 miles.
Half Marathon: Race distance of 13.1 miles.
Hill Repeats: A structured workout for runners to sprint up a hill, jog down to recover, and repeat multiple times.
Long Run: A weekly run (done 1-2 minutes slower than average pace) that helps build endurance, boosts aerobic abilities, utilizes fat for fuel, and allows runners to test out new fuel (gels, chews, drinks), clothing (socks, shoes, compression sleeves), and gear (hydration vests, running belts, earphones) before race day.
Marathon: A race distance of 26.2 miles.
Negative Splits: Running the second half of a run or race faster than the first half.
Pace: Typically the time it takes to run one mile. Different distances have different paces; example being a 5k pace would be much faster than a half marathon pace due to the shorter mileage.
PR: “Personal Record” either in time (fastest) or distance (furthest).
Splits: The time it takes to complete a certain distance in running. Typically splits are checked every mile, helping the runner track their pace or try to reach a certain goal. 

Taper week can be so difficult...I just want to RUN!
Tapering: Reducing the intensity and amount of exercise a few days to a couple weeks before a race to recover and have “fresh legs”.
Tempo Run: A comfortably hard, or faster-paced, run at your lactate-threshold which improves metabolic fitness.
Ultra: Any race distance longer than a marathon, also known as an ultramarathon. Races usually start at 50k (31 miles), 50 miles, 100k (62 miles), 100 miles, and beyond!



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