Aerobic: Exercise at an intensity that is easy on your respiratory and cardiovascular systems.  Oxygen is delivered to your muscles slowly enough that the lactic acid doesn’t build up in your muscles.

Anaerobic: Exercise at an intensity that makes it impossible for your respiratory and cardiovascular systems to deliver enough of the oxygen required by your muscles, and fast enough that lactic acid begins to build up in your muscles, which producing a tired, heavy feeling.

Bandit: A runner who participates in a race without registering or paying the entry fee .

Biomechanics: The study of the function of the body in relation to movement; especially important for repetitive movement sports like running; poor biomechanics can lead to injury.

Bonk: Another term for “hitting the wall”.  A state of exhaustion when glycogen stores are depleted, blood glucose (sugar) levels are low which makes it hard to continue running/exercising at the current pace.

Carbo-loading: Eating a high carbohydrate diet (approximately 60-70% of total calories) for the three days leading up to a race to maximally fill the glycogen stores.

Chip time: A technology for sensing and recording the finishing times of all the runners in a race that is more accurate when many runners cross the start at different times and finish at nearly the same time. The “chip” is a tiny electronic device programmed with your identification that you attach to your shoe laces.  It sends a signal to an electronic reading device–often hidden under a strip of carpet– when you cross the start line and again when you cross the finish line.  This records your exact time automatically.

Cool-down: Slow running or jogging done after a workout or competition to loosen muscles and rid the body of lactic acid.

DNF: Abbreviation for “did not finish” and describes a runner who drops out of a race.

DNS: Abbreviation for “did not start” and describes a runner who doesn’t start a race they signed up for

Easy Run: A slow run done at a conversational pace.

Electrolytes: Minerals such as sodium, chloride and potassium that are used for normal bodily functions. These minerals are lost when the body sweats and are replaced through food and fluids.

Endorphins: Chemicals in the brain which create a feeling of euphoria; said to be the cause of the “runner’s high”.

Endurance: The ability to run for long periods of time.

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.

Glycogen: The form in which carbohydrates are stored in the body; there are two main stores of glycogen – the liver and the muscles; when glycogen stores are depleted athletes fatigue, “hit the wall”, “bonk”; stores can be maximally filled by eating a high carbohydrate diet leading up to an event.

“Hitting the wall”: A state of exhaustion when glycogen stores are depleted, blood glucose (sugar) levels are low which makes it hard to continue running/exercising at the current pace.

Intervals: Training in which short, fast “repeats” often 200 to 800 meters, are alternated with slow “intervals” of jogging for recovery.  Interval training builds speed and endurance.

Junk Miles: Running at an easy pace for a run during a training program in order to reach a weekly or monthly mileage total rather than for any specific benefit.

Kick: A finishing sprint at the end of a race.

Lactic Acid: A substance which forms in the muscles as a result of the incomplete breakdown of glucose. Lactic acid is associated with muscle fatigue and sore muscles.

LSD: Abbreviation for “Long, Slow Distance,” which refers to the practice of running longer distances at an “easy” pace rather than shorter ones to exhaustion. Designed to improve endurance.

Microfiber: A tightly woven fabric that’s extremely lightweight and soft; notable for its wind and water resistance, ability to wick moisture and quick dry time.

Negative Splits: Running the second half of a race faster than the first half.

Overtraining: Condition when runner trains too much too soon and leads to fatigue, injury and/or burn-out.

Pace: Measure of the speed of running; usually quantified as minutes taken to run a mile.  For example a runner may run a 6:00 per mile pace for a marathon.

Peak: Scheduling your training so that your best performance is timed for a goal race or event.

Plyometrics: Bounding exercises; any jumping exercise in which landing followed
by a jump occurs.

PR/PB: Personal record/personal best for a race.

Recovery Runs: Slow to moderate running to recover from hard workouts or races and/or maintain aerobic conditioning.

RICE: Acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevation; a procedure for treating certain injuries.

Runner’s High: A feeling of exhilaration and well-being directly associated with vigorous running; related to the secretion of endorphins.

Running Economy: How much oxygen you use when you run.

Second Wind: Feeling of more energy and less effort some runners feel after 15-20 minutes of running.

Singlet: A light weight tank top worn by runners.

Speed Work: Short, fast intervals with recovery jogs between; increases your leg turnover and maximizes your stamina and race confidence.

Splits: Your times at mile markers or other pre-planned checkpoints along the way to the finish line.

Strides: Short, fast, but controlled runs of 50 to 150 meters. Strides, which are used both in training and to warm up before a race, build speed and efficiency.

Taper: Cutting back mileage one day to three weeks (depending on race distance) before a big race. Tapering helps muscles rest so that they are ready for peak performance on race day.

Tempo Runs: Sustained effort training runs, usually 20 to 30 minutes in length, at 10 to 15 seconds per mile slower than 10-K race pace.

Threshold runs: Runs of 5 to 20 minutes at a pace just a little slower than your 10-K racing pace; Threshold pace is roughly equivalent to what exercise physiologists call “lactate threshold,” or the point at which your muscles start fatiguing at a rapid rate.

VO2Max: The maximal amount of oxygen that a person can extract from the atmosphere and then transport and use in the body’s tissues.

Warm-Up: Five to twenty minutes of easy jogging/walking before a race or a workout. The point of a warm-up is to raise one’s heart rate so the body (and its muscles) are looser before a tough workout begins.