The Complete A – Z Of Running Jargon

We all know that runners are a little crazy but it turns out that runners are actually aliens from a different planet entirely from everyone else, in fact, runners even have their very own language but fear not running bug have put together a complete A – Z guide to the running language known as jargon.


Achilles Tendinitis
Is an overuse injury where the Achilles tendon – a band of tissue that connects the heel to the calf becomes inflamed.

Running within your Aerobic zone means your running at an easy intensity but still breaking a sweat. Great for your heart and fitness whilst not overdoing it and can be sustained over a long period of time.

The complete opposite of the above – Running in an Anaerobic zone, means you run fast sprints and although it gets the heart really pumping it’s not recommended to run in this zone all the time – but is great for speed workouts ready for that sprint finish through the finish line of a race.

Altitude Training
When runners train at high levels of elevation. The higher you go up the more altitude you run at. Runners find that this training improves their faster pace at low levels and helps prepare them for mountain races.

Association of International Marathons and Road Races.

Aid Station.
Running is thirsty and hungry work. Aid stations are set up over races more than 5k in length and spread out every few miles with water, sports drinks and nibbles for all runners to take on during the race.

Age category
Your age is categorised in races normally with 5-year spans (40-45) as a way of seeing how you perform against others in your age group.


If you have never done a park run then you may be wondering what a bar code has to do with running?
Well, it’s a barcode with your stats on – your unique park run number, age, name – that they scan at the end of parkrun to position you in the race.

When a runner has been written off due to an injury – no running allowed.

Most runners will experience bonking at some point in a race and it’s not the first thing that comes to mind. To bonk is to hit the wall – where during a race your mental demons will scream at you that you cannot possibly continue running, but hang on in there coz the bonk will be over before you know it.

No not the baby kind, but the kind with your exclusive race number and name on that you pin on the front of your T-shirt during a race.

Is the number of heartbeats per minute when running.

Barefoot running
Is when you run with no shoes on OR socks.

Back To Back (B2B)
Great for runners in training for a long endurance race – running back to backs is when you run, for example, 13 miles on Monday and the same on Tuesday – back to back runs are great for learning to run on tired legs ready for race day.

Brick Session
No bricks required but a bike or pool is. A brick session is where you do a bike ride or swim session then a run straight after – good training for triathletes.

Body Glide
A slick and smooth ointment that glides over the skin to help prevent the dreaded chaffing.

Some races are so popular that it’s luck of the draw if you get a place – who thought running was like the lottery.

Bone Conductors.
Many events now will only allow runners who wish to run to music wear cone conductor headsets – instead of the headphones sitting in the ear, they sit outside of the ear on the bone.

Black Toenails
Not pretty but it happens when the runners’ toes continually hit the tops of the shoes when running, causing bruising.

A very slow enjoyable run to stretch the legs.

Not the organ but a rubber water holder that holds 1 to 2 liters of water and slips neatly into a backpack (hydro pack)


Will occur when ill-fitting clothing and sweaty skin makes contact when running.
All I can say is be prepared before you step in the shower and prevent chafing with Body Glide or Vaseline.

Carb Loading
One of the best parts of running – to fill the belly with carbs before a long race. Essential for your energy levels.

Pizza, Pasta, Potatoes, Bread, Porridge – Foods that have high carbohydrate properties will give you energy for running and to restore energy levels after running.

How bouncy do you like your trainers – all runners are different as are trainers, some runners like lots of cushioning and others prefer the minimalist feel.

The ultimate in blister plasters and should be in every runner’s first aid kit.

Cool Down
Instead of abruptly stopping the run it’s a good idea to Cool Down the muscles after a run with a much slower run after the main run to help prevent niggles and injury – particularly important after a speed session or in rehab.

Come Back
On a come back to running after a long duration off.

Chip Time
This is your official race result time – the time it takes you to pass over the little mat on the start line to the time it takes you to pass over the mat at the finish line.

This is the number of steps a runner turns over per minute while running, the faster you run the quicker the turnover and the more efficient runner turns over approx 180 steps per minute.

Calf Sleeves
A compression sleeve that sits from the ankle to under the knee.

Clydesdale Runner
Is a runner who is of a certain weight – 200-lbs and over.

Conditioning Week
Before a new plan starts lots of runners will take a week or two beforehand to ease the legs out and up the miles slightly but gently.

It’s your rest day but it doesn’t mean to sit on the sofa and carb load on pizza, instead cross-train – and this can be anything other than running, lots of runners like to cycle and swim but yoga, walking, and weights are high up on the list too.

Compression socks, tights, shorts, bra, top – Compression clothing gives the muscles one big hug – designed to fit tight and hug the muscles to help oxygen and blood flow easier through the muscles, lots of runners wear compression to aid in recovery and for longer runs.

The route a runner ran on or will be running.

Course PB/PR
When you run the same route but run it at your fastest time – a personal best/personal record time

As many of the bigger races becoming more popular runners are put into corrals depending on their predicted finishing time.

Cross Country
Is running over the countryside.


Did not start – You couldn’t make it to the start line for the race.

Did not finish – You couldn’t/didn’t finish the race.

Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness – normally worse on the 2nd and 3rd day after a tough run or cross-training session – lots of runners experience DOMS after a marathon.

Double Day (DD)
When you run two separate runs in one day.

A slang word used for the treadmill.

Dynamic Stretches
These are active stretches (with movement) that are done before a run and during


Easy Run
A run that is to be ran slow – to know you’re going slow enough you should be able to hold a conversation, anything less your going to fast

Is a superhuman runner just like the likes of Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe.

Event Clips
Little clips that keep your bib in place without putting any holes in your favorite t-shirt.

Is something you build up over time – to run further, faster, for longer without flaking.

Epsom Salts
Little bath crystals full of magnesium that helps soothe tired/sore muscles and helps.


When the run becomes harder and harder and you struggle to maintain the pace.

The Swedish word for speed play, and it’s just that, play around with your pace during a run, run fast and then slow when it takes your fancy.

Face Plant
When you trip and literally your face plants into the road, the tree, cow poo – not recommended.

Flip Belt
A handy belt that sits around your waist with handy pockets to keep your phone and keys.

Fanny pack
Another handy belt that sits around your waist, but with one big pocket to keep your phone and keys – not as pretty as the flip belt.

Foam Roller
A runner’s best friend – a necessary evil device that helps to give the muscles a deep massage to help soothe sore knotty muscles.

A runners word for food.

When the body and or mind is exhausted.

Foot Strike
Is how your foot strikes the ground.

Fore Foot.
When a runner runs striking the ground with their forefoot contacting the ground first before any other part of the foot.

Full Kit
Bigger race events require you to carry everything – water, food, waterproofs, whistle, and the kitchen sink.

Full Rest Day
Very rare for us runners but for 1 day a week we are allowed to do nothing, nada, zilch.


It’s a watch – A must-have piece of kit to track your distance, pace, cadence oh and it tells the time too.

Is the style of running you run.

Gait Analyst
Is where you run on a treadmill and someone assesses your gait – how you run.

Global positioning system – that’s how the Garmin knows where you have run.

Is the energy we store in our muscles, when this runs out we bonk.

Grid roller
Same as the foam roller only harder with grids.

These tubes of sweet sticky gel are what runners call food – swallowed during long runs to restore the lost energy preventing the bonk.

Gun Time
This is the time the race starts, but your chip time will tell you your actual run time.


Hitting the wall
Another terminology of bonking.

Is the nearest thing you’ll get to actually running on clouds – a very bouncy running shoe.

Hill repeats
Is when you run up a hill then down the hill and repeat – you may look like a crazy person, coz who wants to run up and down a hill repeatedly but it does wonders for your strength.

Small enough to pop in your pocket – these little sweeties will give you a quick burst of energy.

Heel Strike
The opposite of the forefoot runner. The heel striker lands on the ground with there heel of the foot first.

Heel Drop
Is the measurement between the distance from heel and toe hitting the ground, measured in mm – so a 10mm heel to toe drop is in running terms high and bouncy compared to a shoe that has a 6mm drop which is classed as low.

Half Marathon
A run that is 13.1 miles long – half of a full marathon.

Is the backpack that carries the water bladder in and has handy little pockets to store the haribos, very useful for the longer run.

Keeping up your water levels.

Head Torch
This handy contraction isn’t just for miners, but great for runners who run in the dark.


Ice Bath
Yep, a nice ice-cold bath filled with icy water and ice cubes to sit in up to your waist, just what tired achy muscles need after a hard tough run – it’s such fun being a runner.

Is run with some speed sections in, speed intervals.

International Amature Athletics Federation.

Slips into the trainer to add more cushioning and to help the foot slipping when running.

The runner’s worst nightmare – a pull of a muscle or strain or worse, a fracture or tear.


Is a walk-run strategy invented by Olympian Jeff Galloway.

A runner under the age of 16.


K tape or Kinesiology Tape
Super sticky, super stretchy in an assortment of colours. This supportive tape is used to help support muscles and tendons that need a bit of support without losing any flexibility when running.

To take the pace up a notch, lots of runners give it a final kick at the end of a race to take them over the finish line.

Another word for trainers.


Lactic Acid
Is that burning sensation in your legs when you run faster – As your burn the carb stores in your muscles (energy) you produce Lactic acid.

To run around a route or course over and over.

LR (long run)
Is just that, a longer run than the rest of your runs for that week

LSR (long slow run)
Is your long run ran at a slower than a steady pace.

Lactate Threshold
When we run at AT (Anaerobic Threshold) we use up more oxygen – when running correctly we teach the body to use oxygen more efficiently produce less Lactic Acid preventing a build-up, thus less fatigue and soreness in the legs.

Lock Laces
Laces that don’t need knotting and have a tight clasp to keep them locked in place.


26.2 miles – the ultimate distance lots of runners thrive to achieve.

A way to measure how long you have run.

Normally the distance ran during intervals.

The middle of the running shoe.

Motion Control
Is added stability in the trainer to help overpronation.

Mental Demons
Is that little voice in the head telling you that you absolutely cannot do is BUT you really know you can.

Moisture Control Clothing
Material that is designed to lift the sweat off the skin to keep you cool and dry.

Mixed Terrain
Running on varied and different surfaces.

Who needs to be weighed down when running – some runners run with the absolute minimum equipment and clothing.


A problematic muscle/tendon, a twinge or ache that is not an injury but needs some TLC.

Negative Split
When you run the second half of a race faster than the first

Naked Run
Unless your a nudist clothes are to remain firmly in place – runners are so used to running with a Garmin or other techy devices that when they run without one they feel naked.


When running some runners roll their feet inwards – a gait test will determine your running style.

Is a special insole that is designed specifically for runners who overpronate or to help treat an injury.

The material of your running shoes.

Over Training
When runners train too much.

Running off the road.


Personal best or Personal record – when you beat your current time at a certain distance.

Park Run
A free weekly 5k run available for everyone to take part – you can find your local one here.

A nice easy run to stretch the legs, the same as a bimble.

After a run.

Pre Run
Before the run.

Pick Ups
Another form of speed work that’s added into your normal run – a little burst of speed over a 20 – 30 second period before running back at a normal pace then repeating.

How the foot strikes the ground when we run.

Is how fast or slow you run.

Is a marker for your pace – some races have pacemakers for runners to follow if they want to finish the run within a particular time – great for chasing a PB.

A popular choice for carb loading and post-run fuelling.

YES – carb-loading pre-run, post-run AND during a run.

Pasta Party
Yes, it’s a real thing – something

A runner’s next plan of action – a plan of a week to week motion of a running plan for a next event or a personal goal which can span for 6/12/18/20 week plus.

The angel with devil fingers – The only person to see for your running injuries, niggles, and massage.

After a run – the 30-minute time slot to refuel, stretch and shower.

Pre Run
The hour before the run to warm up, prepare the iPod and visit the WC.


Run – is a turnover of the legs that is quicker than walking, gets the heart rate up and is a worldwide hobby and sport for thousands of half-crazy people.

Running Bug
The best growing online social running community on the internet, full of runners waiting to offer support and advice – a website run by runners for runners.

An event where you can unleash all your hard training and test your pace against yourself and others.

Another word for repeats – hill reps, intervals, to repeat within a session.

Recovery Run
Is a very gentle and short-run (bimble) after a hard tough run and after running events, the lege may protest but it’s thought that a recovery run helps speed up the recovery by flushing the muscles through with much-needed blood and oxygen.

Particularly the muscle soak – got to sooth the muscles in that ice bath.

Road Run
To run on the road or hard pathway.

Runners High
Running releases endorphins that make us happy even just after a little run, so imagine that happy feeling after a long, tough run or completing an event you have trained hard for – your be on running cloud nine for a week.

Rest day
The day(s) where you give the legs a rest from running but don’t panic this is where you do your cross-training.

Something you might have to do after an injury if you don’t take the rest days and do your stretches – to rebuild the running back up after time on the bench – no running.

R = rest ICE = ice = REST and ICE – Maybe on the advice of the physio or GP or even yourself, to RICE the niggly part of the body will help repair and bring down any inflammation.

Running Route
The route you ran or plan to run.

The runners need to fit there run into a busy working day means that normally lunch break with a cuppa and a sandwich turns into grabbing the kicks and getting a sweat on – who needs food anyway!

Running pants.


Is the time it took to run each mile/km.

The one thing a runner cannot do without – unless you’re a barefoot runner in which case you save a fortune on the latest and greatest of running shoes.

Another form of speed play – strides can be incorporated into your run as speed work or as part of your warm-up before a race – small short bursts of speed done over a specific distance or short time.

Do not ignore the power of the after run stretch – these things help prevent niggles and injuries from ever occurring – helps to loosen and gain back motion control in both muscles and tendons, and it’s good for flexibility.

Some runners require more stability in their running shoes than runners – the amount of stability a shoe gives to the foot and ankle.

Yes think John Wayne and Clint Eastwood cowboy boots as these little things do clip on the boots – not cowboy boots but running booties, and yes there are also shiny but not sharpe – the running stirrup is a bright flashing light that pops onto the back of your trainer for the night runner.

One for the ladies – a running skirt with hidden shorts underneath,

Aka trainers.

An after-run cream, heavenly and healing for the chafing.

Support Crew
A person or persons who support a runner during an event by bringing them food and water when needed as well as carrying spare clothing and shoes and anything else the runner may need, as well as a hug.

Studs or Spikes
A running shoe with spikes to help grip while running on mud or on the track.


After all that hard work in training, this is the time to love the legs but be bored – time to let the niggles and achy legs recharge ready for the main event.

Technical T-Shirt
A T-Shirt that is made with moisture control material, don’t worry there’s no built-in GPS – but what a brilliant idea.

Aka Sneakers.

The opposite to road running – running off-road.

Tiger Tape
The same thing as K tape see here.

Trail Run
Running off the road – hitting the off beaten path, running the trail of mother nature.

Great to increase pace and endurance – the tempo run is a structured speed session where you run roughly 30 seconds slower than your 5k pace over the desired distance – a popular session for runners wanting to improve their overall running pace.

Toe Box
The room in your trainers where your toes live.

Is a 400meter circular running track.


The cheaper version to body glide – chafing prevention.


V = Volume o2 = Oxygen – Volume of oxygen we utilise when running


To stay hydrated we need water, especially a runner.

Another word for corral.

A techy name for moisture control material – will keep the sweet sweat off the skin even on the hardest of runs.

Waterproof clothing to keep you dry, and warm an essential piece of kit for long-running events – however, remember skin is waterproof and rain is refreshing.

It’s always a good idea to loosen up the legs with a 10-minute jog/walk warm-up before starting the main run – this help prevents injuries and niggles.

World Record.


Yazoo Milkshake
Particularly the chocolate flavour – Not only is it tasty, quick to drink and clenches thirst it’s got the essential protein that runners need straight after a run, so if you don’t fancy food straight after a run, head for a milkshake.

Related Articles