Running Knowledge:How Much Do You Know About Marathon Terms? Learn the Track Terminology and Join the Conversation with Your Running Buddies!

The marathon season is coming, and you may have signed up for your first race. Have you ever heard your running friends speaking in a language that sounds unfamiliar to you during practice? Terms like "full marathon PB330," "my schedule today is FR," and "let's do an LSD together this weekend" might sound like a foreign language. Do you understand what these terms mean? Understanding these running terms not only helps improve your performance, but it also helps to build better relationships with other runners. Let me explain these terms for you.

Marathon is also a science!

Autumn is approaching, and as the weather gradually cools down, it also means that the marathon season is about to begin! Are you ready to shine on the running course, my running friends? Whether you have registered for a 10K, half-marathon, or even a full marathon, do you often hear other runners using many English abbreviations and professional jargon to discuss their training during practice?

Learning marathon jargon is like learning a new language. As you delve deeper, you can feel the culture of marathon and the development of scientific training. It not only helps you communicate smoothly with your running friends, but also assists in planning and executing your training more effectively. Moreover, it can bring more fun to your running experience!

Marathon Terminology
Learning marathon jargon and refusing to be an outsider at the racecourse!

1、Marathon race terms

Marathon:This generally refers to the full marathon, also known as the "full", which is a distance of 42.195 kilometers or 26 miles and 385 yards. This distance has special significance, so international marathon events must be legally measured and certified before they can be called a "marathon".
Half Marathon:The abbreviation for a half marathon is "half-marathon", with a distance of 21.0975 kilometers.
PB:Personal Best, also known as PR (Personal Record), refers to one's personal best performance in a race or event. For example, PB330 means a personal best time of 3 hours and 30 minutes in a full marathon.
SUB:SUB refers to a time lower than a certain benchmark. For example, "Sub3" in a full marathon means finishing the race in less than 3 hours.
BQ:Boston Qualification refers to the qualifying time required to participate in the Boston Marathon, which must be achieved in a race that is certified by AIMS or the US Track and Field Association.

Achieving BQ and heading to the Boston Marathon is the dream of many runners!(Image

Pace:Pace refers to the running speed or tempo, usually measured by the time it takes to complete a kilometer or mile. For example, a pace of 5 minutes per kilometer means running one kilometer in 5 minutes, which is equivalent to a speed of 12 kilometers per hour.
MP:Marathon Pace refers to the target speed set by a runner to complete the full 42.195 kilometers of a marathon.
Pacer:Pacer refers to a pacemaker, also known as a rabbit, who helps runners maintain a steady pace during a marathon race.
Aid Station:A rest stop set up for runners every 2.5km on the course, offering replenishment of fluids and energy. It typically provides water, sports drinks, bananas, and other food items.
Translation:Cut-off: If a participant fails to pass through a designated point within the specified time limit, the participant will be removed from the race and their chip will be deactivated, making them ineligible to continue.
The Wall period:The Wall, also known as hitting the wall, refers to the physiological condition when a runner's muscle glycogen is depleted due to intense exercise, resulting in difficulties in maintaining pace, shortness of breath, accelerated heart rate, negative thoughts, etc.
Carb-loading:The carbohydrate loading method, also known as glycogen supercompensation, refers to increasing the intake of carbohydrate-rich foods in the diet before a race to store energy for the competition.

Competition terminology
Familiarity with competition terminology allows for a better understanding of the rules and progress of a marathon.

2、Training physiology terms

Having a good understanding of physiological terms can help adjust training goals and observe progress in physical fitness through various indicators.

Translation:Cadence refers to the number of steps taken per minute, with a normal walking cadence of 95-125 steps/minute and a running cadence of 180 indicating 180 steps per minute.
Stride length:Refers to the distance covered by each step. The normal stride length for walking in adults is around 65cm. The stride length for a regular jogger is typically between 0.8 to 1.4m, while Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder for the marathon, has a stride length of about 1.9m.
Heart rate:Refers to the number of times the heart beats per minute (bpm). The data is usually obtained through wearable devices, and important indicators such as resting heart rate, maximum heart rate, and reserve heart rate are used for marathon training.
Heart rate zones:Divided into five zones based on the percentage of maximum heart rate. Endurance training typically uses different zones as the basis for different training methods, with percentages ranging from small to large, known as Zone 1 to Zone 5.

Heart rate zones
Heart rate zones are a very common training indicator in endurance sports.(Image source:Shophouse district)

VO2MAX:Refers to the maximum amount of oxygen that the body's tissues can consume or utilize during the most intense exercise. VO2MAX can be used to evaluate an individual's aerobic capacity and cardiovascular endurance, and can be used to set the intensity of endurance training for athletes.
Lactate Threshold:Refers to the point during intense exercise where the rate of energy production through aerobic metabolism can no longer meet the demand for energy by the muscles, resulting in an increase in anaerobic metabolism and the production of lactate. Monitoring blood lactate levels can be used to evaluate the intensity of exercise.

3、Marathon training terms

Due to the development of scientific training, many training methods have emerged, and among these training methods there are some commonly used terms. Understanding these terms can help you understand the purpose and operation of each training method when you enter into training. Let's first get to know some basic terms!

Easy Run-A pace that allows for chatting while running, lasting between 20 minutes to 2 hours.
Recovery Run-A light run done after completing a high-intensity workout, with the aim of promoting recovery.
Speed Run-A high-intensity distance training that involves multiple sets of specific distances with recovery intervals. Examples include the Yasso 800 training method and the Fartlek training method.
Tempo Run-Tempo Run, also known as "lactate threshold run", refers to running at a pace that is about 25 to 30 seconds faster than your usual race pace. It can improve your lactate threshold, which means that the higher your lactate threshold, the less fatigue you will feel when running, allowing you to cover more distance at a faster pace.
LSD(Long Slow Distance)-LSD generally refers to running distances of 20 kilometers or more at a steady pace. It is a relaxed training method that aims to improve muscle strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity. It can also help develop patience and confidence to complete a marathon distance.

Running and chatting with a few friends during LSD training is also a fun part of preparing for the race!

4、Common running injuries

DOMS:Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) refers to the muscle soreness that occurs 24-48 hours after exercise and is considered a normal phenomenon.
ITBS:One of the most common injuries for runners, ITBS refers to the tightness or inflammation of the iliotibial band, a ligament on the outer side of the thigh that runs from the hip to the shinbone. It often leads to pain on the outer side of the knee.
Plantar Fasciitis:A condition in which the plantar fascia, a ligament on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes, experiences repeated small injuries, causing overuse damage and resulting in local inflammation or degeneration.

Most running injuries are often related to inadequate warm-up, relaxation, and muscle weakness. Developing good exercise habits can effectively reduce the occurrence of sports injuries and allow you to keep running for a long time!

Marathon terminology may seem complex and abundant, but in fact, as you practice running or communicate with running buddies, you will gradually understand. You may find that every weekend run you have been doing is actually an LSD or you have already started doing interval training. The deeper your understanding, the more you will discover the charm of marathon running!

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