Running Lingo: 12 Words to Know

If you've been racing this season, or spent any time around runners, you've likely heard what seems like a foreign language. It's no secret running has its own lexicon. Here's a lingo cheat sheet—so the next time you lace up, you're in the know.


It's not about public relations. It's your Personal Record—meaning, your latest, all-out fastest race time. Want to nab it? Be careful not to...

More: How to Train to Run Your Half Marathon PR


This is what happens when you run out of steam, "hit the wall," and sometimes, when your brain feels fuzzy. Your muscles just have no more fuel, or, in other words: You've burned through your glycogen stores. Sip a sports drink or gel, or even better, something with a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein to replenish energy.

More: 7 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Long Runs


Similar to its musical definition of rhythm: When it comes to running, cadence relates to the number of steps you take per minute. It's thought that 180 steps/minute is a good, fast, minimum cadence, but it's best to find your own baseline. Set your usual pace on a treadmill, and count the number of times your left foot hits in 15 seconds. Multiply that by four to determine the number of steps with that foot. Then multiply by two for your total steps per minute.

More: How to Improve Your Running Cadence


Forget about baseball. In running, a strike is simply when your foot hits the ground. You'll hear this term in relation to a mid-foot or heel strike—meaning, how exactly your foot hits the ground with every stride.

More: How to Find Your Mid-Foot

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