Just the Tip – Running Lingo



Runners are an ‘interesting’ group. We choose to wake up at 5am on a Saturday to run for hours, we deal with chafing and blisters and pound our bodies into submission. It’s awesome.

But, it’s also kinda weird to people who aren’t in this high-school-style-puppy-love-I-want-to-have-your-babies infatuation with running.

runners are different(from an old Adidas ad series)

So your family and friends may not speak this Runner’s Language. My Just the Tip for today is all about runner’s words…

blisters are in this season sign(source)

Just the Tip – Running Lingo

PR – Personal Record = your fastest time in a certain distance

PB – Personal Best = same as PR (sometimes depends on where you are located which one is common)

PDR – Personal Distance Record = farthest distance you’re run

Pace = speed you are going for a certain distance, often per mile when you’re talking long distance running. Example: 8 minute pace is 8 minutes per mile

5k = 3.1 miles

10k = 6.2 miles

Half Marathon = 13.1 miles

Marathon = 26.2 miles (it’s always this distance)

Ultra marathon = Anything longer than 26.2 miles.

LSD – Long, slow distance = This is common on training plans for your long days. They are expected to be slower than usual.

Runner’s Trots = 911 emergency that requires immediate bathroom time.

Fartlek = (Surprisingly, not related to Runner’s Trots!) Speed play. When you speed up and slow down to recover without set distances. It’s less structured than speed work.

PT – In a runner’s world “PT” often means physical therapist not personal trainer.

Fuel = liquids or food you eat before/during/after a race.

Taper = period of less running before a race so you are well rested.

Rest day = The day you sit on the couch watching RHONJ all day and eat Thai food and ice cream all day.

Bib = The paper with a # on it you wear for a race.

Timing chip = small item that goes on your shoe or bib to record your race time.

Out and back = When a course is out a ways and back to the same spot.

Point to point = When a course starts and finishes at different locations.

Aide station = The tables set up with water, sports drinks and food during a race.

F&@k!!!!!!!!!!!! = What you say at mile 19 of the marathon.

Ice bath = spending some quality time in a bath of icy water to help recovery after a tough race or run. Yes, it’s extremely unpleasant.

BQ = Boston Qualify (You have to complete a marathon in a certain time to be able to qualify to run the Boston Marathon. The times vary based on age and sex.)

Carb-loading = The reason I run. The time previous to a race / long run when you eat all the carbs you can jam inside your body.

naked guy(source)

Question: Any words you want to add?

Any words I missed that you’d like to know?


  1. says

    Haha love this post! It is true we are a rare bread, but I think people truly can’t understand until they try it! Running isn’t always “fun” but the feeling that it gives you afterwards is something you can’t even explain!

  2. Stephanie Meehan says

    Hey Monica,

    I’m usually more of a silent reader but had recently come across GOMI and I was just wondering how you deal with all those mean people? Do you read it at all? I just can’t get over how rude those people are and they don’t even know you. What is with that? Anyway, I’m big fan and you’ve been killing it lately on the run front :)!

    • says

      Hi Stephanie,
      Thanks for reaching out :) I don’t read it because it’s not constructive or healthy. If someone has a suggestion they know where to email me, but if someone chooses to talk behind my back I don’t want to seek it out. Anyway, thank you for coming out of the silence to say hello :) Have a good one!

  3. Kelli Noel says

    Instead of “Runner’s Trots” I’ve always called that situation “The Fear”…get it? It certainly strikes fear into my heart halfway into a tempo run =] It’s caught on quite nicely among the members of college team.

  4. says

    BodyGlide and/or Vaseline, just to explain our fascination with those products? And definitely RICE. We may take knowing that acronym for granted, to many non-runners it’s just gobbledegook!

  5. Meg says

    How about “pronate”??

    The first time I got fitted for running shoes, the girl fitting me asked me if I pronated when I ran and I felt so stupid because I had no idea what she was talking about.

  6. says

    funniest post award goes to RER!!!! OMG Fartlek after Runner’s Trots….GENIUS! I don’t have a term to add but after seeing the photo above (go fast or i drop this sign) it reminded me of this all women’s 10k I did in Central Park last month. There was a guy holding a sign that had an arrow pointing down toward his “package”. It said “I’ve got your fluid station right here baby!”. Totally vulgar especially with an all women’s field….but because i am about as mature as a 10 year old I laughed pretty hard.

  7. says

    I love this! I just got into running, and I never knew what any of that stuff meant.

    I’m also a recurring offender of telling people about my runs that could really care less.

    -Emily @ Beauty and the Greek

  8. says

    Hehe I love this. To add to the “Runners are an ‘interesting’ group” section – we pay big bucks, sometimes hundreds, to sweat and hurt and run through city streets and normally completely free nature trails. We are all insane.

  9. says

    Haha this is a really great, unique post! I’ve always wanted someone to explain fartlek a little bit more.

    It’s funny how crazy my friends think I am…I’d rather skip a night out in order to get up early for a morning run or spin class, and I’m totally willing to shell out close to $100 just to run. It’s just a trait of being a runner :)

  10. Emily says

    You forgot ” the runger”–the intense hunger you experience after a long run! See also: hangry—->when the runger is not taken care of!

    • Shannon B. says

      ha, my Mom does the same thing. I didn’t know she was doing it for a long time, until my Aunt said wow you have ran so many marathons lately?!? say what?

  11. says

    We refer to the marathon as 42km or more exactly 42.195km.
    Don’t forget “repeats’, “intervals”, “track work”.

  12. says

    I love…Marathon = 26.2 miles (it’s always this distance)
    I was tempted to make a sign to hang around my neck last year. So many people said “You’re running Milton Keynes marathon? How far is that?” !!! Just because I wasn’t running London marathon, which EVERYBODY has heard of!

  13. Katie says

    THANK YOU!!! I’ve been running for years and still consider myself a newbie and terms are so confusing. This helps sooooooo much!

  14. says

    HYSTERICAL – and I must say it makes me feel good that I knew all of these terms. My favorites being f@#$ and runners trots . . . I have my fiance convinced that girls dont fart/poop, but I must admit colons don’t judge gender after 13 miles….

  15. Mark says

    I have one:

    SnakeStick – So, you’re running along listening to your favorite playlist or podcast when you suddenly happen upon a long, skinny, serpentine form right the hell in front of you on the trail. So you scream like a school girl and jump 5 feet in the air and off the trail. And then you look around hoping to God that no one saw you lose your mind over a fallen pine twig.

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