Health and Fitness Glossary for Runners

100 Meters (100M): Shortest Sprint Race in Outdoor Track and Field (equivalent to 109 yards). Runners will typically start out of blocks, no stagger. 10K : 10,000 meters; 10 kilometers; 6.2 miles 

1500 Meters or 1500m : 3 3/4 laps of track; called the "metric mile" 

15K or 15,000 meters : 15 kilometers = 9.3 miles

16 MINUTE CLUB : Any individual that breaks 17 in a cross country race of at least 3.0 miles.

19 MINUTE CLUB : Any female that breaks 20 in a cross country race of at least 3.0 miles 

2 Miles : Approximately 8 laps of a regulation 400 Meter track; 3218m

20 MINUTE CLUB : Any female that breaks 21 in a cross country race of at least 3.0 miles. 

200 Meter or 200m : Half a lap of a regulation track. The start is typically staggered to make-up for the shorter distance/advantage a runner in an inside lane would have over a runner in an outer lane. At this date (12 - 13 - 04), no athlete has ever run a 200 Meter race in under 20 seconds from lane one. 

3000m - 1.864 miles

3 3/4 Laps (on a regulation 400 meter track): "The Metric Mile." 

40-30-30 - Dietary regimen where a runner gets 40% of calories from carbohydrates, 30% from fats and 30% from protein 

400m - 1 lap around track, also called a "quarter" because it is very close to one-quarter of a mile in distance. The 400 Meter is typically run in lanes from a staggered start.

4 MINUTE CLUB : Any individual that breaks 5 in the 1600 in track & field.

5K or 5,000 meters : 5 Kilometers; 3.1 miles

5 MINUTE CLUB : Any female that breaks 6 in the 1600 in track & field.

800m : Approximately a half-mile; 2 laps around track. Typically, runners will run the first curve in their lanes. 

8K or 8000 Meters : 4.97 miles ABS : Abbreviation for abdominal muscles.

AAU - Amateur Athletic Union: An organization that sponsors several series of events (local, regional and national) in several sports, including Cross Country and Track & Field. Some of the events are conducted with age-classification.

ABSOLUTE STRENGTH : The maximum amount a person can lift in one repetition.

ACCELERATION ZONE : Utilized in relays where the legs of the relay are 200 meters or less. The zone lengthens the area relay teams can utilize to successfully pass the baton. (adds approximately 11 yards/10 meters to the exchange zone).

ACQUIRED AGING : The acquisition of characteristics commonly associated with ageing, but are caused by immobility or sedentary living.

ACTIVE STRETCH : Muscles are stretched using the contraction of the opposing muscle, (antagonist). For an example stretching the triceps, requires the biceps to contract.

AEROBIC CAPACITY : Another term for maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 Max).

AEROBIC CONDITIONING : Training that improves endurance 

AEROBIC EXERCISE (with oxygen): Activity in which the body is able to supply adequate oxygen to the working muscles, for a period of time. Running, cross-country skiing and cycling are examples of aerobic activities.

AEROBIC THRESHOLD : Can vary depending upon the athlete's current level of conditioning/fitness, age and body weight. Generally considered to be around 65% of the Maximum Heart Rate (See definition below) or about 40 beats lower than the individual's anaerobic threshold. This is the point at which anaerobic energy pathways start to operate.

AEROBIC TRAINING PACE : 70 - 80% of Maximum Heart Rate (see Definition below). Long runs and most of the base mileage you accumulate during the off season should be at this level.

AMENORRHEA : The absence of menstrual periods

AMINO ACIDS : Twenty- two basic building blocks of the body that make up proteins.

ANABOLIC STEROID : Synthetic chemical that mimics the muscle building characteristics of the male hormone testosterone. ERR Strongly encourages all runners to avoid the use of substances in this category. Please report any trainer, doctor, or physical therapist recommending these substances to the governing bodies of your sport, as well as to your fellow athletes.

ANAEROBIC ENDURANCE : During a workout involving maximum effort, the bodies systems (respitory and circulatory) cannot provide the demands for oxygen and fuel - the body is working so hard, it exceeds these systems capacity. When this occurs, muscles must rely upon stored reserves of fuel. Also, waste products, called lactic acid accumulate.

ANAEROBIC EXERCISE (without oxygen): Activities in which oxygen demands of muscles are so high that they rely upon an internal metabolic process for oxygen, resulting in lactic acid build up. Short bursts of "all-out" activities such as sprinting or weightlifting are anaerobic (the lungs cannot physically intake the oxygen required to sustain the level of performance).

ANAEROBIC THRESHOLD : The point at which you begin working your muscles without oxygen, from an aerobic level, believed to be at about 87% of your Maximum Heart Rate.

ANCHOR LEG: The last runner in a relay.

ANTIOXIDANTS : Vitamins A, C and E, along with various minerals, which are useful to protect the body from "free radicals". Free radicals are unstable cells, which react with each, naturally created in the body, and also caused by factors such as smoking and radiation. Free radicals may cause cell damage, which leads to disease.

ARRHYTHMIA : A change in the sequence of the electrical impulses that cause your heart to beat.

ARTHRITIS: The term arthritis is used to describe more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues which surround the joint and other connective tissue. The pattern, severity and location of symptoms can vary depending on the specific form of the disease. Typically, rheumatic conditions are characterized by pain and stiffness in and around one or more joints. The symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly. Among adults with knee osteoarthritis, engaging in moderate physical activity at least 3 times per week can reduce the risk of arthritis-related disability by 47% (data provided by the CDC).

ASSIMILATION : The process in which foods are utilized and absorbed by the body.

ASTHMA: A chronic inflammatory lung disease characterized by recurrent episodes of breathlessness, wheezing and coughing. From 1980 - 1996, the number of Americans diagnosed with asthma more than doubled to include nearly 15 million people. If you or your child has asthma, or you suspect your child has asthma, please visit a doctor for expert professional advice. Many athletes with asthma compete at very high levels. Asthma can be controlled by following a medical management plan and by avoiding contact with environmental triggers such as furry pets, mold, smoke, dust mites, etc. For more information, see "Exercise Induced Asthma."

ATROPHTY - Withering away. Decrease in size and functional ability of tissue or organs.

BASAL METABOLIC RATE (BMR): Metabolic rate at rest, your bodies working output. 

BANNISTER, Roger : The first person to break the 4 Minute Mile. A True Gentleman among men.

BIOMECHANICS : 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.

BLOCKS: Also referred to as starting blocks. A device used in shorter distances (100 Meter, 200 Meter, 400 Meter, etc.) to assist runners in their start.

BLOOD PRESSURE: in every complete heartbeat (or cardiac cycle), two blood pressure measures are created: systole - created when the heart contracts; diastole - when the heart muscle relaxes. Blood pressure represents the force exerted by blood against the arterial walls during the heartbeat. Systolic blood pressure, the higher of the two measurements, occurs as the heart pumps blood into the blood stream. 

BODY COMPOSITION : Usually relating to the percent of the body comprised of lean tissue (bone, muscle, water, etc.) or fat tissue; 17% or less body fat is recommended for men; 24% or less body fat is recommended for women

BODY MASS INDEX: A guideline for determining the composition of your body. To determine your BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. The normal acceptable range of this measurement is 20.1 to 25 for men and 18.7 to 23.8 for women. There are exceptions (body builders and athletes who have extra muscle mass may exceed this range). Go to the Body Mass Calculator in the "TOOLS YOU CAN USE" section which is found in the MEMBERS ONLY area of our website.

BONE DENSITY : Soundness of the bones within the body, low density can be a result of osteoporosis.

BONK : Another term like "hitting the wall"; a state of exhaustion when glycogen stores are depleted, blood glucose (sugar) levels are low and the only exercise that can be performed is slow running; typically occurs at around the 20 mile point in the marathon

BOSTON MARATHON : One of the premier running events of the year. Participants must qualify for this event and the times vary based upon age and gender.

BUBKA, SERGEY: Russian pole vaulter and the first man to clear 20 feet both indoors and out (1991). Held the world records for both indoor (20' 2") and outdoor (20'1.75" pole vault until 2002. Six-time world champion and 1988 Olympic gold medalist.

BURN : As in "going for the burn."  In endurance exercise, working muscles until lactic acid build-up causes burning sensation. Runners will experience this when running up a long hill at a rapid pace. 

CALORIE: The amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree C

CALORIE CONSUMPTION CALCULATOR: An algorithm which can provide us with an indication of how many calories we consumed while running. We provide a Calorie Consumption Calculator for our members (Go to the "TOOLS YOU CAN USE" section found in the MEMBERS ONLY AREA of our website). While this is not exact, it is will give you a pretty good indication of your calorie burn. It is important to our correct weight and the distance our run when using the calculator.

CARBOHYDRATE : Compounds that contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen used by the body as a fuel source. Two main groups are sugars and starch. 

CARBOHYDRATE LOADING : Increased consumption of carbohydrates in liquid or food form normally three days prior to an endurance type event (approximately 60-70% of total calories).

CARDIAC OUTPUT: The amount of blood pumped by the hear per minute.

CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING : Physical conditioning that strengthens heart and blood vessels, the result of which is an increase in the ability for your body muscles to utilize fuel more effectively resulting in a greater level of exercising.

CHIP TIME: A finishing time recorded by a small electronic chip (typically tied to our shoe, or placed on an elastic band around the ankle). The chip records the runner's time to an electronic timer when the runner crosses both the starting and finish lines. This provides the runner with an "elapsed time" for the race - which can be particularly helpful when running in a large race (sometimes runners do not cross the start line for several minutes after the gun is fired due to the size of the field/number of race participants).

CHOLESTEROL: A fatty substance found in the blood & body tissues. Cholesterol is essential for the body in the production of hormones. Its accumulation in the arteries leads to atherosclerosis.

CHUTE : typically found at the finish line of a race of a longer distance (800 Meters, mile, 1600 Meter Run, a Cross Country Meet or Road Race) with many participants that will assist in the proper scoring/order of finish of the running event.

CLERK OF THE COURSE : Person responsible for recording the name and number of each participant in a race or field event. In races, the Clerk of the Course assigns lanes. In larger meets, if a race participant fails to check into the clerk of the course by the "third and final call," the clerk of the course can scratch that participant from the event.

COLD WHIRLPOOL : An ice bath with water at 56 degrees with a whirlpool effect to help massage sore and injured muscles. Cold Whirlpools are intended to last 15 to 20 minutes keep the water at a steady 56 degrees.

COOL DOWN :  The body should slow down gradually from a session of vigorous exercise. A proper cool down period is necessary to reduce stiffness and muscle soreness. For runners, this cool down should include jogging and stretching.

CORE: a group of muscles, often ignored by runners, important to elevated performance in Track & Field/Cross Country. Core strength includes major upper body muscles (biceps, triceps and pectoral muscles, etc.) as well as the abdominal muscles.

CRAMP : See "Muscle Cramp" or "Side Stitch"

C-REACTIVE PROTEIN (CRP): A naturally occurring chemical in the blood that is elevated when inflammation is present. Inflammation in arteries can make plaque rupture, causing stroke or heart attack.

CROSS COUNTRY (also called "XC"): A running event in which runners must run a course consisting of varying terrain. The typical High School Course is 3.1 miles (5K). A cross country team has seven runners. The first five runners to cross the finish line, score for their team. The team with the low score wins. 1 point is awarded to first, 2 points to second, 3 to third and so on.A perfect score in a Cross Country meet is 15 points.

CROSS-TRAINING : Activities such as swimming and cycling that are used to increase conditioning and injury prevention for running or as a means of adding variety to workout schedule 

CRUISE INTERVALS : Type of workout to improve the lactate threshold; usually repetitions of 800 meters to 2-miles performed at the lactate threshold speed (75-90% of race pace) with short recoveries. 

CUSHIONING: The ability of a shoe to minimize the shock of running; while all running shoes have cushioning, highly cushioned shoes are usually designed for under-pronators (or supinators) who need additional shock absorption and maximum flexibility

CRUNCHES : Abdominal exercises . Sit-ups done on the floor with legs on bench, hands behind the neck.

DECATHLON: An Athletic Event in which competitors complete in 10 events. Points are awarded to the athletes based on individual performance (not place). The event is held over two days and typically includes the following events: (First day) 100 Meter, Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put, 400 Meter; (Second day) 110 High Hurdles, Javelin (sometimes replaced by Triple Jump), Pole Vault, Discus, 1600 Meter Run.

DEHYDRATION : Excessive fluid loss from the body, normally from perspiration, urination, evaporation or being sick.

DELAYED-ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS (DOMS): When training, muscle fibers and the surrounding connective tissue can be damaged. This can lead to soreness which lasts up to five days. Some runners have found that by incorporating one session of downhill training in their workouts every two or three weeks, they can reduce DOMS. Weight lifters do the same thing when they do "Negative Lifts." Soreness will peak about 48 hours after exercise.

DESTINATION RUNNING: Some runners find this type of training refreshing, particularly when you are running the same loops over and over again. It does require planning. Get someone to drop you off and run to a specific point where you have parked (we like running to the Dairy Queen or Twin Kiss ??C but that does not exactly help us meet our calorie consumption goals!). If you have a running partner, destination runs can be easy to plan and fun to do.

DIASTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE: The pressure exerted by the blood on the blood vessel walls when the heart relaxes between contractions.

DISCUS : a field event in which a participant throws a disc shaped object (the Discus is to be: Boys- 1.6 Kilograms and a diameter of 209mm; Girls - 1.0kg and a diameter of 180mm) from a throwing circle 2.50 meters in diameter. Competitors are given at least three attempts. If finals are held, competitors are given three additional throws.

DIURETICS: Often taken to reduce blood pressure. Taking diuretics can lead to fatigue, dehydration, light-headedness.

DNF : Stands for "did not finish" and describes a runner who drops out of a race.

EASY RUN : A slow run. The pace should be one at which you are able to carry on a light conversation.

ELDERSBURG ROGUE RUNNERS : An exceptional group of runners from Carroll County , MD.

ELECTROLYTES : Capable of conducting electricity in a solution. Used in many body activities, potassium, sodium and chloride are all forms of electrolytes.

ENDORPHINS : Chemicals in the brain which create a feeling of euphoria; said to be the cause of the "runner's high" 

ENDURANCE : Ability of a muscle to produce force continually over a period of time. A runner's ability to run for a long period of time.

EXCHANGE ZONE : The area allotted to relay teams in which the baton must successfully be passed from one team member to the next (the zone is 20 meters/22 yards long). The runner receiving the baton must stand inside this zone and have the baton prior to the baton exiting the zone.

EXERCISE INDUCED ASTHMA (EIA) : A condition defined as a spasm or constriction of the bronchial tubes causing diminished airflow resulting in wheezing, tightness of the chest, difficulty breathing, and sometimes coughing. When the vital capacity, or the total volume of air that can be forcibly exhaled in one breath, does not change or decreases with exercise, the person most likely has EIA. The vital capacity should normally increase with exercise. Almost all people with asthma will have EIA, but those with EIA do not have a problem with breathing unless exercising. Whether you have asthma or EIA it is important to know what is triggering your asthma and how to treat it effectively.

EXERCISE TOLERANCE : Factors such as fitness level, health, age, and developmental level of individual participants must be considered.

EXTENSION : Body part (i.e. hand, neck, trunk, etc.) going from a bent to a straight position, as in leg extension.

FARTLEK : Swedish word for speedplay; workout includes faster running mixed with slower running; adds variety to training and can be performed in any setting 

FAST TWICH: Type of muscle fiber (cells which compose the muscles) which contract rapidly and powerfully but fatigue quickly

FAT: Fully Automatic Timing. A timing equipment often used with cameras and sensors that more accuratly gets the time of individuals in track events.

FIELD EVENTS : an event at a track and field meet not timed, but measured. The events include Jumps (long jump, high jump, pole vault, triple jump) and Throws (Shot Put, Discus, Javelin).

FLEXIBILITY : (ROM) Range of movement in a joint or group of joints.

FLIGHT : In track and Field, the term refers to a group of competitors in a field event. If a large number of competitors are entered in an event, they may be divided into a flight (8-12) so that the time between their attempts (throws or jumps) is reduced.

GLUCOSE : The basic fuel of the body, the simplest sugar molecule and main sugar found in the blood stream.

GLYCERNIC INDEX (GI): A measuring system to find the extent of which various foods raise the blood sugar level. The benchmark is white bread, which has a GI of 100. The higher the score, the greater the extents of blood sugar raise. E.g. Dextrose scores 138 (HIGH) whereas fructose 31 (LOW).

GRIFFITH-JOYNER, FLORENCE : As of March, 2006, "Flo-Jo" still held the Women's 100 Meter (10.49 seconds) and 200 meter (21.34 seconds) World Records for Outdoor Track & Field (both were set in 1988).

HALF-MARATHON : 13.1 miles; 21.1K 

HALF-MILE : 804.5 meters; approximately 2 laps around track 

HAMSTRING STRAIN : Micro-tears of the large muscles of the back of the thigh; can be treated by ice and stretching and strengthening exercises.

HARMFUL SUBSTANCES :  substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and drugs will decrease the body's capacity to perform its minimum normal functioning and do physical activity successfully.

HEART : Not just an organ in the body, this is one piece to racing that can not be factored into an equation or talent. Races can be won purely on the drive of an individual. A piece to a race that can not be taught, it can only be found.

HEART RATE : Contraction of the heart usually measured as beats per minute 

HEART RATE MONITOR : A device that measures the electrical activity of the heart (heart rate); usually consists of a chest strap and watch-like wrist receiver.

HEART RATE TRAINING: With the advent of low cost, portable heart monitors, coaches and athletes alike are developing a greater understanding of training using the athlete's heart rate during an extended period as the primary goal of determining the proper amount of training. Trainers and coaches adhering to this method of training will talk in terms of target training zones: Energy Efficient or Recovery Zone: 60 - 70%; Aerobic Zone: 70 - 80%; Anaerobic Zone: 80 - 90%. When training this way, be sure to consult a physician to obtain guidelines based upon your age, weight and level of fitness. ERR owns a few, if you want to try this, let us know.

HEPTATHLON : A Girls event consisting of 7 events held over two days. First Day: 100 Meter HH, High Jump, Shot Put, 200 Meter Dash; Second Day - Ling Jump, Javelin, 800 Meter Run. In areas not supporting the Javelin event, the Discus is substituted.

HIGH JUMP : a field event in which competitors are given three attempts to clear a bar. Three failed attempts, result in the competitor being eliminated from the event. The games committee determines the opening height the bar is initially set. The competitor may attempt to clear the bar in any manor, provided the take-off is from one foot. 

HILLS : Workouts where a runner runs up a hill fast and jogs down then runs up again; helps develop leg power and aerobic capacity. Sprinters consider this a speed workout for the guys who are slow (but can run all day).

HOMOCYSTEINE: An amino acid in the blood that has been linked to heart disease and stroke. Folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 have been shown to break down homocysteine in the body.

HURDLE: An obstical (with a bar at the top about 2 ¾" in width) a runner must clear by striding or jumping. The height of the bar varies depending on the event (high hurdles:36 inches high, intermediate hurdles: __"; low hurdles: 30 inches high). An athlete must make a bona fide attempt to clear the hurdles (cannot run around it or intentionally knock it down, or impede a different runner).

IAAF : International Amateur Athletic Federation; world-wide organization that governs running .

IBUPROFEN: An anti-inflammatory medication that can be purchased over the counter (generic as well as branded versions are available: Aleve, Motrin, Advil, etc.). Can be helpful the relieve discomfort an the onset of an injury, so long as your physician as not advised against it. Runners should avoid ¡??e-medicating¡??so that they can train. Also, if runner must medicate after every run, please seek professional advice concerning your injury.

ICE: Common treatment for many injuries. "Ice is nice," even when you are not injured (see "Cold Whirlpool " and "Ice Massage ). Ice slows the metabolic activity in injured tissues, thus reducing/decreasing swelling and inflammation. When used properly, ice enhances recovery.

ICE MASSAGE: Paper cups with water are frozen, then after a workout, an athlete take the cup, rips off the top of the cup, and massages an injured or sore muscle.

ILLIOTIBITAL BAND SYNDROME (ITB): Soreness/tightness a runner develops over time on the outside of their thighs and quadriceps. Can be caused by overuse, a change in running surfaces, poor shoes, constant running on tracks (leaning into the curve), etc.

INSOLE : The removable inner part of a running shoe that sits on top of the midsole and provides cushioning and arch support 

INTENSITY : Degree of effort or exertion

INTERVAL TRAINING : A training run that incorporates a number of runs (usually of the same distance) completed during a set span of time. The amount of rest period is typically determined by the amount of time remaining (ie: 400 Meter Intervals at 2 minutes. Every 2 minutes the runner will run 400 meters. If the runner completes the 400 meters in 1:30, they have 30 seconds to rest).

IOC : International Olympic Committee; world-wide organization which governs the Olympic Games

JOHNSON, MICHAEL : The first man to be ranked number one in the world at both 200m and 400m. Johnson had won 54 straight finals at 400m and had not been beaten at that distance in seven years heading into the 1996 Olympics. He had no trouble in the Olympic final, winning by ten metres, the largest margin of victory in the event in 100 years. Three nights later, Johnson raced in the 200m final. He ran a phenomenal 19.32 to defeat Frank Fredericks of Namibia by four metres. In 1999, Johnson broke the 11-year-old 400m world record with a time of 43.18 seconds. He went to the Sydney Olympics in 2000 having won the 400m at the last four world championships. He won again in the Olympic final to become the first man to win the 400m twice. Finally, he anchored the U.S. 4x400m relay team to victory to bring his career gold medal total to five.

JUNK MILES : Miles that a runner runs in the course of his/her training that adds to the base while not specifically included in the workout totals (warm-up and cool down miles). This mileage can be useful in increasing endurance.

JURY OF APPEALS : If appointed, the jury of appeals serves as the final board of appeals at a meet for any infraction. A coach can first appeal to the meet's referee. If the resolution is not satisfactory to the coach, then the appeal is made to the Jury of Appeals.

KEANO, KIPCHOGE "KIP": Arguably the father of Kenya 's tradition of exceptional distance runners. His duals with Jim Ryan (USA) are legendary. Much of the money Kip earned while running he has used to found an orphanage in Kenya .

KICK : A finishing sprint at the end of a race

KINESIOLOGY : Study of muscles and their movements. 

KNEE DRIVE DRILL: This exercise can help develop better form and add more speed and power in our strides. Attach one end of rubber tubing to a post about knee high. Stand in front of the post and tie the other end of the tubing to your ankle. Hold on to a partner (standing to the side) standing erect with the ankle slightly behind you. Drive your thigh forward with your knee bent and parallel to the ground . Perform this several times with a steady forceful motion.

LACTIC ACID : A substance caused by anaerobic training of the muscles, a build up prevents continuation of exercise, and a good example is 400 meter runners. Watch how they slow down during the last 100 meters of the race. 

LACTATE THRESHOLD PACE: 80 - 90% of Max Heart Rate. Tempo runs are generally conducted at this level.

LANE : The standard Lane width on a regulation track is 42 inches.

LATERAL : Referring to the outer side (or little toe side) of a shoe

LAT's : Abbreviation for Latissimus dorsi, the large muscles of the back that move the arms downward, backward and in internal rotation.

LEAN BODY MASS : Everything in the body except for fat, including bone, organs, skin, nails and all body tissue including muscle. Approximately 50-60% of lean body mass is water.

LEWIS, CARL : won 9 Olympic gold medals; 4 in 1984 (100m, 200m, 4x100m, LJ), 2 in '88 (100m, LJ), 2 in '92 (4x100m, LJ) and 1 in '96 (LJ); has record 8 World Championship titles and 9 medals in all; Sullivan Award winner (1981); two-time AP Athlete of the Year (1983-84).

LIGAMENT : Strong, fibrous band of connecting tissue connecting two or more bones or cartilage or supporting a muscle, fascia or organ.

LIPOPROTEIN: A variation of LDL, the ¡??d¡??blood cholesterol. Lipoprotein has been associated with increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

LONG JUMP: a field event in which competitors attempt to jump the farthest. A successful jump is one that the take-off is from one foot and the competitor leaves the ground behind the take-off Board. Competitors are typically given three jumps. If flights are used, competitors are given three additional attempts.

LONG SLOW DISTANCE (LSD): Running longer distances at an easy pace, based on the idea that running slower will permit the runner to run farther and, over time, increase endurance.

MARATHON : a distance of 26.2 miles, or 42.2K. The event is named after the Historic battle of Marathon in which the Greeks defeated the Persians. Afterwards, a warrior ran from the plains of Marathon to Athens to inform the citizens of the victory.

MASTER : A runner 40 years of age or older 

MAXIMUM HEART RATE : Can vary depending upon the athlete's current level of conditioning/fitness, age and body weight. Generally considered to be 220 less your current age but this is often not a formula that is accurate for athletes.

MCDONNELL, JOHN: One of the greatest running coaches in America . Since 1984, Coach McDonnell's teams at the University of Arkansas have won 41 (11 Cross Country, 18 indoor track, and 12 outdoor track titles) NCAA National Championships including five Triple Crowns.

MEDIAL : The inner side (or arch side) of a shoe 

MEDIAL POST : Denser midsole material (often gray) added to the medial (or arch side) of the midsole to provide stability and control excessive pronation. Denser CM-EVA foam, TPU device, or combinations of the two, on the inside edge of the shoe to curb pronation.

MEET DIRECTOR : The person who supervises the meet to ensure that the meet is run smoothly. Metric Mile : 1500m, the international racing distance closest to the imperial mile; see "1500m"

METABOLISM: The chemical and physiological processes in the body that provide energy.

METRIC MILE : 3 ¾ laps or 1500 meters.

METRIC MARATHON : 26 Kilometers, or 16.2 miles. These races are considered great tune ups for a full Marathon (26.1 Miles)

MILE: 1609 meters; approximately 4 laps around track 

MINERALS : Essential nutrient of body; must be ingested in the correct amounts in the body; aid in the processes which use the other nutrients and compose some of the structures of the body; may be obtained through diet or supplementation; overconsumption can be toxic 

MOTION CONTROL : The ability of a shoe to limit overpronation and provide stability.

MUSCLE : Tissue consisting of fibers organized into bands or bundles that contract to cause bodily movement. Muscle fibers run in the same direction as the action they perform.

MUSCLE CRAMP: An uncontrolled tightening of a muscle. Commonly caused by a lack of hydration or over-use of a muscle or set of muscles. Cramps may also be the result of a mineral imbalance in your body (salt, potassium, calcium).

MUSCLE SORENESS : Pain, stiffness, and soreness in a muscle due to microscopic tears of the muscle usually due to doing more work than the muscle is used to (also called DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness)

MUSCULAR ENDURANCE: The ability of a muscle (or group of muscles) to sustain repeated contractions, or continue to apply force against a fixed object or weight.

MYOCARDITIS: Also called ¡??flammation of the heart.¡??Myocarditis is caused by a viral infection that damages the valves of the heart.

NEGATIVE EXERCISES: Often referred to as "Negative." An advanced training technique in which you stress the negative/opposite/or eccentric phase of an exercise. Using negatives is a great way to condition your body to new extremes when you've reached a strength plateau. 

NEGATIVE SPLITS : Running the second half of a race faster than the first half

NEW BALANCE: a shoe company headquartered in Boston , Massachusettes. If you have questions about running shoes, call their customer support specialists at: 800-622-1218.

NIKE: a shoe company headquartered in Beaverton , Oregon . If you have questions about shoes and their products, call 503-671- 6300. 

NUTRITION :   The body requires appropriate quantity and quality of foods and a balance of caloric intake with exercise.

OFF-SEASON: That period of time between seasons when you recover mentally and emotionally and prepare for the next season while others do little or nothing.

OLYMPICS : Competition held once every 4 years; highest goal for most runners

ORDER OF EVENTS : The order in which events are held at a track meet.

ORTHOTICS: Inserts placed inside shoes to correct biomechanical problems.

OSTEITIS PUBIS: An injury common to runners occurring when the joint connecting the pelvic bones in the pubic area becomes inflamed either through overuse or trauma.

OUTSOLE : The bottom-most layer of most running shoes; the layer that contacts the ground and provides traction

OVERLOAD :  An exercise session must be conducted at a level vigorous enough or intense enough to cause changes.

OVERPRONATION: The excessive inward roll of the foot; overpronation can be controlled through the use of motion control shoes and/or orthotics 

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

OWENS, JESSE : One of the world's greatest olympic athletes. Known for once breaking 3 world records and tieing a fourth in a 70 minute time span. Was well known for his sprinting (100, 200) and jumping (LJ).

OXYGEN DEBT : A state where the energy demand is greater than what can be provided by oxygen thus inducing heavy breathing to consume more oxygen 

PACE : Measure of the speed of running; usually quantified as minutes taken to run a mile; for example a runner may run a 7:00 per mile pace for a marathon.

PARTIAL REPS : Performing an exercise without going through a complete range of motion either at the beginning or end of a rep.

PATELLOFEMORAL PAIN SYNDROME (PFPS): Commonly called Runner's Knee. Occurs when a mistracking kneecap (patella) irritates the femoral groove in which it rests on the femur (thighbone). Hamstring stretches and straight leg lifts can prevent runner's knee.

PAWBACK: A term that defines one element of a runner's stride - the down and back pulling action of the leg when it makes contact with the ground.  

PENTATHLON: An event in which the athlete competes in five events (Boys: Long Jump, High Jump, 200 Meters, Discus, 1600 Meter run; Girls: 100 Meter HH, High Jump, Shot Put, Long Jump, 800 Meter Run).

PERFORMANCE BENEFIT : Improvements in physical fitness as a result of exercise.

PLANTAR FASCIITIIS: An inflammation of the plantar fascia. The Plantar fascia is a tissue that runs from the ball of the foot to the heel. Its function is to maintain the arch of the foot

PLYOMETRICS: Also known as "Goofy Drills" Guidance/Exercises related to the development of elastic strength. exercises strive to increase strength, speed and flexibility as well as improve form.

POLE VAULT : A Field event in which a competitor attempts to clear a bar using a pole. The pole may be made of various materials but may not a competitor may not use a pole not rated for his weight. Each competitor is given three attempts to clear the bar. Three failed attempts in-a- row, shall result in being eliminated from the event.

POTASSIUM: A mineral that is crucial to the body's ability to recover after heavy/strenuous workouts and also assists in keeping the body hydrated. The most popular source of potassium is banana. It is also found in: apricots, avocados, cantaloupe, kiwi, lima beans, milk, oranges, prunes, spinach and tomatoes (all of these foods provide 225 milligrams of potassium in a half-cup serving).

POWER: Strength + speed. 

PROGRESSION :  The intensity, frequency, and/or duration of each exercise session must be increased over a period of weeks and months to continue to show improvements.

PR - Personal Record. An athlete's best performance in a certain race or field event.

PREFONTAINE, STEVE : During his brief 24-year life-span, Steve Prefontaine grew from hometown hero, to record-setting college phenomenon, to internationally acclaimed track star. In a similar span of years since his death in 1975, Pre has become the stuff of enduring legend. Two movies were made about him, including "Without Limits".

PRONATOR: A term used to describe how a runners foot strikes the ground. A pronator is a runner whose medial arch is close to the ground when their heel is on the ground. (See "Running Shoes").

PU - Polyurethane foam. Durable foam used for cushioning.

QUADS : Abbreviation for quadriceps femoris muscles, muscles on top of the legs, which consist of four parts (heads).

QUARTERS : Jargon for a quarter mile or 400 meters; often used when describing workouts where runners run 400-meter (or quarter) repeats.

QUEEN VICTORIA : Although she was not a runner, she is the reason we run an extra 100 yards in the Marathon . When the Olympics were held in London during her reign, the course was lengthened so the race would end in front of her box. This, then, became the accepted length for the Marathon .

RECOVERY:    The body requires an interval of time and periods of rest and sleep to recover from a vigorous exercise session. The amount of time needed for recovery is less for the physical fit person.

REEBOK INTERNATIONAL: A sports apparel manufacturer. If you have questions about any of their products, contact them at: 781-401- 5000.

REFEREE : The person directly in charge of activities occurring at the meet. The referee's authority begins once the athletes arrive at the venue and extends until the results are finalized.

REGULARITY :  Exercise sessions must be conducted at regular intervals daily, weekly, and throughout the entire year to maintain or advance value gained from any physical fitness program.

RELAY BATON : A device used in team relays that should not exceed 30 cm (11.83 inches) and the circumference should be at least 4 inches. The Baton must successfully pass from one runner to the next inside the exchange zones for a team to complete the race.

REPETITION : One complete movement of an exercise.

REPETITIONS (reps):  Doing an exercise one time.

REST INTERVAL : Pause between sets of an exercise, which allows muscles to recover partially before beginning next set.

RESTING HEART RATE: The number of times your heart beats in one minute when you body is fully recovered from activity and you are at rest.

R-I-C-E: An acronym for a common injury treatment: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

ROAD RACES : Running contests over streets; all runners can participate 

RODGERS, BILL : " Boston Billy"; has won the prestigious Boston and New York City marathons each 4 times.

RUNNERS's HIGH : Feeling of euphoria some runners feel after a long, hard run or race (see Endorphins) 

RUNNER's KNEE : Knee pain usually caused by the knee cap not sliding properly during movement; may be related to muscular imbalances within the thigh muscles; can be treated with strengthening exercises for weak muscles (usually the inner thigh muscle)

RUNNING ECONOMY : The amount of oxygen consumed at a given running speed; a runner who consumes less oxygen at this running speed as compared to another running is said to be more "economical"

RUNNING SHOES: A type of shoe made specifically for runners. Every runner is different: weight, stride, foot-strike, weekly mileage can all vary from one runner to the next; and, these factors will all weigh heavily in selecting a shoe that is best for you. There are several area running shoe stores that will assist you in finding the right shoe for you. When you find a shoe you like - by two pairs. It is important for you to know about how your foot strikes the ground. There are generally three categories:

Pronator (with the heel on the ground the medial arch is close to the ground)
Supinator (with the heel on the ground the medial arch is lifted away from the ground)
RYUN, JIM : Held the Men's High School Mile record for nearly 40 years at 3:55.3

SAMUELSON, JOAN BENOIT : easily one of the all-time great marathoners the world has ever seen. Won the first ever Olympic Women's Marathon.

SECOND WIND : Feeling of more energy and less effort some runners feel after 15-20 minutes of running

SEAGREN, BOB: 1968 Olympic Champion in the pole vault. He won six national and four NCAA titles. His last World Record mark was set in 1972 and was 5.63 meters. 

SET: Fixed number of repetitions. For example, 10 repetitions may comprise one set.

SHIN SPLINTS : Lower leg injury where there is pain along the shin bone; usually caused by excessive pronation or weak shin muscles; treat with ice and stretching and strengthening exercises; can lead to stress fractures.

SHORTER, FRANK : 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist in the marathon; his victory spurred the running boom of the 1970's 

SHOT PUT : Field event in which the participant throws (or "Puts") the shot (which is: Boys - 12 pounds; 
Girls - 8 pounds 13 ounces) from a circle with a diameter of 7 feet. Typically, competitors are given three throws. If the event is divided into "flights," competitors are given three additional throws in the finals. A legal throw must be thrown with one hand.

SIDE STITCH: Most of the time this is simply a cramp in the diaphragm. If you get a side stitch, slow down for 30 seconds or so. A couple helpful hints. If you get a stitch, try changing the way you carry your shoulders. Also, if it is in your left side, exhale forcibly each time your right foot hits the ground, and do the opposite if it is on your right side.

SINGLET : A light weight tank top worn by runners

SLANEY, MARY (DECKER): Mary Slaney was one of the most dominant American distance runners ever. As of March 2006, she still held the American record for the 1500 meter (3:57.12, 1983), 2000 meter (5:32.7, 1984), 1 Mile (4:16.71, 1985), and 3000 meter (8:25.83, 1985).

SLEEP AND REST :  The body requires appropriate quantities of sleep and rest at regular intervals.

SOCKLINER - The innersole of the shoe, which is usually removable.

SPECIFICITY :  The type of exercise engaged in and the particular body parts involved must be selected to meet the needs of the specific component of physical fitness to be developed.

SPEED : Speed can be defined as follows: (Length of Stride X the time between each Step).

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

SPLIT TIMES : Denotes the time it takes to run a portion of a total run (often measured at mile markers or other distinctive points along the way); for example, a runner may run a 7:00 mile split between miles 4 and 5 of a 10K (6.2-mile run).

STAGGARERD STAR: STAMINA : A Runner's ability to combine speed and endurance

STATINS (Atorvastatin, Fluvastatin & Lovastatin are examples): Commonly used to reduce cholesterol. Can also weaken muscle tissue.

STITCH: See "Side Stitch"

STONE, DWIGHT: Dwight Stone dominated the High Jump event in the 70's and early 80's, setting the World Record in the High Jump 10 times. He won the Bronze medal in both the 1972 and 1976 Olympics, and was the National Champion in the event 19 times. At age 30 he set his 13 th American Record and won the Olympic Trials. Stone is now a television bradcaster/analyst. His PR is 7'8".

STRADDLE JUMP : A plyometric exercise. Place one foot in front of the other (your feet should be slightly wider than they are when you walk). Bend your knees slightly and place your hands on your hips (Your front foot should be flat and the heel of your rear foot should be slightly raised). Jump as high as you can. Land in the same position allowing your bent knees to absorb the force/impact of your jump as you return to the ground. This will strengthen the entire lower back as well as the quads and hip flexors. If you keep your hands on your waist, you will also improve your balance. Build up to three to five jumps in each set with no more than three sets.

STRAIGHT LEG LIFTS: A great exercise for preventing "Runner's Knee." Lie down on your back. Bend one knee slightly and plant that foot on the ground. Take two- four seconds to raise the opposite leg and lower it (do not take it all the way to 90 degress - 30 - 60 degrees is sufficient) keeping the leg relatively straight. Switch legs. Do each leg 10 times.

STRENGTH LOG: Most runners ignore an important part of their training: Upper Body Strength and Core Strength. We have place a Strength Log on the website (Go to the "TOOLS YOU CAN USE" section of the MEMBERS ONLY AREA of our website) to assist you in tracking this important element of your training. 

STRENGTH TRAINING : Movements against resistance to develop muscular strength; usually weight training/lifting weights

STATIC STRETCH : A stretch that is held within the stretched position for several seconds, without movement.

STRIDES : Short, fast but controlled runs lasting 15-45 seconds followed by full recovery; benefits include faster leg turnover and improvements in running form.

SUPINATOR: When the runner's foot strikes the ground, the medial arch is lifted away from the ground while the heel is on the ground (see "Running Shoes").

SYSTEMIC STEROIDS : Often prescribed to treat allergies and asthma. Can lead to a break down of muscle tissue, which can delay recovery.

SYSTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE : The pressure exerted by the blood on the blood vessel walls during pumping of the heart.

TAPER : Reducing your mileage several days to three weeks before an important race to ensure peak performance on race day

TARGET HEART RATE: The heart rate you desire to maintain while exercising. 

TEMPO RUNS : Type of workout to improve the lactate threshold; usually consists of 15-30 minutes of running at the lactate threshold speed

TENDON: A band or cord of strong, fibrous tissue that connects muscle to the bone.

TPU - Thermoplastic Urethane used in devices to prevent overpronation.

TRACK: Measured oval where races of varying distances are contested; usually measure 400 meters around; 4 laps equals approximately 1 mile (1600 Meters).

TRAINING ZONE HEART RATE CALCULATOR: (Go to the "Tools You Can Use" section of the MEMBERS ONLY AREA of our website). The "training zones" established by any calculator are, at BEST, guidelines. Most calculators determine your maximum heart rate (MHR) based upon a simple formula which includes your age.

TRIATHLON: an event which includes a combination of swimming, cycling and running. 

ULTRA-MARATHON : Races longer than a marathon (26.2 miles) 

UNDERPRONATION or SUPINATION : The lack of sufficient inward motion of the foot; highly cushioned, flexible shoes are recommended to absorb shock and allow the foot to pronate naturally

UST&F : United States Track & Field. Governing body of United States Track & Field events.

VERTICAL JUMP: A plyometric exercise. Stand with both feet shoulder width apart and place your hands on your hip. Tilt your hips back and squat, bending your knees. Without pause thrust straight up as high as you can. Repeat (start with one set of 10 in rapid succession and build up to three sets). Strengthens all the major leg muscles and tendons below the waist.

VO2 MAX: The Maximum amount of oxygen (measured in millimeters) one can use in one minute per 2.2 pounds (or 1 kilogram) of body weight. This is a measure of an athlete's capacity to generate energy of an extended period at a high level of activity.

WALKER, JOHN: Distance runner from New Zealand who is the definition of consistency. Walker is the first man to run 100 sub 4 minute miles in competition. He held the World Record for the mile in 1975 with a time of 3:49.4.

WARM-UP :  The body should be properly prepared just before a vigorous exercise session. Light gradual exercises performed to get the body ready for physical activity, normally a slower version of the activity to follow. For example a light jog before a run. Often followed by stretching of the body. 

WEEKLY NUTRITION LOG: A daily accounting of the food and beverages you consume (Go to the "TOOLS YOU CAN USE" section of the MEMBERS ONLY AREA of our website). We particularly encourage our young runners to keep track of the Water and Sports drinks they are consuming in order to ensure we are all hydrating properly.

XC : Abbreviation for "Cross Country"

ZYGOMATIC BONE : More commonly known as the upper cheek bone.  (We just had to have something under "Z").