Saturday, March 26, 2011

Learning the Lingo

I spent a long time reading Runners' World wondering what they could possibly mean by 'PR'. I used context clues and could make some educated guesses, but Google finally clarified it for me. I decided to dedicate this post to deciphering some of those terms. Let's start with PR:

1. PR - 'Personal Record', which refers to your fastest time for a distance. My PR for my 5ks is 36:01, since my other 5ks took longer.

2. Virtual Race - Virtual races allow people to participate in a race without actually attending the location. Some of the races are free, and some of them you make a donation to a charity as an entrance fee. I think they are a new phenomenon as I have not had much luck in finding upcoming virtual races.

3. Splits - An educated guess gave me an idea of what it means to run splits, but I was never certain and I certainly had no idea about 'negative splits'. It turns out that I can more easily explain negative splits at this point -  if I run ten miles, it means that I run 5 miles at a certain pace and then I run the remaining 5 miles at a faster pace. I must admit, I can't quite figure out what 'running splits' means in general. I would appreciate if someone further clarify this for me. 

4. Fun Runs - A fun run is an event that is not timed.

5. Tempo Runs - A tempo run is a shorter run that someone does at a high intensity.

6. Chip Time - A race is timed by using a chip, which is a small timer that attaches to your shoe. Often the official race time will start before you go over the start line, so your chip time will be faster than the official race time.

And my personal favorite, 'DOMS', which is delayed onset muscle soreness. I don't quite understand the point of using this acronym, since exercise cause muscles to be sore later if you push it too hard and/or you don't stretch enough. This one just irks me...

Ok, everyone, what am I forgetting? What needs further clarification? What is your favorite running lingo?

Tomorrow morning will be my distance run, with 3 miles on the docket. Since my 10k I really have not done any distance and so I will see how the 3 goes tomorrow to determine if I should increase my distance runs or if I really did backslide a fair amount since the 10k.

It has been a long few weeks, and I am ready for bed. Sleep well everyone! 


  1. Splits really just refer to what pace you run each mile. So for ewxmaole if you ran your 3 miles tomorrow and blogged about it, your splits would be a breakdown of what your time was for mile 1, 2, 3. If you run 2 faster than 1 and 3 faster than both of those, you've got negative splits!

  2. Great post! I remember last year about this time being kinda new to all the lingo too!

  3. Gotta love all the running lingo! :) It can be very overwhelming at first!! Meg explained the splits thing just right so hope that clarified it for you! :) Good luck on the 3 miler!!!

  4. And, the splits thing is the same as you shift through sports. Splits in the rowing world are the same as splits in the running world. I've never heard DOMS used as an acronym and I agree; it's a bit, um, sort of like they used the acronym because they could, not because it was needed in the slightest. There's a word for that, but I can't remember.

    And would you please send some of your warm Florida weather up here to Keene? Spring has come in with temps hovering around freezing, and we're just ready for some warmth. :)

  5. Thanks everyone, that makes sense! Maggie, I would love to send some of the warmth your way. This morning after my run, we went with the dogs and my in-laws to the beach. We played in the surf, and my in-laws actually swam! It'll be summer before you know it up there!

  6. virtual races were a new one for me too! been seeing that around and trying to understand, lol. i'm always having to remind my husband what i mean when i say PR.:)