Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Running Terminology 101

Yesterday morning I went out for a great run to commence the start of my half marathon training. I laced up my shoes, drove to my favorite park, and met up with my running partner for a quick five mile run. Fall really makes my runs so much more beautiful. We were even able to sleep in since it wasn't hot like the summer. This is the most amount of miles I've ran in almost three weeks. I kept a steady pace but overall my feet felt great. I really wanted to go faster but I had to pull back since I didn't want to over do it. 

During this 10 week training period there will be different types of running I'll be doing in order to get in tip top shape for the Carlsbad Half Marathon.  The running jargon can get confusing, especially for beginner runners. So I thought I would list some of the most common running terminology used in training. 

  • Fartlek: Swedish word for speedplay. This training style includes faster runs mixed with slower runs. Can be performed at any setting and it is a great way to add variety. 
  • Hill Repeats: A workout that includes sprinting an uphill, jogging downhill at an easy pace to recover, and repeating. It is a great way to build leg strength, speed, and aerobic capacity.
  • Interval Training: This type of running workout is where a set distance is run repeatedly with a recovery jog in between. Example: Running 400 meters 6 times with 100 meters recovery jog in between each interval. 
  • Long Runs: These are easy runs that test your endurance boundaries. Target heart rate zone should be less than or equal to 75% of your maximum.  These runs are the foundation of your marathon and half marathon training.
  • Negative Splits: When you run the second half of your race faster than the first.
  • Pace: This is how fast you're running. Your pace will vary greatly from day to day. It's good to have a general idea of how fast you are running.  This gives an estimate time of race finish.
  • Repeats:  Same as "Intervals."  If you are training for a marathon, you might consider running 1000 meter repeats six times. For a shorter race such as a 5K, you might consider shorter repeats of 400 meters at your goal pace.
  • Speedwork:  Also called "Intervals" or "Repeats." This refers to any workout run at a faster than normal pace. Often these workouts are done in a track setting and increase cardiovascular fitness.
  • Splits: This is the time it takes to complete a defined distance. Example: 400 meters splits or mile splits during long runs.
  • Stamina Workouts: These workouts are steady runs that will help you feel strong as you go for long runs. These are supposed to be moderately hard and slightly faster than your average pace. Heart rate target zone is about 80-85% of your maximum. 
  • Stride Workouts: These workouts help bring your fitness to a peak.  These are short faster runs that are performed once you develop your endurance, stamina, and power. They are meant to be fast and fun. Heart rate target zone is 90-95% of your maximum. These workouts are not for beginners. Only attempt them once you've developed your endurance with long runs.
  • Taper: This is when you start reducing your mileage prior to a race. It can start a few days to three weeks before race. This ensures peak performance.
  • Tempo Runs:  A tempo run is a faster-paced workout also known as a lactate-threshold, LT, or threshold run. Tempo pace is often described as "comfortably hard." 

How do you train for your races?

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