GoGo Running Basics

Definitions of Key Running & Training Terms

By Jay Stephenson

One of the hardest parts of sharing training information is terminology. There are so many different names for very similar concepts that it is hard to keep them all straight. Here are some of the most common training terms and their definitions:

Strides– 100m to 200m repeats run at a relaxed but fast pace with equal recovery.  Strides can be done before a race, after an easy run, or pretty much at any point in training.

Hill repeats– any type of hill running where you repeat a segment or segments of a hill.

Tempo Run / Threshold Run / Lactate Threshold Run / Ventilatory Threshold Run / Anaerobic Threshold run– These are all different words that are used to describe the same thing.  Whichever one you want to use don’t be surprised when someone uses the other one.  This type of run is at a specific pace that can be determined by using a pacing calculator (it’s about ½ Marathon pace), physiological testing (around 70-80% of VO2max) or just by feel.  What you are looking for with “feel” is a pace that is uncomfortable but that you can sustain in training for 10-30minutes.

Workout Warmup– any warmup that includes the Lunge Matrix, some easy jogging, some form drills and a few strides.

Workout Cooldown-any cooldown that includes some easy jogging followed by core exercies and stretching

Easy Run-any run that is an easy effort.  The pace may be slower on some days and faster on others.  It just depends on how fatigued you are.  A good marker of an easy run is if you can easily carry on a conversation.

Pacing/Training Calculator-this is a calculator that can help you figure out your paces and training speeds

Long Run-any run where you are running either longer than you ever have before or you are running longer than you have in a week or so.  The desired distance and pace depends on what race you are training for.

Predator Run/Progression Run-any run where you progress the pace from medium to fast over the course of the run.  Typically the pace is from what I call Zone 2 to Zone 3.

Lunge Matrix– a series of lunges that includes movement in several planes of motion.  Check out a video here.

Drills-dynamic movements that are designed to improve running form, flexibility, motor coordination and agility.

VO2max– a physiological fitness marker that measures the volume (V) of oxygen (O2) at it’s maximum that the body consumes.  This is often measured in ml/kg/min.  Generally speaking the higher the number the better shape you are in.

Recovery Run-any run where you are running slow enough to get fresh blood to the body without doing any additional muscle damage.  The effort on these runs is very low.

GPS-stands for Global Position Satellite.  These are a great tool for keeping track of your pace and your distance, but getting too dependent on them can lead to easy runs that are too fast and that can lead to injury.

Heart Rate Monitor-measures your heart rate in beats per minute.

Taper-is a process where you run a little less in the final week or weeks of training that is suppose to freshen you up and help you to run faster.  Too much taper will result in de-training


Training Block-a specified period of training time that focuses on a particular aspect of training.

Let’s Make sure no term is missing from this post…I will update it with more definitions…whatcha got?


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