Since 1982 I've written a newsletter, Running Commentary. A new issue appears here each week, and material is archived.
Sat, 9 Sep 2006 06:34:01 -0400
Words We Run ByRUNNING COMMENTARY 640
(rerun from August 2000 RW)
Every special interest develops its own jargon, its insider language. Runnerspeak is so much my natural language that I forget everyone doesn't speak it fluently. A new reader of a running magazine complained recently, "I marked 26 words in my first issue that are foreign to me."
I need to realize too that language evolves. Wording that served one running generation don't necessarily carry over to the next.
When I started running, some descriptions already sounded quaint -- if not silly. Runners weren't just runners but "harriers," "thinclads" or "spikesters." I gagged when a headline writer called us "cinderfellas."
Long retired are most of those words, along with others from my growing-up years in the sport. Gone the way of cinder tracks and the broad jump are "warmups" for flat-soled training shoes and "sweats" for long-sleeved, long-legged training suits.
Runnerspeak keeps changing. Here's a dual-purpose lesson -- to show newer runners how we used to talk and to update us oldies on the common usages of today.
Old: I put in 100 miles for a good week. New: I train 100 miles a month.
Old: Our long, slow runs are at seven minutes per mile. New: Our short, fast runs are at seven-minute pace.
Old: My hard runs are at race pace. New: My hard runs push the anaerobic threshold.
Old: I'm running a time trial. New: I've scheduled a tempo run.
Old: The stopwatch tells me how fast to run. New: The heart-rate monitor sets my tempo.
Old: I'm running 10 interval quarters for speedwork. New: Five-K races are my speedwork.
Old: This is an easy day. New: It's my recovery day.
Old: I'm resting today. New: This is a cross-training day.
Old: It's a small race with fewer than 100 runners. New: It's small with just 1000 entrants.
Old: The entry fee is high at $5. New: It's a bargain at $50.
Old: The distance is 10,000 meters. New: It's a 10K.
Old: Was that the five-mile mark we just passed? New: That was mile five.
Old: Where do you pin your race number? New: Your bib goes on the front.
Old: Stand at the starting line. New: Stand behind the right pace sign behind the start banner.
Old: I plan to go out fast. New: I'll walk until the traffic clears.
Old: Pick up the pace. New: Throw in a surge.
Old: I finished strong. New: I ran negative splits.
Old: I ran about 40 minutes. New: My time was 40 and change.
Old: The officials gave me 30:01, but my watch read 29:59. New: My watch said 30:01, but the Chip time was 29:59.
Old: My marathon time goal is three hours. New: My goal time is four hours.
Old: Drink plenty of water. New: Hydrate.
Old: He's dropping out. New: She's taking a walk break.
Old: Real runners never do LSD (long slow distance). New: Real runners don't walk.
Old: I'm making a pitstop in the woods. New: I'll wait in line at the portapotty.
Old: It's nice to see a few girls coming to races. New: Look at all those women.
Old: I love to beat the young guys, those under 20. New: I get a kick out of beating all the youngsters under 40.
Old: Who won? New: Which Kenyan won this time?
Old: He hit the wall. New: She bonked.
Old: Don't eat during a run or you'll get cramps. New: Eat energy bars or gels to keep from bonking.
Old: It's my favorite training course. New: It's my regular five-mile loop.
Old: Train in your race T-shirts to show everyone what you've done. New: Cotton is rotten.
Old: Where does someone find a good shoes? New: How do I find the shoe that's best for me from all these choices?
Old: That's the number-one-rated shoe. New: It's a good stability shoe if you need motion control but bad if you require more cushioning.
Old: Are your feet flat? New: Do you pronate?
Old: My knee hurts. New: You might have an IT band injury.
Old: Arthur Lydiard is my training guru. New: I follow Jeff Galloway's advice.
Old: My heroes are the oldtimers like Billy (Mills) and Buddy (Edelen). New: I admire the oldtimers like Billy (Rodgers) and Joanie (Benoit Samuelson).
Old: I read last month's news in this month's magazine. New: Why aren't this morning's results posted on the website by noon today