Hang around runners for long enough or follow them on Instagram, and you’ll hear a number of insider terms slung around. Once you familiarize yourself with the common phrases of racers, you’re in the club. Plus, learning the lingo can actually motivate you to go for your PB—that’s personal best, FYI.
To get you started, we turned to running coach and ASICS performance footwear merchandiser Robert Fay to put together a beginner’s guide on the need-to-know lingo of endurance pros.
And hey, he’s totally been in your shoes. “When I got involved in a training program for first-time marathoners, I had no understanding of what the word ‘bonked’ meant,” Fay says. Asking around, he found out that feeling bonked perfectly describes the state of “hitting the wall—when your body runs out of glycogen and your energy crashes,” which Fay experienced during his first 20-mile run. “Big learning experience there!”
Keep reading to learn the essential running vocabulary that’ll help you achieve your goals and make informed training decisions.
Once you’re acquainted with the terminology you hear around the track and at local running meet-ups, you’ll be more equipped to go the distance. What’s more, learning “the talk” can also help you pick out the right sneaks to conquer the road.
And if you’re still feeling less than fluent, it’s always a good idea to head to your local running store to get matched. “The staff will always be willing to explain any term with the detail you need to make the most informed decision,” Fay says. Below, you’ll find a few need-to-know terms to make the best decision when you’re ready to add to cart.
In partnership with ASICS
Top photo: Unsplash/ Seth Macey
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