Common Running Terminology | Advice Centre | Flawless Physio
Flawless Physio Logo

Common Running Terminology

Are your relatively new to running or have you just joined a running club for the first time? Are you nodding and smiling along to lots of new lingo so that you don’t appear to be out of place?

It’s okay, we’ve got you covered. Here are a list of the most common running phrases you’re likely to hear from your local running guru

Aid Station

Aid station or water stop is any point along your run or a race that offers water. In paid entry races these stations tend to cover an array of things from sports drinks or gels to energy bars.

Altitude training

This is most commonly seen in elite level racing but don’t be surprised if there are some diehard runners at your club who try this. It is essentially training either at altitude or in an oxygen deprived chamber. It can cause an increase in red blood cells, these transport oxygen around your body. The more red blood cells that you have can lead to provide increased endurance.

Arm Sleeves

Arm sleeves or arm warmers are a layer of clothing just for your arms – yes that’s right! Most commonly worn with a t-shirt but its not uncommon for people to wear them under other clothing as an extra layer.


Someone who has entered a race without paying the entry fee

Black Toenails:

Incorrect shoe sizing, poor running technique or lots of downhill running can lead to trauma of your nails, leading them to go black. Don’t worry, they should grow back.

Bloody Nipples

Cold weather, nylon and nipples are not a good combination. The friction between your t-shirt and nipple when running can lead to bleeding. If you experience this, specialist plaster are a good option.

Buggy Running

Ever more popular – specialist running prams allow parents to run with their baby.

Carb Loading

This is typically excessive eating of carbohydrates such as pasta or potatoes. This is most commonly seen before long distance races as they are a great source of energy.


Friction between clothing on skin or skin on skin which can lead to blistering and/or bleeding

Compression Socks

A compression garment worn around your calves which aim to reduce lactic acid levels and aid recovery.

Cool Down

A period of time at the end of your run where your gradually reduce the intensity of your running to a walk which may be followed by stretching.

Cross Training

This is other exercise that you may do outside of running which complements your running. Most common forms are swimming, cycling, yoga and pilates.


Did not finish a race


Did not start a race despite entering


Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness are muscular aches that can last up to 72 hours post exercise. Usually experienced after a sudden increase of muscle use i.e. doing a long run and not running for months.

Fartlek Training

This is a form of training using variations of fast and slow running but in no set order – it can be a fun way to mix up your training


Good for Age timing – relative to someone’s age, they have run a very competitive time in an event.


This is a device which can be found in most sports watches that tracks your distance to a relatively high degree of accuracy.

Half Marathon

As the name suggests this is half the distance of a marathon also known as 13.1 miles or 21 kilometres

Heart rate

This is how many times your heart beats in a minute. Runners may run to a certain heart rate threshold to enhance the effect of their training.

Hill repeats

Sprint up a hill then slowly jog back down as a recovery. This is an excellent way to build stamina.

Hitting the wall

Effectively when you have run out of energy. Your legs will feel like a weird combination of heavy like lead but as weak as bambi.

Ice Bath

A freezing icey bath which is most commonly used as a recovery technique

Interval training

Speed sessions with altered times of high and slow speed running


A race 26.2 miles in length

Negative Split

Running the second have of a race faster than the first half


Pushing your body past its threshold which typically leads in a decrease in performance level and an increased risk of injury


How fast you are running. This is typically measure per minute.

Park Run

This is a run that takes place all over the UK usually in your local park at 9am every Saturday morning. It’s free and a great social run


Personal record – the fastest time you have run over a certain distance.


Walking or running at a slower pace between segments which allows your heart rate to decrease and regaining energy so you can run at a quicker speed again.


The time it takes to complete a certain distance i.e. running 800metres around a 400 metre track. Your split is the time you ran your first 400m vs your second

Stride length

The distance between your feet as one foot leaves the ground and the opposite hits the ground

Stride rate

How many times your feet hit the ground in a minute


Towards the end of most training plans a taper is carried out which involves a reduction in distance and intensity of runs to allow for fresh legs on race day

Tempo run

A sustained faster than normal run typically over shorter distances of 3-6 miles.

Trail running

Running off road, this is more commonly done in the winter.

Vo2 Max

A measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen that a person can consume per minute while exercising


Usually before you begin your run it entails slowly increasing the pace your are moving from a fast walk to a jog and then a run.


Useful Related Articles:

3 common mistakes when marathon training

3 running technique tips to help reduce injury risk

 Contact Us

Very knowledgeable physio Team! Was in London on a business meeting and ended up visiting James for some urgent treatment on my lower back. Delighted with the service. James put me at ease straight away. His treatment was paramount in getting me through what was a hectic weekend. Could not recommend enough. Will definitely be back when in London again!
Funky Inflatable Co.
Funky Inflatable Co.
17:29 11 Sep 18
Went to "Flawless Physio" two weeks ago for back pain that I'd been carrying for months. Three sessions later, it's all gone! The staff was very pleasant, professional and gave me a series of simple exercises to do at home. I definitely recommend them. I'll be back, hopefully not too soon ;)
Charles Muzard
Charles Muzard
13:04 24 Sep 18
I was recommended to see James by my consultant following surgery to my ankle. He was extremely professional and knowledgable. He motivated me throughout the process and I have now returned to long distance running thanks to his help. I would recommend his services to anyone
David Burns
David Burns
19:32 08 Sep 18
Awesome team. I ended up having to seek out treatment when my back went into spasm (on going problem) whilst down visiting friends. I saw James and he was very professional and through with his treatment. More importantly he gave me a better understanding about what was going on and how to manage my injury in the future. Highly recommended!
James Tatham
James Tatham
08:03 20 Sep 18
I received treatment from Vicky for a very stiff and painful neck, possibly brought on by tension. I felt confident that my therapist was knowledgeable. The service was very friendly and professional and I felt good progress from the first session already. Vicky recommended some exercises and explained how to do them with very clear diagrams and instructions. I would highly recommend Vicky
Tiziana Guffanti
Tiziana Guffanti
17:23 29 Aug 18
I would highly recommend Flawless Physio. Excellent knowledge/treatment and also brilliant customer care - following up and giving advice. Tailored rehab to suit the type and level of sport as well as lifestyle. My wife & I have been treated by both James & Victoria and they have both been great. Will continue to use for any future injury & rehab.
Joe Gomes
Joe Gomes
19:11 30 Mar 19
I saw Victoria for my dodgy shoulder, and she was brilliant. Very professional And knowledgeable, she really took time to explain what was going on and to treat it. She followed up with me to check I was getting on well with the exercises. She is also really accommodating with timings for appointments. I couldn't recommend more highly, thank you Victoria!
Fiona Hall
Fiona Hall
08:35 27 Mar 19
First class. Had 4 or 5 appointments with Victoria that were always late in the evening, although you wouldn't know it. She took her time, whether that be on soft tissue work, explaining how to do an exercise, or the purpose behind it. A genuine person that wants to help and she clearly knows her stuff.
Jamie Moles
Jamie Moles
21:14 20 Jan 19
Went to flawless physio and vic was great! Training for a marathon and she was very understanding and helpful. Living in the Twickenham area so was in great location! Her specialist knowledge in knee injuries was able to get me back running in two weeks 🏃🏼‍♀️
Ruth Herlihy
Ruth Herlihy
23:44 25 Jan 19
I injured my leg (ITB) training for the Berlin Marathon and then made it far worse it by trying to run it. Victoria has been essential in my recovery, helping me understand how to strengthen the right muscle groups and get back to running. I have been very impressed by the depth of knowledge and insight. This weekend I will run the Cancer Research 10km. Thank you!
Paul Carpenter
Paul Carpenter
17:02 28 Jan 19
Really impressed with the service provided at Flawless Physio. Vicky was knowledgeable, professional and her invaluable treatment and advice got me to the start of this year’s marathon when I’d had to stop running with 8weeks to go. Without the advice and care I received at Flawless Physio, at best I’d have limped my way round the course and at worst, not been able to take part at all. Definitely recommend!
Katy Gomes
Katy Gomes
11:03 30 May 19
James helped resolve a hamstring injury that had troubled me for the best part of a year. I'll certainly use Flawless Physio for any future issues. Highly recommended.
Sandeep C
Sandeep C
18:02 30 Apr 19