Track Talk – a Beginner's Guide to Running Language

15 Jun 2020
Running Training Program

Learning how to run may sound pretty simple and with the help of our experienced, qualified Coaches — it is!

Sometimes, however all the track talk can be a little confusing — especially if you’re new to running. To help you understand run jargon, we’ve put together the below list of running definitions our Coaches use, so next time your Coach tells you to Kick, you don’t bruise any shins or egos. 


Running Definitions



Timing a set distance to track your progress. We do Benchmarks once per month. Usually done @ 100% but can also be done @ 60 or 80% to measure easy or medium pace.



Increasing your pace throughout the distance e.g. 2000m build may be 800m @ 70%, 800m @ 80% and 400m @ 90%. 



Run at 60% = lots of talking.



The ability to attain and maintain proper alignments of proximal body parts during movement, in order to heighten the efficiency of distal body parts. In short –

 strong stomach, abs, chest & hips will allow your legs to unleash their power. A STRONG CORE REDUCES INJURY.



Cross-training is simply a training routine that involves several different types of exercise, such as cycling, swimming, cross-trainer, rower or any cardiovascular training. This technique works more muscle groups, improves agility, and makes it easier to participate in a variety of recreational sports, like running.



Run at 90%. This makes you faster but can also make you injured so you need to be careful.



Means go faster. For example, 1000m with a 400m kick means increase the speed over the last 400m. It may hurt!



Run at 70 – 80% = less talking, but you should still be able to string sentences together.



This means you do the 2nd half of a distance race faster than the 1st half. World records are usually set this way, and this is a major goal for all.



Personal Best. 



A method of training which aims to improve flexibility and stability by strengthening the muscles and especially the torso-stabilising muscles of the abdomen and lower back. Joseph Hubertus Pilates invented and promoted the Pilates method of physical fitness.  



Means the pace per kilometre (km) that you intend to run your goal at. For example, 6min/km means it will take 60 minutes to complete 10kms. We train for race pace leading up to the race. As the training program progresses, you will get an idea of what your race pace will be.



Often done at the beginning or end of a session. Start at 20% then 40%, 60%, 80%. This technique enables us to use fast twitch muscles and eliminate lactic acid. They facilitate recovery – at the beginning for getting muscles ready – at the end for recovery).



At the track, run at 70- 90% on the straights and jog slowly on the curves. Focus on good form on the straights.



The pace usually increases during a tempo run. A 30-minute tempo run may mean 16 mins @ 60% pace, then 8 minutes at 80% and then 6 minutes at 60%.

60% means percentage of what you could do for any given distance or time. 60% is comfortable whereas 80% is medium.



A Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquillity. A system of exercises practiced as part of this discipline to promote control of the body and mind.



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