Thursday, September 18, 2014

the language of running

All fields of endeavor have their own language.  Perhaps a better description is that each field of endeavor has its own shorthand, although it is not always about acronyms and abbreviations.

Running is no different than any other endeavor, so I will list some (not an exhaustive list; readers, feel free to add more in comments) of the "lingo" of running, especially useful to the non-runners who read my blog:

Abbreviations:
mpm -- minutes per mile (running pace)
spm -- steps per minute (cadence)
bpm -- beats per minute (heart rate, rather universal)

Acronyms and others:
LSD -- long slow distance, usually in the aerobic heart rate zone
GCT -- ground contact time, the amount of time the foot is in contact with the ground, a running dynamic measured in milliseconds
Vertical oscillation -- the vertical rise of a runner during a stride, a running dynamic measured in centimeters (1 inch = 2.54 cm)
VO2max -- volume of oxygen the body can process per kilogram (1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds) per minute, this is a key fitness measurement/calculation for runners
HRmax -- maximum heart rate, correlates with age, but other variables come into play as well, usually estimated from one of many calculation models (I use the Tanaka linear equation)
HRrest, HRR -- resting heart rate, usually measured in the morning before any activity
WHR -- working heart rate, target heart zones based on the Karvonen method
Intervals -- alternating running and walking, sprinting and jogging, etc., stresses the cardio-vascular system then relaxes it, used for improving cardio-vascular performance, improving recovery time, improving leg strength, there are many models and routines
fartlek -- Swedish for "speed play", which is like mixing random interval sprints into a run
Yasso 800s -- an 800 meter interval workout, building up to 10 such running intervals, whereby the runner attempts to run the 800 meters in minutes what he/she hopes to run a marathon in hours.  If the target is to run a four hour marathon, the runner would run each of the ten 800 meters intervals in four minutes.
Zero drop -- used to describe a shoe which has no rise between the ball of the foot and the heel

I think that is enough for anyone to absorb, and I hope your day is a great one.