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Weird Running Terms

This past week while the Fun Run group was here, I overheard a conversation between two runners who were discussing their training for an upcoming race. 

Runner 1: “I just ran a fartlek workout yesterday at the end of my long run, it was so hard!”

Runner 2: “You did what after your long run?!”

Runner 1 and several others started laughing – because we all know that the word “fartlek” sounds silly if you don’t know what it means!

So, here are a handful of weird running terms defined – so you’re in the know for your next conversation with a runner! 

Fartlek – The Swedish word meaning “speed play” this is a workout where you run faster for a short period of time or short distance and then follow it with slower running to recover. Unlike tempo and interval workouts, a fartlek is unstructured and alternates between moderate to hard efforts with easy efforts throughout.

Bonking – Also referred to as “Hitting the Wall” , bonking is the sudden fatigue and loss of energy which is caused when your body runs low on glycogen to use as a fuel source. 

“A “true” bonk will almost always result in you not being able to physically run any longer.

You may be able to shuffle and probably walk, but anything that resembles running is likely out the window. More than likely you’ll feel dizzy or light-headed (a result of your brain not getting the glycogen it needs) and some runners feel nauseous.” (

Bandit – This is someone who participates in a race without an official entry or without signing up for the race.

Pacer – In road running, a pacer is a person who helps you finish a race in a specific desired time. Many half marathons and marathons have teams of pacers to help large groups of participants get to the finish line at designated times. In trail and ultra running, a pacer is basically a babysitter that keeps the runner moving and makes sure they’re eating and drinking when they get into the late or overnight miles in an ultra race. 

Negative Splits – A negative split is a positive thing! This means that you ran the second half of a run or race faster than the first half. 

Rungry – Straight from Urban Dictionary, rungry is “the insatiable hunger that ensues immediately after a long run. Also occurs as you ramp up your mileage while training for a long distance race”.

Strides – “Strides are 20 to 35 second sprints at your mile race pace, or roughly 85 to 95% effort. Typically, they are assigned to a running schedule after an easy recovery run or before a big workout or race. Strides are also used as part of the warm-up process to help get the blood flowing to your legs and your heart rate elevated.” (

PR – This stands for “Personal Record”, your speediest time at any given distance is your PR.

Taper – The taper is the delicate balance of maintaining fitness while letting the body recover. The taper usually begins after the last long run of a training plan, about 3 weeks before your goal race. Check out this link to learn exactly how to taper for your next race!

Snot Rocket – When you’re out running and have a runny nose and no tissues, the snot rocket is a handy talent to have! The following is a step by step guide to your first snot rocket by!

The Snot Rocket Technique
  1. Hold your index finger to the side of your nose and push one nostril shut.
  2. Lean your body to the side of your nostril that’s open. Lean past your hips or you’ll be wearing it…
  3. Take a deep breath in.
  4. Close your mouth and forcefully blow out your nose.
  5. Repeat as needed.
  6. Carry on as if nothing happened while covertly checking your shirt and chin for evidence.

LSD – This stands for “Long Slow Distance” and usually refers to the long training run of the week

Streaker – In the running world, this has nothing to do with taking off your clothes! A streaker is someone who runs at least one mile every day for a certain period of time. This is known as a “run streak”.

About the author: Katie is the Store Manager of  AppRunCo – Carlisle & an avid distance runner. She loves running on both roads and trails with her trusty sidekick, her dog Dash. When she’s not running or fitting shoes, Katie can be found snapping photos for the store’s social media pages.