Fartlek - A run where bursts of speed (between 50 metres to half a mile) are incorporated into a normal run. After the faster bit, run slower until you are recovered to do it again. Mix up short and longer bursts with faster and slower paces.
Intervals/reps (repeats) – A training session where you run at race pace or faster for segments that are much shorter than your race distance with recovery breaks to minimise the stress on your body. Eg 4 x 1 mile with 2 minute recoveries means you run hard for a mile (at roughly 10k race pace) and then have a 2 minute rest. You then repeat this until you have done it 4 times.
Kenyan hills – A tempo type run on a circuit of uphill, flat and downhill terrain. A loop can be anything from 300m. What is crucial is that the hills are attacked with gusto and the flat sections are maintained at a hard pace.
Lactate threshold – The pace beyond which your muscles produce more lactic acid than can be cleared; muscle efficiency falls off significantly and fatigue sets in. Training to increase lactate threshold means you will be able to run at a faster pace before this threshold is reached.
Long run - This is your longest run of the week, with the distance depending on the race distance you are training for, for example if you race 5k your long run does not need to be more than 6-8 miles, whereas for marathon training it could be 22 miles.
Periodisation – A structured training plan that is broken down into periods of time lasting several weeks, each with a specific training goal, with each period preparing you for the next more advanced one. For example endurance running followed by a strengthening period emphasising hill training, then a sharpening period focusing on intervals, with the aim of peaking for a target race.
Pyramid session – An interval session where you start by doing longer reps and move to shorter, faster ones, and then increase the distance to finish on the same distance as you started. Eg, 1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m.
Recovery run – An easy pace run the day after a hard training session (eg a long run or speed session). Roughly 2 minutes per mile slower than your half marathon pace or slower.
Tempo – A pace that is roughly 10-30 seconds per mile slower than your 10k race pace or 25 to 45 slower than your 5k race pace. Training at this pace improves your lactate threshold.
Threshold run – See tempo
V02 max – The rate at which you’re able to transport large amounts of oxygen to your muscles which can be used to produce energy. Interval sessions including reps of 800 – 1600m help to increase your VO2 max.
Yasso 800s – A training session named after Bart Yasso who claims it can be used to predict your marathon time. The theory behind Yasso 800s is that your time in minutes and seconds for a workout of 10 times 800 meters with equal recovery time is the same as the hours and minutes of your marathon time. For example, if you can run 10 times 800 meters in 3 minutes and 20 seconds with 3 minutes and 20 seconds recovery, then this predicts that you can run 3 hours and 20 minutes for your marathon.
Chip time – Your race time from when you cross the start line to the finish
Gun time – Your race time from the time the starting gun sounded to the finish
Multi Terrain (MT) – a mix of both on and off road
Negative split – where the second half of the race is quicker than the first
Personal best – Your best time for that distance
Seasons best – Your best time for that distance in the current year
Tapering – The period before a race where you cut down your training so that you are optimally rested for your race. The length of the taper depends on the race distance and your level of fitness.
Veteran categories (V35, V40 etc) – These are age categories in races, typically in 10 year groups, V35, V45, V55 etc for woman and V40, V50,V60 etc for men. A V40 would be a man between 40 and 49. Some races have vets in 5 year categories. F or W before the V indicates female/woman.
General running terms
Cadence – The number of steps you take per minute. The higher your cadence the quicker you will run
Dynamic stretch – an active movement to stretch a muscle that is not held in the end position, eg walking lunges.
Pronation – the way the foot rolls inwards when you run
Static stretch – a stretch that is held in position, usually for between 10-30 seconds, eg calf stretch
Running gait – this described how your foot moves when you run. Examples include neutral, over-pronation and under-pronation. Running gait can be analysed whilst running on a treadmill.