Running Terminology


Training in which short, fast "repeats" or "repetitions" often 200 to 800 meters, are alternated with slow "intervals" of jogging for recovery; usually based on a rigid format such as "six times 400 meters fast [these are the repeats] with 400-meter recovery jogs [the intervals]," interval training builds speed and endurance.


Swedish for "speed play"; a mixture of slow running, running at a moderate pace and short, fast bursts.


Literally refers to running up and down hills. This is one of the best ways to increase the intensity of your training sessions. Running up and down a ten-degree incline can nearly double your body's energy demands.


A training session where the length of the intervals in an interval session decreases by a set amount, before increasing by the same amount e.g. 4min - 3min - 2 min - 1 min - 2 min - 3min - 4min.

Recovery Runs

Slow to moderate running to recover from hard workouts or races and/or maintain aerobic conditioning.


Efforts of 3 to 5 minutes with varying recovery periods of 1 to 4 minutes.

Tempo Run

Sustained effort training runs, usually 20 to 30 minutes in length, at 10 to 15 seconds per mile slower than 10K race pace. Another way to gauge the pace of tempo runs: a pace about midway between short-interval training speed and your easy running pace.

Threshold Run

Runs of 5 to 20 minutes at a pace just a little slower than your 10K racing pace; Threshold pace is roughly equivalent to what exercise physiologists call "lactate threshold," or the point at which your muscles start fatiguing at a rapid rate. Running at or near lactate threshold is believed to raise your lactate threshold, which should allow you to run faster and further in the future.

VO2 Max

The maximal amount of oxygen that a person can extract from the atmosphere and then transport and use in the body's tissues.

Warm Up

Five to twenty minutes of easy jogging/walking before a race or a workout. The point of a warm-up is to raise one's heart rate so the body (and its muscles) are looser before a tough workout begins.