Runner/Triathlete Lingo

I was talking with a friend last week how told me she loved reading my blog but that much of the time, she didn’t know what much of what I said meant. So, I thought I’d do a post on what all this runner/triathlete lingo means! :)

13.1 / 26.2 / 70.3 / 140.6: These are distances in miles for a half marathon, marathon, half Ironman, and full Ironman respectively.

Oly: The abbreviation for an Olympic distance triathlon.

OWS: The abbreviation for open water swim

Sighting: The term used for briefly looking forward while swimming so that you can see the buoys in front of you (or not see them if you’re off course!)



T1 / T2: These are abbreviations for “transition 1” and “transition 2”. Transition 1 is the time when you switch from swimming to biking. Transition 2 is when you are switching from biking to running.1236908_840764615224_782781001_n

Watts/Power: This is typically used in reference to biking. Instead of speed, sometimes people use power output to determine how hard you are working. This is helpful if you are climbing or descending hills–your speed will change, but you could maintain the same effort/power.

Aero Position: On a triathlon bike, you have what are called aero bars. These allow you to lay out more while you’re biking, rest your arms, and become more aerodynamic. The position of your body that is most aerodynamic is called aero position.1016054_810925842364_531522171_n

Cadence: This is used in biking AND running. It references to how many repetitions per minute that you either pedal, or step

Fartlek: This is typically used as a running workout. This is a fun workout where you run whatever easy pace you want to for however long you want, then you sprint for however long you want, go back to easy running, ect. There are no specific time-frames or speeds for this workout. It is usually a good one to do early on in a speedwork program.

Tempo: A tempo is usually described as a run pace that is hard enough so that you can’t hold a conversation. Meaning, you are breathing too hard to spit off several sentences in a row as well. Usually a tempo pace is around a race pace. For me, a tempo is when I am running at my half Ironman pace.

Intervals: Sometimes people call these repeats. Basically, intervals are just what they sound like. They are more than 1 segment of faster paced runs. Usually they are sprints for about 30 seconds to 1 minute long.

I hope these definitions helped some of you!

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