It’s all Greek to me

Or rather it’s all Athlete to me.  Have you ever talked to your athletic friends or overheard their conversations and wondered just what the in the hell they are talking about?  Here’s a little glossary to help.

A back to back workout, usually bike then run.  Your legs feel like bricks when going from the bike straight to running.

We don’t carry a tube of Pringles with during a race.  In timed races, you get a chip, a piece of plastic or even a small strip that goes on your shoe or race bib, that tracks your time as you cross over the start line, finish line, and any other designated points during a race.  It records your official race time.

Clip, Clip in, Clipless
All refers to the pedals on a bike.  You either have regular pedals like your little kids bike, cages that any shoe can just slide into, or pedals that actually clip to your special bike shoes.

“Did not finish.”  You start a race, but had to be pulled out at some point.

“Did not start.”  You never made it to the start line of a race.

Duathlon, Du
Two sports competed at the same time.  Usually run, bike, run.

Not as gross as it sounds.  It’s a speed workout.

Nope, we’re not talking petroleum.  Anything you put in your body to consume for energy for performance in a race or training.

Water and any number of sports drinks or nuun that keep your body hydrated during racing and training.

Ironman, Half Ironman
Technically an Ironman race can only be the one that is put on by the Ironman™ group.  But the “Half” and “Full” distances are as follows:
Full – 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run
Half – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run

Long course
The longer 50 meters lane in a pool.  1 lap = 100 meters (down and back).

A combination of 2 or more sports that are performed at once in one race.

Negative Splits
Performing the second half of a run (or bike or swim) faster than the first part.  If you run your first 3 miles at a 10 minute pace, your negative splits will be 9:30 on mile 4, 9min on mile 5, etc.

Olympic, Oly
Nope, this isn’t just the international athletic competition that happens every 4 years.  It is a very specific distance in Triathlon.  Essentially the distance is 1 mile swim, 25 mile (40k) bike, 6.2 mile (10k) run.

Short for Open Water Swim.  Triathletes have to get practice swimming in open water, because it just doesn’t compare to the pool and any triathlon of a decent distance is in a lake, river, pond, ocean, etc.   Also, sometimes one of the biggest fears for a triathlete to conquer.

Podium Finish
Finishing a race and taking an award, hence you placed in your category ended up on a podium after the  race.

Short course
The shorter 25 yards lane in a pool.  1 lap = 50 yards (down and back).

This isn’t just running fast.  It’s a shorter distance triathlon, basically anything shorter than an Olympic.

Not a naked run (though they have those too).  It’s running every day, at least 1 mile, hence a streak of running without a day off.

Transition, T1, T2
The area where all your stuff is set up and where you transition between the different sports in a triathlon.  T1 is the first transition, T2 is the second transition, and you get timed on the time you spend in each.

Swimming, Biking, Running.  In that order.  (Though some other races may involve 3 different multisports or add in an additional run, that is the traditional meaning.)

Bungee type laces that make it easier to yank on your shoes without wasting time tying them in transition in a race.  Not people from “up north.”

So what are some other terms you’ve always wondered what we’re talking about?

Athletes, what are some terms you always have to explain? 


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