(Photo credit: Guy Mayer, Flickr)
As Gary Coleman famously said; “What you talkin’ ’bout Willis?”
That’s pretty much how it feels when you’re a newbie to anything and people throw some jargon into the conversation or a post and you are left wondering what on earth they are going on about!
So I thought I’d throw some of that jargon out there today and go through the meanings so next time you hear any of the acronyms or “speak” you don’t feel like a total newbie or so clueless (it happens to us all). This hasn’t been exhausted yet but I need rest so I am going to call it a night for now! Let me know what I’ve missed!
This is for all us crazies out there that didn’t think it was hard enough to do one sport! It is a swim followed by a bike followed by a run. There are varying distances – Sprint (short swim 300-500 metres, 10-16 mile bike, 3.1 mile run), Olympic (1000-1500 metre swim, 24-28 mile bike, 6.2 mile run), ITU Long (3000 metre swim, 50 ish mile bike ride, 12.4 mile run), Half Ironman/70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 run) and the FULL (140.6 – 2.4 mile swim, 112 bike followed by a 26.2 run).
The crazy person who undertakes the above style race!
I read an article somewhere else that joked about Peanut Butter with this one. I know that switching from PB to PR threw me for 6! We use PB in the UK and PR is pretty common here in Houston! It means Personal Best or Personal Record. It can also be used as a verb (yes, who knew!?) “I PR’d today” meaning I beat my own best time. You can PR in a skill/discipline or overall in a race or training time.
This one REALLY has another meaning in the UK. If you’re a 10 year old (ok, maybe older, probably like 15) this means to have sex! So imagine my surprise when I hear it being used so casually by these athletes around me on the numerous bike rides. It wasn’t until I watched this, that I suddenly got it! (Totally recommend watching that video – it’s hilarious!).
This one means “to crash” in energy terms. It usually happens after a hard effort and definitely when you haven’t fueled your body adequately pre or during a race. It’s that horrible weak/ill feeling you get and your legs go all heavy. It happened to me once or twice when I first got into road cycling and I felt so sick that I had to stop the first time to shove my face with food (what a beautiful image). The second time I recognised what was happening and artfully stuffed a gu and a cereal bar down my throat immediately and managed to salvage it! Don’t do it to yourself, have a decent brekky ahead of your race and have plenty of your preferred fuel and carbs to hand for the race!
(Photo credit: Dilbert)
Yes, I know, you’re looking at these numbers and scoffing but there are people out there who do not know what they refer to/mean! I had a friend point to the sticker on my car and ask about it!
5k = 3.11 miles
10k = 6.21 miles
25k = 15.5 miles
13.1 = half marathon distance
26.2 = full marathon distance
This one can be used in a variety of contexts. It might be your running training e.g. 5k pace would be the speed at which you would run a 5k, 10k pace would be how fast/slow you run the 6.21 miles and so on. As you increase the distance it is normal for your pace to decrease. This can also be used in “Pacer” – someone who sets the pace, usually for a distance running race – you would run behind that person to maintain that speed or finish in a particular time. It can also be used in “Pace Line” usually for cyclists who ride in a long line and maintain a particular speed. Take care, there’s a particular etiquette which you should definitely read up about if you’re looking into joining any pace line! Always polite to ask to join and make sure you take your turn as the buffer at the front!
(Photo credit: IceCreamJournal.TurkeyHill.com)
Not the strawberry kind, or the banana, or even the painful gymnastics kind! These are when you run longer races and they break the distance down into shorter sections, usually a mile, and these miles are referred to splits. You want to run “negative splits” (or splutz according to my running coach); this means the second half of your race is faster than the first half. If you run an even split this means you are evenly paced throughout the race.
Excuse me? No, not that! It’s definitely giggle worthy (Oh come on, who doesn’t laugh when a word involves “that” word. This is like interval training/intervals for runners – mixture of speeds over different distances combined in one workout. It comes from Swedish meaning “Speed Play”. You might do an easy run and break it up with some short sprints. You call the shots on how far, how fast and how hard you push yourself.
When you set up a workout in stages. e.g Warm up, run 2 minutes at hard pace follow by 3 minutes of easy pace etc. Some people measure pace with numbers/miles per minutes too.
(Photo credit: Family Guy)
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – ya know, that day after a brutal workout feeling or when you haven’t trained enough for a race and then you try bending down to pick up something or even worse, walking down the stairs… yup… that!
The area of the race where you set up your kit upon arrival. It closes before the race and you will not be allowed back in until after the race or this will either incur a time penalty or a DQ (See below).
When you finish the swim you run into transition to switch to the bike portion. The amount of time your spend in transition at this point is “T1”.
This is when you switch from the bike to the run in transition.
Not some crazy night out with a girl named Cinnamon or Jasmine (no offence if your name is Jasmine). These are the helpful volunteers at the end of the swim who help you take your wetsuit off.
Those lovely people who help out before, during and after races. Smile at them, thank them, be one of them! It’s always great to “pay back” into the community – help out at a race you’re not taking part in.
No, sadly not (or perhaps happily) not Dairy Queen. It’s Disqualification – hang your head in shame and learn from your mistake.
Boston Qualifying (nothing like DQ). (Again a different meaning in the UK – this is a Hardware store, like Lowe’s or Home Depot. The person who gets BQ is an amazing athlete – an extreme challenge and an amazing achievement! This means they competed in a particular race that would give them a chance at a slot for the Boston Marathon. There are specific races which are Boston Qualifiers. You have to make it in a certain time to qualify.
What you want to avoid by training sufficiently! This is a “Did Not Finish”. (DNS is Did Not Start). The Open Water Swim (see below) is often the part that finishes people off so give yourself ample opportunity to practice!
(Photo credit: tri4kona.blogspot.com)
Open Water Swim.
This is the first section of the triathlon; there are different types of swim. OWS as it is often called online, can be in a lake or the sea/ocean. Whichever one it is, you want to get practice in pre race! Don’t wait until the day to find out if you can make the swim!
This is the other type of swim in a triathlon – in a swimming pool – usually athletes have to report a particular distance time for this one and you will start based on your time so you’re alongside people of a similar speed.
This means the water is cold enough for you to wear a wetsuit (and you’d be crazy NOT to wear one!). Recommendation would be to go for a sleeveless one – personal preference obviously comes into play here but the effort of a full sleeve will take its toll on you (again practice!!)
Don’t be *that* guy or girl. Drafting means you duck behind another athlete to catch on their pace but without battling the elements. It’s extremely rude and if you are caught you will get a penalty (see below). This is considered “illegal” in race terms.
Time penalties given for “illegal” activities in a race, such as drafting, cheating, using forbidden items or trying to gain some unfair advantage over other athletes. (Not cool).
(Photo Credit: fibre-reinforced-plastic.com)
Carbon Fiber Frame.
A beautifully light frame on a bike, usually equalling big bucks on the price tag and a less than happy bank account.
Specific triathlon equipment for a bike to allow the athlete to really streamline themselves on the bike section – flatten yourself out and become aerodynamic. It can add a mile or 2 to your overall speed.
(Photo credit: xda-developers.com)
This is when you double up on a workout in one go. You bike and then run. Good for building stamina and strength.
(Photo credit: ramtri.com)
Those yummy things made from potato, oh wait, no.. not those. I got sidetracked. This is the strap you wear around your left ankle in a race with a timing chip on it (make sure you have it on properly)
Sequence and manner in which you move your legs when you run.
The speed at which you pedal when cycling – measure of revolutions of the wheel (RPM – revolutions per minute). This can also be used to measure pace in running and if you read this post from a whole back; the magic number of foot turnovers is 180 per minute.
Another running term. This is where you are grouped at the start line of a big race (usually 13.1/26.2 see above) with other athletes who are of a similar pace (see above again) to you and expect to finish around the same time.
Your “gear”, your kit that you acquire or have made. The shirts you acquire from races or team partipation. This is also sometimes referring to medals that you get at the end of the race (these are also called “Bling”).
Where the winners stand, yo. The top 3 in each age group are usually awarded a prize as well as overall winners, Masters, Grand Masters, Clydesdales and Athenas (see below). Can also be used as a verb “I podiumed at my race today”.
Racers over the age of 40. (Often the most competitive age bracket)
More power to these guys and gals! Racers over the age of 50.
Male racers who weigh more than 220lb. You have to register yourself to race in this category.
Female racers who must weigh more than 165lbs. You have to register yourself to race in this category.
Form of fuel (brand names) that athletes use whilst racing. Gu/shots are usually in individual sachets and Bloks are the gummy chews you can pop about 3 of at a time. Usually one serving per hour that you’re racing. Follow with water to avoid unpleasant stomach pains or problems.
The curse of racing and training intensively can sometimes cause stomach issues and a mad dash to the bathroom.
Many thanks to my beautiful friends and co-athletes (YH, DG and SS) whom I quizzed about words that confused them to start with and to my beloved DG who gave me this gem “I started biking before running, in biking you measure your speed. The higher the number, the better. When I started running, it threw me off that I was looking to make my number smaller since you measure your pace, not the average speed. But that was just me! :-)” Here, here D! You are awesome!!
Are there any words/terms that tricked or confused you?
Are there any other words you think should be added to the list? Leave a comment or drop me a line and I can add to the list!