Top 40 Slang For Running – Meaning & Usage

Running, a popular form of exercise and a competitive sport, has its own set of slang and terminology that can be confusing for beginners and non-runners. But fear not, we’ve got you covered! Our team of running enthusiasts has compiled a list of the top slang words and phrases used in the running community. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or just starting out on your running journey, this article will help you navigate the world of running lingo like a pro. Lace up your sneakers and get ready to dive into the exciting world of running slang!

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1. Bandit

A bandit refers to a runner who participates in a race without officially registering or paying the entry fee. Bandits often join races to challenge themselves or simply enjoy the atmosphere without the pressure of competition.

  • For example, “I didn’t sign up for the marathon, but I’m going to run as a bandit.”
  • A runner might say, “I bandited the local 10K race because I wanted to support the cause but couldn’t afford the registration fee.”
  • Another runner might ask, “Are bandits allowed in this race?”

2. Beer Mile

The beer mile is a unique event that combines running and drinking. Participants must drink a full beer before each of the four laps around a track. The goal is to finish the race with the fastest time while consuming four beers.

  • For instance, “I’m training for the beer mile. It’s going to be a fun challenge.”
  • A runner might say, “I completed the beer mile in under 10 minutes. It was a wild experience!”
  • Another might ask, “Do you have any tips for pacing during the beer mile?”

3. Black Toenails

Black toenails are a common occurrence among runners, especially those who participate in long-distance races. The black color is caused by blood pooling underneath the toenail, typically due to repetitive impact and friction between the toe and the shoe.

  • For example, “I ran a marathon last weekend, and now I have black toenails.”
  • A runner might say, “I’ve learned to trim my toenails properly to prevent black toenails.”
  • Another might ask, “How long does it take for black toenails to heal?”

4. Bonk

Bonk is a term used to describe a sudden and extreme fatigue or exhaustion experienced by a runner during a long-distance race or intense training. It occurs when the body’s glycogen stores are depleted, resulting in a significant drop in energy levels.

  • For instance, “I bonked during the marathon at mile 20 and had to walk the rest.”
  • A runner might say, “To avoid bonking, I make sure to fuel properly during long runs.”
  • Another might ask, “What are some signs that you’re about to bonk?”

5. Bucket List

In the context of running, a bucket list refers to a list of races or running-related experiences that a person aspires to complete in their lifetime. These goals can range from running a specific distance, participating in a famous race, or exploring new running routes.

  • For example, “Running the Boston Marathon is on my running bucket list.”
  • A runner might say, “I’ve checked off several items on my running bucket list, but there’s still more to accomplish.”
  • Another might ask, “What’s the most unique item on your running bucket list?”

6. Chub Rub

Chub Rub refers to the irritation or chafing that occurs when the skin on the inner thighs rubs together during running or other physical activities. It is a common issue for runners, especially those with larger thighs.

  • For example, “I need to wear longer shorts to prevent chub rub during my long runs.”
  • A runner might ask, “Any tips for preventing chub rub?”
  • Another might say, “Chub rub can be painful, but using anti-chafing creams or wearing compression shorts can help alleviate the discomfort.”

7. Code Brown

Code Brown is a lighthearted slang term used by runners to describe the urgent need to find a restroom while on a run. It typically refers to the need to have a bowel movement during a run.

  • For instance, “I had a code brown during my marathon and had to make an emergency pit stop.”
  • A runner might say, “I always carry tissues in case of a code brown.”
  • Another might joke, “Code brown is every runner’s worst nightmare.”

8. Crop Dusting

Crop Dusting is a humorous term used to describe the act of passing gas while running. It refers to the idea of leaving behind a trail of “crop dust” as one runs.

  • For example, “I accidentally crop dusted the person behind me during the race.”
  • A runner might say, “Crop dusting is one of the hazards of long-distance running.”
  • Another might joke, “Be careful not to crop dust your running buddies.”

9. Drafting

Drafting is a technique used by runners where they run closely behind another runner to reduce wind resistance and conserve energy. It is commonly used in long-distance races or during training.

  • For instance, “I drafted behind the lead runner for most of the race.”
  • A runner might say, “Drafting can provide a significant advantage in a headwind.”
  • Another might ask, “Is it considered fair to draft off someone during a race?”

10. Aqua jogging

Aqua jogging is a low-impact exercise where runners perform running motions in water, typically in a pool. It is often used as a form of cross-training or rehabilitation for injured runners.

  • For example, “I’ve been aqua jogging to maintain my fitness while recovering from a knee injury.”
  • A runner might say, “Aqua jogging allows me to maintain my running form without the impact on my joints.”
  • Another might ask, “How effective is aqua jogging compared to running on land?”

11. Swag

In the context of running, “swag” refers to a runner’s style or confidence. It can also refer to the gear or clothing a runner wears.

  • For example, “That runner has so much swag, look at how they effortlessly glide across the track.”
  • A runner might say, “I’m feeling good today, I’ve got my swag on.”
  • Another runner might compliment a fellow runner’s outfit by saying, “I love your running swag, where did you get those shoes?”

12. Taper

Tapering refers to the process of reducing the intensity and volume of training leading up to a race. It allows the body to recover and fully prepare for the upcoming event.

  • For instance, a runner might say, “I’m in taper mode this week, just doing some light runs to stay loose.”
  • A coach might advise, “Make sure to taper properly before the race to avoid burnout and perform at your best.”
  • Another runner might ask, “How long do you usually taper before a marathon?”

13. Tempo

A tempo run is a training run where a runner maintains a steady, challenging pace for a sustained period of time. It helps improve speed and endurance.

  • For example, a runner might say, “I did a tempo run today and really pushed myself to maintain a faster pace.”
  • A coach might recommend, “Incorporate tempo runs into your training to increase your lactate threshold.”
  • Another runner might ask, “What’s your tempo pace? Mine is around 7 minutes per mile.”

14. The Wall

Hitting the wall refers to a point in a long-distance race or run where a runner experiences extreme fatigue, both physically and mentally. It can feel like running into an invisible barrier.

  • For instance, a runner might say, “I hit the wall at mile 20 of the marathon and had to push through to finish.”
  • Another runner might warn, “Make sure to fuel properly during a long run to avoid hitting the wall.”
  • A coach might advise, “Train your mental resilience to overcome the wall and keep pushing forward.”

15. Quad Buster

A quad buster refers to a challenging hill or workout that specifically targets the quadriceps muscles in the legs. It can be intense and demanding.

  • For example, a runner might say, “I did a quad buster workout today, my legs are on fire.”
  • Another runner might describe a difficult hill as, “That hill is a real quad buster, it never gets easier.”
  • A coach might assign, “Today’s workout is a quad buster, be prepared for some tough hill repeats.”

16. Quesotherapy

This term refers to unconventional or unproven methods or practices that runners may try in order to improve their performance or recover from injuries. The term “quesotherapy” implies that these methods may not have scientific backing or may be of questionable effectiveness.

  • For example, a runner might say, “I’ve been doing quesotherapy to speed up my recovery, like using magnetic insoles.”
  • Another might mention, “I’ve heard of people trying quesotherapy like cryotherapy chambers or cupping to help with muscle soreness.”
  • A coach might caution their athletes, “Be careful with quesotherapy. Stick to evidence-based practices for better results.”

17. Rabbit

A “rabbit” is a term used to describe a runner who sets a fast pace in a race, often with the intention of helping other runners achieve faster times. This term is commonly used in track events, particularly in longer races like the 1500 meters or 5000 meters.

  • For instance, a commentator might say, “The elite runner took the lead and acted as a rabbit for the rest of the pack.”
  • A coach might advise their athlete, “Try to stick with the rabbit for as long as possible to improve your time.”
  • A runner might say, “I’ve been training to become a rabbit in upcoming races to help my teammates achieve their personal bests.”

18. Roadkill

This term refers to a runner who is completely exhausted or “dead” during a race or a training run. The term “roadkill” implies that the runner is so fatigued that they resemble a lifeless animal that has been hit by a vehicle.

  • For example, a runner might say, “I hit a wall during the marathon and became roadkill for the remaining miles.”
  • Another runner might joke, “I was roadkill in today’s workout. My legs just wouldn’t move.”
  • A coach might sympathize with a tired runner, “Don’t worry, everyone becomes roadkill at some point. Just take it easy and recover.”

19. Runcation

A “runcation” is a combination of the words “run” and “vacation.” It refers to a trip or vacation that is planned around a running event or destination. Runners often travel to participate in races or explore new running routes in different cities or countries.

  • For instance, a runner might say, “I’m going on a runcation to Hawaii to run a marathon and enjoy the beautiful scenery.”
  • Another might plan, “Let’s organize a group runcation to New York City and run the famous Central Park loop.”
  • A travel blogger might write, “If you’re a running enthusiast, consider a runcation to Europe and explore the charming streets while getting your miles in.”

20. Runchies/Rungru

The term “runchies” or “rungru” is a combination of the words “run” and “munchies.” It refers to the intense hunger or cravings that some runners experience after a long or intense run. This can be attributed to the body’s need for replenishing energy stores and nutrients.

  • For example, a runner might say, “I always get the runchies after a long run. I could eat everything in sight.”
  • Another might joke, “Beware of the runchies! You’ll find yourself devouring a whole pizza in no time.”
  • A nutritionist might advise, “Plan your post-run meals to satisfy the runchies with healthy and balanced options to aid in recovery.”

21. Sprinting

This term refers to running at a high speed over a short distance. It often implies a burst of speed and intense effort.

  • For example, “He sprinted to the finish line and won the race.”
  • A coach might say, “We’re going to focus on sprinting drills to improve your speed.”
  • In a conversation about fitness, someone might mention, “I love the adrenaline rush I get from sprinting.”

22. Trotting

Trotting refers to running at a slow and steady pace, similar to a light jogging. It is often used to describe a relaxed and leisurely running style.

  • For instance, “She trotted along the trail, enjoying the scenery.”
  • A person might say, “I prefer trotting in the park as a way to unwind.”
  • In a discussion about different running speeds, someone might ask, “What’s the difference between trotting and jogging?”

23. Dashing

Dashing refers to running quickly and suddenly, often with a sense of urgency or haste. It implies a burst of speed over a short distance.

  • For example, “He dashed across the street to catch the bus.”
  • A person might say, “I was dashing through the crowd to make it to the concert on time.”
  • In a conversation about running techniques, someone might mention, “Dashing is a great way to improve your speed and agility.”

24. Galloping

Galloping is a term used to describe running with long, bounding strides, often associated with the movement of horses. It implies a fast and energetic running style.

  • For instance, “The athlete galloped towards the finish line, leaving his competitors behind.”
  • A person might say, “I feel like I’m galloping when I run on the beach.”
  • In a discussion about different running gaits, someone might ask, “What’s the difference between galloping and running?”

25. Hurdling

Hurdling refers to the act of running and jumping over obstacles, typically high barriers called hurdles. It requires a combination of speed, agility, and jumping ability.

  • For example, “He excels in hurdling and has won many competitions.”
  • A coach might say, “We’re going to practice hurdling technique to improve your form.”
  • In a conversation about track and field events, someone might mention, “Hurdling is one of the most exciting events to watch.”

26. Going for a run

This phrase simply means to go out and run for exercise or enjoyment.

  • For example, “I’m going for a run after work to clear my mind.”
  • A friend might ask, “Do you want to join me for a run tomorrow morning?”
  • Someone might share on social media, “Just finished going for a run, feeling accomplished!”

27. Racking up the miles

This phrase refers to running long distances and keeping track of the mileage.

  • For instance, “I’ve been racking up the miles in preparation for a marathon.”
  • A runner might say, “I aim to rack up at least 50 miles this week.”
  • Someone might post on a running forum, “Any tips for racking up the miles without getting injured?”

28. Hitting the pavement

This phrase means to go for a run on hard surfaces like roads or sidewalks.

  • For example, “I’m lacing up my shoes and hitting the pavement for a quick jog.”
  • A runner might say, “I prefer hitting the pavement over running on a treadmill.”
  • Someone might share a photo on social media with the caption, “Nothing beats the feeling of hitting the pavement in the early morning.”

29. Going the distance

This phrase refers to running a significant distance without stopping or quitting.

  • For instance, “I pushed through and went the distance in my first half marathon.”
  • A runner might say, “I’m determined to go the distance and finish a full marathon.”
  • Someone might share their accomplishment, “Just completed a 10-mile race, proud to have gone the distance!”

30. Going all out

This phrase means to run with full effort and give it everything you’ve got.

  • For example, “I decided to go all out during the final sprint of the race.”
  • A runner might say, “I’m going all out in this training session to improve my speed.”
  • Someone might share their achievement, “Set a new personal record by going all out in my 5K race!”

31. Taking a lap

This phrase is often used in a competitive context to describe running a lap around a track or course. It can also be used figuratively to mean starting over or going back to the beginning.

  • For example, in a race, a coach might say, “After you finish, take a lap to cool down.”
  • In a school setting, a teacher might tell a misbehaving student, “Go take a lap around the field.”
  • Figuratively, someone might say, “I made a mistake, so I’m taking a lap and starting over.”

32. Going for a jog

This phrase is commonly used to describe running at a relaxed pace for exercise or leisure. It implies a casual and enjoyable run, often without a specific distance or time goal.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I’m going for a jog in the park to clear my mind.”
  • A friend might invite another by saying, “Want to go for a jog together later?”
  • An individual might post on social media, “Just finished a refreshing morning jog by the beach.”

33. Taking a stride

This phrase refers to running with confident and purposeful strides. It implies a strong and determined running style, often associated with competitive or intense running.

  • For example, a coach might say, “You need to take longer strides and really push yourself.”
  • A runner might describe their race strategy as, “I’m going to take a stride from the start and maintain a strong pace.”
  • In a motivational context, someone might say, “Take a stride and show them what you’re capable of.”

34. Pounding the track

This phrase describes running with force and intensity on a track. It implies a powerful and energetic running style, often associated with fast-paced or competitive running.

  • For instance, a coach might yell, “Keep pounding the track! Don’t slow down!”
  • A runner might describe their training session as, “I’m going to pound the track with some speed intervals.”
  • In a competitive context, someone might say, “He’s been pounding the track all season and setting new records.”

35. Jogger

This term refers to a person who regularly runs at a relaxed pace for exercise or leisure. It is often used to describe someone who enjoys running as a form of physical activity or as a hobby.

  • For example, someone might say, “I’m a jogger, not a sprinter. I prefer longer, slower runs.”
  • A friend might introduce themselves by saying, “I’m a jogger too. We should go for a run together.”
  • In a fitness context, a trainer might say, “Joggers can benefit from incorporating interval training to improve their overall fitness level.”

36. Hitting the road

This phrase is often used to describe the act of beginning a run or going out for a jog. It implies hitting the pavement and getting into motion.

  • For example, “I’m hitting the road for a quick run before work.”
  • A runner might say, “I love the feeling of hitting the road and clearing my mind.”
  • Another might mention, “Hitting the road is the best way to start my day.”

37. Chasing the pavement

This expression refers to running on the pavement or chasing after the ground beneath your feet. It emphasizes the act of running on the streets or sidewalks.

  • For instance, “I’m lacing up my shoes and chasing the pavement today.”
  • A runner might say, “Chasing the pavement is my favorite way to exercise.”
  • Another might mention, “I love the sound of my feet chasing the pavement as I run.”

38. Putting in the miles

This phrase means running a significant distance, often used to describe a long run or a training session with a focus on distance. It emphasizes the effort of covering a certain number of miles.

  • For example, “I’m putting in the miles to prepare for the marathon.”
  • A runner might say, “Putting in the miles is essential for building endurance.”
  • Another might mention, “I feel accomplished after putting in the miles and reaching my running goals.”

39. Taking it to the streets

This expression means running outside or in public spaces rather than on a treadmill or in a gym. It emphasizes the act of taking your run to the streets.

  • For instance, “I prefer taking it to the streets instead of running on a treadmill.”
  • A runner might say, “Taking it to the streets allows me to enjoy the scenery and fresh air.”
  • Another might mention, “I love the freedom of taking it to the streets and exploring new routes.”

40. Going for a runaround

This phrase refers to going for a relaxed or casual run without a specific goal or purpose. It implies going out for a run just for the enjoyment of it.

  • For example, “I’m going for a runaround to clear my mind.”
  • A runner might say, “Sometimes I just need to go for a runaround to destress.”
  • Another might mention, “A runaround is a great way to loosen up and shake off the day’s stress.”
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