What does “Hitting the wall” mean on the running world?

Let’s review some of the runners keywords 🙂

We know that different sports modalities have their own keywords, as well as different jobs and so on… Now what are some of the most common keywords into the Running world? Let’s start with…

Hitting the wall: Also called “bonking”. Occurs for long distance athletes, running marathons, ultra marathons and it is when the glycogen stores in the body are empty, lack of energy, and the athlete suffers extreme fatigue, the body’s energy source essentially shuts down. But it is part of the training to run on such situation, so they practice how to manage it.

AG: Age Group

Aid Station: Locations throughout a race where the participants can receive fuel, hydration and first aid

Chip: An electronic chip that tracks the athlete throughout the race

Chute: Sometimes called the “finishing chute”. This is the area right after the end of the race that athletes funnel into, return the chip, head to get the medal, the snack, so on…

Corral: Areas where runners are prior to the start of a race. Usually separated by a runner’s estimated pace

Wave: Large running events often combine runners of similar paces in a group, called a ‘wave.’ Waves are often broken down further into ‘corrals.’

Draft: To run behind another person to save energy

Dropped: If a runner cannot keep up with a group of runners and has been left behind, he has been “dropped”

DNF: Did Not Finish

DNS: Did Not Start

DQ: Disqualified

Fartlek: Type of running workout that integrates random speed changes. For example:
20min Easy Run + 15min Steady Run + 10min Tempo Run + 15min Easy Run

HR: Heart rate

HRM: Heart rate monitor or heart rate watch

MHR: it’s the highest number of beats per minute that your heart can pump under maximum stress or effort. The MHR can be estimated with a Field Test or a Talk Test assisted by your coach or using a cardiogram during a stress test at a clinic assessed by a doctor, nurse or technician.

RHR: Resting Heart Rate, the HR under a minimal effort influence, usually when we wake up without the alarm. The lower it is in a higher fit a person is, higher it is in a lower fit a person is.

HR Variability – time in between each heart beat

Recovery HR – the number of beats which the heart rate drops in one minute after stopping the exercise.

Kick: Used to describe the sprint to the finish line

Negative Split: Run the second half of a run at a faster pace than the first half

Positive Split: Run the first half of a run at a faster pace than the second half

Even Split: Run the first half and the second half on the same pace average

Pace: It is the min/mile or min/km rate for a set duration of time or distance, the runner’s speed

Pacer: A person who is designated to run a particular pace during a race for others to follow. They usually carry a big flag with the pace value, 6, 5, so on..

Pack: Group of runners

Pick Ups: Short bursts of speed or accelerations during a run

PR: Personal Record (i.e. best time at a specific distance event).

Bib number: Chest number

Maximalist: shue full of technology, and stuff

Minimalist: light shoe, with a lower drop and usually with simple design.

Bandit: people who didn’t sign up, who doesn’t have a bib number but still runs in the middle of the participants.

Easy Run: keep a comfortable running speed, like a jog

Hardware: are the medals from very hard running races, that when we remember it we already deep breath…

Proof of Time: the runner’s time on a race, since many races use that to verify if the runner is eligible to participate or not. In some races you have to have a specific performance to be able to participate.

Runner’s High: this is the extase feeling after the race, hyper, happy and excited!

Travel Runner: The runners who are Travel Lovers and travel to races at different cities and even countries! Have you tried it yet? A-MA-ZING!


During track workouts, if recovering or running slowly, stay to outside lanes
If getting water or food at aid stations during a race, quickly select items but do not stop in this area. Keep it moving.

If not getting food or water at aid stations, run on the far left or right to make room for those that are getting food or water.

At the finish line, do not stop at the line. Keep moving through to not clog up the finish area.

If walking during a race, stay to the far right of the road, like it happens with a car on the traffic


Do not urinate in public. Use porta-potties and, or bathrooms allocated by the event for that

If waiting in line for a porta-potty, allow participants with earlier start times than you ahead of you. Be kind.

Be on time for group training sessions

No swearing at event

Thank the race director, sponsors and volunteers at events. That’s super nice.

Cheer on other participants

Yaay! That’s what I wanted to share! I hope I could add some good and helpful information to you regarding this amazing runner’s world.

If you have more keywords, go ahead and comment below and of course for more information and questions send me a message on instagram ou facebook!

Thank you,

Flavia Grohmann

Reference: UESCA, Geneva Marathon

For this article in YouTube, watch below:

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