A Running Dictionary: “Cee” Ya At The Run

By Cindy Lapeña

We’re back with our next set of running terms you’ll CEE when you start running!

Cadence: This is another way of saying rhythm or beat, or in running, pace. All it really means is the number of steps you take each minute while running. It’s also called ‘stride turnover’ by the more techie runners. Did you know that the fastest runners, a.k.a. efficient runners, have a cadence of about 180 steps per minute? You’ll need to find some really fast-paced music to play on your music player/MP3/iPod to keep up the rhythm!

Carbo-Loading: Yup, that’s what it sounds like. Loading up on carbohydrates. Most high-performance athletes do this, at most the night before a run or during a taper, some even just hours before. That’s why pasta parties are so popular the night before the run. Runners load up on pasta, bread, bagels, and other carbs. Listen to your nutritionist for proper advise on how to get your carbs right.

Chafing: Almost as bad as black toenails, chafing is another downside to running and is both annoying and painful. As you run, sweat and fabric rub against your skin and literally skin you. A milder version is irritation and rashes. It’s also the cause of the occasional bloody nipples. Chafing is why products like Vaseline and Bodyglide are really popular among runners. Don’t forget to lather up with these all over your body, especially where your clothes touch skin (and even skin on skin) to prevent chafing.

Chip Time: This is your actual time from start line to finish line, or when you step on those electronic pads. Your time is measured by an electronic chip that is attached or embedded in your bib (sometimes in your sneaker), which is triggered when you step over the start and finish line pads, sending a signal to a computer that records exactly when you start and finish. It’s definitely more reliable than checking your watch and is accurate to the last second.

Compression Socks: All that running causes a lot of blood to rush to your feet because that’s where all the activity is for a long time. This can cause swelling and a lot of pain and even numbness. To speed recovery, runners often will don a pair of compression socks. These are simply knee-high tube socks that are quite snug, similar to the type used for varicose veins. Some runners might wear compression socks during the race to prevent swelling in the first place, while others do it believing their leg muscles get oxygen more quickly.

Cool Down: Anyone who works out knows the importance of warming up and cooling down. Cooling down helps your body return to a state of rest, a.k.a. normal. It’s the exact opposite of a warm up, which prepares your body for heightened activity. After a run, slow down your body with post-workout light exercise and stretches. This also prevents you from getting muscle cramps in the showers if you’re susceptible to them.

Corral: The bigger the race, the more difficult to keep track of runners and running times. For better control, organizers corral runners (yes, like livestock), and “release” them according to their expected finishing times: speedsters up front, slowpokes in the back. It’s also a great safety precaution: speedsters don’t trip all over the slow ones, and the slow ones don’t get in the way of runners with the need for speed!

Cross-Training: Everyone should have heard of cross-training by now. It simply means participating in a variety of sports or physical training that focus on different areas of fitness and strength to promote overall fitness and strength. Because running develops lower-body fitness and strength more than anything else (besides being aerobic), runners can balance that with cycling, swimming, water running, weight training, and yoga.

Fiddle-DEE diddle-DEE till next time!



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