By Cindy Lapeña
We’re winding up the first half of our alphabet with this installment of running terms, and in case you’re wondering about the J in the title, that’s the Swedish J!
Ice Baths: Shockers, really, these are. We always got ice baths when we were running a fever, but they’re really great for reducing inflammation and help you recover more quickly after a long run. If you can’t get together enough ice to fill a tub—besides which you shouldn’t stay for more than 15 or 20 minutes, really—a nice easy way to do it is to douse yourself with a huge bucket of iced water—or just stand under an ice cold shower for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to rub yourself dry and warm up after that.
Interval Training: This simply means you alternate between high and low intensity time periods during a run. Interval training is great for building speed, strength, and burning calories.
ITBS: Formally known as Iliotibial Band Syndrome (but that’s really difficult to remember) this is when the ligament known as the IT band becomes tight or inflamed. That’s the band that runs from your hip down to your shin, and is attached to the knee, helping to stabilize and move that joint, so when it hurts, pretty much your whole leg hurts! You want to keep this band relaxed and stretched, so don’t skip those stretches. Strength training helps, and stretching and massage can relieve tightness. For immediate help, it’s foam roller or ice bath time!
Jogging: Sometimes runners scoff at joggers, but jogging is really a slow, steady run, which is great for building endurance. It’s also what you do between the hard and fast run in interval training. It’s also what you do to pace yourself. However you look at it, jogging is good!
Kick: You need to kick that pavement really hard when you see that finish line because it’s what increases your speed and catapults you across. It’s what they mean when they tell you to give it all you’ve got or leave it all on the road.
Lactic Acid: The body produces lactic acid anaerobically when it can’t generate energy using oxygen. This usually occurs during hard workouts.
LSD: This is not the LSD you’re looking for. Not if you’re a runner and want to stay healthy. This is your Long Slow Distance, a.k.a. your longest run for the week, when you’re tripping over potholes, cracks in the sidewalk, and your own shoelaces.
That’s it for this installment. Next time: MmmmarathON!