A Running Dictionary: M-m-m-marathON!


By Cindy Lapeña

Finally, we come to the m-m-meat of the m-m-marathon terms!

Let’s begin with that one word all runners live for:

Marathon: This is a road race measuring 26.2 breath-taking, eye-popping, knee-twisting, back-breaking miles or a whopping 42.164 812 8 kilometers, which can be rounded up to about 42.165 km. Incidentally, the term Marathon was named after a Greek city from which the soldier Pheidippides ran roughly 25 miles to Athens to announce the Greek victory over the Persians in 490 B.C. Marathon distances were measured at approximately 25 miles until the 1908 London Olympics, when Queen Alexandra requested the planned 26 mile race be extended slightly to the East Lawn of Windsor Castle, which was the start line, so that the royal children could watch from their nursery—a distance of 385 yards—bringing the race distance to 26.2 miles, which it has been since the distance was standardized in 1924.

Mile: In this era of the metric system, we still come across distances measured in miles. One mile is equal to 5280 feet or about 1609 meters (that’s also 1.609 km), which is approximately four laps around a running track. A standard running track measures 400 meters around.

Minimalist Shoes: If you see someone running with what looks like a bare feet but is actually a shoe that’s shaped like feet, then you’ve seen minimalist shoes! These lightweight running shoes are becoming more popular among runners who want to try barefoot running without really going barefoot. Not all minimalist shoes have toe separation, but they do all have a zero drop from heel to toe, which means there is no height difference between the sole of the heel and the toe. Most also have very thin soles.

Moisture-Wicking Clothing: Probably the one good thing about polyesters and other non-cotton fabrics, this kind of clothing keeps sweat away from the body and prevents that dreaded chafing—and we all know what happens from our earlier installments.

Newbie: As in anywhere else, a newbie is a beginner, still learning the sport. You’ll find most newbies in short races, such as the 5K. If you’re a newbie, you should follow a training plan so you don’t injure yourself.

Overtraining: Yes, there is such a thing as too much training—or, in this case, too much running! Follow your plan and don’t forget to rest. Not getting enough rest is a sure road to injuries.

Next time: P-acers!



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