A Running Dictionary: P-Acers!

By Cindy Lapeña

I’m back! A really nasty flu bug got through my super flu shot shield and it was not fun at all. Thankfully, if it stays at my average of one really bad bug every 10 years, then it must be nature telling me to stay down out of it and get some real rest. Anyway, we’re back at it and getting close to the finish—not a lot of end-of-alphabet running words out there! Let’s get down the line:

Pace: Technically, your pace is the speed at which you run. As a runner, your pace is pretty much how long it takes to run a mile. That way, you can clock your runs, or pace them, so you’ll know approximately how much time it will take you to finish a race. Because runners are a special bunch of people, they’ve got their special lingo for pace depending on the run. You can run an 8-minute pace, a long-run pace, a marathon pace, a 5K pace, and so on. It’s gotten so technical you can even get a pace calculator to tell you how fast you should be running to finish a race within a specific time.

Pace Bunny: Yes, they do often wear bunny ears, but don’t wiggle their tails at you—or maybe just a little. Pace bunnies are runners who’ll lead a middle- or long-distance run to set the pace for runners who want to finish the run within a certain time. It also keeps runners from too much tactical racing. Follow the pace bunnies if you want a steady run to finish within your ideal time.

Pacer: This is another word they call pace bunnies. They might not be as cute.

Pace Rabbit: Still another word for pace bunnies and pacers. They might be bigger than pace bunnies.

Pick-ups: While you could get picked up at a race, it’s really not what you’re thinking. Pick-ups are short, gentle increases in speed, usually best at the end of a run to help in recovery.

Plantar Fasciitis: This has nothing to do with gardening and everything to do with your feet. If your heel and arch feel stiff and painful, it could be plantar fasciitis. You get this when the sole of your foot swells and becomes sore and tender from overuse or overstretching. Rest, ice, and yes, stretching—but gently—are the best cure. Consider getting footwear with special supports just for this condition.

PR/PB: These record numbers just keep adding up every time you run! On your very first run, you get a Personal Record (PR) and, by default, it will be your Personal Best (PB)! Each time you run, you add to your PR, and each time you cut down your time or improve your pace, you get a PB!

Pronation: While this sounds like a very patriotic movement, it’s actually another running term that you need to keep in mind. Pronation is how your foot hits the ground while running. Check your running shoes to see whether you’re an overpronator or an underpronator. You’re an overpronator if the inside edge of your sneakers is worn out much more than the rest. This means your foot rolls inward while running. On the other hand, if your shoes are excessively worn out on the outer edge, you’re probably an underpronator. Proper running shoes can help correct pronation, so consult your shoe expert.

I’m all paced out for today. Next time: R-r-r-r-unning!






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