Every sport has its own vocabulary. and running is no exception. Yet, beyond the common running terms like “tempo run”and “chafing,” there exist some racier words and phrases. I encourage you to bring these to your next cocktail party.
1. Streaker – While you may (mistakenly) think this refers to someone who runs naked, it really is the term for a person who is on a running “streak.” This means that they run every day without fail. Day in and day out. I believe the longest streak has been 45 years and was completed by a man named Mark (he streaked from 1968-2013). I want to ask Mark – Didn’t you ever have the stomach flu and couldn’t run? Didn’t you just get freaking sick of it all?
How to use it in a sentence: “I have been a streaker since my birthday and now I am exhausted. My birthday was three days ago.”
2. Fartlek – This is perhaps one of the least understood words in the running world. Most people think this term has something to do with gas expulsion, or even worse, interpret it as fart-lick. In fact, the Swedish term “fartlek” means “speed play” in English. Incorporating the fartlek into your workout is a fine way to spice up your run (without the smell). Basically, when fartleking, the runner will have bursts of short intense effort (speed) and then take periods of recovery.
How to use it in a sentence: “I fartleked over five miles yesterday. Now I am a much faster runner.”
3. Chicked – This term refers to when a male race participant is passed by a female race participant. Even though it is known throughout the world that female runners are stronger than male runners. getting “chicked” often comes as a surprise and causes the male runner to lose confidence and to feel like a fool.
How to use it in a sentence: “I trained for 95 weeks for that marathon and was having a really strong race. At the last minute this girl flies by me. I realize I have just been chicked. I’m considering a sex change operation.”
(Here is the Boring Runner getting “chicked.” At least he has a sense of humor about it!)
4. DOMS- In the running world, people talk in acronyms. You may hear someone say they have “doms” the day or two after a tough training day. Although you might think they are referring to their friend Don or Dawn, what they really mean is they have Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Yes, you could just say your muscles are sore, but it’s cooler to say you have some major “DOMS”!! DOMS is also called “muscle fever” and most of the time means your muscles may actually be getting stronger.
How to use it in a sentence: “The day after that 10 mile trail run on Saturday my legs hurt like a mother. I think I had a legit case of DOMS.”
5. Bonking – Basically bonking is the same thing as hitting the wall – you quickly and violently run out of energy and need to lay down in the middle of the road and die. Bonking occurs during a long training session or race and is the result of glycogen depletion (or in other words – your fueling plan failed!).
How to use it in a sentence: “There I was cruising along at mile 23 and it happened. I totally bonked. Should have taken that last pina colada GU.”
6. Shart – If you have been running long enough, chances are you have unfortunately been the victim of a shart. A shart occurs when the person relaxes the sphincter and attempts to fart, but an unintended chaser comes out (shit + fart = shart). This phenomenon is fairly common in runners who are known for their frequent farting and risk taking.
How to use it in a sentence: “Dude, yesterday I was on a run and my stomach was cramping like crazy. I had to expel some gas, but by mistake sharted. It was nasty!”
7. DNS/DNF/DFL – These acronyms all refer to your status in a race. DNS = Did Not Start. DNF = Did Not Finish. DFL =Dead F$&king Last.
How to use it in a sentence: “I was DFL at the Chicago Marathon, but to me that is gutsier than being a DNS or a DNF. Last is a blast!”
8. Bloody Nips – Have you ever seen a runner with a white tank top and to bloody circles right where his man boobs are? That means that this runner is chafing so badly that his nipples are bleeding. This phenomenon happens to men 99% of the time, because most women wear bras and most men don’t. Bloody nips can usually be prevented by applying Vaseline to the nipple and/or by applying band-aids over the nipple. A man-bra might also work.
How to use it in a sentence: “Crap, I forgot my Vaseline and I chafed so badly my nips bled through my shirt. None of the girls at the finish line would talk to me.”
9. Camel Toe: As long as there have been running tights and spandex shorts, there has been camel toe. Camel toe refers to the outline of a woman’s private parts as seen through tight fitting clothing. If you use your imagination, you may be able to understand the comparison between the lady parts and the camel’s toe. There is a male version of this called the “moose knuckle,” but that is reserved more for ballet dancers and Cirque du Soleil performers.
How to use it in a sentence: “I wore those capris for the first time during my race and I had camel toe the entire 13.1 miles. Maybe I need a larger size.”
10. Snot Rocket: Having extra mucous is a side affect of running. Most runners cope with this by employing the snot rocket. The snot rocket is a means of blowing one’s nose without stopping the run or using a tissue. Basically, the runner plugs one nostril and blows aggressively out of the other. This typically sends snot flying to the ground, but occasionally the snot lands on clothing or a fellow runner. This can also be called a “farmer’s blow.”
How to use it in a sentence: “I tried to blow a snot rocket on my run, but the snot just ended up on my shoes.”
Now your running vocabulary is complete!
So, go start a running streak where you do fartleks and practice your snot rocket. Be sure not to shart in public and do your best to hide your camel toe. With all this training you should not DNS/DNF/DFL at your race, and I hope you avoid the DOMS. Men – try not to get chicked and for heaven’s sake use band aids to avoid bloody nips.