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What is PB in Running? A New Runner’s Guide to Abbreviations & Acronyms

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Runners have their own way of speaking, which not only includes running-specific words and phrases but also includes many acronyms for these terms. If your running friends toss around BQ and PB like everyone knows what they mean, leaving you feeling out-of-touch and clueless, you’re not alone. The good news is that you can get up to speed quickly — without putting on your running shoes. Here are a few translations for some of the most commonly used running abbreviations and acronyms we use with our runners at SportPort™.

What is AIMS for runners? Association of International Marathons and Road Races – This member-based organization consists of more than 350 of the world’s leading distance races representing more than 100 countries.

What is BPM in running? Beats Per Minute – The heart rate, measured in beats per minute, is the number of heartbeats during one minute. Runners typically have a target BPM in order to get the most out of each workout.

What does BQ mean in running? Boston Qualify – If a runner says he or she “BQ’d,” it means that this person ran a Boston marathon qualifying time. The Boston Marathon, the oldest consecutively-run marathon, is known for its difficult qualifying time standards, and running a BQ means that the runner met this requirement.

What does C25K mean in running? Couch to 5K – Found online or on an app, the Couch to 5K running program is structured to allow non-runners to learn how to run. It uses an alternating walk/run method that builds upon the previous week until participants are eventually prepared to run a 5K (3.1 miles).

What is a CR in running? Course Record – A course record is the best time a runner has completed a particular course or race. Although a CR might not be a runner’s personal best overall, it could be his or her course record for that particular route.

What does DNF stand for in running? Did Not Finish – This acronym is found in race results in which a runner began the race but did not complete it due to an emergency or injury. Runners feeling badly about not finishing can take consolation that DNF happens often enough to earn its own acronym.

What does DNS mean for runners? Did Not Start – The acronym DNS is sometimes listed when a racer was registered to complete a race but failed to start. This helps to make the distinction between those who tried the race but were unable to complete and those who did not attempt the race in the first place.

What is DOMS? Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – Runners may talk about DOMS, the pains and aches they feel 24 to 36 hours after exercise. Although experiencing DOMS can make a flight of stairs feel like Mount Everest, DOMS is generally nothing to worry about and will pass in a few days.

What does GHP mean in running? Goal Half-Pace – Whereas MGP is marathon goal pace and HMP is half-marathon pace, a goal half-pace is a combination of the two terms. It refers to the goal runners set for completing a half-pace marathon.

What is an HMP in running? Half-Marathon Pace – This acronym refers to the effort or pace you anticipate for your half-marathon race. The pace should be challenging but sustainable for 75-120 minutes.

What does LSD mean in a race? Long Slow Distance – No, we’re not talking about the hallucinogen. Long slow distance runs involve running longer distances at an “easy” pace rather than shorter ones that involve running to exhaustion. They are a critical part of training, especially for marathons or half-marathons, and are typically performed on weekends when runners have more time to dedicate to the run.

What does MPW mean in running? Miles Per Week – The amount of miles a runner runs each week, typically seen in training schedules. Miles per month (MPM) and miles per day (MPD) are also occasionally used.

What is OCR in running? Obstacle Course Racing – More than just a run in the mud, obstacle course racing combines running in the mud with a number of obstacles designed to test runners’ physical and mental strength in varying situations. Running is hard by itself. Climbing over 10-foot walls and climbing up ropes mid-half marathon is even harder.

What is PB for a runner? Personal Best – A runner generally keeps track of the distance covered and the time it took them to run it. That establishes your personal best from which you can work on to do better…and better.

What is PR in running? Personal Record – A personal record is really the same as your personal best (PB), except some might consider their PR for a competition race time as opposed to a training run PB time.

What does PW mean for runners? Personal Worst – Some runners do not keep track of their PWs, which refer to their worst time at a specific distance. For consolation, PW is better than DNF, which is better than DNS.

What is RICE? Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation – When runners are injured, the first thing they turn to is RICE. It is important to stop training and rest, apply ice if there is swelling in the injured area, apply compression socks or a compression bandage, and elevate the affected body part.

What is the RRCA in running? Road Runners Club of America – The RRCA is the largest and oldest American association of runners, running events, and running clubs dedicated to promoting running as healthy exercise as well as a competitive sport.

What is SRD for runners? Scheduled Rest Day – These are recovery days included in a runner’s training schedule to prevent over-training and allow the body to repair and recover.

What is a WB in running? World Best – A recorded best-time for an event in which formal world records are not kept. Similar distinctions are made for road races that do not meet certain standards, including races with excessive amounts of downhill.

What is a WR in running? World Record – The fastest recorded time in the world that is officially verified at any given distance.

What does XT mean in running? Cross-Training (or X Training) – Cross-training refers to any activity other than running included in a runner’s training such as strength-training, yoga, swimming, and biking. Cross-training gives runners better all-around fitness and enhances their running performance.

Want to walk the walk or, in this case, run it? It’s time to learn how to talk the talk! It’s no surprise that runners have a language all their own, and we hope that this guide to the most common running abbreviations helps you to understand the runner’s world just a little bit better.

If we missed any you’d like to see here, please let us know and we’ll add them right in! Contact Us.

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