Running terms: LSD and Speed?!?!

LSD? Speed? Relax, this is the exercise page, we don’t do that here!

The benefits of exercise are wide ranging. Regular exercise can help people reduce the risks associated with both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Running is a great cardiovascular exercise that improves heart and lung function, increases bone density, helps with weight loss, and reduces the risk of heart disease. People with diabetes can gain the same benefits from exercise as anyone else.

There are a lot of terms used in running that might not make sense if you are unfamiliar with them. This post gives a quick description of the names of several different types of training runs and their purpose. Here are a few terms associated with running workouts:

Usually 5-10 minutes at the beginning of a run, it is a slow beginning which is done to increase heart rate and blood flow to the muscles. Starting your run with a warm-up reduces the risk of injury.

At the end of a run the cool-down helps transition the body back to a resting state. Instead of just stopping it is best to gradually slow down at the end of a run.

Easy Run:
Very easy run that is done at a pace that allows conversation. If you can’t talk, you are going too fast for an easy run. If you can sing, you are going too slow.
“The most beautiful motion is that which accomplishes the greatest results with the least amount of effort.” - Plato

LSD stands for Long Slow Distance. It is the longest run of the week, most people do this on the weekend, and it is done at a very easy and steady pace.
“The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat.” - Bill Squires

These are a series of short sprints, usually between 50 and 100 yards, done to activate the fast-twitch muscles. The runner builds into a sprint over the course of a few seconds, holds the sprint for short interval, and then slows back down to jog.

Trail Running:
Running that is done…on a trail. Just a break from roads, tracks, or treadmills. The varying surface on trails requires the runner to constantly use different muscles, which benefits overall muscle conditioning.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.” - Bill Bowerman

Recovery Run:
A recovery run is a short, slow, easy run that usually takes place the day after a hard effort or after several days of hard effort.
“The most important day in any running program is rest. Rest days give your muscles time to recover so you can run again. Your muscles build in strength as you rest.” - Hal Higdon

The goal of speedwork is to improve running speed, increase the runner’s maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max), and improve race performance at all distances. It is usually done in the form of intervals.
“It is true that speed kills. In distance running, it kills anyone who does not have it.” - Brooks Johnson

Alternating time intervals of specific high and low intensity segments during a run. The intervals will alternate between a hard and easy pace. For example, segments of running 2 minutes fast with a 1 minute jogging recovery in-between, and repeating this several times.
“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit.” - George Sheehan

Hill Repeats:
Just like intervals, the segments alternate running uphill and downhill. The uphill is the hard work and the downhill is the rest/recovery.
"Hills are speed work in disguise.* - Frank Shorter

A form of speedwork. Fartlek is a Swedish word that means “speed play”. In this type of run, an easy pace is broken up by quick sprinting bursts done occasionally throughout the run. The intervals can be done by time, for example a 30 second sprint, or by distance such as between mailboxes or street corners.

Threshold Run:
The threshold pace is the pace at which lactate does not accumulate significantly in the blood during the run, but rather stays at a constant level. Lactate is the by-product of anaerobic metabolism that occurs during intense workouts and races. For every runner, there is a pace at which the amount of lactate dramatically rises, where a great deal of anaerobic metabolism is used to fuel the run. Just prior to that dramatic rise is the lactate threshold pace. A threshold run is relatively short and done at the runner’s lactate threshold pace.
For highly conditioned and elite runners, the lactate threshold pace is about 25 to 30 seconds per mile slower than their 5K race pace, or about 15 to 20 seconds per mile slower than their 10K race pace. It is usually at about 85 to 90 percent max heart rate.

Tempo Run:
Tempo runs are usually short to medium duration runs that are performed at the approximate pace that a runner could manage to maintain for about 60 minutes (but they are not done for this long). They are generally done at a steady pace. This run is often done on perceived effort and the phrase used for this pace is “comfortably hard”. There are different “training zones” in which a tempo run can be performed.
“You only grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone.” - Percy Cerutty

Junk Miles:
Runs done at an easy pace with no goal other than to reach a weekly or monthly mileage total. Despite the derogatory name, “junk miles” often help in recovery from more strenuous workouts.

It’s not how you meet people. It’s short and gentle increases in speed, or “pick-ups”. These are usually easier than fartleks and are often done simply to avoid boredom during an otherwise easy run.

No it is not being rude to people, it is simply progressively increasing the pace as the run continues. The runner is “cutting down” the time per mile. For example, a runner may start at a pace 1-2 minutes slower than race pace and by the time the run is finished, be going at a pace 30 seconds faster than race pace. This is also called a “progression” run.

“The race always hurts. You don’t train so it doesn’t hurt. You train so you can tolerate it.” - Unknown

End of wiki ---------- comments start here


@Eric Another great writeup. You are proving yourself to be an invaluable resource.

I plan on printing your articles and binding them in a folder to place in my waiting room. Very informative and quite entertaining!


Thanks Doc!

Does “invaluable” mean the same thing as “valuable”?

I know that “inflammable” means the same thing as “flammable”. I learned that the hard way!

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No, invaluable means so good that a value cannot be placed on it, like beyond value. Pretty much opposite of unvaluable.

English are a crazy language.

I know, I was just playing with ya!

Like when I poured the inflammable liquid on my barbecue to try and put it out.
:fire: :fire_engine:


Really interesting info, thanks @Eric Pretty sure I will do everything in my power to avoid saying the word “fartlek” as much as possible :slight_smile:


I will do everything in my power to avoid this thread. :stuck_out_tongue: 11 years of running every morning in military formation wasn’t fun…I promised myself I’d never run again (unless being chased by something as scary, or scarier than a bear, but I’d curl up and play dead and grab my neck for a bear, though.)

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