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A – Running A-Z

Running terms beginning with 'A'

A selection of key running terms to ensure that running terminology doesn’t leave you confused. Refer to the key running terms below and find out their meaning so that you’ll be a running expert in no time...

Abdominals, (abs), body part.
General term given to the stomach muscles. Key to maintaining correct upright posture while running.

Abduction, other technical term.
Movement of a limb away from the midline of the body. The midline is an imaginary line effectively cutting the body in half vertically.

Achilles tendon, (Achilles), body part.
Attaches the calf muscles to the heel.

Adduction, other technical term.
Movement of a limb towards the midline of the body. The midline is an imaginary line effectively cutting the body in half vertically.

Aerobic, other technical term.
Specifically means ‘with oxygen’ and refers to exercise that requires you to take in and utilise oxygen. This applies to the majority of cardiovascular (using the heart and lungs) exercise, including jogging and running.

Aerobic threshold, (AeT), other technical term.
The point during exercise where lactic acid starts to build up in the bloodstream.

Altitude training, technique.
Endurance training at high altitude – usually over 2,500m (8,000ft) above sea level – which lasts for several weeks. Due to the reduction in oxygen that occurs when at altitude, the body adapts by increasing its concentration of red blood cells and haemoglobin. When the athlete returns to sea level (where they are due to compete), he or she will retain a higher concentration of red blood cells and hence be able to transport more oxygen around the body and run faster.

Amenorrhea, other technical term.
Temporary cessation of the menstrual cycle, which can be brought on by a combination of high mileage, fatigue, and low levels of body fat. A reduction in training will usually result in the resumption of periods, but longer-term problems such as a reduction in bone density may still occur.

Anaemia, other technical term.
A fall in the level of haemoglobin (oxygen-carrying pigment) in the blood, which results in a decrease in the blood’s ability to carry oxygen around the body. Anaemia can be caused by a shortage of iron in the diet, which can be remedied by taking iron tablets and maintaining a diet high in iron-rich foods such as liver. Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can also cause anaemia.

Anaerobic, other technical term.
Specifically means ‘without oxygen’ and refers to exercise that takes place without utilising oxygen. Anaerobic exercise is very intense and limited to very short efforts such as a very short sprint.

Anaerobic threshold, (AT), other technical term.
The point during exercise where lactic acid builds up in the bloodstream faster than it can be flushed out.

Asthma, other technical term.
A lung condition characterised by the inflammation of and spasms in the airways. This causes intermittent problems in breathing – including coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Asthma can be triggered by infections, allergies, exercise, temperature changes or other airway irritants.

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