S – Running A-Z

Running terms beginning with 'S'

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...

Sciatica, other technical term.
A common problem which manifests in leg pain, often in the rear and hamstrings. Usually the source of the pain is in the lower back due to pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back and down the legs. Massage and flexibility exercises can frequently bring relief.

Shin splints, other technical term.
Pain at the front of the lower leg caused by insufficient cushioning in training shoes, excessive overpronation, continual training on hard surfaces such as concrete, or a significant increase in training. Alleviated by wearing correct footwear, maintaining a careful training build-up, and/or rest.

Shorts, equipment.
Modern running shorts are designed for the large range of movement that occurs when running. Cut-away sides, wicking fabrics and reflective materials make specifically designed running shorts far superior to other types of shorts.

Socks, equipment.
A key item in a runner’s kitbag, seam-free close-fitting socks are important to use in order to avoid chafing and blisters.

Soleus, body part.
A broad flat muscle in the calf of the leg under the gastrocnemius muscle.

Space blanket, equipment.
A large, thin sheet of foil given to runners at the end of a long distance race such as a marathon. The runner wraps the blanket around their body to keep warm, because once they stop running, they can rapidly lose heat.

Speed, agility and quickness, (SAQ), technique.
A training technique comprising specific exercise drills which are designed to improve speed, agility and quickness. The SAQ technique is particularly beneficial for any sport involving running.

Speed and distance monitor, (SDM), equipment.
An electronic foot-mounted sensor that calculates a runner’s speed and pace and relays the information to a wristwatch-type receiver.

Spikes, equipment.
Lightweight running shoes for use on muddy cross-country courses or the track, which feature a series of metal spikes positioned on the forefoot outsole. Off-road spikes can be up to 15mm in length for grip, whereas track spikes are usually shorter and are approximately 6mm long.

Sports bra, equipment.
A reinforced garment specially designed to support the bust during the more active movements when exercising.

Stability ball, equipment.
A large ball often available in gymnasiums and used to perform exercises on that develop the core muscles.

Stability disc , equipment.
A partially inflated disc used for core and leg exercises.

Stitch, other technical term.
A painful ache in the side that can occur while running, which is often caused by eating too soon before training.

Stomach muscles, body part.
See Abdominals.

Stress fracture, other technical term.
A hairline or microscopic break in a bone, which is usually caused by repetitive stress rather than trauma. Stress fractures are usually painful, and may be undetectable by an X-ray. Though they may occur in almost any bone, common sites of stress fractures are the tibia (lower leg) and metatarsals (foot).

Stretching exercise, activity.
See Flexibility exercises.

Strides, activity.
Short bursts of running for approximately 80m, run at a fast pace but slower than maximum speed. Used in training to keep sharp for races, and also during a warm-up to prepare the body for faster running.

Sunglasses, equipment.
Running-specific sunglasses can be a useful addition to the runner’s kit bag, as they can be very useful on very bright days and also when running for long periods towards the sun. Absorbent materials and ventilated frames ensure that they remain in place and also displace heat and moisture quickly.

Supination, other technical term.
This refers to the action of the foot during running, and describes an outward-rolling action between the heel striking the floor and the toe leaving the ground. Much less common than pronation, excessive supination can result in injury but can be helped by an appropriate choice of training shoes and/or corrective insoles.

Swiss ball, equipment.
See Stability ball.

Systolic, other technical term.
The blood pressure when the heart is contracting. Expressed as a number in combination with the diastolic blood pressure.

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