Glossary of Coaching Terms

The following terms are a reference for SWAP athletes to turn to when something in their training log isn't 100% clear. It also presents another primer on coaching philosophy :)


1. Easy/Moderate: a pace designation for many runs. This entails running by feel—you should never feel stressed, but do not shy away from finishing faster if you just feel the need for speed. You can even kick on special days.

2. Slow/Slooooow: This is forced jogging, and usually occurs on cool-downs, in between reps, or recovery days.

3. Progression: Finish faster than you started, often ending with a burst of speed putting Bernard Lagat to shame.

4. Strides: Accelerations to work on efficiency. Try to do them on soft surfaces, easing onto the gas pedal, picking up speed, then finishing close to 800/mile pace (or faster) in the last 10 meters.

5. Hill Bounds: Strides on a 6 to 10% hill, building strength. These are a good bit shorter than normal strides.

6. Hands-on-knees: Designation for “going to the well” and finishing an interval or progression run hard. This will be used sparingly, but it is important that you end with your hands on your knees J

7. Lunge Matrix: Done before every non-recovery run.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K_CiRml-vQ

8. Leg Swings: Before and after every run. Front to back and side to side, 10 times each way, relaxed.

9. Foam Rolling: Just really let those legs have it. Use your fingers to knead your calves when you are bored.

10. Pace vs. Effort: 5k pace means run what your DREAM 5k pace would be. 5k effort means run at the race effort level. They can be very different things depending on how tired you are.

11. Downhills: Similar to strides, but on a 4-8% downhill grade. The idea is to open up your hips.

12. Form/Engage your glutes: The only recommendation I have for running form is to let your butt open up. You can feel it if you stand normally—completely let your butt relax, and feel your hips move slightly forward. That should be how it feels to run. Almost all of the motion when running should feel like it happens behind your center of gravity, with your backward kick the strongest part of all. Let your motion do the work for you.

13. Soft Surfaces: Generally, try to run on dirt or grass unless you are working out. If you are on the sidewalk, check to see if there is a path on the side. If you are on the road, check for grass to the side.

14. Life Notes: The spaces in your training log to talk about your run, your life, and injuries. Let’s keep a dialogue going. And, most importantly…