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LSD And 10 Other Runner Acronyms To Know

Illustration by Audrey Malo

Alphabet Soup—Or Running Acronyms

Learning the running lingo is one thing; then come the acronyms. Here’s a handy guide.

Related: Running Lingo 101–The Terms To Know


“Personal record,” your speediest time at any given distance. PB, or “personal best,” is also used to describe the same thing.


“Course record” is the fastest time on a specific course.


A “national record” is the fastest time in the country run at a specific distance.


A “world record” is set by the best of the best and represents the fastest time in the world (!) at a specific distance.


“Dead f*%ing last,” just keep in mind you finished before everyone else who didn’t show up!


“Delayed-onset muscle soreness” is what happens the day or two after a half marathon or marathon. It generally makes tackling steps and sitting on the toilet challenging. And it goes away on its own. Gentle massage and easy walking may help.


“Did not finish” is the term used to describe those who start an event, but for whatever reason are unable to finish. It happens!


“Did not start” means you registered for the race but didn’t make it to the starting line, a common phenomenon among runners. It happens—focus on the process, not just the race!


“Long, slow distance” is a critical part of a training plan for longer-distance events, like half marathons and marathons.


“Minutes per mile,” or how fast you are going. This is highly personal and also something that can improve with smart training (if that’s your goal—you do you!).


“Miles per week,” where some training plans will include this weekly total and it’s something your coach will ask as well.


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Allison Pattillo

Allison Pattillo

Allison played field hockey and golf while growing up, but always ran “just for the fun of it.” She completed and won her age group in her very first race, a 5K, when she was 26 so that she would at least know how to pin on her number before running her first marathon a month later. Those two races turned into dozens, from mile long sprints to ultras, running to triathlon with some ski and snowshoe racing mixed in as well. After earning a Boston qualifier and completing her first IRONMAN 140.6, this mother of two is now focused on seeing how much she can better her 3:48 PB marathon time, running the World Marathon Majors (Boston and Tokyo are in the books!) and tackling a 50-miler.