A work in progress. Thank you BT'ers for helping compose this glossary of triathlon terms.
Half Ironman distance (1.2mi/1.9km swim, 56mi/90km bike, 13.1mi/21.1km run)
Ironman distance (2.4mi/3.8km swim, 112mi/180km bike, 26.2mi/42.2km run)
Half Ironman (1.2mi/1.9km swim, 56mi/90km bike, 13.1mi/21.1km run)
Half marathon, 13.1 miles
2 a day
Two workouts per day
Diet calorie percentages--Carbs/proteins/fats
Handlebars which face forward (sometimes shifters are placed here) with places to put your elbows. These bars allow triathletes to maintain a very comfortable aerodynamic position
Any type of exercise, typically that performed at moderate levels of intensity for extended periods of time, that maintains an increased heart rate. Running a long distance at a moderate pace is an aerobic exercise, but sprinting is anaerobic.
Average Heart Rate
The initial phase of exercise, or any short burst of intense exertion, where the glycogen or sugar is consumed without oxygen-a far less efficient process. Examples of anaerobic exercise include weight lifting, sprinting, and jumping.
The exercise intensity at which lactate (lactic acid) begins to be produced faster than it can be removed (metabolized), and it starts to accumulate in the blood stream
A swimming stage followed by a biking stage with no run.
See Anaerobic Threshold
Annual Training Plan
Athena athletes are women over 165 pounds.
Basal Metabolic Rate
The amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment, in the post-absorptive state (meaning that the digestive system is inactive, which requires about twelve hours of fasting in humans).
The solid foundation of fitness on which you build power and speed.
It's using the bigger gear up front on your bike, making the workout harder at the same cadence.
The photos our colleagues and teammates share of their brand new bikes so that we may covet them.
See Basal Metabolic Rate
When you suddenly lose energy and fatigue sets in, usually caused when glycogen stores in the liver and muscles are depleted, resulting in a major performance drop. Also "hitting the wall".
Back of the Pack(er)
Beats per Minute (heart rate)
Commonly, a combination workout that includes a bike and run back to back. Comedically, "Bike/Run It Can Kill" or "Bike/Run Ick". It can be any combination of triathlon sports with less than 10 minutes between sports.
Bike ride of 100 miles
The chain fails to disengage from the bottom teeth of a front chain ring; instead the teeth snag the chain and carry it up and around the rear circumference of the ring, winding it back onto itself, and jamming it between the chain-rings and chain-stay.
A clean, non-greasy lubricant between you and your cycling shorts. In addition to making biking more comfortable, it reduces the chances of saddle sores, and restores dried-out chamois & short liners.
Clydesdale athletes are those men over 220 pounds.
A type of bike race held on a short course (usually less than 3 miles), often run on closed-off city center streets. The length of the race can be determined by a number of laps or a total time, in which case the number of remaining laps is calculated as the race progresses.
10x Iron distance. (24mi/38km swim, 1120mi/1800km bike, 262mi/422km run). There are also 2x. 3x, 4x, 5x, 15x, and 20x distances that have been raced.
Dead f***ing last
Did not finish
Did not race
Did not start
Technique used to get through shallow water that is more efficient than wading. Involves doing short shallow dives, standing up, and repeating until you get deep enough to swim.
Beating your legs in unison while swimming face down. Used with the butterfly stroke.
The process by which one athlete follows directly behind another athlete. The athlete that is drafting gains an advantage (roughly 20%) by doing less work, but still travels at the same speed as the lead athlete. In most triathlons drafting is illegal on the bike, but it is never illegal during the swim. All world cup triathlon events and the Olympics are draft legal.
A race consisting of run, bike, run.
Swedish term meaning 'speed play' that is a relaxed method of interval training.
Front of the pack
Anyone who dresses up in the full kit of a professional racing team, and even has the matching $6000+ bike to go with it, and rides maybe once a week at 12 mph. Poseur.
The bag of free stuff, coupons, ads, etc. you get when you pick up your race packet.
Award for placing in your AG (medal, trophy, maple syrup, etc.)
Heart Rate at Lactate Threshold
Heart Rate Monitor
Individual Medley in swimming. Consists of equal distances of 4 strokes, usually between 100 and 400 yards-butterfly, backstroke, breast stroke and then any stroke except the first three (I was on the swim team in high school so I only heard that phrase about 100 times or so), which for most people will be freestyle.
Ironman North America. The organization responsible for the logistics of the 6 official North American Iron distance triathlons (excludes Louisville) and the two official North American 70.3 distance races.
Any cardiovascular workout (e.g. biking, running, rowing, etc.) that involves brief bouts at near-maximum exertion interspersed with periods of lower-intensity activity
Collection of cycling clothing (jersey, shorts, gloves, helmet)
The highest pace at which you can go for an extended period (>30 minutes) without building up lactic acid.
Lactic acid is formed from glucose, and used by working muscles for energy. It is thought that muscle cells convert glucose or glycogen to lactic acid, then lactic acid is absorbed and converted to a fuel by mitochondria in muscle cells. Lactic acid is what causes muscle soreness.
An interval workout with progressively increasing then decreasing distances at each interval. For example, run fast for 400m, jog for 200m, run for 800m, jog for 200m, run for 1200m, jog for 200m, run for 800m, jog for 200m, run for 400m, jog for 200m.
Lean Body Mass
Local Bike Shop
Long Slow Distance
See Lactate Threshold
A cycling term indicating pedaling a big gear (53 x 13 or 14) with a slower cadence instead of spinning a smaller gear.
Maximum Heart Rate
Middle of the Pack(er)
Morning Resting Heart Rate (to distinguish the lowest rate vs. RHR, which could be recovery heart rate.)
Main Set (of a workout)
Finish the second half of a workout/race faster than the first half.
Over-All, as in overall placement in the race.
Olympic distance triathlon (1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run)
Open Water Swim
Perceived exertion/ effort
The large main group in a road bicycle race.
Varying the training levels over discrete periods of time to prevent overtraining
Paula Newby Fraser (a.k.a. The Super Chicken)
The guy or gal that you pick out of the crowd before your swim start that you will chase and try to pass on your way to the finish.
The packet you get that has your number, swim cap, chip, etc.
Resting Heart Rate
Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate
Rate of perceived exertion
Revolutions per minute. The pace at which you are turning your cranks when you cycle.
Swimming Made Easy (Terry Laughlin's 2000 version of TI)
Your time for a portion of your race or workout. For instance, your mile splits in a 5k are your times for each individual mile.
Short distance triathlon. Approximately 400yard swim, 15 mile bike, 3 mile run
Transition 1-Change area between swim and bike
Transition 2-Change area between bike and run
A bent bike wheel that looks like, well, a taco!
Tour de France
The Washing Machine
Referring to an OW swim start
Total Immersion: swimming instruction by Terry Laughlin
Place where a triathlete keeps belongings (i.e., bike, wetsuit, running shoes) during a triathlon. This area is part of the race course. After a triathlete finishes their swim, they run to the transition area where they mount their bike. After the bike leg of the race is completed, the triathlete dismounts their bike (in the same spot they retrieved it) and begins the run portion. The race always ends at the finish line (usually near the transition area).
A short (around 10 minutes or 1 mile) run off the bike (as opposed to a Brick, which is usually a longer run).
A triathlon-specific bicycle designed for riding in the aerodynamic position. This bike features aero bars, a steep seat tube angle to put you farther over the cranks and allow for a comfortable aerodynamic position, and a very light weight.
One who is obsessed with triathlons and all the toys that go with it. He/she lives for the sport, loves to talk about triathlons, loves to train for triathlons, and is involved with anything having to do with the sport. Cyclists love to call triathletes this name -they often call this out as triathletes pass them on a training ride.
Time Trial (usually in reference to cycling)
Team Time Trial
USA Triathlon, the national governing body for the multi-sport disciplines of triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States.
The highest rate at which oxygen can be taken up and utilized during exercise by a person.
When a race does not start en masse, the RD will break it up into groups called waves. Often separated by gender and AG's.
World Triathlon Corp, owners of Ironman trademark