Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms


    • Active Recovery

      Though you might be tempted to sit down after your race and not get up for the next 3 days, studies show performing low-intensity exercises immediately after hard activity is better for circulation and helps remove lactic acid.

    • Adaption

      The body’s ability to adjust to various demands placed on it over time.

    • Aerobic

      Requiring the presence of air or free oxygen for life.

    • Aerobic Capacity

      The body’s maximal capacity for using oxygen to produce energy during maximal exertion.

    • Aero Bars

      Also can be called “tri bars.” They are handlebars that face forward with places to put your elbows.

    • Anaerobic

      The absence of air or free oxygen.


    • Base Period

      The period during when the basic abilities of endurance, speed skills, and force are increased.

    • Bonk

      A state of extreme exhaustion mainly caused by muscle fatigue.

    • BOP

      Back of the pack competitor.

    • Breakthrough (BT)

      A workout that causes significant response. (48 hours should be taken to recover.)

    • Brick

      A workout consisting of two disciplines, usually a bike and run.


    • Cadence

      Revolutions of cycles per minute of the swim stroke, pedal stroke & running stride.

    • Carbohydrate Loading

      Increasing muscle glycogen storage by high carbohydrate consumption. (Generally performed in the lead up to a race.)

    • Chamois Butter

      A clean, non-greasy lubricant to use for your skin under your biking shorts.

    • Circuit Training

      Certain exercises performed quickly in sequence e.g. weight training.

    • Cool-Down

      Low intensity exercises at the end of a race.

    • Criterium

      A multi-lap race held on a short course.

    • Cross Training

      Training for more than one sport during the same period of time. (Swim-Bike, Bike-Run or Swim-Run)

    • Drafting

      Staying behind others to help reduce effort. Used in all 3 disciplines.


    • Drops

      The lower portion of turned-down handle bars.

    • Dolphin Dive

      A series of short dives often used by triathletes to get through shore-bound waves into open water.


    • Endurance

      The ability to persist, resist fatigue.


    • Fartlek

      A Swedish term for “Speed play,” used mainly in running.

      A technique using short fast intervals of running within a longer slower drill.

    • FOP

      Front of the pack competitor.

    • Force

      The strength shown in a muscle group while working against resistance.


    • Glucose

      A simple sugar.


    • Hammer

      A fast, sustained effort.

    • Hoods

      On drop handlebars, covers of the brake handles.


    • Interval Training

      High-intensity work marked by short but regularly repeated periods of hard exercise.


    • Leg Training (ILT)

      Pedaling with one leg for technique improvement.

    • Lactate

      Formed when lactate acid from the muscles enters the blood stream.

    • Long, Slow Distance (LSD) Training

      A form of continuous training using a relatively low intensity for a long duration.


    • Mash

      To push a big gear.

    • Micro-cycle

      A period of training of approximately one week.


    • Overreaching

      Training above the workload that would produce over training if continued long enough.


    • Paddles

      Worn on the hands during swim training, they increase your workload so you train harder.

    • Peak Period

      When the volume of training is decreased and intensity increased.


    • Race Period

      This is when the work load is decreased allowing the athlete to compete in priority races.

    • Rabbit

      The man or woman you pick out of the race crowd before the race who you will chase and try to pass on your way to the finish.

    • Recovery

      The period when rest is emphasized.

    • Recovery Interval

      The relief period between work intervals within an interval workout.


    • Session

      A single practice period that may include one or more workouts.

    • Set

      A group of exercise repetitions.


    • Tapering

      A reduction in training prior to a major competition.

    • Total Immersion

      A swimming approach based on efficiency.

      It focuses on four skills: balance, active streamlining, rhythmic weight shifts, and traction.

    • Tops

      The portion of a handlebar closest to the stem.

    • Training Zone

      The level of intensity based on a percentage of measures e.g. Heart rate or power, of the athletes capacity for work.

    • Transition

      The changing of one discipline to another e.g. Swim to Bike, Bike to Run. Also short for the area in which the change occurs (Transition area.)

    • T1 (Transition 1)

      The 1st transition change over from the Swim to the Bike.

    • T2 (Transition 2)

      The 2nd transition change over from the Bike to the Run.


    • Warm-up

      Gradually increasing intensity of a workout at the start of a training session.

    • Work-Interval

      High-intensity efforts separated by recovery intervals.

    • Workout

      A portion of a session that specifically focuses on training, such as power.