Running Acronyms

What's the Difference Between a BQ, PR, and DNF?

Runners have their own lingo, which includes many acronyms for running terms. Here are some translations for some common running acronyms.

BQ – Boston Qualify. When runners say they "BQ'd", it means that they ran a Boston marathon qualifying time. The oldest consecutively run marathon, the Boston Marathon has very tough qualifying time standards that marathon runners must achieve in another marathon in order to gain entry to the Boston Marathon.

Running a BQ means that a runner met the qualifying time standard. In order to run the Boston Marathon, they still need to apply for one of the limited spots in the race.

DNF – Did Not Finish; This acronym is listed in race results when a racer started the race but did not finish it. If you've been running long enough, you've probably had at least one DNF in a race!
Related: What If I Can't Finish a Race?

DNS – Did Not Start; This acronym is sometimes listed in race results when a racer was entered in a race but didn't start it.

LSD – Long Slow Distance; Often seen on training schedules LSD runs an important part of training for a race, especially half marathons or marathons. Many runners like to do their LSD on the weekends because they have more time to dedicate to a long run.
Related: How to Get the Most Out of Your Long Runs

PB – Personal Best. When someone refers to their "PB", they're talking about their best time at a specific race distance.

For example, "My PB in the 5K is 19:26." It can be used interchangeably with PR.

PR – Personal Record. Another way to refer to your best race time at a specific distance. See PB or Personal Best. It may be a regional thing – PR is used more commonly in the U.S., while Canadian runners seem to prefer PB.

PR can be used as a verb as well as a noun. For example, "I totally PR'd in my half marathon last weekend!"

PW – Personal Worst. Although some runners don't like to keep track of them, PWs refer to a runner's worst time at a specific distance. For example, "That half marathon was my PW."

XT - Cross-training or (x-training).  Cross-training is any activity other than running that's part of your training, such as biking, swimming, yoga, strength-training, etc.

Related: Benefits of Cross-training

Also see:
What Not to Say to Runners
You Know You're a Runner When...

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