Diabetes & Athletic Lingo

Want to get in on diabetes lingo to better communicate with your diabetic friend or family member? Or want to learn some common words you’ll hear around the running/athletic community?

No worries, I’ve got you covered! While the terms I have listed below are mostly for fun, for diabetes related medical terms, I would recommend checking out https://www.diabetes.org/resources/for-students/common-terms

“Fun” Diabetes Related Terms:

  • Diabadass– A diabetic who is kicking ass! This is a badge of honor if someone calls you this.
  • Diabuddy– A friend who has diabetes
  • Diaversary- The anniversary of a diabetes diagnosis 
  • “I’m High”- I have a high blood sugar reading.
  • Insulin Junkie- A diabetic on insulin
  • Naked Shower– When diabetic has to change their insulin pump site and CGM on the same day and can shower without any medical devices attached. 
  • Pumping- A diabetic who uses an insulin pump.
  • Sticky High- A high blood sugar reading that won’t normalize despite an excessive amount of extra insulin. 
  • Shoot up/Lift Off- Inject insulin.
  • Type 1derful- A positive spin on Type 1.
  • Type 1 Grit/Gritter- A diabetic following the low carb approach of Dr. Bernstein/The Diabetes Solution
  • Unicorn– When your CGM and Blood Glucose meter read the same number. Also, some use it to mean a reading of 100/83 (a perfect BG, depending on your goal).
    • Donkey– When your CGM and Blood Glucose meter are one digit off reading the same number.
  • Pre-Bolus– When you inject insulin significantly before eating so the insulin will be working already when the food hits your system. Typically this is done 10-30 minutes prior to eating
  • Super Bolus– When you inject more insulin than you would typically need for a meal right when you start eating in order to stop a significant rise in BGs. This is typically done when you’re not able to pre-bolus.
  • Insulin On Board/Active Insulin– The insulin already in your system that hasn’t worn off yet. My insulin is typically active from 30 minutes after I inject until 4 hours after I inject.
  • Time In Range/TIR– The percentage of time blood sugar is between 70-180 while talking about CGM/sensor glucose data.
  • BG/BS– Blood glucose or blood sugar

Athletic Terms:

  • Rep: Short for repetitions. This is how many times you do a single exercise in a row.
  • Set/Round: 1 Set/Round refers to a group of repetitions done without stopping. You may see me write “3 x 8” meaning 3 sets of 8 reps”.
  • AMRAP: “As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible” The number of times you can complete an exercise or set of exercises in a given period of time. 
  • Intervals: Interval training is when you train at a low intensity for a period of time, followed by a high intensity. 
    • Tabata: Tabata training is a highly effective style of interval training, doing an exercise for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds, which totals 4 minutes.
    • HIIT: High-intensity interval training is another form of interval training. The exercise strategy alternates periods of short intense exercise with less-intense recovery periods.
    • Fartlek:  Fartlek training is a continuous interval workout that combines fast paced, higher intensity running with recovery periods of medium to lower effort running. Typically, these bursts of speed are added into the middle of a regular training run. Unlike traditional interval training, which consists of specific distances or timed intervals, fartlek training is intuitive and unstructured. The runner will choose the distance and pace of the faster interval based upon perceived effort.
  • Strength/Resistance Training: Any exercise using resistance, like weight or elastic bands.
  • 1 Rep Max:  The maximum amount of weight you can lift one time.
  • Cardio: Short for Cardiovascular exercise, normally refers to a fat burning workout on a treadmill, elliptical, bike or aerobic class, although real cardiovascular exercise is designed primarily to work the heart and lungs.
  • PB/PR: Short for “personal record” or “personal best”.  This can be in distance (furthest ever run), in time (fastest ever run for a specified distance), in weight (heaviest lifted) or in reps (highest number completed of a given exercise).
  • Official Running Distances:  
    • Marathon:  26.2 miles.  Runners will give you the side eye if you ever refer to that 5K your cousin ran as a “marathon”.  While we are at it:
    • 5K: 3.1 miles
    • 10K: 6.2 miles
    • UltraMarathon:  Any race that is longer than 26.2 miles. Typically as “short” as 50k (31 miles) and up to 200 miles or more. There are also 24 hour runs where runners see how much distance they can cover in that period of time.
  • Runner’s High: The euphoria that stems from a run. This comes from the secretion of endorphins which can have a positive effect on mood.  
  • Gait:  Someone’s running posture or the manner in which a person runs.
  • Streak/Streaking:  Consecutive days running, typically one mile per day or more.
  • LSD:  Acronym for “Long Slow Distance”, and LSD is a long distance training run that is performed at a pace significantly slower than expected race pace.
  • The Wall:  This typically happens between mile 19 and 26 of a marathon, when your glycogen levels are depleted. It typically hits you all of a sudden and your body can’t continue moving, you may even collapse. Often this results in a DNF and requires serious medical attention.  You have hit “the wall”.
  • Bonk:  Similar to The Wall (see above) except a “bonk” can happen at any time, during any race/event.  A bonk is often related to poor nutrition and/or poor training/pacing, and can often be overcome with the right snacks and a second wind. This can be prevented through proper hydration, nutrition and training leading up to an event. 
  • Junk miles:  Miles run without rhyme or reason to simply add numbers to your total mileage.  
  • Splits:  The time it takes you to run a specified distance. If you are running a marathon for example, splits are typically measured in miles.
  • Negative splits:  Running the second half of a race or training run faster than you ran the first half.
  • DNF: “Did Not Finish.”  If you pull out of a race or don’t hit a designated cut off time and don’t complete the race.
  • DFL: “Dead F*cking Last”.   The very last person to cross the finish line. This is  not as bad as it sounds, this person still finished the race and that is always to be commended!
  • BQ: “Boston Qualifier”.  In order to run the Boston Marathon, you must gain entry by either a charity slot OR running a qualifying time at another marathon.  Boston Qualifying standards are difficult for the average runner, and thus achieving a “BQ” is a great honor. (you can find the Boston Qualifying Standard Times here)
  • Chicked:   When a male runner is passed in a race by a female runner.
Photo Credit: Joe Longo

What are your favorite athletic or diabetes terms? Let me know what I forgot in the comments!

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The content on this site is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult your doctor before beginning a fitness regimen or adjusting your diabetes management strategy.

Published by Jenny Nat


One thought on “Diabetes & Athletic Lingo

  1. Pingback: 5/1/2020-Run

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