If a cross country runner is out there I also want to know how to say what is called fartlek. A fast up tempo speed run followed by recovery running. It's interval training but no walking is allowed. Also is there a particular word for a long distance run and cross-country running (as in the sport name)? Also what is a side cramp, or side-stitch called, the pain in the side of your abdomen which is likely caused by lack of water, potassium or weak abdomen?

  • I believe flato may be what you are looking for as "side cramp or side-stitch".
    – Diego
    Apr 7, 2017 at 14:42
  • It's a "calambre" but I think there's a word for it when it's in your abdomen during running. Apr 7, 2017 at 14:44
  • @Diego I think you're right about [flato][es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flato_(dolor_abdominal)] now. Apr 7, 2017 at 14:49
  • I would use "calambre" for a muscle, but "flato" for that particular pain on the side when running. Other users may be able to offer more accurate answers for when to use which.
    – Diego
    Apr 7, 2017 at 14:51
  • 1
    @Die This is a good tool when I can't find it in the dictionary. I just realized I can search for something in wikipedia english and get the best word by swapping into spanish. Cross country is apparently Campo a través [es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campo_a_trav%C3%A9s]. Apr 7, 2017 at 14:58

2 Answers 2


For long distance run, the sports tech term you're looking for is Carrera de fondo. Actually, any sports endeavor that rewards endurance over speed is said to be about "fondo" físico, literally "bottom" or "deep end" probably an allegory about finding one's physical endurance depth.

Anything cross country (running, walking, etc) is said to be Campo-traviesa

As for fartleks, the English loan word "Sprint" will be well understood in Mexico with your intended meaning.

As for the side cramp, it's a funny idiom: "Dolor de caballo" or "caballazo" refers to that kind of pain, probably referring to the Broken stride when you get hit by that pain while running, that resembles a horse's stride.

For example: "No pude terminar la carrera de fondo a Campo-traviesa, pues al terminar el primer sprint me dió un insoportable dolor de caballo"

  • You got every one except one. Sprint is too short to be a fartlek. A fartlek run is like a long distance run where you alternate runing fast and then slow. Is there a word for that? Apr 7, 2017 at 17:45
  • There's probably a specific word, however it may be a domain specific technical term. I'm sure, however, sprint will convey most of what you mean to most Mexican Spanish speakers :)
    – hlecuanda
    Apr 7, 2017 at 17:49

For "fartlek" we use the same word: "fartlek". See https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fartlek:

El Fartlek —«juego de velocidad» en sueco1 — es un sistema de entrenamiento que consiste en hacer varios ejercicios, tanto aeróbicos como anaeróbicos, principalmente ejercicios de carrera, caracterizados por los cambios de ritmo realizados a intervalos.

However, as far as I know, and unlike the other words you ask for, this is generally not used outside the running community, and therefore generally unknown.


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