What is track and field?

Track and field is a sport which consists running, jumping, and throwing competitions. The running events take place around a track and the field events take place on the grass in the middle of the track.

track and field idioms and phrases

Many idioms originated from track and field and here is a list of them, the sports they are from and examples.

track and field idioms and phrases

jumping idioms

Track and field events that that involve jumping include the high jump, long jump, triple jump, and pole vault.


Here is a list of jumping idioms.

  • in for the high jump
    meaning – likely to be punished
    example – When I find out who slashed my tyres, they’ll be in for the high jump.
  • jump through hoops
    meaning – complete many difficult challenges in order to achieve something
    example – My friend has been jumping through hoops to get us tickets to Beyoncé.
  • raise the bar
    meaning – increase the quality/standard/expectations
    example – The teacher said I raised the bar; it was the best poem she has ever read.

jumping idioms with pictures

track and field sayings - jumping idioms - in for the high jump
track and field idioms - jumping idioms - jump through hoops
track and field phrases - jumping idioms - raise the bar

running idioms

Track and field events that that involve running include hurdles, sprints, and races of various distances.


Here is a list of running idioms.

  • against the clock
    meaning – in a hurry as there is little time
    example – There was a crash on the M1, we’re against the clock now.
  • change of pace
    meaning – different from the normal
    example – I’m moving to Canada; it’ll be a complete change of pace for me.
  • cross the finish line
    meaning – finish a job/task
    example – After 3 years working on a high-profile case, I’ve finally crossed the finish line.
  • fall at the first hurdle
    meaning – fail at an early stage
    example – My new business venture fell at the first hurdle. The bank wouldn’t give me a loan.
  • front-runner
    meaning – a leading contestant/team in a competition
    example – Roger Federer is one of the front runners in Wimbledon this year.
  • in the running
    meaning – a contender in a competition
    example – That song is amazing. It’s definitely in the running for Christmas number 1.
  • jump the gun
    meaning – do something before the appropriate time
    example – I asked her to move in with me. I think I jumped the gun; we’ve only been dating for 2 months.
  • lose track of time
    meaning – unaware that so much time has passed
    example – The date was great, we lost track of time and spent hours chatting.
  • on your marks
    meaning – get into your starting position ready to begin
    example – On your marks, the exam is about to begin.
  • out of the running
    meaning – not a contender in a competition
    example – If this scandal breaks, Lawler will be out of the running to become Chancellor.
  • race against time
    meaning – try to do something in a short amount of time
    example – It as a race against time to get the injured cat to the vet.
  • run out of time
    meaning – have no time left to complete something
    example – We’re running out of time. If we don’t fix the roof now, it’ll end up costing thousands.
  • run with
    meaning – be in charge of something and do it independently
    example – Do you think I can trust Ryan to run with the case while I’m away?
  • set the pace
    meaning – determine the speed/rate
    example – Ethel sold 20,000 units this week, she’s set the pace for the rest of us.
  • snail’s pace
    meaning – very slowly
    example – My essay writing is going badly, I’m writing at a snail’s pace.
  • toe the line
    meaning – follow the rules
    example – You’ve got to start toeing the line or you’ll get kicked out of school.

running idioms with pictures

track and field idioms - against the clock
track and field idioms - change of pace
running idioms - cross the finish line
track and field phrases - fall at the first hurdle
running idioms - front-runner
track and field idioms - in the running
running idioms - jump the gun
track and field idioms - lose track of time
running idioms - on your marks
track and field idioms - out of the running
running idioms - race against time
track and field idioms - run out of time
running idioms - run with
running idioms - set the pace
running idioms - snail's pace
track and field idioms - toe the line

You can download a table of track and field idioms and phrases below.

If you’ve enjoyed this page, don’t forget to check out some more sports idioms by clicking on the links below.