Ultrafast terahertz spectroscopy is an ideal tool for observation of dynamics of charge, lattice and spin in solids on the most elementary timescale: in the regime ωτ ~ 1, where ω is the electromagnetic wave oscillation frequency, and τ is the characteristic timescale at which the fundamental phenomena in the three subsystems comprising the solid occur. In this paper two case studies will be discussed. (i) Ultrafast electron transport in graphene. We will show, that the free-carrier conductivity of graphene in arbitrary ultrafast, (sub-)picosecond electric fields is defined by the thermodynamic balance maintained within the electronic structure of graphene acting as thermalized electron gas. Within this simple thermodynamic picture, the electron gas quasi-instantaneously increases its temperature by absorbing the energy of driving ultrafast electric field, and at the same time cools down via a time-retarded, few picosecond-long process of phonon emission. The asymmetry in electron heating and cooling dynamics leads to heat accumulation in the electron population of graphene, concomitantly lowering the chemical potential for hotter electrons, and thereby reducing the intraband conductivity of graphene – an effect crucially important for understanding of ultrafast graphene transistors and photodetectors. (ii) We will also discuss the fundamental observation of spin-controlled electron conduction of Fermilevel electrons in ferromagnetic metals, and will directly quantify the Mott picture of conduction in ferromagnets - the effect directly employed in modern magnetic sensor technologies such as giant magnetoresistance.