Fartleks: Not Just a Funny Word.
Training info for those who want to know:
Fartlek is actually a Swedish word. It means “speed play”. Fartlek workouts are meant to prepare a runner for the more serious speed training. Basically it’s a speed training intro, and it’s meant to be fun and kind of spontaneous.
Here’s how they work:
- 12 min of easy running (or 1.5 miles, whatever is first, generally)
- For one mile, throw in some speed bursts of varying times and distances. For example, think “I’m going to sprint to that tree/mailbox/telephone pole, etc.”. Do a recovery jog after each burst…try not to walk! Burst to a landmark, recover to a landmark, and repeat. Increase the distance you do these bursts as your tolerance increases each week..
- OR, instead of using landmarks to judge burst distances, do timed fartleks. 30 sec jog, 30 sec burst. And repeat, and repeat, and repeat. Work up your burst time so it’s longer than your jog time (30 sec jog, 45 sec burst, for example).
Plan how far/how long you want to do these bursts before you go out running. Having a goal will make you stick to the program better, and reduce the risk of injury by just barreling along for awhile.
Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now. Just thought this would be good to know info for people starting to train for the first time.
Hope you have some happy and healthy running :-)
Source: Liberman A, Pribut S, Devito C. The Everything Running Book. F + W publications. Print, 2002.