C’mon, let’s face it – do I really need to point out the obvious?
Fartlek is a funny word.
It’s a running term and one of my favorite workouts to do. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play.” A fartlek run varies in intensity and time to eliminate boredom and to and enhance psychological aspects of conditioning.
My current favorite fartlek to do goes like this:
Warm-Up = 5 min – 6.0 mph
8 min – 7.5 mph/4 min – 6.0 mph
6 min – 7.5 mph/3 min – 6.0 mph
4 min – 7.5/2 min – 6.0 mph
2 min – 7.5/1 min 6.0 mph
1 min – 8.0 mph/1 min 6.0 mph
6.5 mph til I reach 5 total miles.
My fartlek is merely a template, and I play with the numbers.
My dear old Uncle Wayne has embedded in my brain “Don’t work out faster, work out longer.”
So when I am really feeling well, the first thing I do is increase the amount of intense minutes. I will carry my first 7.5 mph for 9-10 minutes.
The second thing I change is my recovery mph. I will up from 6.0 to 6.3 mph.
Adding these kind of speed workouts has helped me in my long distance running. I can run a slow long distance without tiring out. The other plus for me, asking my body to change the way it uses energy for those short intense interval minutes – I lost weight! I wrote about these and some other benefits of speed training here.
I have grown to love a good fartlek. So it is with great pride this runner says:
An obviously funny word.