Fitness Friday, Fartlek Running Workout
Today's Fitness Friday workout features running! I know, surprise! Haha, if you have been following me, you know running is a huge part of my life. My love for running can be a little over the top at times. I know this but it makes me feel better. Ever since my first few cross country and track meets in middle and high school, I have been hooked. Preparing for races is almost always fun for me. I say almost always because there were a few times when I was training for a marathon that I wanted to quit. But I didn't and still came out of it loving to run.
When I was running cross country and track in high school, we did Fartlek's all the time. Fartlek is a fancy Swedish word meaning speed play. All it really means is running intervals. To do a Fartlek, one must change speeds from faster to slower running throughout a distance run. That's it, it's super simple. I love them because it's a great way to increase speed and endurance while not having to think about specific distances. Many times when I train for races or do interval training, I think of the intervals as a certain distance and speed. For example, running 4, 400 meter distances at 5K speed. This may seem complicated but all it means is taking 400 meters, running those 400 meters at a faster than normal pace and doing this four times with a little rest in between. It can be daunting though especially if the distance is greater and if you run the first couple at an all out pace.
Fartlek's are a little less intense because the speed and distance can change with in the same workout. So you can get the benefits of interval runs without getting overly tired.
Fartlek Running Workout
Warm-up: Easy 1 to 2 mile run
Fartlek's: Decide how many Fartlek's you want to run. I usually do at least 4 and not more than 8. Next pick a distance to run (200 meters or to a tree that's at least 100 meters away, etc) for the first one or two. Then decide what speed you want to run at. I usually increase the speed by 20-30%. For example, if I am running at a 8 minute mile for my warm-up or recovery speed (easy speed after the Fartlek), I will run increase my speed to a 7 minute or 6 1/2 minute mile. This seems extreme but when the distance is pretty short, the speed can be sustained.
After each Fartlek, decrease the speed to a slower speed that can help the body recover without having to walk, for a minute. Continue the same process for each Fartlek. Keep the speed and distance the same, vary the speed with the same distance, change the distance but keep the speed or change them both each time.
Cool Down: Run 1 to 2 miles at an super easy pace and stretch for a few minutes after concluding the run. Make sure the stretch the hamstrings and quads well because running faster speeds will work the fast twitch muscle fibers and is a little harder on the body. Getting a good stretch will help increase the blood flow to the muscles which can help speed up recovery.
If you want another running workout click here! My goal in posting one of my weekly workouts, is to help inspire you to try something new or to motivate you to keep going. Do what makes you happy and move your body!