Fartleks. (Stop Snickering... I Can Wait...)

>> Monday, November 21, 2016

On Friday, I did a fartlek workout at the track at the YWCA:

The 6-laps-to-a-mile track at the Midtown YWCA.

Here's my take on the difference between fartleks and intervals (and I think this is pretty common, so I'm not claiming to have some sort of fresh thinking on the subject):

During INTERVALS, I run super hard, and then get a total rest (not complete recovery).

During FARTLEKS, I'm always running, but I switch between "hard" running and "easy" running.

I usually do INTERVALS with a specific time goal (like 1 mile repeats descending from 5:40 to 5:25), but I usually do FARTLEKS just based on "perceived effort" - either "hard" or "easy" with no specific pace goals.

Usually, I do fartleks based on TIME: something like 3 mins hard, 2 easy, 2 hard, 1 easy, 4 hard, 2 easy, 1 hard, 1 easy, 5 hard, 3 easy. (That's roughly 50% easy running time after each hard effort.) Then sometimes I repeat that. This past week, I did them based on DISTANCE.

At the track on Friday, I didn't try to run even splits or have any other goals. I just ran. I did hard efforts of 2, 4, 6, 4, 2 laps, with 1 easy lap of running between the efforts. So that was a total of 3 miles of hard running, with the longest effort being 1 mile (6 laps).

I ended up running all of the hard efforts right at (or JUST over) 6:00/mile pace. Here are my 2 lap splits (1/3 mile) and totals for each fartlek:

1:19 jogging
2:02, 1:58 = 4:00
1:19 jogging
2:03, 2:02, 1:59 = 6:04
1:27 jogging
2:00, 2:01 = 4:01
1:24 jogging

Can't complain about those splits - my pace/lap averaged between 1:00 and 1:01 for every interval. Not bad. And my legs weren't too beat up!

p.s. This isn't set in stone, but I MAY be racing Thanksgiving morning with my 2 favorite little men. Stay tuned...


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