Friday, March 25, 2011

Fartlek Workout

The other day, I tweeted how every time I see that word on my training schedule I chuckle like a 12 year old. I still remember the time I first heard it.

Just so you know I am going to take you now back to my "glory days" (well not quite but they were really fun times...)

I started the girls' HS track team. I don't know if it was my entrepreneurship attitude, the fact that I liked to run or just my strong hate for softball (God did not bless me in the depth perception department at least in sports where the ball soars through the air...). The first year, I ran on the boys team, but then I found out I just needed 4 girls to start the team, I recruited the other "haters" of softball and voila we had a TEAM!! I didn't run cross-country, I played field hockey. So I would never consider myself a "runner" just more of someone who enjoyed the sport. I mean when all you do is race boys, you get lapped A LOT but it also allowed me to get faster!!! Anyway, I think I just really enjoyed the training (as I do now) aspect and I remember Miss Aveny (she was the coach) says one day "Okay, boys and girls, I am handing out today's fartlek track workout." Being a sophmore in high school, I pretty much lost my did the others that were new to the sport of running. Which brings me to the actual point of this post....

So a fartlek workout is a Swedish term that means "speed play." As far as the definition on wickipedia - it is for the most part an interval training technique that puts stress on the aerobic energy system due to the continuous nature of the exercise. It is really great to incorporate in your workouts, especially if you are training for a longer event. I found this really helps with my long runs.

So, I am going to post my favorite fartlek workout. It is actual a circa 1991 track workout (yes, I was a sophomore in high school that year...). For some reason, the workout was burned in my brain, and every time I needed a pick me up, this is my go-to workout. It makes me feel happy and nostalgic. In fact, sometimes I don't even need a Walkman (just kidding, an iPod) to get through it. Although my earlier ole' school mix would probably fit well with this workout...

Here it goes:

  • Warm up: 1 mile easy run
  • 1 mile moderately hard run (maybe a 7 out of 10)
  • 1/2 mile easy jog
  • 100meters stride, 100meters jog (jog the curves, stride the straights) - do this 6 times which is 3 laps (.75 mile)
  • 1 lap jog (.25 mile)
  • Progressive run for 100 meters (means start out jog, stride, full out sprint), jog 100 meters, Repeat this (.5 mile)
  • 1 lap jog (.25 mile)
  • 4-6 100's sprints (I usually just stay on the straight and take a minute break in between).
  • If you are at the track do the stadium stairs (I do one at one step at a time, and then the next two at a time).
  • Cool down is jog 1 mile and DONE!

And I leave you with this beauty: the GHS Track team picture....


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great blog! Looks like you're making some great progress with training!

    Love the food pics on your other post. Looks like good stuff. Mmmm.

  3. lovely.... that word still makes me laugh ahhahaha


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