Day 126: fartleks

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Just some helpful directions spotted on my running loop. The arrow points here:

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Good for a laugh every time I go out for a run. Now, fartleks.

Fartleks is a funny word, but I didn’t make it up! If you’ve been running a long time you probably know what fartleks are but there’s lots to learn when you’re just starting out with a sport (with any activity, really). I only learned about fartleks recently when a couple bloggers I follow mentioned them. (Thanks bloggers!)

Fartleks are unstructured speed training intervals. While jogging at a comfortable pace, pick a nearby landmark like a lamppost or driveway, run at ~80% max effort to that landmark, then slow back down to your comfortable pace. When your heartrate has slowed a little, pick another landmark, and speed up again until you reach the landmark. Repeat as desired.

Today was week 9 day 2 of c25k. I had to drag myself out of the house this morning but that’s the beauty of creating a habit–it becomes a lot easier to do something even when you don’t really feel like doing it. I knew I was slower than usual this morning but I don’t worry too much about that, my main goal is just to reach 30 minutes running.

However, I realized something this morning as I was running and I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out: the halfway point of my run is the lowest point, and the second half is all uphill. The “straights” in the second half aren’t flat– it’s almost entirely a gentle incline. My fitbit showed 1 flight of stairs climbed at the halfway mark, and 8 additional flights at the end of the loop. There’s one “biggish” hill but the rest of it is not flat. No wonder my pace slows in the second half of my run even when I still feel like I have loads of energy.

Anyway when I realized that, I had 2 thoughts: first, I can take advantage of the general decline at the tail end of my run when I run part of my loop again, and second, maybe I can increase my finishing pace a little with intervals. Enter fartleks.

And what do you know, it worked. My first (partial) negative split!

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So I am pretty pleased with my run this morning!

Fitness today
C25k week 9 day 2

In search of my TDEE
kCal: 2756

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2 thoughts on “Day 126: fartleks

    • For 6 or so minutes at the end of my run it was pretty fun, though I imagine it doesn’t affect speed very much unless you do full speed training workouts. It was kind of novel to feel fast for a change. šŸ™‚

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