So, lately I have been fighting that age-old runner’s urge to run, and then walk, and then run. I know there are people out there who advocate this as a method of running, and I am glad that it works for them, but for me it’s discouraging and not helpful. If I am going to run…that’s what I expect to do.
Today I tried something different, and, as it turns out it’s just a modified version of something other runners have been doing for a long time – a “Fartlek”. This is something developed by a Swedish running coach – random shifts in speed throughout a workout – not planned, like interval training, but more spontaneous. What I did was slightly different, and yet, very much the same.
When the urge hit to walk, I did the opposite – I sped up. Not to a sprint, but noticeably, letting myself go. As soon as I started to tire, or my mood shifted, I eased back to my normal lunch-run pace. Every time that walking urge returned, I lit out.
I don’t know if this is exactly a Fartlek, but here’s what happened. By about 1.5 miles, I knew I’d better keep going or I’d hate myself. The reason? I was really moving. My pace increased almost dramatically overall. By the time I hit 3.1 miles, I’d managed a 27:16 – only 9 seconds slower than my personal best (which was motivated by a young kid about to beat me). This will bear more thinking, I know, but for now it felt great. Finished off a very slow, almost leisurely 2.4 or so more miles… great workout.
I will call it (instead of run / walk) Run / Run Faster.
It’s a thing.