A Fartlek by Any Other Name…

2014-06-04 07.54.32So, 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.

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