Fit Friday…Fartleks!!

“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.” – Roger Bannister

Today marks the beginning of the Olympic track & field events. While sitting on the couch watching these remarkable athletes move in ways I can’t begin to comprehend, I have the urge to get up and run around the apartment, dance, do the can-can, explode into start jumps…you name it, I’m simply inspired. I thought it timely to share with you, the non-Olympians of America, one of my beloved gym workouts…well, more accurately, treadmill workouts. Below are two of my fartlek faves – it’s nice to remember the good old days when coaches made you sprint and your dad challenged you to a 100 yd dash only to tear his hamstring. The happiest of memories. Fartlek…cool term, right? According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, fartlek is Swedish for “speed play.” Saying, “Let’s do a fartlek run,” is the insider, trendy, sporty, cosmopolitan, likely Olympian way of saying, “Yo son, let’s run intervals.” The “sprint” while running fartleks is not at 100% but rather 85% or so…think of it as fast trot that would be difficult and painful to sustain for too long. Fartleks can definitely be done outside, but I enjoy running them on the treadmill (despite bashing gyms in the past) so as to keep my speed consistent. Here are some farlek workouts I’ve adapted from my glamourous, sexy lax days.

*Walking not allowed

Frieda’s Favorite Fartlek:

  1. 2 mile jog (I do this at a level 7-7.5) – whatever your normal, comfortable, typical treadmill jogging pace
  2. Once you’ve hit the next minute mark, let the fartlek begin…
  3. 30 seconds hard at 9 (or two levels higher than your jogging speed)
  4. 30 seconds recovery jog at 7
  5. Repeat
  6. 1 minute hard at 9
  7. 1 minute recovery jog at 7
  8. Repeat this sequence of 3 “sprints” and 3 jogs 3 times – this comes out to 12 minutes of fartlek time
  9. After your last 1 minute hard, finish the 1 minute jog at the same jog pace and then complete the workout with a 5 min cool down jog
  10. ….and the fartlek is complete!

Feelin’ Fresh: (same pacing rules apply)

* This fartlek is more challenging because the jog/recovery time is cut in half. If done once through, this fartlek is 16 min long…if you’re feeling fresh and up for the challenge, repeat the fartlek (once finish the 15 sec jog, go right back to #1). This is a great one to build up to.

  1. 1 mile warm up jog
  2. 30 sec hard/30 sec jog
  3. 1 min hard/30 sec jog
  4. 1 min hard/30 sec jog
  5. 30 sec hard/30 sec jog
  6. 2 min hard/2 min jog
  7. 2 min hard/1 min jog
  8. 45 sec hard/30 sec jog
  9. 30 sec hard/15 sec jog
  10. 45 sec hard/30 sec jog
  11. 3o sec hard/15 sec jog
  12. Repeat
  13. 1 mile cool down jog

And in the words of RiRi…Cheers to the freakin’ weekend!

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