Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Fartlek? F*** You!

Why, oh why am I taking training advice from a 21-year-old near Olympian athlete, I asked myself on this morning's excruciating 4-mile run? Who better?, I answered myself. That was while I could still carry on a conversation.

Number One Daughter's BF is trying to help me become a better runner, bless his heart. So he came up with a routine to get me in shape for this little dinky 5K I am aiming to run in on New Year's Day.

Yesterday: 80 minutes of cardio. Check.
Today: Run four miles like this: run two minutes all out; two minutes recovery, throughout. Check. Sort of. OK, not even close.

This was my first—and possibly last—fartlek.

Mile 1: 10:09 (easy 1/2 mile jog, then started two minutes on/off thing);
Mile 2: 11:20 (two mile recovery now includes walking, since I think I 'm going to hurl);
Mile 3: 11:30 (let's change the interval to run one minute all out; then cry for 2 minutes);
Mile 4: 13:11 (F*** this, walked 1/2 mile, ran the rest of the way home.)

The good news: um ... I got up at 6 a.m., drove to work, changed into running clothes, tried this new workout, ran out of steam, wanted to kill myself, wanted to kill NOD's BF, then I walked, and then I ran again!!!

The end.


Flatman said...

Hurts...doesn't it. Speed work is evil and my nemesis!

m said...

I hate fartleks! My husband told me I had to do them to get fast and I tried it once and have never been back. Try doing them on your toes sometime. Ugh. Now I do them at the gym on the treadmill. Completely cheating in my book. Will try again in 2006. Hey there is a new goal.

Keep up the good work.

Bex said...

Just my two cents: Honestly, you may be doing interval work too early. And it sounds like the intervals he has you doing can quickly lead to injury. The running coaches I've spoken to and the running books I've read don't recommend interval work unless one is an "intermediate runner." That roughly means, for a woman, running between a 22:00 and 26:00 5K. If you want to keep doing intervals, how about starting with strides? That's a good intro: running 100 meters, starting at a medium-pace and gradually quickening to a fast pace, but never ALL OUT, then gradually decreasing to a slow pace, with a 1:00 recovery. Do this 4-5 times.

Black Knight said...

Speed work, fartlek, I hate all of them! I prefer to enter a race more. Is to get up at 06.00 a.m. a good new? Mmmmmmmmm not sure.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately though, when done correctly, speedwork really helps your running. MCRRC has a great speed program (just starting now too!) for of all levels. I highly recommend it.

Tammy said...

hahaha.... you finished strong "I ran again", that's all that matters. Interval training like this should make a big difference... I know it works on the bike. As for running, I'm just taking it slow 'til Marathon Day (T minus 18 days).

Thanks for the giggle.

Kim said...

Hi Jeanne!
I hate speed workouts too. But Fartleks are one that I can stomach. I'm not quite as structured when I do 2 minutes on/2 min off deal. I pick a point somewhere in the distance (100 yds or so) run fast to it...then try to pick another point about the same distance and just cruise to it...and cycle. I find it fun to be trying to find the next point and not staring at my watch.
Just my 2 cents.
Good luck with it.

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Fartleks suck! I enjoy a tempo run much more, if I'm in the need for speed.

nancytoby said...

That may be a record number of asterisks in that post!

I like running on the track much better if I'm going all-out. Then I can at least time the distances (halfway around the track, etc.) and play mind games with myself that way.

I don't do it often, mind you....

21st Century Mom said...

Oy. I tried to run 6 miles on Saturday and just couldn't get there so I know how you feel. His intervals sound a little ambitious for you so I'm with the folks who suggest a shorter interval for the fast and a longer interval for the not so fast. After all, if you poop out then it didn't work.

Kiran said...

me too, I hate farts, I mean fartleks hee hee. (I hate farts too) I like Bex's answer, you wouldn't want to hurt yourself.

David said...

Bex offers a good option to practice running faster. You can/should do that twice a week after a moderate run; not a long run.
Track workouts are intoxicating for speedwork. The distances are all measured and you can run whatever distance you want and see how fast you are. You'll become addicted to doing better. Fartleks are much the same except not as exact.

Rae said...

Hey, at least you ran and got your workout in! I typically pick up speed at certain songs on my playlist or places along my route vs a more set time thing. A 4 mile fart sounds like a very long one for the first time out!!

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

The word "fartlek" still makes me smirk. I'm so immature.

Hey, speedwork makes you faster. You'll see. I think its the swearing.

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Okay. Love me or leave em, but they work. I do mine a little differently. I use a distance. For example, run a block, walk a block. Also make sure you do a warm up run 5-10 minutes first and then a cool down walk after. Again the total distance for the workout might not be the best measure. Keep the workout to less than 45 minutes.

But what do I know, I'm still a slow poke.

*jeanne* said...

Fartlek means "speed PLAY". PLAY. Not run so fast you want to die, then slow down and recover, just to repeat the run to die phase!

Pick a shorter interval, something you can SEE, say to the next tree, to the postbox on the corner, and just ramp up your speed a BIT, so you're pushing it beyond your usual, but NOT running WAR OF THE WORLDS fast!

It's supposed to be FUN to fartlek. And it IS if you do it with a sense of play!