Sunday, May 6, 2012

Short on Time? Try a Fartlek!

In our hectic lives, what with work, kids, driving kids, feeding kids; well you get the idea. . .

Although it's hard to find the time to stay active and fit, a "Fartlek" might be just the ticket.

What's a Fartlek?

Fartlek is a Swedish word, which literally means "Speed Play". Coined by Swedish running coach, Gosta Holmer, in the 1930's, the training method focuses on both speed and endurance.

The beauty of the method is that is rather unstructured, with intensity and/or speed varying based on the indiviudal's desires and time. So, if you've only got a half hour at lunch, an hour after work before taking the kids to hockey practise, or only 20 minutes in the morning, you can still get a good fartlek in.

How to start.

Once you've decided to go, just go!

1. Warm up. Easy jog for a few minutes.

2. Increase Pace. Get to about 60% of your maximum pace. A good way to determine this is a pace where you would find it hard to speak a full sentence without stopping to catch your breath.

3. Speed Play. The FUN PART. Pick a distance, and GO FOR IT.  If you're on the roads, sprint 'til the next street light, mailbox, or until the end of the guitar solo on your IPod.

4. Easy Jog. Recover and catch your breath, but don't stop jogging.

5. Go back to #3 and Repeat #'s 3 and 4, until you run out time.

As you get more comfortable and confident, increase the speed part, and decrease the recovery. You'll find you get a lot more out of your workout, and perhaps even enjoy it more!

Let me know how it goes!

1 comment:

  1. Another great thing about fartleks is that if you happen to run with your kids, they think the word is hysterical and want to keep doing them - as long as they can scream "Faaartlek! at the top of their lungs.