Fartleks. That name still makes me snicker, and I've known what it's meant for years.
I don't truly do very much speed training. Okay, okay. Who am I fooling? I don't do any speed training unless I am passing someone on the trails. I get far too much satisfaction in lacing up my shoes, heading out on a run, and completely zoning out while my legs take over. Doing fartleks, tempos, intervals, and timing myself against Mr. Anastos distracts me from doing what I want to be doing. Wait, what?
After a reading a few Active.com articles recently, I felt a little more inspired to maybe change up some of my shorter runs during the week. I'm already heading out for such a short amount of time on some of these lighter training days, I might as well switch it up a little, right? If it can't hurt my running, could it help?
Today I headed out on my Tuesday short run. I started with a 3-minute warm up, sprinted for 30 seconds, slowed to a jog for 90 seconds, sprinted for 30 seconds, slowed to a jog for 90 seconds, and you get the idea of the rest of my run. I figure it's a good starting point, and maybe someday I'll try to make it more like 60/60 or even 30/90. Yeah, maybe.
Granted, I started spacing out and noticed I wasn't perfect at timing my 90 seconds of "rest." Simple math is pretty hard for me, especially when I just want to stop thinking. But, one of the many cool things about Mr. Anastos is that he spits out a pretty lame chart (it's better for PCs, shockingly!) on my Mac that allows met to plot not only my route and mile splits, but lets me consider the variables of what I did during my run. Below I've charted my speed v. distance, but I also have the options to look at heart rate, max heart rate, elevation, pace, and cadence from those drop-down menus. What a nifty little contraption, and my oh my, how running is no longer just running anymore.
Below, you can see (kind of ... use your imagination) where I did 30-second fartleks and where I slowed down. The massive dip in the middle is where I turned around 1.5 miles from my place and headed back.
It worries me that by the end of my run, there is very little distinguishable speed difference between my jog pace and my sprint pace. I sure felt like I was sprinting! In the midst of marathon training, could I have something else to work toward?
3.1mi splits: 7:57, 7:56, 7:55, :44 (have you ever seen a more perfect negative split?!!?)
Air Temp: 42F (yeahhhh bitches! We broke the 40s!)