It’s a funny word, and therefore one I like to use. Apparently it means “speed play” in Swedish, but it’s essentially geek-speak for a structured interval workout.
Today was my first fartlek. While I have run intervals before (speeding up to anaerobic pace during a run, then returning to normal aerobic pace), I can’t say I’ve ever run them with much structure. Today’s run was supposed to be 4 miles with 6×300 meters thrown in the middle, but since the West Side Highway doesn’t have 300’s marked along the way, Jay told me to do 6x1min instead (based on my 150 and 200 meter times last week). After warming up for a mile, I set the timer on my watch to beep at me after 1 minute. I pressed “start” and then ran my heart out until it beeped, slowed my pace for 1 minute, and then ran my heart out again. I lost count half way through and figured out later I added a 7th interval, but I still covered the same distance, so no worries.
And there you have it. My first fartlek. Glad it was so cool at 5:45am, but bummed I had to do it solo. I’ll start doing speed work with Jay’s team (I’m still hesitant to claim it for myself) when we return from Julie’s wedding. I anticipate it will be more challenging AND more fun to work out with other people.
All of this to ensure that I’m actually in shape enough to enjoy the marathon in November. One step closer to my fundraising and distance goal.