Samara Donald is: The Gym Coach

Make the most of your workout!

F is for Fartlek (…huh?!)

Ok. Get your giggles out. Laugh at the funny name; I’ll wait. Done? Ok let’s get down to business.

Fartlek” (ok one more snicker) is Swedish for “speed play.” It is very close to interval Samara_dec09_0898training, and is usually specific to running. You’ve no doubt see this term if you’ve read Runners World even once.  But if you’re still scratching your head as to what this silly word means, read on!

Though fartlek training is basically unstructured and hence the main difference between it and interval training, there are some common training session structures (or, drills). Here’s how you can do fartlek training on a treadmill or track to give your running training a speed face lift:

  1. Always start with a warm up – 3-5 minutes of brisk walk or walk up an incline
  2. Then, run steady for about a mile to get your body really ready for some speed patterns.
  3. Then, Try one or more of these fartlek drills :
    1. Sprint for 200 feet (or about 1 minute on a treadmill), then run easy until breathing recovers. Repeat 5-10 times or so or until tired.
    2. Run easy with an occasional 5-6 “quick steps”. Do this for 15-20 minutes or so.
    3. Run uphill (or with incline) for 200 feet (or about 1 minute on a treadmill), then run easy until breathing recovers. Repeat 5-10 times or so or until tired.
  4. Close out your speed/hill session with another mile of steady state easy running.
  5. Cool down for 3-5 minutes with a brisk walk.

 

Fartleks, like interval training, work because they are pushing your body into both aerobic and anaerobic capabilities. This will help with any sport (soccer, tennis), as well as everyday activities (stairs, hills, etc..). No matter what your fitness level, everyone can do some form of FARTLEK!

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One comment on “F is for Fartlek (…huh?!)

  1. Pingback: Get Fast(er) « TheGymCoach Blog

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This entry was posted on May 17, 2011 by in fitness.
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