Last night, after a workout of biking for a few miles, I picked up the latest issue of Runner's World. It had an article about preparing for a 5K race, which is exactly what I'm doing. And it talked about the importance of interval training. I haven't done any interval training in a long, long time. It mentioned other options, all intended to increase strength and speed. A series of consecutive 400 meter runs with a small rest between each is apparently considered an excellent way to prepare for a 5K race. And, of course, the ever popular fartlek.
OK, to be fair, I do fartleks, or used to, a lot. I actually like fartleking. It's a great way to break up a monotonous run.
I also love saying 'fartlek' because it just sounds like 'fart' only it has a legitimate purpose and usage. I can go into an athletic store, such as Fleet Feet, and say fartlek over and over again for an hour straight and no one will think I'm being a total smart ass. But on the inside I'll be giggling like a 12-year-old boy.
|I just fartleked|
Anyway, back to the topic of Swedish farting and today's workout, I decided last night after reading about the importance of speed work and intervals and fartlek workouts prior to a race that I should make that my workout for today.
|I do not feel like doing this first thing in the morning|
When I woke up and headed outside I began having doubts about whether I was making the right decision. I certainly did not feel like doing any sprinting first thing in the morning. I barely felt like running at all. I walked a full mile before I reluctantly broke into a run. I say 'run' but it was more like a trot, a very slow and pathetic trot. I slow pathetic trotted for a half mile before my brain zoned out and I was able to slip into a regular, albeit slow, pace. I jogged for another mile until I came to a straight, flat stretch of road that stays flat and straight for about a quarter mile and then I began my fartleking. heh heh
My attempts at sprinting weren't very impressive. At first I felt like I was going to pull a muscle in my outer thigh and I wasn't even really going that fast. I was just picking my knees up high and springing hard off my toes, but somehow my body seemed to think it was under attack from this and complained. Gradually it seemed like my muscles began to remember what sprinting was all about. They stopped complaining so much and I was able to go faster.
To finish off the workout I fartleked to the bottom of the steepest hill on my course and ran sprints up it repeatedly. I ran about 6 of them. Then I walked home.
|Running makes me age backwards, like Benjamin Button|
It's funny how I feel so awful when I begin the workout. I feel old and decrepit and tired. The first mile I run I just feel like I'm going to die. But after that, my body steadily remembers that once upon a time I was a real runner and have done this before without dying. By the end of today's workout, after I had run several miles, plus striding out some mild sprints, I actually felt great sprinting up the hill over and over. I wanted to keep doing it, but my calves were threatening to revolt and pull a muscle, so I had to finally stop. I was exhausted when I finished. But I felt a hell of a lot better after all of that running and sprinting than I did when I first headed out from the house to begin.
I'm thinking of getting a personalized license plate for my car that reads FARTLEK. heh heh