Running-Wizard

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Fartleks: am I doing them right? (Read 46 times)

kristin10185


I race in SparkleSkirts

    So I am a fairly new runner and I didn't really do much speedwork before my RW plan. I would sometimes do a progression, tempo, or throw in a few strides, but completely informally. Now I am aware fartleks are very informal as well. But they are new to me and I am wondering if I am doing them "right" according to the plan. Basically I do my 15 minute very easy jog warm-up (not shown because I record that separately on my Garmin) and then generally will alternate doing strides (which I is what I call when I pick 2 points--ie that light pole and that then the bench like 110 yards in front of it...I'm actually terrible at estimating measurements so 100 yards could not be accurate at all, and then I will start speeding up when I cross point A, reach a sprint at midpoint, then start slowing back down til I reach point B), and then alternate that with doing sustained paces of 1 or 2 minutes....usually about 5K pace or a little faster. In between I will jog very slowly until my heart rate and breathing are back to normal (I don't wear a HRM so whatever "feels" normal). Am I on the right track? The way I have been doing them seems to be fitting into the description on the plan but I have NO experience in this....thanks! Pacing of my last fartlek pictured below for reference:

     

    PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:20:16 (4/13/14)

     

    I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to

      Hi Kristin! Sure, I think you can do them like that, though 30 min of on/off 5k pace or strides (if you are really going all out) sounds actually pretty tough to me. I just do whatever pace for whatever length of time - sometimes an all out sprint but usually much more relaxed. like "half marathon effort til the bridge, jog over, sprint to that tree, jog til the tennis court." i don't look at my watch or measure distance. It is a relaxing way to get in some faster stuff. And a lot depends on how beat up my legs are. some days "technically too fast for a jog" counts as a roaring success...

       

      anyway, i think the point is just to get your legs turning over a bit, not to knock yourself out with speed. How do you feel the next day?

       

      (modified to fix typos...)

      kristin10185


      I race in SparkleSkirts

        Thanks.....I am just really getting into my plan, and it has been a mileage increase for me, plus it has been hot and humid, so overall I am still adjusting so it is hard for me to tell if this particular workout made me especially tired the next day.

        PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:20:16 (4/13/14)

         

        I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to

          I think the only way you can get this workout "wrong" is if you feel sore or stiff the next day (or, I guess, the recovery indicators say you're tired Wink ). In that case you definitely did too much/ran too fast. If you have any doubts it won't hurt at all to take it a bit easier on your fartlek days.

          Thanks.....I am just really getting into my plan, and it has been a mileage increase for me, plus it has been hot and humid, so overall I am still adjusting so it is hard for me to tell if this particular workout made me especially tired the next day.


          Happy

            Hi, I would echo runharrietrun's comments. I think "technically too fast for a jog" is a perfect description for how I ran many of my fartleks. (I believe they are actually called "Easy Fartleks" in the plan, so I would err on the Easy side.) Toward the latter stages of the plan, my Easy Fartleks were basically Jogs with a handful of random faster-paced short stretches thrown in. For example, if I saw a hill up ahead, I'd jog real slow until I got to the base of the hill, then I'd give the hill a solid effort up before bringing it back down to a very easy pace. When I did them correctly, it felt really good to have a mix of paces without ever feeling strained. (Looking back, I believe I ran my first fartlek way too hard -- I learned my lesson after that.)

            "Strawberry cheesecake is my absolute favorite thing to eat after a marathon."  -- Meb Keflezighi

              Ditto for me, my easy fartlek runs tend to lean heavy on the easy side. The hardest I will run will be maybe half miles of 10k pace, some short strides, but mostly easier than that, and I am not embarassed to take nice long recoveries. I do tend to enjoy my fartlek runs the most if my workouts, however, and look forward to them every week


              On the road back

                Thanks for asking the question.  It's good to read the responses and see how others handle the fartleks.  I just find myself doing a handful of 30 second faster pace followed by 30 second recovery jog or walk, then a few 1 minutes with 1 minute recovery and maybe a 2 minute stride at the end.  I think it's funny that speed play seems to be a difficult concept for me, because speed work is what's been drilled into us as runners.

                2013 Goals: Run more. Smile while I do it. Complete 2 marathons in a year. (1 down, 1 to go)

                JML


                  I like to do the fartlek workout as a group run.  We alternate being the leader who is in charge of calling out the next segment (ex: run hard up the hill, 2 minutes at 5K pace etc). I find that this approach mixes it up nicely and it usually ends up as one of my favorite runs of the week.

                   2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

                  perryw


                    The hardest part for me is keeping my overall pace for the fartlek time down.  Last week the suggested range was 9:58 - 11:30, 10:38 for the suggestion, and 131-171 HR range.  I did the fartlek part in 9:38 and my heart rate averaged 152 (though I think my HRM strap is wonky).

                     

                    I can't do the recovery part of the workout slow enough.  My 5K at the beginning of June was 8:11 pace, so a minute or two at that pace requires quite a bit of recovery to bring the average pace back down for my 33:00 workout.  I should be glad that the "speed" is coming easily, but I am worried about over doing it.

                      The fartlek run for me ends up as whatever I feel like that day. Some days I just feel like I need some recovery and I run fairly slow but add 8-10 strides. Other days I make more effort to vary my pace over different distances. Another option I enjoy is to choose a varied music playlist and then vary my pace depending on what song is playing. At first I didn't like this workout because I didn't know what I should be doing, but now I like it because it has become my "free" day to do what I feel like.

                      2014 goals

                      1800 miles; 5k < 25:00; 10k < 53:00HM < 2:00

                       

                      Upcoming:

                      NYC Half Marathon 3/16Boston Marathon 4/21; Newport Liberty HM 9/2; Trenton Half Marathon 10/8


                      On the road back

                        This may be a dumb question, but does the suggested time include the warm up and cool down?  My fartlek this week was 38:00 and I did 10 min of warm up and 10 min of cool down with 18 min of speed play in the middle.  Of am I supposed to do 38 min of speed play which would make it a 58:00 workout?

                        2013 Goals: Run more. Smile while I do it. Complete 2 marathons in a year. (1 down, 1 to go)

                          not a dumb question! Warm up and cooldown count separately. So warm up, then do 38 min fartlek.

                           

                          This may be a dumb question, but does the suggested time include the warm up and cool down?  My fartlek this week was 38:00 and I did 10 min of warm up and 10 min of cool down with 18 min of speed play in the middle.  Of am I supposed to do 38 min of speed play which would make it a 58:00 workout?

                            Actually...either of. ;o)  I wouldn't worry too much about it with fartlek--it's supposed to be Speed "Play".  Just have fun with it.  That said, of course, when you start doing some faster run, you SHOULD be warmed up.  Ideally, you'd want some 10-15 minutes of nice easy jog in the beginning as a part of warm up before you start throwing some faster runs.  Now, for a mature advanced runner, it should say 45 to 60 minutes of fartlek and there's no issue doing the whole thing--including warm-up of about 10 minutes and, say, 5-minutes of cool-down at the end--and just fine to have a total of an hour's fartlek.  You probably don't want it to be over an hour and a half of fartlek workout; it's most probably supposed to be a nice easy "Speed Play" workout, not as a strenuous workout.  However, while a workout "fartlek" is a very, very effective "flushing" and "stretching" workout and should be included into anybody's training plan at any level, when we use % ratio to the longest run and if that person's longest run comes out as, say, 30-minutes, the fartlek workout would become as short as 15-minutes or so.  For someone like that, it would be a good idea to just have a brisk walk for 5 minutes or so; throw some strides or hill springing exercises in that 15-minutes period, just walk a few minutes to cool-down...that's it, call it a day.  So you shouldn't include warm-up and cool-down in that actual number.  So...yeah, this fartlek workout description can be a bit tricky.

                             

                            Now, I received an inquiry about the "pace" for fartlek before.  You might have noticed that the pace for fartlek is slighly slower than aerobic run.  This can be a bit deceiving but what it means is that, if you time yourself for the entire workout of fartlek and calculate the AVERAGE pace, it would most probably come out as slightly slower than aerobic run because of all the recovery jog.  Particularly with fartlek, don't try to make it a hard workout by cutting back recovery.  You want to feel good running fast.  If you're not getting plenty of recovery, you'll start to struggle.  You'll have plenty of time to push hard in the latter stage; don't try to make every workout a survival game.  Those are people who always push hard but never push beyond what can be done when it counts (because they are too tired to do so).

                             

                            not a dumb question! Warm up and cooldown count separately. So warm up, then do 38 min fartlek. 

                            Supersono99


                              posted: 7/2/2013 at 9:48 PM    

                              The hardest part for me is keeping my overall pace for the fartlek time down.  Last week the suggested range was 9:58 - 11:30, 10:38 for the suggestion, and 131-171 HR range.  I did the fartlek part in 9:38 and my heart rate averaged 152 (though I think my HRM strap is wonky).

                               

                              I can't do the recovery part of the workout slow enough.  My 5K at the beginning of June was 8:11 pace, so a minute or two at that pace requires quite a bit of recovery to bring the average pace back down for my 33:00 workout.  I should be glad that the "speed" is coming easily, but I am worried about over doing it.

                              Run Perry

                               

                              I have this same problem, Perry. I cannot manage to get my fartlek time slower than my aerobic runs. I feel great, not sure if I'm not recovering slow enough or what.

                               

                              The fartlek run for me ends up as whatever I feel like that day. Some days I just feel like I need some recovery and I run fairly slow but add 8-10 strides. Other days I make more effort to vary my pace over different distances. Another option I enjoy is to choose a varied music playlist and then vary my pace depending on what song is playing. At first I didn't like this workout because I didn't know what I should be doing, but now I like it because it has become my "free" day to do what I feel like.

                              I do this, too. If I'm not feeling it, I run slow and add in one or two pickups but that's about it, other days I try to add in more speed portions.

                               

                               

                              MTA: how do you do multi-quote?

                              kristin10185


                              I race in SparkleSkirts

                                This is all really useful info....thank you!

                                PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:20:16 (4/13/14)

                                 

                                I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to

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