Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Fartlek and what a session!

  • Warmup while increasing pace for 800 m
  • Hard uphill with 20m of positive ascent for 330 m. Jog.
  • 1 km hard in 3:51
  • 230m jog
  • 2 km hard in 8:00 (unfortunately this was 4:06 and 3:53)
  • jog
  • 100m in 15 seconds
  • 100m jog
  • 200m in 36 seconds (unfortunately this was 20 and 16 secs)
  • break
  • 400m in 1:17 (definitely the hardest rep)
  • walk then jog
  • 800m up hill in 142+147, the consistency of which I was much happier with.

After this I started jogging home, but noticed that my endorphins were pumping, even though the 400m had been a total killer - my desperation for my Garmin had become so intense that I had actually stopped and the beep happened as I stopped if you know what I mean. The step up from 200m is just hideous! If it weren't for a prior commitment, this session could in fact have been longer, and as I picked up pace to return back home over the last km I was just overloaded with confidence as I finished with a sprint to my front door! And all that from someone who claims not to like the shorter stuff!

I think what I just love about the fartlek is the way in which it is just so specific to the runner's individual feel on that day. What I found worked so well for me on this session was that the first hard lap happened up a hill, which breaks in the cardiovascular intensity early on without the impact on the still-warming muscles. Then were the two longer stints 1 km quickly followed by 2 km, after which my body is more ready for the power of the 100m to 200m to 400m to 800m progression.

This works so much better for me than a more classic session such as: warmup followed by 8 x 400. On more than one occasion on this marathon build-up I had to abort the session due to twinges on an ankle provoked almost certainly by such sudden load. I believe that there is no progression in this kind of warm-up up to the desired intensity.

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