Running is a precious gift that we can’t take for granted. It allows you to experience and discover, ponder and learn. Peering into the workings of what it takes to run your best, over the next few weeks, let’s have an in-depth look at some of the key sessions that are sure to get you closer to that precious Personal Best.
Over the next 4 weeks, we will take you through 4 key workouts that play an integral part in all our athletes’ programs.
In a distance runner’s arsenal, the fartlek is right on the front line. On race day, it allows you to go into battle feeling strong, fast and mentally tough. Fartlek’s incorporate the altering of faster paced efforts, followed by a ‘float’ or ‘bit quicker than a jog’ paced efforts. Not only are they great for improving speed, strength and endurance, but the huge sense of accomplishment when the watch beeps and your legs halt, will want you reloading and getting back out there again for more of these challenging sessions.
There is a vast array of fartlek’s that can be completed, but today we’ll focus on one we like to incorporate with our runners.
– 1min on/ 30sec float
Much like the Arctic Fox, which changes the colour of its fur depending on the season. The 1min on/30sec float fartlek can be adapted subject to what cycle you are in. The number of repetitions or the speed of the paces can be manipulated, depending on what stimulus you’re looking for.
If you’re targeting shorter, sharper races, the focus could be on the quality of the 1 minute hard efforts with the float pace being taken back, to maintain the speed stimulus you’re looking for. For example, 14 repetitions of 1 minute hard @ 3k/5k effort, 30 second float @ marathon effort. In total 21 minutes worth of work.
If you’re focusing on more speed development throughout the summer, the stimulus could be changed to have more emphasis on the quality of the repetitions.
If you’re targeting longer races, the floats could be used to assist in training your body to relax at a certain pace (e.g. marathon pace) whilst fatigued. For example, 20 reps of 1 minute hard @ 10k-half marathon effort, 30 second float @ marathon effort. In total 25 minutes of work.
If you’re focusing on more marathon paced work throughout the winter, the stimulus could be changed to have more emphasis on maintaining the float portion of the workout, to remain relaxed whilst under a fatigued state.