What is 'FARTLEK' I hear you cry, its not as sinister as it sounds trust me its much much worse and at 0600 on a cold Tuesday morning they're even more savage than i expected.
In a nutshell the 'Fartlek' (which translates to SPEED PLAY in swedish) is basically about mixing up your runs and chucking in some intervals along the way. These intervals could be as simple as sprinting between lamposts and jogging between the next two and repeating for a certain number of repetitions.
Richard gave me some very specific sessions which basically add interval / recovery / repeat onto my existing runs. There are many well known and proven variations to the Fartlek but the basic principle is intended to work the aerobic and anaerobic systems and and the benefits for a runner are tenfold over standard 'long easy runs'.
Some of the key benefits are:
- Easily adjustable sessions
- Race day prep
- Fat burning
Obviously the Fartlek should be a solid work out and we should be working up to 80% of our maximum heart rate but the sessions can be tailored to suit the event or simply how fatigued your feeling from one day to the next. Remember arguably the most critical part of ANY session if the warm up & warm down in our never ending quest to stay injury free.