Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mix it up a Bit!: The Short Fartlek

I have learned the hard way to 'mix it up' is GOOD.  Anyone who has suffered from the discomfort of ITBS can attest to the pain and schedule of training affects it can bring.  Besides stretching, mobility, smart recovery - your training can also determine injuries like ITBS.  Speed work is a power-tool for increasing your speed and fitness.  But it also mixes things up that you will need to recover better.  Throwing short bursts of speeeed into your runs will (among other things):

a.) Target muscles LSD (long slow distance) won't - acceleration is a powerful in muscle developer.

b.) Move your joints and muscles into angles you won't reach during LSD - moving lower attachment of IT Band past the rubbing angles, getting hip flexors into higher angles of motion.

c.) Throw you into different metabolic pathways - this will simulate a longer run whe ncompared to an LSD run.  You will find you can stay at higher heart rates for longer!

d.) Makes things mo'better interesting - time you taking-off to the song you're listen to, sprint during the chorus.

So every once in while, just "take off" - the regain your composure, then do it again.  Below is a nice article describing the fartlek.  Instructions in bold.  Let us know how it goes! 

Written by: Mario Fraioli

Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar. The last race you ran was a couple of months ago, and since then you’ve enjoyed some well-deserved down time–long runs and speed workouts have been put on the back burner and all your running efforts of late have been easy and unfocused. But recently the itch to race has returned. You know it’s time to start boosting your volume and increasing the intensity once again but the thought of stepping on the track for a speed session stresses you out. What to do? Easy: stay away from the track. Aside from rattling your nerves, the cold, hard feedback of lap-after-lap splits is an unnecessary evil at this stage of the game. Tough workouts on the track have their time and place in a training schedule, and it’s not the first speed session after a lengthy layoff.
Instead of going round and round your local outdoor oval for your first fast workout in a while, stick to your regular road route or favorite trail and perform the following short fartlek session:
  • Run easy for 10 to 20 minutes to warm up.
  • Follow with 4 to 6 x 20-second pickups, jogging 40 seconds in between each pickup.
  • Do 2 to 4 sets of 2 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds at 5K effort. For recovery, jog one minute after the 2:00 interval and 30 seconds after the 1:00 pickup. Take a 2:00 jog for recovery in between sets.
  • Cool down with 10 to 20 minutes of easy jogging.
This is a great short speed session for transitioning back to faster workouts after an extended time away from hard training, but can also be used as an intense off-the-track interval session when you’re fit and in flying shape. It’s good for runners focusing on the 5K or even those preparing for a marathon. The key is adjusting your effort level, along with the number of sets, to suit your individual needs. More Here