Modified fartleks for 10 (miles)

Saturday’s run – my description: Modified fartleks for 10 miles (holy hell)
Saturday’s run – Scott’s description: ‘we had fun.’

Um hi, who the heck throws fartleks into a 10 mile training run and *then* says it was ‘fun.’
…that would be my husband, who I know believe is crazier than I am.

For those of you wondering – a fartlek is:

Fartlek, which means “speed play” in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training.The variable intensity and continuous nature of the exercise places stress on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. It differs from traditional interval training in that it is unstructured; intensity and/or speed can be varied whenever the athlete wishes

So while we didn’t do full-out fartlek work on Saturday, we sure as hell did a modified version of it. And it hurt. A lot.

I still haven’t decided if I would’ve liked a courtesy heads-up from Scott that this was in ‘his’ plan for us on Saturday or not — I kind of think if I knew it was coming, I would’ve wussed my way out of it somehow. Or at least whined a heck of a lot more at the outset (and I admit to whining a LOT after the first sprint session, not gonna lie).

Here’s what we did, generally speaking:
Ran our first 2ish miles as our warm-up — this portion of our route is particularly hilly so not entirely fun as a warm-up, just sayin’
Ran the next 2 miles at a picked-up pace (this is all guestimates since I am garmin-less as you know)
Then, we we rounded the bend towards the golf course, we pulled back a bit in preparation for our first sprint
Over the bridge we went, right over the ocean — the most beautiful part of our run. And we were sprinting our asses off. It was probably about a quarter mile or so sprint. My legs were FLYING. And to be honest, that first sprint felt good. I had no idea I had such speed in my legs.
Post-sprint, we wound our way around a cute neighborhood, up a rolling hill that surprisingly kicks your ass on a good day, nevermind right after a speed burst. Oy. Our breathing regulated and we prepared ourselves for the next sprint. Back over that bridge but about double the distance and faster. This one REALLY hurt.
Gasping for air, I was whining my ass off, so ready to be done but we still had 3 miles left before home.
Off we went, back up another rolling hill, and another before we rounded the bend towards the final two streets before home. Scott took off. Left me in his dust — this is his cue to pick up the pace. It always pisses me off because he does it when I’m at my most tired…and I know he is smart for pushing me that way, but in my head, I’m bitching and moaning. The more I bitch and moan in my head, the faster I go though, so I suppose it all works out. (man, my husband is so smart, isn’t he? Knows just what to do to get me moving…lol)
Finally we’re at the home stretch — the final half mile to home and I’m just DONE. I’ve slowed way, way down but I’m still moving so that’s a good sign, right?? So I sprint to the finish as best as I can, rushing towards Scott who finished before me and he’s a sweaty smiley mess. Such a beautiful sight, I must say. ❤

So after ALL of that? I can’t say that I love mixing sprints/quasi-fartlek work into training, but I will say that I needed that. A reminder that I can push myself even when I’m dead-tired and that I can push past the mental doubts that started to creep in as I grew more and more tired. I’ll need all the mental endurance I can get leading into this marathon, yeah? So I suppose I should thank my husband for kicking my ass then, huh? Even if I whined a bunch about it. 😉

(and finally, from the ‘you know you’re a runner when’ files…)

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27 thoughts on “Modified fartleks for 10 (miles)

    • I mean really, who the heck came up with that word anyway? There MUST be a better word to describe it — how about ‘running wicked fast until you want to throw up’ because that about sums it up for me!

  1. I’m with miz…snickering 😉 Just kidding, you guys are bad ass and I love it. Game on, for your marathon, you are in it to win it! (figuratively speaking of course!). That Scott, what a wise guy 😉

  2. WOW sounds like a killer workout! Not only were they fartlek’s but I saw the word hills and double digit miles mentioned in that post as well! Congrats 🙂

  3. I have started to do sprints in with my runs and I have to say that it always amazes me that my legs can go that fast! I guess that goes back to the instinct if fight or flight…I would do ok in the flight, since I know I’m not a good fighter. Great job on the run! I know it was hard but in the end, it was worth it!

    • That’s what always surprises me too anytime I do sprints or interval work — that my legs CAN go faster if I let them. I just get so darn comfortable in my pace sometimes…which is why Scott surprised me with these fartleks on Saturday. He’s dying to get me to push faster!

  4. Ok, I actually like doing that during long runs. I think it shakes the legs out a bit. I tend to feel like mine are just going and going and going and can’t stop that repetitive same pattern so picking up the pace like that hurts for a second then sort of feels good. It’s like the legs wake up. Nice job!

  5. Nice workout! And let me add that that kind of stuff in the midst of a longish run is actually quite effective, so yes, thank your husband! ; )

  6. Pingback: The anatomy of an early-morning run | EatDrinkBreatheSweat

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