Wow. It’s been awhile! Have you missed me? Because I’ve most certainly missed you! It’s just that there’s not much to say when your days are spent shoveling snow and picking up frozen dog poop in the back yard. But spring has sprung (which is a HUGE deal if you’ve spent the last eight months in New England) and it’s time to put down the Prosecco and Girl Scout Cookies and get back in action on the training front.
In that vein, I recently joined some friends for 5K adventure race. No biggie, right? A 5k is a mere sneeze to distance girl here. Except there were obstacles. Big ones! Usually, I’m like, “Yeah baby, just lock in the pace and hit cruise control!” except this particular race was more like, “The mud just sucked my shoe off and why are those people in front of me running around cones holding 40-lb. cement balls?” It was hard. And that got me realizing that, as distance athletes, it’s a whole new world when a race has both the aerobic element (where us distance folk are nice and comfy) and an anaerobic element (which sucks the oxygen right out of your body and leaves you practically twitching on the ground).
It also got me thinking how important it is to spend some time training in uncomfortable places; all in the name improving performance. So I’ve embarked on some fartlek training and highly recommend it. Please note that I could have said “speed work” but fartlek is MUCH more entertaining and gave me a killer title for this post. So, fartlek it is. Deal. BTW: Fartlek is a Swedish term for “speed play” and is used to describe a type of workout used by runners. Dang, those Swedes are funny.
And it’s easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy: when out for your next run, just speed up between telephone poles (or mail boxes, or street signs, or whatever) to a mildly uncomfortable pace (doesn’t have to be a full-out sprint). Try for 6-8 repeats and watch your fitness improve. Then go home and brag to your friends that you let loose a fartlek. It’ll go over well. Promise.
Finally, this is totally shameless self promotion, but it’s my blog, so there. I recently started working part-time doing marketing, communications and PR at a very fun apparel company (www.teddythedog.com). To kick-off the running season, we designed a really fun shirt (you want one… I KNOW you want one..)
Fun, eh? You can get one HERE and keep everyone behind you laughing in your next race. And, if you get out there and fartlek, there should be a lot of people behind you.