During the holidays it’s all about finding an efficient way to get your workout in so you can take advantage of everything the season has to offer. One of the most effective types of workouts in terms of time and quality is the Fartlek. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play” and the most important part of this workout is to focus on effort as opposed to pace. The fartlek allows you to go between tempo effort and interval effort depending on how long you allow for rest. This workout is especially great during the winter as weather can hamper your typical time goals, and this allows you to focus on effort rather than the stopwatch.
Are you ready to start today’s workout? Find a hilly, soft, and scenic area, and turn off your GPS.
Repeat the following sequence three times:
- 3 minute hard effort (7 or 8 on a scale of 1 to 10)
- 5 minute easy jog or walk (4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 10)
- 2 minute hard effort (7 or 8 on a scale of 1 to 10)
- 1 minute easy jog or walk (4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 10)
- 1 minute hard effort (7 or 8 on a scale of 1 to 10)
- 30 seconds easy jog or walk (4 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Now that we have a plan, you might be wondering what gear you’ll need for a winter workout. Whether you are fighting off the damp Pacific Northwest or the frigid, snowy Northeast, invest in water-resistant and/or thermal running gear so you can avoid the treadmill and enjoy the outdoors during the roughest part of the season! Depending on where you live, I would consider using some of the GORE-TEX® products from Brooks like the Ghost 9 GTX or Cascadia 11 GTX. Not only will these shoes keep your feet dry, but they will also keep them warm. The Cascadia also offers great traction if you decide to take your Fartlek to the trails, an ideal place for this type of training.
Ryan Vail is everyman’s runner. His training is tough and voluminous, and he blogs about openly about it and even some of running’s challenges.