Oops, I Fartleked! – 2nd Installment Notes

Here’s a quick summary of my 1st fartlek session of 2012 from June 3rd.

I did my first fartlek session of 2012 on 6-3-12. 

1 mile in 9 minutes and 25 seconds.  Ran on the street and trail near my house.  Wore my “racing shoes” – a very lightweight pair of New Balance.  Bodyweight was 216.4lbs after the run.  Temperature was 75 degrees and the humidity was very high.  Here are some general notes from this first fartlek session:

  • Varied my pace significantly at least a half dozen times during the run.

  • Pace varied from a 12-minute-mile to a 7-minute-mile.  The faster pace was always very short distance.  Immediately followed by a slow down to about 12-minute-mile pace until my heart recovered a bit.  Then I’d switch it up again with something a little different than what I just did. 

  • Got up on the balls of my feet a few times in about a 90% effort sprint for up to 10 steps.  Again, this is about baby steps right now.  Even this little amount of sprinting or significant change of pace was enough to throw my heart into a panic.  But I got through it.  And afterwards I felt pretty good about myself.

  • Breathing was ragged at the finish. 

  • Walked .3 miles to cooldown – but that wasn’t counted in the fartlek part of the workout. 

  • Overall, I’d say running that 9 minute and 25 second mile felt harder than the 8 minute and 44 second mile I did on the track the other day.  I had to fight the urge to stop running by the 1/2 mile mark.  Seriously.  That’s kind of sad.  But I know that what I said before about me not being able to recover my breath is a big weakness that I need to shore up.  Now or never.  Now sounds like more of a challenge than never.


Okay, here’s session number two notes from yesterday morning.

2nd installment means the 2nd fartlek workout.  And so on.

Ran 3 miles this morning after working 12 hours.  Temperature was 81 degrees and it felt much hotter due to the high humidity.  Felt like I was breathing through a cheesecloth the entire run. 

A few things I did wrong for this run:

  • Didn’t bring a baseball cap to shield my eyes from the sun.

  • Should’ve worn different shoes because my right sole in my shoe squirmed out of place within the first 1/4 mile and I had to run on it for the remainder of the 3-mile run.  Didn’t do any real damage to my feet or knees but it was very uncomfortable and several times took my mind away from trying to settle into a nice breathing rhythm.

  • Didn’t bring headphones.

  • Didn’t bring water. 

I didn’t run hard (at the limit of my breathing ability) more than 4 or 5 times during this run.  But I did get a time PR for 3 miles – well, a 2012 best time at least. 

Bodyweight was 211lbs after the run.  Down a bit so that always helps too. 

Final time for the 3-mile run was 33 minutes and 30 seconds.  Mile breakdown was:

  • 1st mile: 10 minutes and 51 seconds

  • 2nd mile: 10 minutes and 58 seconds

  • 3rd mile: 11 minutes and 41 seconds

Average mile pace was 11 minutes and 10 seconds per mile. 

Why the huge jump on the 3rd mile?  I was really ran down by that point and the heat was getting to me – especially since I didn’t bring any water with me.  It’s a catch-22 though.  If I carry water it slows me down because my shoulders tense up and if I don’t bring water I get dehydrated quickly.  Also the 3rd mile was spent running more uphill than the others.  I really wanted to nip in under the 33 minute mark but I just couldn’t do it and decided not to push it any harder or I might have a heatstroke.  I was getting the chills by the final mile and knew that was a warning sign not to push as hard as I thought I might be able to.  My willpower is stronger than my cardio ability right now.  Best not to test it to the point of being sorry about it later.

The fartlek part of the workout came when I would consciously decide to increase my pace on sections of the street and trail where I would normally slow down slightly.  Like on slight hills I sped up a few times instead of slowing down to keep my heart rate modulated. 

None of the pace changes were extreme in today’s run.  But there were enough significant pace increases and changes to consider it a fartlek workout.  So there.



About bencrush

42-year old multiple USAWA record holder who enjoys grip strength training, bending steel, and sharing my knowledge of training in both areas.
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