Apr 14, 2010

Wednesday: Fartleks

I'm a sucker for distance and have hated doing tempo runs; probably because I started running naturally and never began running with a "training plan". In fact, the first marathon (SF) I ran was an impulsive decision made just weeks before the actual date when I overheard someone talk about how excited they were for the upcoming marathon. I thought, I've been running for fun as long as I can remember; how difficult can this be? With that thought I registered. I was wrong. I did finish the marathon but was completely unsatisfied. At the finish I was all exhausted, and a well meaning doctor at the medical tent said to me, "You won't do this again. Will you?". I replied, "Of course, I will" with a grin that failed to mask my pain. Everyone says your first marathon is a life changing experience. It was in my case but in a different way. I already had the love for running but after my first marathon, I started approaching running with an academic vigor. I read, and still continue to do, everything I saw about nutrition and training.

I still dislike following a training plan as it sucks the fun out of running, and as consequence I don't have "tempo run" days. Fortunately, I discovered that I could mix tempo runs in my distance workouts. Later a friend told me that this was called a "Fartlek". I thought he was joking. Thank god for fartleks. This is also a great way to get rid of the late afternoon sluggishness. I got some quality workout today at the JHU track playing "human fartlek" :-)


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