Archive for the ‘fartlek’ Category

Eight miles of recovery

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Today I faced the gray skies and headed out for a run. Even though I had a day off on Monday and My Sunday long run wasn’t that long, I decided to stay on schedule and do a recovery run. My avg HR was a beat above my 70% ceiling and I noticed that I was often over on the run and really had to focus on reigning in my pace to slow down enough to bring my HR down. I could have gone ahead and done some sort of quality run this morning but I have band practice tonight and I wanted to be somewhat alert. I have gone to practice after doing hard runs in the past and it was a mistake! I poop out really early and don’t focus as much as I should. So I’ll save the hard stuff for tomorrow. I think I will head to the track for either straights and curves or 400 intervals. Probably the latter as I just did S&Cs last week, though I can never do too many of those.

We msers are really supposed to be good at either doing the fish oil or for those of us who are vegetarian flax seed oil. The omega-3 fatty acids are supposed to do wonders for everybody, but the msers apparently especially benefit from it. As a veg my option is flax seed oil which apparently isn’t as effective as the fish oil, but close (I think it is just propaganda from the fishing industry!) I have been bad about the flax seed oil, mostly cause I don’t like the taste. There are capsules you can get, but it is often hard (and expensive) to find vegetarian capsules that don’t have gelatin. Why a meat eater would be so accepting of eating processed hoof I don’t know, but I pass for sure. I used to put a table spoon of crushed flax seeds on my cereal, but I got tired of doing that so I bought several bottles of the oil which was really inexpensive (5 for the price of 2 from But I went off of that for several months as well. Recently I have renewed my vigor and have been forcing myself to take a slug of it every day. At first I experienced a horrible aftertaste from the oil, yuck. Also, I found myself burping the taste for several hours afterwords, yuck again. But after a week or so that seems to have died back for whatever reason, maybe my system has gotten used to it. I actually feel somewhat more healthy when I am taking it. I don’t know if that is psychological or not, but still I feel more energized and just healthier. Hmm. I have to say it is worth the bad taste. I did find that having a mint to eat right after taking it is a good solution to the initial aftertaste, water also helps.

Fartlek, excuse me

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Today I went out for my usual run. I have been thinking a lot about heading to the track and doing some speedwork. Well I haven’t managed to do that for a variety of reasons; no shade, crowded in the morning, my running routine, etc. I have been reading Bowerman and the Men of Oregon about Bill Bowerman coach of University of Oregon and Nike co-founder. Very interesting book and full of stories about his athletes and coaching style. He reminded me about the ease of doing fartleks for speedwork. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play” and essentially amounts to start running faster and after a little bit, slow down to normal or slower pace, then repeat. One thing I like to do is pick a spot in the distance, be it a tree, sign or car and run fast to it. Part of my routine run takes me along a thin greenway that goes for a mile or so. Its broken up by streets that cross it and makes for a great fartlek route. Run for a block, slow down for a block. As with all speed work their are a lot of specific workouts you can do taking you up to 5K speed and then slowing down to certain percentages of marathon pace or walk. To simplify it all comes down to speed up and then slow down. I try to feel it out and pick up my pace to where I am moving fast (say 25% less than a sprint) and then trotting along at a slow pace to cool down. I like to get up to a 2-2 (steps in, 2 steps out) breathing pace, then back down to a 3-2 (my normal 3 in , 2 out). I forgot about what a great workout it makes. I did about 2 miles of fartlek and I was pooped. I definitely felt it.