Runners are pretty simple creatures. We typically only want one thing: to run faster. If you’ve spent any time with a runner you’ll typically find that they’re stubborn- I mean determined- people. That trait serves them well in the sport.
However, being one of the most determined people on the planet, I can safely say that all the will in the world won’t make me faster. If any runner wants to be faster, they have to train to be faster. One of the best ways to do that is by doing fartleks. Yes, fartleks. Funny name, but powerful speed training.
Fartlek is the Swedish word for “speed play.” Fartleks are a type of interval training for runners. It was developed in 1937 by Swedish coach, Gosta Holmer. Holmer developed this training for his cross country teams who had a terrible record. The effective speed plays focus on running faster than race pace to train. Fartleks were so successful that they have been widely adopted and used since.
If you are looking to start a new running program or routine in the New Year, here are some helpful hints and tips to build the healthy habit- and make it stick.
Top Fifteen Running Tips:
- It’s never to late to start: Regardless of your age, the benefits of running are plentiful, from increasing your energy levels to decreasing your risk of heart disease.
- Contact your physician: He/she will more than likely perform a physical on you to be sure that you are as healthy and as free from injury as possible.
- Partake in a running program: This will help you stay consistent and motivated. A running schedule will allow you to plan ahead and know what is to come.
- Start with a run/walk (interval) program: This will help allow you to fight through the toughness of beginning something new. Varying between running and walking allows you to catch your breath while improving your stamina. After a while, you will be able to jog the entire time.