Anyone for Fartlek?

I am a slow runner trying to build up my speed. Yesterday, in the middle of a fairly flatish run, I decided to sprint to one lamp post then slow jog recovery then repeat until the end of the road. I only managed three fast lamp posts then I had to almost walk to get my breath back. Is this a normal part of training to get quicker or am I doing something wrong? Any advice would be gratefully received.


  • Hi Munchkin

    You've got the principles of it right except that you would probably be better off just increasing your pace slightly rather than by sprinting so that you can manage maybe 10-12 spells of faster running between lamp posts during your run and so that you are still ok to jog your recovery rather than having to walk. Once you've managed this then you can increase the speed of the intervals or the distance and eventually both. I don't know if you have an opportunity to run in a group but one session we do is to do a steady run with faster running between lamp posts but each person takes a turn to call out a different number of lamp posts so that you never know what length your next interval will be.

    Hope this makes sense and is of some help!
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Perhaps you're not recovering enough between your sprints? Speedwork is hard work, so perhaps sprint to one lampost, then jog for a two-lampost distance, then sprint one, jog two .... etc. etc. Or else just say to yourself pre-run that you're going to do (say) five 100m efforts in your run and drop them in whenever you fancy.

    Hope that helps - speedwork is one of those training techniques that shows a result after only a few weeks so keep at it!

    Just a thought - if you are going flat out on your sprints ... you don't have to! Just 'faster than normal' is fine for now.
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    I like to do a slightly more structured sesion by setting (say) 10 2-minute 'bleeps' on my stopwatch. At the first bleep I run 'fast but controlled' (not a flat-out sprint, but a certain amount of acceleration) until the next bleep, when I jog to recover. By the end the two-minute 'sprints' seem to last a hell of a lot longer than the two-minute recoveries! The idea is that your effort should be constant throughout. You'll know if they're not because you won't be able to sustain the same pace for all of the efforts.

    I currently do 5 x 2 minutes with two-minute recoveries. As you get fitter, you could add more intervals and reduce the recoveries.
  • Thanks everyone!

    I tried Hill Runners routine, i.e. just increasing my pace rather than sprinting and was able to do more lamp posts this way.

    Cheers and good luck to you all!!
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