Fartlekking, across the universe!

Fartlek. A word that possibly causes the most sniggering when reading, writing or talking about running. It’s just one of those words that makes even sober adults fall apart. Everyone into running knows that it comes from the Swedish word meaning ‘speed-play’ which effectively describes what happens in fartlek sessions.

Today’s session consisted of six reps of 400m speed intervals and 200m walk breaks. It was a repeat of the same session I tried this time last week and, as per last week, I had decided to do it on the trails with Murphy. It makes it a harder session running through the woods, but ultimately more rewarding running in nature than on a track or on the treadmill! Having Murphy’s company always makes my running more pleasurable – seeing his little legs skipping along warms my heart!

The weather was perfect; clear sunny skies, but very cold. It has been raining quite a bit lately but the track was surprisingly dry. Just a few puddles which were easily avoided.

The first two speed intervals were hard going. I always struggle with my breath at the start of any run and have to focus on not panicking as my chest starts to tighten up. I know now that it just takes a few seconds to work through the discomfort and then I’m away, breathing normally. It can be quite a scary feeling though.

The third and fourth intervals were easier going and largely downhill, giving me chance to enjoy the pace and the view. As we turned the corner to the farthest point on the run we saw two deer grazing. They immediately ran off with Murphy hard on their heels, but not fast enough to catch them thank goodness. Although quite what a small Jack Russell would do with a deer if he did catch one, I don’t know!

Heading back is always harder, mostly because it’s uphill. However, I was still benefitting from the third and fourth sectors and their momentum seemed to carry me through the last two sectors. Even though the first two were downhill the last two were far easier!

We finished our 2.8 miles in 30:50, not that the distance or time really matter on fartlek sessions. I felt good having coped far better this week than last week.

And I have proof of my speediness in terms of mud splats! Feast your eyes on these!

I can tell from here how impressed you are!

My next run is a 12 km so it will have to wait now until my next day off which is Wednesday. 12k on a treadmill is not my idea of fun! Fingers crossed for some sunshine!

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