Wednesday Workout on Tired Legs

This hospital PT stuff is rough.

Hooray for scrubs and sneakers because if I had to wear real clothes and shoes and do all this stuff, I’d be in big trouble come Chicago in three weeks.

Hooray for scrubs!

Hooray for scrubs!

But my legs are still getting adjusted to 8 hours days on my little feet. I don’t sit for most of the day, rather, I stand around quite a bit. Walking I can do but standing? Ow. My legs have felt tight and tired for every one days since I started at the hospital.

Me + my foam roller = BFFs.

Me + my foam roller = BFFs.

So I’ve been foam rolling a lot and putting my feet up whenever possible because this week started back on training for Chicago.

When trying to maintain speed, it’s a good idea to do speedy workouts. One of my favorites ends up totaling 6 miles but feels like more. Here’s how it goes:

  • 2.25 mile warm-up
  • Form drills (high knees, butt kicks, hip openers)
  • 5 x 400m sprints on the track, 200m jogging rest in between
  • 2.25 mile comfortable pace home

This run is a great reminder of what speed I’m capable of running. I aim to have my 400s under 90 seconds. I succeed most of the time except for #2 when I completely lost my focus because I thought I was going to hit a squirrel.

Dear Mr. Squirrel, The track is no place for you to be wandering. You might get run over by a sleepy runner. xo Abby

Dear Mr. Squirrel,
The track is no place for you to be wandering. You might get run over by a sleepy runner.

The other thing I like about this workout is that my run home pace is always close to race pace and feels effortless! It’s amazing what a little perspective, warm-up, and pushing crazy-fast will do to make your race pace feel easy.

A good reminder that I can do it for 13.1 miles, no problemo.

Don’t hate on the speed workouts. They keep you in tip-top shape and fast for your next race! It’s not always about lots of miles, but the quality of those miles.

What was your Wednesday Workout? Tell me all about it!

Now go out and run.

I’m A Newbie: Fartlek Running

I will withhold from making the obvious jokes that come with saying the word “Fartlek” and just cut to the chase. Fartlek means “speed play” in Swedish and is a very useful workout for runners of all levels. It can help you find your race pace and get used to running fast. Plus, Fartleks are traditionally unstructured speed workouts and can be done anywhere.

So, how do you “do” a fabulous Fartlek workout? Simple. At our lululemon Run Club we use the light posts in Central Park, but you can use anything that’s ahead of you as your markers. Warm up for 5-10 minutes at a comfortable pace and then do 5-8 pickups (100 yard dashes) at race pace to get those fast-twitch muscle fibers firing. Here comes the Fartlek part.

Pick several markers (you get to pick the distance and how many markers you use) ahead of you and run towards them, speeding up as you pass each of them, and by your last marker you should be running your 5K race pace (not all out, but fast). When you’ve passed your last marker, jog approximately half the total distance of your Fartlek to recover. And then go again for that same distance at those same speeds. Start with four or so repeats of about 400 yards (.25 mile) total each time and build up to 8. Easy, right? Everyone really despises loves the challenge of this particular “Lamp Post” workout (if I say “Fartlek” we get too many snickers from the peanut gallery). Remember, it’s about speed, not distance. The distance will add up over time and, between your 10 minutes warm up and 10 minute jog after your Fartlek repeats, you’ll have logged a very respectable amount of miles in a relatively short period of time.

The benefits of doing an anaerobic workout are endless. Training your body to process oxygen and get it to your muscles faster is key in increasing speed. The other benefit is your slower runs seem soooooooo much easier once you’ve done a Fartlek workout! Just make sure you choose a relatively challenging distance and run at an honestly fast pace and you will have yourself an awesome workout.

Now what are you waiting for? Go out and run!