Fartlek...It's No Stomach Ailment! June 23rd, 2012

Seven mile Fartlek run on Chicago's beautiful lakefront

Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning " speed play." It's a form of interval training that can enhance your workouts, making them more fun, more effective, utilize more calories, and even make you faster.

You can utilize this type of training for any choice of exercise that you participate in, i.e. walking, running, biking or even in the gym on an eliptical or stationary bike. Simply, just increase the speed you are moving for an interval of time.  For example, if you are jogging, start out with increasing your speed a bit for 30 seconds and then slow down to your normal speed.  Repeat a few more times throughout your regular run. 

Some people choose a distance that they will run to at a higher speed, and others choose to run past a certain number of fellow runners before they slow down. You can even choose to run faster until you tire and then slow down.

Especially for beginners, keep this fun. Don't run so fast and long that you can't complete your normal running or walking distance. You also don't need to do a Fartlek run each day you exercise. Use it as a reward or a diversion from your regular routine.

I find that it builds my confidence as well as my speed and I can feel those calories just burning away as I fly past other runners! 

Use common sense, listen to your body, and start slowly into Fartlek. Don't forget to make it fun. Write me with your comments. See you as you fly past me! 

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