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Thread: Fartlek - As good as it sounds?

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    Fartlek - As good as it sounds?

    Fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, is a form of conditioning which puts stress mainly on the aerobic energy system due to the continuous nature of this exercise. The difference between this type of training and continuous training is that the intensity or speed of the exercise varies, meaning that aerobic and anaerobic systems can be put under stress. Most Fartlek sessions last a minimum of 45 minutes and can vary from aerobic walking to anaerobic sprinting. Fartlek training is generally associated with running, but can include almost any kind of exercise including cycling, rowing or swimming.

    Fartlek sessions

    This is the first session that was designed by Gösta Holmér for a cross-country runner. This is also an example of what a Fartlek session might look like, but Fartlek sessions should be designed for an athlete's own event or sport — as well as catering for their individual needs. Sessions should be at an intensity that causes the athlete to work at 60% to 80% of their maximum heart rate, as outlined by the Karvonen Method. This should mean that their body will not experience too much discomfort while exercising. An athlete should also include a good warm up at the beginning of the session, and a cool down at the end of the session, to improve performance and to decrease the chances of injury and for other reasons.

    * Warm up – easy running for 5 to 10 minutes.
    * Steady, hard speed for 1.5-2 km ; like a long repetition.
    * Rapid walking for about 5 minutes – recovery.
    * Easy running interspersed with sprints of about 50 – 60 m, repeated until a little tired. – Start of speed work.
    * Easy running with three or four "quick steps" now and then (simulating suddenly speeding up to avoid being overtaken by another runner).
    * Full speed up hill for 175 – 200 m.
    * Immediately, fast pace for 1 minute.
    * The whole routine is then repeated until the total time prescribed on the training schedule has elapsed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fartlek

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    Senior Member stormlord's Avatar
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    WORST EXERCISE EVER!!! well it is if you're very large and not built like a middle distance runner, if you are built like a middle distance runner then it is very good.

    We used to do this all the time at school, I've done a lot of different sports and exercises and out of all of them this is without doubt the nastiest.

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    I think that you do this in a self-regulating way. It cannot have been much fun being the fat kid if you were doing this as a group.

    I remember doing interval training years ago, which is basically the same, I think.

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    Senior Member stormlord's Avatar
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    I hope you're not implying that I was the fat kid . I'm 6'4' 210lbs and a fairly good rugby player, and did county discus and javelin while I was at school, I was also on the rowing team, and they were the ones that forced us to do this all the time! I just meant before that those that excel in one direction tend to have a hard time at this, the long distance runners hate the sprints, sprinters hate the long distance parts, the heavy and tall people hate the constant speed changes; it's the ultimate all rounder exercise, but for the specialist it's a b***h!

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    Well, I hit the treadmill, after some time away.

    It was just a test run.

    At present, the speed at which I am just becoming uncomfortable is 9.2 km/h.

    Uncomfortable meaning, beginning to need to inhale through mouth. I am not going to go any faster than that if I am doing interval training.

    Will see what it is like tomorrow. I should do a full yoga practice tomorrow in the morning as well.

    Yoga followed by some weights in morning, running in evening. I will be doing this every day that I can, so I do not envisage exhausting myself and needing a day to recover.

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    You should look into HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). In my experience it is the best type of conditioning you can do as it improve anaerobic and aerobic capacity, increases fat burning through an elevated metabolic rate after training, and is not catabolic as opposed to long slow distance cardio.

    Here's a good place to start looking if your interested;

    http://www.cyclecambridge.com/Smith-HIIT.pdf

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    Senior Member Angelcynn Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortis_in_Arduis View Post
    Uncomfortable meaning, beginning to need to inhale through mouth. I am not going to go any faster than that if I am doing interval training.
    Then you're not doing it hard enough.

    All of the interval training i've ever done has been with the specific intention of leaving you gasping for breath by the end, with a period of light aerobic activity afterwards where you can catch your breath.

    Here's a very good interval training program that's designed to work with any different number of activites.

    http://www.trainforstrength.com/Endurance1.shtml
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    I can see your point, but unless I were only doing it three or four times a week, I would not push myself to the point of mouth-breathing.

    The vedas tell us to exercise to 50% of our maximum capacity on a daily basis, which is the equivalent of exercising to 116% maximum capacity three times a week.

    Mouth-breathing is yoga is called shitali

    British toilet humour. Hee hee.

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