You gotta get stronger before you can go longer. Guess what makes you stronger? Fartleks. No, it’s not a dirty word. Yes, it does make everyone giggle when someone says it.
But, seriously, it gets the job done.
…and you should too!
Running fast for short periods of time at your maximum speed will make you stronger. It will make your body work more efficiently to get oxygen to your muscles. It will help make those longer runs easier.
It doesn’t have to be all structured or anything. You don’t need a fancy Garmin to track your distance and pace, any distance at your max pace will do.
In the winter, I do a lot of these types of workouts on the treadmill because I’m the girl that slips and falls all the freaking time. Add ice to the mix and I’m a gonner for sure.
So, yeah, get a long run in once a week and an easy one, too. But make the majority of your first two months of running shorter bursts. Increase the distance and time of the bursts, add a few more in every other week, and do some on hills. These drills will make you a stronger runner faster than just plodding through mile after mile day after day.
Oh my god, does that sound boring. Running is fun, I swear!
Happy runner, even in the beastly heat of a NYC Summer. It’s weird how I long for those days.
And if you haven’t experience that “runner’s high” yet, don’t worry. I’ve been “back” to running for about three weeks now and I haven’t had one run that was easy and felt good, either. It takes time.
Now go out and run/fartlek!