FLRC workouts for the week of July 27th

We’ve had three weeks of harder workouts, so this will be a pullback week.

Middle Distance Workouts (5K to 15K)

Along with these workouts being on the easy side, I’m hoping they’re also fun.

  • Workout 1: We’re going to try some traditional Swedish fartlek—speedplay—for this one. Pick a route you really like—could be trails, roads, whatever. For each repetition, look ahead of you to a telephone pole or mailbox or tree or just something you can fixate on that will take at least 30 seconds to get to. Then pick up the pace and run hard to that spot—no specific pace but it should feel fast enough that it’s exhilirating. The goal here is to enjoy running fast for some indeterminate but easily doable distance. Then come back to a steady-state pace—slower than M pace, but not just jogging. Run that pace for 30–60 seconds, or until your breathing has stabilized and you feel ready for the next pickup. Repeat for 30 minutes, or until the pickups don’t feel fun anymore (no more than 45 minutes).

  • Workout 2: 6-5-4-3-2-1 minutes, with the first two reps at T pace, the next two at I pace, and the last two at R pace. 2 minutes jogging rest between each fast rep.

  • Long Run: 25-30% of your weekly mileage at E pace

Long Distance Workouts (Half Marathon to Marathon)

If we were running in a group this week, everyone would be doing fartlek this week.

  • Workout 1: Read Workout 1 for the middle-distance crowd above and do that, but try to hit 45 minutes.

  • Long Run: 25-30% of your weekly mileage at E pace


Adam, that ladder is interesting. I learned from Joe Daley to do the ladder down and then up, with equal-time rest to the interval just done in both directions. 6 is a bit long, so a one hour ladder is 5-4-3-2-1-1-2-3-4-5. The trick according to Joe is that the ladder up you have less rest (1 min less each time) so you learn to run with less rest. Back when I could compete I did this ladder once every two weeks or so and it was a really good workout, especially for late in races.

Interesting! Most of the ladders I’ve done have been up and then down, but @joe-daley’s approach of doing it down and then up would be a great workout as well. (Joe, click the View Topic button in your email notification to see the full conversation on the FLRC forum on the Web.)

Going up and then down has the advantage of making it easy to get started, and easier at the end, while still encouraging fast turnover when tired at the end.

But what I like about going down and then up is that you wouldn’t start too fast (which is always a problem when going up) and there’s some serious grit involved late in the workout with the longer reps. Plus, reducing the rest in the second half would make it particularly tough. I’ll put that into the workout rotation soon!

Just going down is more of a progression run, but since the goal of this week’s workouts was to keep them fun and easy, I figured we didn’t need to go up as well.

I think it’s a mistake to go up and then down. You are not warm enough for the really fast reps at the beginning. At least I was not. The longer reps get you into it, by the time the 1 min reps come you are ready to let it out w/o fear of injury.

With any speed-focused workout, it’s important to be properly warmed up first, for sure. What I like about starting short is that the early reps help you get your heart rate up so you’re really ready for the longer reps. But what’s important is that you listen to your body and not overdo it on either end.

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This was a nice fun workout to ease back into running faster. Also, I discovered that dogs were built for trail fartlek: run, stop to smell things, chase a chipmunk, stop to pee on things, catch up to the human, repeat… (:
Thanks @adamengst!

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I had an early blood donation today do I had to run before I saw this was posted. Tried to anticipate Adam but didn’t see this workout coming - did a longer HM pace based workout instead. Look forward to trying down-up ladde in future. And agree with @gplwoo. Dogs naturally do Fartlek - every “walk”

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Clearly we need German Shepherd t-shirts emblazoned with “Run like Sam.” Now if only we can figure out how to chase after a dog for the workout itself. :slight_smile:


The dog analogies are cracking me up. Thank you for the laughs.

Followup: normally my first run after a blood donation is an easy jog - like a loop of the old 5&10 course. But it was a beautiful morning for running, and I was feeling good, so I decided to start running the fartlek workout with the max recovery (i.e, :30 fast, :60 moderate) as a nod to prior week activity. Did a pretty good job for 25+ minutes at figuring out landmarks for start/stop; I was focused more on not slowing down too much on the “moderate” legs, trying to keep the pace for those between M and M+40. Had just begun struggling to keep on interval when right calf cramped HARD, bringing an abrupt end to workout. But have to admit, thoroughly enjoyed the run before that. Trees and signs and lightpoles and street crossings make good landmarks; lowlying stones and the like aren’t so good, particularly when one such stone starts bounding off (it was a rabbit; my contacts aren’t all that great with details…)

On a separate note, seriously considering signing up for the virtual NYC marathon, using 2 loops of the Skunk Cabbage 1/2 as the course. Motivation: 1990 NYC was 2nd marathon I ever did; it was on my 30th birthday…so what better way in 2020 than to run it on my 60th?

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Glad to hear it, Bob. I’m thinking that I’ll be working some more fartlek into the workouts because it’s a nice counterpoint to the highly structured sessions. And it can be seriously hard if you’re game for it.

Hope the calf is OK.

@bobtalda Wow, 60! You are creeping up there but I stay ahead of you. Anway, I think Skunk would be somewhat comparable to NYC in terms of total hills (the two bridges in NYC are pretty long climbs, and there is Central Park). Is the turnaround dot on Stevenson still marked? I biked there yesterday and I think it has been resurfaced. But you may know it from the landmarks along the road.

No, the Skunk 10K turnaround dot was resurfaced over, along with all the other mile markers out on Stevenson. I remember it being right about at the end of the horse pasture fence on the right, though.

Still, if @bobtalda is going to do a virtual marathon, he’d need to run the Skunk half marathon course, so the 10K turnaround shouldn’t matter.

Ah yes, I was confused, I was remembering my glory days in the Boston Alternative Marathon where we did that turn around as part of the course, and ran back to Dodge and then up. Since Skunk it is not used for the 1/2M. At this age my memories all run together…

At least your memories are still running! :slight_smile: