Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fartlek Friday Three Minute Drill

  This weeks Fartlek Friday is one of the few workouts I have not stolen very directly from someone else.  That is not to say I invented it.  As you will see it isn't very creative so I'm sure somebody did it before me.  Beyond that I did it as a very direct replacement for a Canova alternation workout.

  What it is.  The three minute drill is 3 mins "on" followed by 3mins at a quick or moderate pace.  Keeping the jog quick is the key to this workout.  It may mean that your 'on' reps are a bit slower but the aerobic benefits of it are more than worth it.  The idea is to average your marathon pace or just a bit slower.

  How long.  This is one of those great workouts to build in distance.  Start out as a 30min fartlek.  That is only 5 hard reps and really easy to talk yourself through. Then each time out you try to do a few more reps.  Building up to 1 hour to 90minutes.  After your first one at 30mins you will likely think there is no way on God's green earth you could ever do 90mins but this is a type of running most people don't do and you will be surprised how much you improve in the following few months.

  Also when you see that kind of improvement in an aerobic workout like this and you will see some huge improvement in your racing as well.

  Who is it for?  This really is an endurance workout.  It isn't to say that a high school student couldn't do a 15 to 30 minute version of a session like this but the people this one is best for is the athlete who is not seeing big improvements in aerobic endurance with just high milage any more and wants to greatly improve their 10k to marathon fitness.

  That is it.  Short, sweet and simple.  Much like the workout itself except that the workout isn't really that short!


Anonymous said...

Hi Nate,

Wanted to thank you for taking the time to post these extremely helpful marathon training tips! Was also wondering if you could help me with something: I've been getting ART for what seems to be an aggravated sciatic nerve (in my upper calf, just behind the knee; I usually feel a twinge in that area forcing me to slow down and shorten my stride). I'm wondering if you have any recommendations for treatment of this injury. I've been able to run about 5 miles a day the last few days, but only at a very slow pace and a consciously shortened stride. I've done calf raises and icing, as well as ART (as I mentioned), but is there anything else you can think of that would speed along my recovery from this very frustrating injury?


Jeff said...

I'm not a medical professional or anything close to it. Just a disclaimer. If it is nerve I'm not sure how helpful art is going to be but if it seems to helping a little but not enough I would suggest graston which works on a similar theory but I have personally found it much more effective.
If it is sciatic related I would suggest nerve floss exercises, , looks silly as shit but if it is sciatica that will hurt and you'll feel it right away. DO NOT PUT YOUR FOOT UP AND YOUR HEAD DOWN AT THE SAME TIME. It is like crossing the streams in ghost busters. A very bad idea.
hope that helps,

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nate. Interestingly, it didn't hurt to try the nerve floss exercise. I'm guessing, then, that it must be a calf strain. If it is, any recommendations on how to treat it? Thanks!