With all of the talk of fartleks (and, of course, fartlek jokes) in this month’s Fit Bottomed Challenge, I’ve had fartleks on the brain. I’ve always liked them — they’re such an easy way to do interval work. But as I’ve been finding my fitness jam post-baby, I’ve come to love them for another reason: they’re highly flexible.
Sleep-deprived and not sure how far or hard you want to run? Let your body set the pace. Baby gets fussy and you need to head home? Just fartlek on back to the house. Weather iffy? Fartlek on a street close by!
It’s kind of the perfect workout for me right now. I load up my jogging stroller with baby, strap Siena on my hands-free leash, grab my water bottle and head out to a stretch of street in my neighborhood (walking there is my warm-up) that’s smooth, tree-lined and quiet. From there, I simply pick a street sign or landmark to run to, run fast to it so that I’m totally out of breath, walk until I recover (can talk), and then repeat for as long as I feel like it (walking back home to cool down). Sometimes my fast-run stretches are long; sometimes they’re short. No matter what, I get a great workout that’s intuitive and totally fits in with my life.
Most of my fartlek workouts are about 40 minutes, but sometimes — like I said — I have to cut it short and sometimes I feel so great and the baby is snoozing so well that I just keep going. No matter how long I go, it’s just a great way to get your sweat on in the great outdoors. Try it!
Do you like really structured workouts, or do you prefer fartleks where you can kind of just let the workout take you where it wants to go? I honestly love both kinds of workouts. Just depends on my mood … and the mood of my little one if she’s with me! —Jenn