I know. You read the title and chuckled. Everyone does. It’s the Swedish word fartlek. Not fart lick, even though they sound the same. Fartlek means “speed play.” In the running world, any time you mix hard/fast running with a rest period it is considered a fartlek. What makes it different from speed training is that a fartlek is not as structured. I mean, doing speed training on the track might be something like 4 sets of 1 mile with 400m recovery.
A fartlek would be more like running a 7 mile loop, then running for 1 minute at a pace faster than race pace. Next, run for a 1 minute recovery. Or, you could run really hard from one power/telephone pole to the next, then recover. You do that for 5 miles, then run a cool down mile and call the day “good.”
I have found fartleks good in developing both speed and endurance while being a somewhat pleasant experience. Meaning one isn’t just running circles around a track for miles. Fartleks can be a fun way groups can speed train together. For example you have 10 runners running in line and at every minute the runner in the back sprints up to the front and takes the lead. This type of fartlek would be repeated for miles and miles.Not only a great way to build speed and endurance, but a great way to make and develop friendships. My running friends all love me for the crazy ways I come up to train.
This week we are going to look at jogging; what it is and what it is not. The story goes that famed running coach from New Zealand, Arthur Lydiard, made popular the term “jogging”. What Lydiard was doing was promoting a slower than normal running pace that also allowed for socializing. Instead of running mile repeats or intervals, Lydiard encouraged runners to head out onto the roads and run slower. Take it easy. Enjoy the sights. Discuss things. Solve the world problems or debate why liquid soap was invented. Jogging provided these types of experiences; cause discussing the latest Bruce Willis movie during mile repeats is not going to happen.Trust me on that.
US running coach Bill Bowerman brought Lydiard’s thinking to the US in 1966 by publishing the book “Jogging”. I own a copy of said book.
I hate to say it but some faster runners didn’t like the hordes of new and slower runners who were coming on the scene back in the 1970′s. Jamming up the lanes on the track forcing faster runners to the outside. Getting attention cause how they looked, which was more relaxed with nice hairdos. These slower newbies were calling themselves “runners”. Many faster runners, when running slower, were talking smack about all the new joggers on the scene. Newbies were more interested in weight loss/control and health benefits that running can produce than how fast they ran that last mile in. They couldn’t really care less if they were on the path for Olympic gold or not. They met as groups and ran around parks, neighborhoods and city streets. They began to popularize running as a social outlet. Joggers also showed that running could be really fun. Oh my.
Unfortunately the “running” group look down at the “jogging” group as a lesser group. Some runners would cringe if they were ever called a jogger and would quickly correct the term. I have had people introduce themselves to me and then say something like “I’m just a jogger. Not a runner like you.” As though their activity needed validation.
Does it really matter if a person is a runner or a jogger? Do we really need to have a “better than thou” stand for an act that comes to us from our genetic code? I don’t think so.I think we are all runners and joggers. They are one in the same.
I have had this idea for awhile to have a running term of the week. My friend and running buddy, Stan The Wine Man, has a wine term of the day, that he posts on www.blucid.com. By reading his definitions you can really develop an understanding of wine. One thing I do know is that Stan The Wine Man knows his wine.
I know running. Been running for, well, let’s say a while. I have ran on both road and trails, plus many loops around the track. I have also ran every race distance up to 50 miles. I coached others as well. My life’s passion is running. Pure and simple.
In honor of my love and knowledge I bring to you “Running Term of the Week”. Ta-da!
This week our term will be “Running”.
My definition of running is pretty simple – its the motion produced by the rapid movement of the feet. Not to be confused with the Fox Trot or the East Coast Swing, where rapid feet movement is a requirement. In order to really run one does need feet. Most mammals and lizards qualify. Slugs do not. Birds and frogs may hop. Snakes, well they slither.
Rapid movement of one’s feet is purely speculative and personal. Some people, like my old, dear friend Steve. Steve considered himself a runner even though he was slow, by his own omission, as sin. He, in my mind, was more of a plodder. After running with Steve a few times I realized that speed had no bearing on the question if someone is really a runner or not. Like I said it’s personal. Steve considered himself a runner. I was always honored to run with him. Slow speeds and all. Steve is now dead. Lost the battle with prostate cancer.Long may you run, Steve. Long may you run.
It’s like the old saying “as you think you shall become” or as the Bible says, “ For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If you (man or woman) think you are a runner and are spending time every day running, then you are a runner. No mater how fast or how slow. One foot in front of the of the other in rapid motion is running. Pure and simple.
People tell me that they could never be a runner. I tell them if they had something very big chasing them they would become a runner pretty quick. They agree. Granted, they would still be lunch or dinner depending on the time of day they were being chased. They would at least be giving running the good ole college try. For a block or two.
Next week we will explore the difference between running and jogging.
Brooks Partners with MapMyFitness to Inspire, Educate and Connect Runners
Seattle – July 16, 2013 – For many, running is about more than just numbers or routes. It’s also about community and connection. Today, Brooks Running Company gives those runners a virtual gathering place: The Run Happy Group, where runners nationwide can find inspiration, education and connection. The digital community lives on MapMyFitness properties, including MapMyRun and MapMyFitness.
The Run Happy Group comes out of a one-of-a-kind partnership between leading running brand Brooks Running Company and innovative social fitness company MapMyFitness and their MapMyRun app. The Run Happy Group is the first fully integrated program between a major consumer sportswear company and MapMyFitness.
Exclusive to the partnership is a “Rate My Run” Brooks-sponsored feature that allows everyone who logs a run through MapMyFitness properties to share (and rate) their experience with options like Crushed Goals, Kicked Butt and Finished with a Smile. The rating system encourages runners to express their fitness progress through multiple social channels, building up the community that the Run Happy group promotes.
“Runners tell us that, after health and fitness, the No. 1 reason they run – and the most common reason they continue to run – is for fun and enjoyment,” said Heather Snavely, Senior Director, Global Brand. “We created the Run Happy Group to give runners a place to share those fun experiences and to be a source of inspiration for each other. As the leading online community of runners, MapMyFitness was the perfect partner to bring this community to life.”
MapMyRun’s current features allow users to easily track, analyze and share running routes, distance, time, pace, calories burned and much more. Brooks’ Run Happy Group adds exclusive new features designed just for runners to the desktop experience. These features include expertise on running and racing, inspirational and motivational content from Brooks and partners, a Run Happy Instagram feed and the ability to “Rate My Run.”
Local groups are another integral part of the Run Happy Group. After joining the nationwide group, runners can sync up with a local group managed by an in-town specialty running store where they’ll discover new routes in their neighborhood, details on local events and runs, store discounts and more. Launching with more than 300 retailers across the country, local groups allow members to run with more than just their phones, they allow them to find and run with friends.
MapMyRun is available for iOS, Android and Blackberry users. Runners can join the Run Happy Group by following the “Rate My Run” prompts after completing a run on the app or by visitingwww.mapmyrun.com/runhappy.
Follow this link for the latest on Hardrock 2013.
It has been close to a month since I finished my 166 mile segment for MS Run the US Relay. I have spent the past few weeks thinking and reflecting on my experience. I wanted to be really clear with myself before I wrote this summary. To say the least this experience was nothing but awesome.
My last day running for the Relay was a somber day. Rain fell the night before. The west wind was blowing in a storm towards the mountains I was running to. Unlike the six prior days, this day would not be chilly in the morning and hot as the sun rose, but just plain cold. I was to run 26.2, a full marathon. I was totally ready to go. After six days of averaging over 25 miles, another 26.2 miles would be nothing. By the time I finished the distance, due to logistics of finish line preparations, I ended up running 24.2 miles. I was a tad disappointed with the shortness, but seeing my sister Merit at the finish line made-up for any disappointment. Merit drove over from Cheyenne, Wyoming and brought Bill Sinack, the runner who would replace me, with her from Denver. Bill would go on to run 200 miles in 9 days. Bill did a great job. Also at the finish line was Ashley, Relay director and Lucas, our local running host. Thank you all.
As I mentioned my day was somber. I really didn’t want to stop. I would have kept running all the way to New York if I could. The cold storm clouds blowing in added to the sadness I was feeling. Good bye sunshine. Leaving the Relay was a total bummer for me. I was having so much fun – much like a summer camp for crazy adult runners. I missed Shelly. I missed Ammon and his family. I missed my friends. I missed so many aspects of my life, but found such a quiet that my soul really started craving more quiet. My sister, Carla, asked me what I like most about running for 7 days. I needed to think for a moment and then I replied “the quiet of the open road”. Just being on the road, running. Putting one foot in front of the other. That’s all I had to do. My mind thought about so many things and then the quiet seeped in. I began to think of nothing. This was such a cool experience, an experience that I have found to be most hard in explaining. I think this is what meditation is design to do, quiet the mind. I experienced an intense feeling of mental peace. This was what running this long road gave me – a sense of peace.
As I reflect back on my week of running for the Relay I have a huge sense of gratitude. No just for running. For Shelly who re-designed how we ate so I would have the daily energy to run as many training miles as I did, which allowed me to kick some butt. From the very beginning of this project, Shelly’s support was strong and much needed. Thank you Shelly. I have also have much gratitude for Ashley Kumlein, Relay Director and Aaron for their “handling” of me on the road. Their good cheer and dedication to my success help make this experience most special. Thank you Ashley and Mr. Aaron. You made me feel like a Rock Star.
There are sixteen of us running in this Relay from Los Angeles to New York City. These are amazing people who have gone to the road to log their miles for the cause of understanding and finding a cure for MS. I respect all of them. I am grateful for their dedication, not just to running the Relay, but finding a cure. All of their kind words and helpful tips were appreciated.
Finally, I appreciate all of those friends and family who gave to this cause of finding a cure for MS. I appreciate the trust that they had in me to go and run. Thank you for your support.
So many people have been asking me “what’s next.” Don’t really know. I do know that I am getting out the door and logging my miles; partly to keep my fitness up and partly to find that peace.