It’s silly, I know, this childish giggling at the word “fartlek” but – hey – indulge me.
Hello & welcome to what is probably going to be a breathless account of an amazing morning of training & drilling & fartlek-ing around this morning.
We were a large group this morning – our ASICS tribe keeps on increasing 🙂 – and the weather was brilliant. Not too hot or humid, with a breeze that promised rain. It didn’t actually rain, but there were nice fat grey clouds scudding across the sky, and oh, that lovely breeze…
We stretched, we did our warm up jog, we drilled. This is how all our sessions start.
(Yes, we’re all surrendering, below, hands in the air 😛 )
Then came an amazing fartlek session.
Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play” we are told and…but, hey, why am I doing Wkipedia’s job for it?
Here you go:
We were divvied up by Coach into 3 groups, and ran – in our case – 17 fartlek loops.
Fast sprint across the training area, uber-slow jog back, fast sprint, slow jog, in an endless loop, with minimal water breaks and Coach encouraging us non-stop.
I pottered around on the internet and came up with a little more info about this training for you:
“Fartlek is a form of interval or speed training that can be effective in improving your speed and endurance. Fartlek running involves varying your pace throughout your run, alternating between fast segments and slow jogs.”
And before you ask “What is the difference between fartlek and interval training?” – here you go:
“Unlike tempo and interval work, fartlek is unstructured and alternates moderate-to-hard efforts with easy throughout. After a warmup, you play with speed by running at faster efforts for short periods of time (to that tree, to the sign) followed by easy-effort running to recover.”
That latter statement about recovery is important because I know that I, for one, was corrected by Coach several times for jogging too quickly during the recovery sections. The idea really is to recover, slowly.
Don’t want to tempt providence, but I think we’re definitely making progress as a group. Every session, I see people getting fitter and faster, and – above all – there is a great sense of camaraderie and happiness, however tough the workouts:
Perhaps it was the relatively, sort-of-cool-ish weather that made us all super happy this morning, like Vidya (below)
and as for these fellas – I have NO idea what they were doing, except larking around 😛
We ended a pretty exhausting workout with a fab yoga session led by our very own Jasmeet:
Now – and here comes the next chapter in what was a fun morning…
Right, here are 3 of my mates doing yoga…but (with the benefit of hindsight) they do rather look as though they have some mischief planned, don’t they?…
…and here we have Mahendra sloping off from the yoga session…
And where did these guys go?
They went to try out running with a parachute.
I kid you not.
Some young men were training in the park, and next thing we know, these three fast sprinters from our own group, Abhay, Mahendra & Bhuvan were having a go, too.
I badgered Abhay into writing about the experience, so let me hand over to him right away:
“Lovely weather and beautiful ground made our gruesome Fartlek session very much enjoyable today.
As we were doing our Yoga session with Jasmeet, I saw a runner running fast with a parachute tied at his back.
I showed interest in trying it out and Bhuwan bhai went to the runners and arranged for a run (huge thanks to Bhuwan for that), Coach Vijay Shukla sir enlightened about this running, it’s basically for sprinters who have to run with a blast, so as you gain speed the parachute inflates and gives resistance to your speed, forcing you to run harder to gain speed, improving your speed and stamina, and mind you it’s very exhausting, 2 sprints were quite enough to tire you! But it’s very effective!! Totally want this to be added to our sessions!!”
Now HOW fun does that look?
Thanks so much Abhay & I definitely want to have a go at this sometime.
I asked Coach for some more info and he said it is used for sprint training, and is part of plyometrics training.
Plyometrics is…sighs as she quickly Googles yet another running term.
(I tell ya’ running = lots of learning 😛 )
Here you go:
Plyometrics, also known as “jump training” or “plyos”, are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength). This training focuses on learning to move from a muscle extension to a contraction in a rapid or “explosive” manner, such as in specialized repeated jumping. Plyometrics are primarily used by athletes, especially martial artists, sprinters and high jumpers, to improve performance, and are used in the fitness field to a much lesser degree.
Whew! What a session!
And the excitement wasn’t over! Look who came a’callin – our very own Balbir, who was biking this morning, but zoomed over to say hello and collect his wife 🙂
No end to our collective talents!
We ended, after a blissful barefoot run on the grass, with our “traditional” group photo.
Just waiting for the time we have a parachute here, as well as our team banner!