FRUSTRATION and a Fartlek


2m easy + (6 x 800’s @ 6:30 w/ .25 rest) + 1.5easy= 8 miles on trail

800’s= 6:45, 6:34

Yaaaaa… this was NOT my day. Read on for the deets.


I don’t even know where to begin. I woke up this morning in a funk. The weather was nice, 65 degrees with 75 % humidity. Sadly, this was probably my last chance to get in a quality speed session in decent weather until the fall. I was going to re-attempt my workout from Sunday. Todd and I had talked about my pace and since I haven’t done any shorter interval/repeat distances (i.e. FAST paces) in 5 months we decided I should change my interval pace (6:15) to 6:30, even if the weather was nice. While I love longer distance speed workouts like tempos and pace runs, I struggle to excel at the the faster, short distance workouts.

 I wanted to be excited about my workout, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I started my run feeling OK, nothing sore or aching. About 1.5m into my warm up I felt like I had to go #2… no bueno. The feeling subsided so I carried on as planned, starting my intervals at 2 miles. My legs would not pick up the pace. I couldn’t increase my turn over! Where did this come from? I looked at my Garmin after .25m and I was at 6:40… What? I wasn’t breathing hard, so I knew that wasn’t the problem, my legs just would not move. They felt like dead weight. I finished with 6:45. Fine. I chalked it up to being worried I’d go out too fast. I tackled the second interval and only hit 6:34. Was this a joke? Hello legs… WAKE UP! I knew I was already mentally checked out of this run and decided to switch it to a Fartlek workout.

Fartlek is the Swedish word for “speed play.” It is more of an unstructured speed work out that has moderate to hard paces with easy/recovery paces mixed in. I like to think of it as running like when you were a kid… to catch the ice cream truck, playing tag, chasing the dog… so I ran to catch the walking couple ahead, or to the next picnic bench or to the end of the shaded area. I didn’t monitor my pace at all, I just ran fast. In the end, I was content with my run. I could have totally quit and called it a day after the second fail of my planned speed work, but I didn’t. I’m proud of myself for that. Looks like I need to re-evaluate my pacing and start more from scratch. Ugh. It’s hard looking back at what I used to be able to do and not being able to do half of it now. I WILL get my speed back and I WILL meet my dreams to qualify for the Olympic Trials. Kara Goucher posted this little gem on FB today and it came at the perfect time…

“Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to dream big. You’re living your life with hope, that’s a powerful thing.”

And then my girl Erica posted this: #heatherwinchellolympicboss and it made my day. Thanks Lady! I spent the rest of the day wearing these babies


Don’t forget about this month’s SOM (sock of the month) deal… Grab yourself a pair with 40% off and Free shipping with code SOM5! I love the new yellow color! And the calf sleeves are perfect for this time of year when sandals are the go to “shoe!”


Have you ever tried a Fartlek workout?

What’s the weather like your neck of the woods?

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  1. Pingback: Take 3! | Heather Runs Fast

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