Fartlekking ~ A Few Months On

Hello again

I blogged about interval training back in April  (https://anniebeebuzz.com/2015/04/17/fartlekking-say-what/) and wanted to update you as to how I have got on in the intervening period. There is a bit of a buzz about this form of exercise, which is also known as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) ~ there is some useful info here: http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/hiit-workouts-for-beginners/ .

After being abroad for the best part of 6 weeks, where my exercise routine was a bit inconsistent but very delightful (Mount Coot-tha in Brisbane and Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas [QLD] were highlights), and then fighting off a nasty bout of cystitis, I am, as it were, back in the saddle.

Here in the ‘burbs, my favourite spot to do my 4 miles is an off-road, disused branch railway, that once linked several towns in Hertfordshire. Always busy with walkers, cyclists, joggers, kids, dogs and the very occasional horse, it is perfect for doing fartlekking (a jolly and funny Scandinavian name for interval training ~ the actual translation is “speed play”).

running outdoors

This week I have been going super fast due to having one of the Baby Bees along for the exercise. I feel like a middle-aged, slightly puffed-out and podgy greyhound which should have been put out to pasture, chasing a zippy hare. It has been delightful though and we make a good team (it strikes me if I have a heart attack she knows how to whistle and yell for help REALLY LOUDLY).

While I am on this route, I make it my business to say hello, smile and sometimes even wave to everyone I see. I have about a 90% return rate on an average outing.The British are well-known for being very buttoned-up, but in fact, are mostly happy to acknowledge me as I jog and power walk along and occasionally break into a sprint, trying all the while to look like I will not need a defibrillator.

While I was in Byron Bay (NSW) recently, I came across this brilliant fitness trail. I was quite puffed out enough just walking to the top of the hill to see the light house https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Byron_Light ) so I didn’t feel the need to have a go, but I was impressed that they were available for anyone to use at any time of the day.

fitness trail Byron Bay

Byron Bay fitness trail

Byron Bay fitness trail

Are they something the UK has managed to find money to introduce? I don’t know of any near where I live, but will have a go at finding out and posting a list. There certainly are companies in the UK selling the concept and the equipment. There is some general info on the subject here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_trail

So my exercising is going well. I am fairly fit, have no injuries currently, and love being outside while the weather is reasonable; long may it last. Who needs a gym membership?

outdoor gym

Annie Bee x

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Fartlekking: Say What?*!?

In a previous post I was saying how good walking is for you. No disputing that. Research backs it up, as does common sense.

However, this past week, in order to wake my metabolism up (to be honest I am not sure whether that is even a thing, but it sounds like it should be) I have been fartlekking. The main reason is I like the word, but it also gets the heart-rate up and is generally good for your fitness levels.

So what is it? Like a lot of good things, it is Swedish (as is the zipper, tetrapak, the artificial pacemaker, the smorgasbord and – wait for it – the adjustable wrench). Essentially it can be described as follows:

….. periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running. For some people, this could be a mix of jogging and sprinting, but for beginners it could be walking with jogging sections added in when possible.

For me, it is the latter. I count my paces and do 100 fast walking followed by 100 s-l-o-w jogging. I do about 4 miles. I try at all stages not to look like I might need resuscitating.

When in doubt about benefits or otherwise of health matters, I tend to turn to the NHS website. This is what they say about fartlekking.

What is interval training?

An interval training workout involves alternating periods of high-intensity effort with periods of low-intensity effort, which is called the recovery. For runners, this would typically involve interspersing bouts of fast running with slower running.

What happens to your body during the recovery phase?

The recovery phase is a really important part of interval training. The stop-and-start pattern trains your body to recover quickly between bursts of faster running, which, over time, will gradually increase your ability to run faster for longer.

What are the health benefits of interval training?

The long-term health benefits from interval training are similar to those achieved from most types of longer-duration, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, namely a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.

Can interval training help me lose weight?

During the high-intensity phase, your body burns mainly carbs for energy but during the recovery, your body burns mainly fat to produce the energy needed to help your body recover from the intense effort. This process can continue for hours after training, which can help you lose weight, as long as you’re also eating  healthily.

What research is there on interval training?

There is growing evidence to support that interval training might be as effective, if not more so, than longer, moderate-intensity aerobic workouts. Researchers at McMaster University in Canada found that three 20-minute sessions of interval training a week provided the same benefits as 10 hours of steady exercise over a two-week period.

knackered runner

Well in that case, I will stick with it.

Annie Bee x

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My previous post on walking is here: http://wp.me/p5MNeq-1P