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Fartlek – Speed Play – Changing Mindset

A man running

What you think is what you become. The way that you think about your effort is what really counts. If you can accept that you can always change and improve your ability, you have what is deemed a growth mindset as opposed to fixed. As an athlete periodically training by yourself to make significant improvement in your ability is an important consideration in improving excellence. 

Dr. David C Neiman, former Vice President of the American College of Sports Medicine defines cardiorespiratory fitness as “ the ability to continue or persist in strenuous tasks involving large muscle groups for an extended period of time.” The athletic goal in attaining aerobic fitness is for the circulatory and respiratory system to be able to adjust and recover from vigorous activity.

When football athletes are involved in conditioning drills, they are involved in high intensity intervals. Even though the entire training period may be sprints and agility drills overtime their Vo2 max will change. 

Fartlek is a Swedish term for what is deemed “speed play” a mixture of hard, moderate and lite running bouts. It has similarities to interval training, yet the intervals are not rigid and are left up to the athlete and how they feel while exercising. Fartlek training has been shown to improve aerobic fitness, as well as speed and power.

There are periods when athletes train on their own in varied environments. Having time away from an organized program should be looked at as a positive by the coach and athlete. It is also a chance to isolate and work on mindset. Choosing Fartlek training is a great way to maintain and improve fitness, push and motivate oneself and be introspective about effort, 

Examples of ‘Speed Play’:

Run 1.5 miles – sprint across every street you come to

Run 1.5 miles – run 3/4 speed every other block 

Run 1.5 miles – half mile warm up – Sprint from one telephone pole to the next. Then jog.  At the next pole 3/4 speed, then jog.  Continue for 1 mile.

1/2 mile warm-up, run feeling extremely uncomfortable for 5 minutes.  Jog 5 minutes.  Run uncomfortable for 5 minutes, then Jog 5 minutes

Run 2 1/2 miles. Whenever you feel like it sprint 5-10 steps, then resume  a normal pace. Do this the entire distance.

Run 2 1/2 miles.  During this time run 3/4 speed for as long as possible 4 times and sprint as long as possible 6 times.

Run 2 1/2 miles constantly changing speeds

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