If you do join us at the Harmon Field track on Tuesday 8/3/10 at 5:45am. After a short warm-up we will do a Fartlek workout. If you are not sure what it is you can Google the word and get tons of websites. At Runners World they have a simple definition:
Fartlek runs are a free-form version of speedwork done off the track. The term "fartlek" is a Swedish word that means "speed play." Runners use landmarks, like a tree, a mailbox, or a lightpost to pick up the pace from one landmark to another. In between designated landmarks, runners slow the pace to recover between the harder efforts. Some runners use a timed interval to simulate this technique. For example, run hard for 2 minutes, then easy for 1 minute. These runs are multi-purpose and help teach runners to shift gears by recruiting different muscle fibers and recovering after hard exertions.
You can make this workout and intense as you need it to be. If you are a new runner the intervals might just be alternating walking with short bursts of running. If you are experienced and have built a base mileage up you will want to go intense and really get your heart rate up.
The good thing about this workout is that you do not need any fancy equipment if you are just starting out. Simply increasing your intensity from point to point will do the trick to help you build your fitness.
If you are all about the numbers and want to track your heart rate bring your heart rate monitor and see how hard you can push yourself. You will want to alternate the levels of intensity from low (60-70% of max heart rate) to high (80-90% of your max heart rate).
If you do not know what your heart rate zones are then you have to do some homework. There are some basic formulas out there to use and some handy websites. You need to also know your resting heart rate - you need to take this first thing in the morning.
Here is a good website I found for finding Heart Rate Training Zones.
Disclaimer: Please consult with your physician before beginning or changing any exercise program or taking advice regarding your diet or exercise needs. Please keep in mind that the authors of this website are neither heath professionals nor registered dieticians. Any advice given is solely based on personal experience and research.