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This is Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

Today’s workout is a fartlek workout or speed play from the Swedish word.

This coach, Gosta Holmer, who competed in the decathlon and heptathlon in the 1912 Olympics and the decathlon in the 1920 Olympics (also 110 hurdles in 1920) was coaching the Swedish cross country team in the 1930s. They sucked. In attempting to motivate them, Coach Holmer came up with a training program of creative intervals, done on the wood-chipped trails in Swedish forests. The workouts could be as complicated or as simple as needed. There was a workout called Holmer fartlek where one goes out at a good pace for say, 30-35 minutes, then turns around and runs hard on the way back. Another workout was a series of hard efforts at a 3k pace with a jogging pace in between. This writer learned about Fartlek in 1972, as my coach gave us some workouts where we would sneak out on a golf course and charge up the greens, 15-18 times. A fun workout!

Your workout today: warm up slowly, 50 minutes, 5 times five minutes at 5k race pace, 5 minutes recovery, cooldown slowly.

  • Larry Eder has had a 50-year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher, and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America’s first sub-4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Athletics to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts, and RunBlogRun. Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says: “I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running itself.”

    Theme song: Greg Allman, ” I’m no Angel.”

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