Get On The Track Or Even A Treadmill
The track may not seem like the most logical place to head during a late-summer slump kick-start, but it is definitely the place to go for affirmation. Running on the track requires less thought, consulting and eliminates a lot of guesswork in regard to pace. But the fast surface and continual flow of running around the oval can also put a spring in your step, allowing you to run at any pace with seemingly less effort. Hudson, based in Boulder, Colo., assigns fartlek workouts on the track to his runners during the late summer.
“I think these are great, because it doesn’t challenge them too much from a mental perspective,” he says. “The body also naturally holds back in a fartlek. It’s not going to naturally overdo it.”
Hudson’s main goal with these workouts is to stay within a relative comfort zone so you aren’t pushing your body into a realm where it can get injured. “Like anything else, you have to go by feel and not care about the watch,” he says. Specifically, Hudson calls these workouts “variations.”
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The time period to complete them is 3 minutes. He lines his runners up on the track and has them do 15 to 20 surges for anywhere from 30-60 seconds each. He then subtracts the time spent surging from 3 minutes to calculate the rest period, so, for example, if you are running fast for 60 seconds, you will get 2 minutes of recovery before the next surge. Besides the fact that the workout isn’t long in nature, Hudson says that it’s also fun to complete. “You get a little stimulus change by doing these things,” he contends. “You’re not out on the roads doing something long.” And if hitting the track isn’t an option or isn’t desirable, you can also do these variations in the middle of an easy run. “It won’t take much out of you to do them,” Hudson says of his variation workout.
Another option Hudson gives his runners in the late summer is running on the treadmill. He says doing so helps break up the monotony of training. “Getting somewhere cool and out of the sun definitely helps them,” he says.