Multisport Magazine October 2018 | Page 31

RUN STAPLE BY ST E V E JAC KS O N SET 2 x 90sec 4 x 60sec 4 x 30sec 4 x 15sec With equal recovery Equals 20 minutes T here's no point re-inventing the wheel and when it comes to running, as it’s one of the simplest of sports, but there's a few staples. Drop into most run clubs and the Sunday long run is almost a given, and there's another session that has become a bit of a staple, not just in Australia but universally; “Mona Fartlek”. It's a run set you can use at any time of the year or throughout the year, as part of training for a range of distances, good for triathletes, runners and multisporters alike. It's bite size too, so you can include it in a longer session or squeeze it in with a short warm-up and cool down on your lunch break. Steve Moneghetti, one of Australia's finest runners, was on the phone to his coach, Chris Wardlaw, who directed Moneghetti (Mona) to complete 15-20 minutes of fartlek for his training. Moneghetti who, by his own admission, is 'particular', probed for more specific time frames. Ironic, given the very term 'fartlek' is Swedish for 'speed play' and is not, by its nature, meant to be defined. Wardlaw, when pressed suggested that he should do 20 minutes, and off the top of his head, rattled off the suggestion of two 90-second efforts, four 60-second efforts and four 30-second efforts, all with equal recovery. Moneghetti, who has a civil engineering degree and is good with numbers, quickly noted that this only totalled 18 minutes and asked if a further four 15-second efforts would be ok to make up the 20 minutes. Wardlaw, exasperated by this stage, was happy enough and in doing so, this off-the-cuff session came to existence and its journey to fame began! If you're half as particular as Moneghetti himself, you're already spinning the question in your head; "what pace?" One given is that there should be distinct changes in pace. A bystander or coach should be able to see when you move from an interval into recovery and so learning to 'pace' this session will be a skill you develop with repetition. The pace/intensity of both efforts and recoveries may alter throughout the year based on the purpose of your particular session. It can be a great little taper session 10 days out from race day or can be a good speed maintenance session in a heavy training block. But to answer the question; the pace of the recovery should ideally be a 'float'; a pace that is slower than your effort, but still much faster than what you could term a recovery jog. A be wilder · play wilder · perform wilder good, solid float would be run at close to your half marathon or marathon pace. This may alter if you're just starting out, your efforts may simply be jog and recovery may be a walk. And often a measure of your fitness won't be the speed or distance covered in efforts, but in your recoveries. As for the pace of the efforts, if you're chasing a high intensity effort, the pace of the efforts could be as quick as your 1500m pace (if you're like myself, it will likely to have been a while since you did one of these, so you can use a pace predictor to work out a pace or if you're experienced enough, can run these on feel) or if doing it as a recovery or maintenance session, then the efforts could be around your 10km pace. It goes without saying that you should adjust these paces if recovering from injury or as alluded to above, if you're just starting out in running or multisport pursuits. Moneghetti himself moved between mid-2.30 per km pace for efforts and closer to 3min k's for his recoveries and hovered around the 7km mark in the 20 minute block at his best. And whilst that may be beyond you (although if you're reading this Eliud Kipchoge or Vincent Luis, take that as a challenge) it's a great set to measure objectively throughout your year. It is intended that you run these sets at a good pace with minimal recovery. For those at the pointy end of races, it can help you deal with or hopefully, initiate surge. For all levels of runners, it will also steel you for the extra demand of hills mid-race. For those who prefer the longer stuff, it's a great quality session for your training and can also be a great break from the monotony of heavy mileage. Triathletes and multisporters have even been known to throw it in as part of a brick session. I encourage people to do this session in the same location so that the outcome is measurable. The terrain and surface can be moulded around your pursuits; road runners and triathletes may prefer to do it on the hard stuff whilst the trail and adventure racers may chose to find a great trail although personally, I love a good golf course (with permission of course...or run really early)! Left to the sport scientists and coaches, there's a raft of sessions that can be picked apart for missing their intended outcome and point to its deficiencies and Mona Fartlek has fallen prey to criticism for its brevity. Clearly they never ran it hard! At the end of the day, if it challenges you and excites you then that's enough for me, and if I recall, that Moneghetti bloke ran ok too.... RETAIL · TOURS   PODCAST · ONLINE STORE MULTISPORT MAGAZINE | 31