I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but my father-in-law is a serious runner. Marathoner, at that. To tell you how good he is, just last month he placed first in his age group in a marathon in Idaho with a time of 3:56:12. Not bad for a 60 something guy!
So, I have a very accessible coach and have started involving him in my workout plans as well as soliciting his advice. His latest email suggested that I might want to try out some fartleks. (That is not to be confused with fartlets, which as we all know are little farts.)
Right now, my only flexible day is Saturday as far as varying my run, and I'd really like to see how much faster I can run my one mile. On the other hand, I know that eventually, I'll have to try to run two and then three miles at somewhat of a race pace and that a one mile time isn't that relevant to my current goal.
It's funny: I usually am self motivated and don't need to see incremental successes to keep on task, but in this case, I'm a bit obsessive about seeing my one mile time drop even though I'm not doing anything special to do so and have no real reason to do so.
My time would be better spent doing the fartleks (30 seconds all out running, walking until recovered, and repeating for 5 or 6 times) or just working on my endurance with a longer run.
But we all know that I don't do what's best for me or even logical, so, I do believe that on my Saturday run I will:
Walk down to my mile loop.
Run my mile as fast as I can.
Continue into a second mile, walking until I've recovered from the first mile.
Do my fartleks for the rest of the second mile.
Walk back home from the loop.
I'll make sure to let you all know if I survive...