This is Thursday, March 14, 2024.

This is Fartlek Day.

Gosta Holmer, an Olympian from Sweden who competed against Jim Thorpe, invented this interval program for running on trails and in parks.

Mr. Holmer developed it for the Swedish cross-country team in the 1930s, which did poorly in European competitions, and Gosta wanted to motivate them.

He did!

This is your workout:

Warm up today,

60 minute fartlek,

Six five minutes hard, five minutes easy, or

10 x 3 minutes hard, 3 minutes easy,

fifteen minutes of moderate to slow running after that.

Cooldown,

hydrate

get out of your wet clothes,

recover;

 

Larry’s Deep Thoughts: Fartlek is for the newbie runner and elite. It provides challenging work at whatever your level. 

Bill Rodgers is one of the most essential distance runners in American sports history. A good high school and college runner, Bill Rodgers spent a few years drinking and smoking and running ten miles on an 11-lap to-a-mile track. He gave up smoking and started to build up his mileage.

Soon, he joined a small group of runners, Greater Boston Track Club, as he was without a job, started training in earnest. Rodgers had talent, and under the eccentric and excellent coach, Bill Squires, Bill began to develop with his group of training partners.

Rodgers dropped out of his first Boston Marathon. He then completed one in 2:19. The miles 120-140 miles a week, and long interval days, 6 -7 x a mile, 4-6 times 1 and 1/2 miles, honed his endurance and speed. Bill once talked about FCR, fast distance runners who are 4-8 miles long and push the pace on. In 1975, Bill Rodgers took third in the IAAF World Cross Country, won by Ian Stewart. A few weeks later, Bill ran his perfect marathon, a new AR in 2:09.55 at Boston, winning the race ! The best runners in the world were there, and Bill Rodgers took the most iconic marathon.

In his career, Bill made the Olympic team in 1976, won NyC four times, and Boston four times.

The best race that Bill ever ran? Well, I believe that it was his hour run.

Bill ran 7 x 1 mile the week before the hour run in 4:40-4:45.

Rodgers would go on in that magical evening to break the American Record for 1 hour (12 miles, 1,351 yards) and also set American records for 15K (43:39.8), 10 miles (46:35.8), and 20K, passing Thomas over the last 100 yards to clock 58:15.0!

I have been told about a video somewhere. Bill Rodgers was zipping along at a 4:42-mile pace and talking to his training partners. Many who witnessed this saw it as Bill Rodgers’ most magnificent race.

Bill Rodgers is one of the nicest people I have ever met. Bill Rodgers loves the sport and is always accessible and thoughtful. What can you learn from Bill Rodgers as a high school runner?

Listen to your heart. Find your muse.

Read more about Bill Rodgers here: https://www.runblogrun.com/2017/07/the-40th-anniversary-of-bill-rodgers-setting-4-american-records-in-one-race.html

 

Bill Rodgers, Ian Stewart, Mariano Haro, 1975 World Cross Country, won by Stewart, third was Rodgers, this is photo clipping

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