The last time I tried a fartlek approach to running I failed totally. I used the week 1 podcast and tried to run faster for the 60 seconds and then jog slowly for the 90 - but unsurprisingly I just didn't have enough energy to keep going and very quickly wore myself out. There is a reason that I run really slowly and that is that is because it is the only way I have enough stamina to run for any length of time. Once I increase the effort I have to drastically reduce the time!
At last Wednesday's running club meeting we "did intervals" and ran a certain number of lamp-posts then walked back - and even the really fit and fast runners were walking back not jogging - and I realised that it really was ok to walk to recover and then try harder with the periods of running.
So early on Saturday morning I managed a slow 5k along the tracks and fields round my parents' house and then on Sunday I went back out with the week 1 podcast and "ran" the 60 seconds but then walked the 90 second intervals.
I had Endomondo running and with a slow jog after the intervals finished I covered 2 miles (not counting the 5 minutes walking at the beginning and end) and each mile took about 12 minutes 30 which shows I must have been really running for the 60 second intervals as my normal slow jog takes anywhere between 11.30-13 minutes per mile.
Unfortunately Endomondo told me all the information then promptly ate it so I don't have any of the details of how fast I was actually going which is a bit annoying. It just means I get to try it all again!!
Learning that it really is ok to walk in between intervals is quite an eye-opener. I had previously thought that doing week 1 and walking again basically cancelled out all the progression I had made to become a graduate and that I really was "going back to week 1" but I can see now that it is probably the best way to increase my speed. It's also a way I can have the fun of going for two runs at the weekend without exhausting myself - one slow 5k on Saturday and a faster 20 minutes on Sunday - win win!