Fartleks + Red Mango + On This Day


thinking out loud

Thursday has become the day that I update you on Heather’s running progress. She completed another 5k race on Sunday and was able to run the whole race! I am so very proud, I told you she was ready to do it!

She actually called me after the 2 mile mark during the race to see if she should speed up for the last mile. Do you love that I spoke to her on the phone while she was running a race?!

I told her that her main goal was to run without stopping. I didn’t think it was necessary to push it, risk burn out and then feel like she needed to walk.

The only thing I recommended, if she felt like she needed a mental distraction, was to start random intervals of speeding up and slowing down to make the last mile more engaging.

Known as fartleks, this is actually something I do during races, not just random workouts. Fartleks come in handy for me during races when I feel myself getting tired, burned out or mentally lost. I will pick a random landmark and tell myself to speed up to that point and then ease up again.

Fartleks are known as “speed play” however, I think for beginner runners especially, they actually benefit you by teaching you to also find your ability to run easy.

It’s like this –  If you speed up and then slow down, you realize you can slow yourself to a pace that feels comfortable enough to recover, rather than always think you need to walk to find that zone. Make sense?

Laura has a fun 30 minute fartlek workout that I may run today actually! I’m still loving the 30 minute workouts and even found a local 5k race I may run next weekend.

I find it really funny that I’m interested in running a 5k race right now. If you would have told me that I would ever choose to run a 5k race a year ago, or even 3 months ago, I would have laughed in your face! I never liked the short race distances but hey, things change. Never say never. About ANYTHING.

And because this post clearly needs an image, here’s my cup of Red Mango yogurt from last night. It was a LONG day in front of the computer screen so this yogurt mixed with dark chocolate chips and pumpkin flax granola made me really happy. As did a big Yankees win! My son may be the Mets fan in this house but I am the Yankees fan. 🙂

red mango

On This Day:

10/19/16: The Bar Mitzvah – I remember taking a few days off from the blog to recover before posting this brief Bar Mitzvah recap. I still can’t believe it’s a year ago now!

10/19/15: My Meatless Diet –I’m still a meatless eater so this post holds true and answers a lot of questions about my diet and how I went the meatless route.

10/19/14: Weekly Workout Recap – Oh wow! I remember getting this post up right before running the Runner’s World Half Marathon! I was in Bethlehem, PA for the Runner’s World weekend of races! This was the last weekend actually that I ran a 5k race too. I still can’t believe I ran 3 races in one weekend.

We know how I feel about selfies where you see your phone but hey, it’s a flashback photo and I didn’t know any better yet.

runners world half

[bctt tweet=”Fartleks + Red Mango + On This Day #fartleks #running #redmango #onthisday” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Anyone running the Runner’s World races this coming weekend?!

When is the next race on your calendar?

Favorite yogurt toppings?

Workout Recap 10/12 – 10/18


I love when the Facebook time hop thing pops up in my newsfeed. I can’t even believe my first ever half marathon, at Hershey Park, was already three years ago.

Hershey Park Half

There’s nothing like your first big race experience!

So far, Facebook has yet to point out to me that one year ago this weekend I was in Bethlehem, PA to run the Hat Trick at the Runner’s World Half & Festival but I recall it on my own very well.

Runner's World Hat Trick Race Medals

Three races (5k, 10, half marathon) in one weekend, something I never thought I would be able to do and would now love to do AGAIN. Maybe next year!

Anyway, after easing back into my workouts last week following the Great South Bay Half Marathon, this week was a return to my normal routine.

We are slowly reaching a consistent pattern of cooler temperatures here in New York which I just love for running, as most runners do.

There really is such a difference when running in the 40 degree weather versus the warm weather that I will enjoy every minute of these crisp morning temperatures….until it snows.

weekly workout recap

Monday – Pure Barre Mile High DVD & 3.1 Miles

I shared my new fun and engaging 5k workout in Tuesday’s post. Click here if you missed it.

Tuesday – 8 Miles (negative split workout)

I hadn’t run this workout in a quite some time so it felt great to get back at it.


Wednesday – Pure Barre Studio Series DVD & 4 Easy Miles

It’s scary but I don’t even remember this run at all and perhaps that’s a good thing — it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t memorable but I know it happened because MapMyRun said that it did.

Thursday – 8 Miles (average pace 8:40)

I didn’t want to run my negative split workout again so after a 2 mile warm up, I ran a fartlek workout.

What are fartleks you ask? Fartlek means speed play in Swedish so when you say you ran fartleks, you are saying you went for a run and there were bursts of speed mixed in with some easy running too. Like you go from running slow, to running fast, to running slower again.

I usually pick up my pace for the length of a few lamp posts on the path and then slow down to pick it up again a little while later. It’s a great workout.

Friday – Pure Barre Pure Results & 3 Easy Miles

This 65 minute Pure Barre Pure Results is no joke! I still say that the beginning warm up section of all Pure Barre routines are the hardest for me but geez, the whole lift, tone and burn is real, even after a year of Pure Barre workouts on a regular basis.

pure barre pure results online workout

Saturday – 14 Miles

I had the most perfect run — the weather was chilly (44 degrees), the sun was shining and my pace fell into a really comfortable groove that was much faster than it felt.


Sunday – Yoga? Pure Barre?

I haven’t decided just yet but I see I missed yoga this week so I may need to get it in this morning 🙂

[bctt tweet=”workouts from the week #running #races #purebarre #timehop #runnersworld #fitlfuential @pure_barre”]


Has anyone tried the new Pure Barre Pure Results workout yet? What do you think?

When is your next race? I need to pick one to register for!

Have you bought any new workout clothes for fall/ What did you get?

Running Terms Made Simple


The main reason I don’t plan my posts too far in advance is because I always end up having a random thought or experience which we need to discuss immediately.

Tuesdays are typically topic/advice type posts over here and while I thought that I wanted to talk in one direction today, we are going in another.

topic tuesday running

I took my new running shoes out for a spin yesterday morning.

I originally thought yesterday’s workout would consist of cross training inside on the elliptical machine since I had run a few days in a row but that was quickly canceled when I purchased the new sneakers on Sunday because running in them for the first time really couldn’t wait.

adidas adistar boost

My father was surprised I didn’t run a mile immediately after bringing the new shoes home on Sunday.

Would you have run quick to try them out? It didn’t even cross my mind probably because it was late afternoon when I arrived home and I don’t run in the afternoon.

Anyway, yesterday’s run. The plan was to take it easy for a few miles since I logged a lot of miles over the last few days so I just wanted to enjoy the new shoes and feel them out.

I certainly didn’t plan on running 5.75 miles in negative splits.

As my current average pace chimed in my ear after each mile, it was clear that I was getting faster and faster naturally and easily.

I decided at mile four that I must continue that negative pattern so that my entire run was in negative split fashion because the thought of it made me happy since I wasn’t really trying and felt great.

In my head for that last mile, I related myself to a pitcher in baseball realizing he was close to securing a no-hitter.

It’s like you obviously always want it but didn’t go out there looking for it but suddenly you find yourself in the ninth inning oh so close without giving up a hit.

You might be wondering what a negative split is, which is the point of my post.

There are so many running terms that sound all technical, complicated and foreign.

As intelligent as I am (really, I am quite smart and that’s okay to admit because it is good for your self-esteem to call yourself smart) I hate technical terms, definitions and descriptions.

Please explain things to me using simple non-SAT words and phrases with words in the definition which don’t require me to use a dictionary just to further define what we are looking to understand in the first place.

Did you know that we better understand and retain information when we are able to comprehend and apply the meaning to our real life experiences?

In the event you like things explained to you in child-like terms like me, I thought we would look at a couple of common running terms today and hopefully explain them in a language you understand.

Negative Splits:

When each interval (or mile) is run at a faster pace than the last.

For example, my run yesterday looked something like this:

Mile One: 9:30 min/mile

Mile Two: 9:11 min/mile

Mile Three: 9:06 min/mile

Mile Four: 8:45 min/mile

Mile Five: 8:04 min/mile

Do you follow?

Running in negative splits shows me that I didn’t start out too fast, gave myself some time to warm-up and adjust which kept me from burning out too quickly.

Lately I have been running in negative splits a lot more often than I used to I think because I have gotten better at forcing myself to start slower to get the blood flowing, conserve some energy and then spend it later in the runs.

I have certainly noticed in my longer runs that rather than feel fatigued let’s say at mile nine, I am still feeling energized and raring to go.

I really like this link which goes a little more in-depth about negative splits. Read it. The information is simple to comprehend.


The definition of Fartlek in Swedish is “Speed Play” but I am not Swedish and only speak Swedish when selecting my fish.

I like the smaller red ones opposed to the larger ones because the larger ones get stuck in my teeth more often.

In simple terms, a fartlek type of run combines continuous training with interval training. Typically run for 40-60 minutes (obviously you can do more/less), you break up the run by sprinting, jogging and then sprinting again.

I often run fartleks without even realizing. I find these types of runs terrific for getting a good workout in and offering some balance in that you aren’t running super fast for the entire run since you have some slower paced lengths built-in between.

I think fartleks have helped me to build my endurance as well as my ability to handle the faster speeds for longer lengths of time.

This link is nice for explaining fartleks more in-depth without overwhelming your reading comprehension skills.

Tempo Runs:

The language associated with explaining tempo runs definitely gets technical since it is often referred to as an anaerobic-threshold run or lactate-threshold run.

They lose me at terms like anaerobic-thresholds and lactate-thresholds.

I really am smart, I swear it.

So let’s try to understand these thresholds.

Threshold pace is the effort level just below which the body’s ability to clear lactate, a by-product of carbohydrate metabolism, can no longer keep up with lactate production.

Uh huh.

So that burning feeling in your legs? That’s the lactate threshold. By incorporating tempo runs into your routine (structured, faster-paced miles), you are teaching your body to adapt and clear out the lactate build up quicker which will prevent that burning feeling.

Tempo runs also increase your VO2 max which simply means increasing your ability to take in oxygen to make energy in your muscles.

A tempo run is run at a “comfortable-hard” pace, typically 25-30 seconds per mile slower than current 5k race pace.

This link goes totally in-depth on tempo runs. Good luck.

An easier read, in simple terms is here.

Did you know that the adolescent brain can only focus and retain information for a super short period of time? This is the main reason that lessons and classroom discussions are held to short periods per subject matter.

I tend to think that the same applies to adults. We can only focus and retain a certain amount of information at once so for this reason, we are stopping at these three definitions for today.

I feel like I should be sitting in a classroom. If I had a bell, I guess this is where it would ring but I find that sound obnoxious and sometimes scary if you are not totally expecting it to go off.

I also find fruit flies obnoxious. That’s what I keep telling the flies as they look at my bananas on the kitchen counter.

No questions today. I feel like questions would seem like homework after this school-like lecture. Just tell me something random instead.





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