Friday, June 3, 2011

Fun Workout in Prospect Park: Hydrants

I was doing a workout in Prospect Park the other night and a guy passing by asked "Are you doing hydrants? Cool."

Well, at the time, I was leaning over gasping for air, heading for one of the working water fountains in the park, so I didn't really appreciate the comment. But it was nice to get an acknowledgment of one of the quirkiest workouts the park has to offer.

It's very simply, a fartlek ... a "fun" workout where you alternate running fast and slow over a wide variety of distances. Put another way: It's speedplay.

There are a number of ways to do this - we chose to do it by using the hydrants on the inner loop of the park as the determining factor. After warming up, start at the first hydrant you see. Run fast until you see the next hydrant. Run slower, until the next hydrant. Run fast. And so on.

It gets you running fast over a wide variety of distances - in the southern half of the park, the hydrants can be spread out over 100-200 meters, in the northern half of the park (between GAP and 15th Street), you get some 800 meter distances. It's equally fun if you do it at dusk or at night (hey, is that a hydrant? Or a stump?).

You decide how fast you run. And especially during the first loop of the park, if you don't remember where the hydrants are, or can't see them ... it's a different workout every time. Do it with friends - and it doesn't matter if you end up doing the fast parts at different paces - just have the faster runners circle back and pick the slower runners up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love your adorable blog and thank you for the tip. will try this the next time i'm out (or maybe when it's not 99 degrees since speed work is ultimately the last thing i can manage) as a change in my routine. thanks and keep writing!